This season is becoming extremely perplexing to anyone watching the Los Angeles Kings right now. After winning it all in 2011-12, they are now mired in the muck of the bottom three teams in the Western Conference and they seem to be spinning their wheels and digging themselves in deeper.
Earlier in the week, the Kings traded away Andrei Loktionov to the New Jersey Devils for a fifth round pick. They then used the same pick to acquire Keaton Ellerby from the Florida Panthers. In the end the Kings traded Lokti for Ellerby, straight up.
Neither player has done much good for their teams this season, with Lokti playing for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) and Ellerby failing to earn a single point in nine games of action for the Panthers. Yes, the Kings do get a guy who can come in and actually play some defense, but the move truly seems pointless.
The Kings do need help on defense, but their offense has been horrid this season. They need to be finding a way to get a spark on that side of the ice more than they need a 7th man on the defensive side. Giving up Lokti is understandable, giving that he is undersized and does not make up for it with speed or aggression, but trading away a prospect you have been holding on to since 2007 for a fifth round pick you want to use to pick up a defenseman who may not make any type of impact? This type of confusion is the last thing the team needs at this moment!
They also reassigned Andrew Campbell to the Monarchs after calling him up earlier in the week. They must have just been messing with his head because he never saw the ice during his short time in the Big Leagues.
The Kings looked unbelievably good at the end of the 2011-12 season and they finished it by winning the Stanley Cup. Whatever has happened between then and now to cause such a dramatic swing in production is beyond me, but moves like this are not likely going to be the key to getting it squared away.