The Los Angeles Kings have been shopping for a defenseman and were linked to a number of major targets. However, with the likes of Hampus Lindholm, Ben Chiarot, and Mark Giordano now off the table and Jakob Chychrun looking increasingly unlikely to be dealt before the deadline, L.A. has decided to go bargain hunting. The Detroit Red Wings have announced that they have traded defenseman Troy Stecher to the Kings in exchange for a 2022 seventh-round pick. Los Angeles has confirmed the deal as well.
Now, adding Stecher does not remove the Kings from making further deadline additions on the back end, particularly when it comes to long-term pieces like Chychrun. Though just 27 years old and still carrying some name recognition from when he was an up-and-coming blue liner with the Vancouver Canucks, Stecher is merely a rental depth option for the Kings. Stecher has only played in 16 games with Detroit this season, with two points and a career-low 15:08 averaget time on ice. He is now longer the player he was once expected to become and is just an extra option on defense in L.A., hence the low cost of a last-round pick.
With that being said, defensive depth is still highly valuable to the Kings. The club has been inundated with injuries of late, with top-four defenders Drew Doughty, Matt Roy, and Michael Anderson all sidelined, not to mention Sean Walker out for the year. The team has been fortunate enough to get Alex Edler back in the lineup after a long-term absence, but they still have five rookie or sophomore defensemen on the roster right now. Stecher brings some much-needed experience and veteran ability to the team to help with this short-term injury bug and could play himself into a regular role even once the team is back at full strength. Stecher and Edler are familiar having played together in Vancouver and it will be interesting to see if they are paired once again in L.A. and if that could be a stable, successful partnership.