The Los Angeles Kings were a part of the first big trade of the 2023 offseason, shipping off Cal Petersen, Sean Walker, Helge Grans, and a second round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for Hayden Hodgson and Kevin Connauton in a trade that also saw Ivan Provorov go to the Columbus Blue Jackets. For the Kings, the deal was mostly about shedding unwanted salaries and players, and now they have a bit more room to work with this summer to make some needed additions.
One of those additions is in net. They put a bandage over the problem by acquiring Joonas Korpisalo at the trade deadline, but it wasn’t enough to help them beat the Edmonton Oilers. Do they use some of this new cap space to make a big trade for a high-end goaltender, or do they explore free agency or bring back Korpisalo next season.
Frank Seravalli and Colby Cohen talked about the Kings’ goaltending situation and what avenues they may explore on Daily Faceoff Live.
Frank Seravalli: I’m wondering if someone like Connor Hellebuyck, for a team that I think their championship window is just opening, would make a ton of sense in L.A.
Colby Cohen: Yeah, I agree. Again, Carter Hart’s name has been floated for L.A. as well, but here’s what I would say to that, and I go back and forth on this and I’ll tell you why. Look at what Adin Hill is doing within Bruce Cassidy’s structure in Vegas. I think it’s showing teams that if you really load up your backend, and you put a huge emphasis on size, strength, and mobility on your backend, you do not need a Hellebuyck to win the Stanley Cup.
I said on this show, I thought the Vegas Golden Knights would win this series in six. I probably will be surprised if it gets to six games, I think it might get to five, and Hill’s been great. But I’ve played in Cassidy’s system for years, and if you do hit, and you stick to his system, if you don’t go outside and chase outside the dots in the neutral zone and in the defensive zone, you’re communicating and you’re playing that half-layered, half-man on man system, you’re not putting the goaltender under a lot of stress, and I think a good goaltender can be really good in a system like that.
And I think L.A. is similar in the way that they play. They slow everything down in the neutral zone, they don’t give you a lot of opportunities to get goals off the rush, and they make it more difficult defensively.
So, I think we’ll see, it depends on what the price is. They might roll back Korpisalo, they might go out after one of these big free agents, or guys who are available via trade, but again, I think Adin Hill is proving that the system is also very important, and the personnel on the back end.
You can watch the full episode here…