Although the Kings didn’t make too much noise at yesterday’s trade deadline, they did make two key trades while not giving up too much in return.
The first move saw the Kings trade the ineffective and oft-scratched Teddy Purcell along with a 3rd round draft pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Jeff Halpern. Later in the day, the Kings acquired veteran forward Frederik Modin from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.
Although both trades were somewhat subtle, I believe that this helps the Kings not only making that final playoff push but given them the necessary depth to last in the playoffs.
Starting with Jeff Halpern, although the 2009-10 season hasn’t been his greatest (17 points in 55 games), his veteran leadership will prove to be a great asset in the locker room and his superb defensive prowess is also a plus for the Kings. His career has spanned with the most recent Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals before that. The native of Potomac, Maryland, who will be 34 in May, is believed to be making his debut on the fourth line tonight in Nashville. It’s uncertain what role Halpern will play with the Kings but we’ll see how he fares tonight and go from there.
As for Frederik Modin, coming off a recent stomach bug and not to mention an MCL sprain that sidelined him for the first 31 games of the season, there could be some cause for concern for Modin in terms of his health. However, both him and Halpern were in Nashville this morning at the Kings’ practice and both were believed to be fine.
Statistically, Modin hasn’t had an easy season, tallying only six points in 24 games. However, like Halpern, Modin brings a strong sense of leadership to the locker room, not only helping the Blue Jackets to their first playoff berth in franchise history last season but also helping the Tampa Bay Lightning win their first and only Stanley Cup in 2004. It might be argued that his contribution to Tampa’s playoff run should be a little discredited given that it occurred before the lockout and, thus, the “old” NHL. Personally, I don’t buy that.
Both Modin and Halpern arrive to a Kings team whose youth and talent looks good beyond paper. Modin joins Sean O’Donnell as Kings’ players with a Stanley Cup under their belt and it’s going to be exciting to see how the two newest acquisitions fit it with a team already exceeding so much expectation.