Why Heatley to Kings Doesn’t Make Sense (but still might be good)

Matthew Barry just posted Why Heatley to LA Makes Sense. I’m of two minds. One of my minds could talk myself into pretty much anything. The other has a low tolerance for locker-room poison (e.g. Cammalleri, Blake, Avery). For the sake of argument, though, I’m going to pretend to agree with Matthew’s assertion that Heatley couldn’t possibly pull the same stunt twice (asking for a trade, etc.), because then he would really be toast and would have nowhere to turn but the KHL. I would like to believe that. I would have to believe it once he was here. But I don’t believe it really.

Nevertheless, let’s pretend.

So…what would the Kings have to give up?

I don’t agree that it would be young prospects. First of all, the Kings would need to clear some salary, otherwise Heatley puts them a couple of million over the cap. So someone with a real contract would be going the other way. Who are the candidates? Kopitar? No. Smyth? No. Williams? Have to say no, because that would be weird. Frolov? Call that a maybe (especially given the LW logjam Heatley’s arrival would create — see below, unless I forget to come back to it). Handzus? Well, it’s possible. Brown? People would riot, so…no. Stoll? Maybe. Greene? No. Scuderi? No. That’s it.

So you’ve got yourself Frolov, Handzus and Stoll as options.

Getting rid of one of Stoll or Handzus would weaken us in the faceoff circle, but would eliminate the annoying $4MM fourth line center problem. So that’s got to be an attractive option, even if it would (in the case of Handzus) put a significant dent in Terry Murray’s team defense.

Trading Frolov for Heatley is in my opinion a non-starter. Because I think Frolov will score 35-40 goals this year, and Heatley will score a couple more, maybe 40-50 goals. But that’s for a cap hit of $4MM over Frolov’s cap hit, and at the expense of team defense, since Heatley doesn’t do that. So that seems like a trade that would create more problems than it would solve, just to get 10 extra goals.

Now, what about Stoll or Handzus? Okay, let’s just say it’s one of them. Could I live with that? Maybe. We’ll have to look at what the lines would likely be (more on that later). First, though, we have to finish looking at who else would be part of the package.

The Edmonton deal nixed by Heatley had Edmonton sending Cogliano, Penner and Smid. I immediately notice that this is only about $1MM in cap relief for Ottawa. Let’s tailor a deal that mimics the Edmonton deal. Stoll/Handzus/Frolov is the Penner. Who is the Cogliano? Cogliano is a young center with two seasons under his belt, 18 goals each season, former 1st round pick, on an entry level contract. Who is the Kings’ version of this?

Moller, Simmonds or Purcell. Maybe Lewis. [Cogliano is a step up from Lewis or Purcell at this point in their careers, so maybe a prospect gets tossed in.] For me, personally, trading either of Moller or Simmonds would be unforgivable. I think (hope) that Lombardi feels the same way, since they are two of his success stories thus far in his Kings tenure. Purcell or Lewis? I like them both, but under the right conditions, I might be willing to let them go. In any case, we can call it one of Handzus/Stoll, one of Purcell/Lewis, and …

…who’s the Smid of this deal?

The obvious comparable is Jack Johnson. And that can’t happen, can it? It could, but I don’t want it to. In that case, the deal would probably be something like Handzus, Purcell, Johnson. If not Johnson, the other options are a couple of prospects, like, say, Voynov and Zatkoff or Jones.

(Ottawa is going to want more than Handzus, Purcell and Johnson — e.g. Frolov, Moller, Johnson and a pick — but I’m trying to come up with something I can live with, as a Kings fan who over-values his prospects and doesn’t like n’er-do-wells.)

I mean, Lombardi isn’t going to be able to foist Richardson and Ivanans on them, is he? That would be like getting Smyth for Quincey and Preissing. What? Oh.

Okay, let’s see what the line-up looks like if we give up Handzus, Purcell and Johnson.









The thing that leaps out at me about this is that (1) we are over-loaded on the left side, (2) we now have one experienced D on the power-play (Doughty), (3) our fourth line is going to suck, and (4) we will have no shut-down line.

Let’s try it with Stoll instead of Handzus.









Better, because now Frolov is in a defensive role, on a shut-down line, and it’s a line that worked last season. But still the fourth line is garbage, and we’ve got a problem on the power play at the point.

And about that crowding on the left side? There’s no chance Frolov is going to stick around willingly to be third on the depth chart behind Smyth and Heatley. So he would be gone next summer…except not because Lombardi would deal him before he could walk, so he would be traded this season, so we’re back to trading Frolov’s 40 goals for Heatley’s 50 (whatever numbers you actually think they’re capable of, I think it’s not really debatable that Heatley is good for about 10 more goals than Fro, at best).

Now, Lombardi could easily sign a couple of crusty old dudes to skate on the fourth line, instead of Zeiler, Ivanans and Harrold. And he could do the same on D, signing — say — Mathieu Schneider for peanuts and using him on the power play. That would be kind of cool, I grant you. So that kinda sorta works. Especially for the one season where Frolov is still here and Smyth isn’t too old yet. That line-up would look sorta like:




Lewis/[Chris Gratton]/[Rob Neidermeyer]

(I picked two available names, but you get the idea)





That’s workable. But the whole point of adding Heatley falls apart when Frolov leaves, unless someone steps up to take Frolov’s place. Loktionov? Okay, maybe. And he’s on the 2nd unit with Moller (not this season, but 2010-2011), and Smyth drops to the Handzus line. Or something. It’s problematic, but I can see it. I don’t really like it, but I can see it. Question is, are any of these iterations better than this:









I don’t know. I don’t think so.


  6 comments for “Why Heatley to Kings Doesn’t Make Sense (but still might be good)

  1. 4thliner
    August 22, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    I see your point………. I read your posts all the time, and it is clear you love Moller and Fro, and I do as well. I just think Moller doesnt really fit on our roster right now, maybe on the 3rd line. (he didnt really fit at the end of last season). Frolov is most likely going to depart LA. I dont want him to, but he is in a contract year, and he is NEVER mentioned by Lombardi as part of the core. He is also one of the biggest pieces of trade bate we have. I think it would be a shame, but I think it is inevitable. If we could get Heatly for Fro (because he is in a contract year), Moller and JJ or Teubert, I think you would be able to live with that.

    I understand where you are coming from because I am the same way with Simmonds, if we traded him for Wayne Gretzky I would be pissed off, I love the guy.

    I am not much of a Heatley fan, but the guy can bury the puck with the best of them.

  2. quisp
    August 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Moller should never have been released to go to the WJC, and when he returned Murray didn’t give him a fair shake. He made his comments about Moller’s physical strength, which was fair enough in a sense, but his strength was no different in February than it had been in September. Anyway, hopefully Moller will take another big step forward this year. Especially if you’re right and Frolov is leaving, our power-play will be missing its top two scorers if they both depart.

    For me, Heatley for Frolov, Moller, JJ or Teubert would be pretty much the worst possible scenario. Also, as I said, trading Heatley for Frolov does not improve our offense by more than 5-10 goals. Therefore, I would pass on any Heatley trade that includes Frolov.

    Also, Frolov, Moller and JJ is over-paying, if you’re using the Edmonton deal for comparison. I’m sticking with Stoll, Purcell and Voynov. Even that worries me.

    Re Moller’s fit: I think I disagree. Moller is a C/RW who is defensively responsible and is great on the PP. He can play on any line except really on a pure “shut down” line. In a couple of years, he will be big enough to do that, too; but he will be too good by then not to be top six or even top three. And he’s a leader. And he never stops working. And he can hit beyond his weight class.

    If he gets traded I will instantly be a fan of that team and it will be the first black mark against Lombardi in my book.

  3. quisp
    August 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    I’m even perversely excited about the prospect of Moller NOT making the team and being on a line with Loktionov in Manchester for a few games.

  4. 4thliner
    August 22, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    When I say fit, I am just looking at it as I dont think Moller should be a 4th line player, unless we went with a speedster line, and you know that wont happen. He could possibly be a winger on the 3rd with Zus and Simmonds. I know he got hurt, but even when he came back he was scratched fairly often. The kid is great, but I just dont see where he fits unless we get rid of Stoll in the trade instead of moller. I just think we would be missing Stoll on the draw more then we would be missing Moller on the 3rd or 4th line wing.

    When I say Fro, it is only because we will probably trade him at the deadline if he doesnt re-sign. Is the person we trade him for gonna be better then Dany Heatley??? Personally I dont like the #’s on Dany Heatleys contract even if we traded nobody for him, but then again he is the 2nd highest scorer in the league over the last 3 years…. what would that do for the kings.

  5. jdmmmm
    August 22, 2009 at 6:12 PM


    First off, re: “For the sake of argument, though, I’m going to pretend to agree with Matthew Berry’s assertion that Heatley couldn’t possibly pull the same stunt twice (asking for a trade, etc.), because then he would really be toast and would have nowhere to turn but the KHL.”

    That’s not how I read that in Berry’s blog. I read it as inferring the rule that once a player waives an NTC to be traded, he loses the clause (unless the team agrees to keep it??? which I guess makes the point moot as Heatley would insist the team accept the NTC for him to approve the deal) I think that happened with Visnovsky, but I also am not sure the player has an option in that. So if that is true, and Heatley’s NTC didn’t come with him, then even if he asked for a trade, the Kings could either tell him to sit down and shut up, or trade him anywhere for anything they wanted.

    As for what pieces would go in a trade, I love Moller as much as you, but I might consider trading him for Heatley. But only if it was just Fro, Moller and a 2nd or something. I think a reasonable and good deal for both teams (and ideal for us) is Frolov, Purcell/Voynov and a 1st. Maybe another prospect, take your pick of mid-tiers. If they wanted another roster player, make it Purcell & Voynov and changed the 1st to a 2nd.

    I could live that that. Easily.


  6. quisp
    August 24, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    jdmmmm –

    I don’t think it’s a one-time-use coupon, the NTC, but I don’t really know. You could be right about interpreting with MB was saying. I reread it, and I can’t really tell.

    As far as trading Moller or Frolov… that would hurt. As I said above, Frolov for Heatley doesn’t get us that much. Trading Moller now would be one of the worst trades ever, in my opinion; although the hideousness of it wouldn’t be apparent for another 3-4 years.

    The whole thing only works for me if it’s Stoll who goes. Stoll and NOT Johnson. Stoll, Voynov, Purcell and Zatkoff, or something. The Kings fan wet-dream trade (if I am that fan) would be Stoll, Richardson, Voynov, Zatkoff and picks. But that’s simply never going to happen.

    Ottawa is going to want Frolov, Johnson and Moller. F*** that. We’ll see who blinks first. You just gave me a good idea for a poll, though.

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