The Los Angeles Kings have had a season to forget in 2018-19, sitting last in the entire NHL with just 40 points in their first 47 games. A lot of that failure is due to a lack of scoring as the Kings have only recorded 107 goals in those games, meaning any pieces they sell off at the deadline could very well come from the blue line instead. Of the available players, Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez stand out as potential top-four options that the team could give away to the highest bidder.
We learned earlier this month that Martinez could likely be had for a second-round pick and a good prospect, but it wasn’t clear exactly what the Kings were after in exchange for Muzzin outside of a first-round pick. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) now reports that the Kings are in “listening mode” on Muzzin and that the asking price is that first-round pick and an additional prospect. LeBrun is quick to point out that the Kings don’t have to move Muzzin, as he’s on a good contract for next season at just $4MM and has put together a successful season.
Still, for teams looking for an upgrade on defense there certainly seems to be a deal to be made in Los Angeles. The idea of adding even both of Martinez and Muzzin for a couple of draft picks and two prospects seems more than reasonable, especially considering that the duo only cost $8MM combined for next season (Martinez’ deal extends through 2020-21). It’s also important to note that neither has any trade protection, and can’t stop the team from dealing them.
Muzzin especially is a bargain at his $4MM cap hit. The 29-year old is logging more than 21 minutes once again for the Kings and comes in right behind Drew Doughty in scoring from the blue line with 20 points on the year. He leads in both blocked shots (85) and hits (108) while regularly contributing on both the powerplay and penalty kill. That kind of versatility and impact is incredibly difficult to find in today’s game, meaning there will be plenty of interest in Muzzin when the deadline rolls around.