The Los Angeles Kings have already traded one veteran defenseman, and now they’re going to sit down another. Dion Phaneuf is expected to be a healthy scratch for the Kings tonight when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers, a move that isn’t totally surprising given the role he’s played this season. Phaneuf has seen more than 17 minutes of ice time just four times this season, and not since early November.
After this season the 33-year old has two years remaining on the massive seven-year, $49MM contract he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013 and could be headed towards a buyout in the summer. While the result of a buyout wouldn’t be outstanding for the Kings, having Phaneuf on the roster isn’t helping them much at this point and they have younger players who would benefit from that opportunity. The Ottawa Senators, who retained a portion of Phaneuf’s contract when they traded him to the Kings, would still be responsible for 25% of the salary and cap hit from a buyout.
- David Kampf will be out of the Chicago Blackhawks lineup for up to a month with a foot injury, the team announced today. Kampf is a restricted free agent at the end of the year and has done enough to show he deserves another contract with the team, but a month off will certainly hurt his negotiating leverage. The 24-year old forward has 16 points in 50 games but is a solid enough depth option down the middle.
- After a brief conditioning stint in the minor leagues, Michael Rasmussen is expected to be back in the lineup tonight for the Detroit Red Wings. The big center scored twice in three games for the Grand Rapids Griffins, and will look to continue his offensive development in the second half of the season in Detroit. A huge part of their future, the 6’6″ forward had just 13 points in his first 41 games. Playing in the NHL at 19 is an accomplishment in itself, but the team will need more scoring from him going forward.