2. Take On Salary For Los Angeles
We all hate the Los Angeles Kings after 2012. That Stanley Cup Final ripped our heart out. It sucked, and it is not something we’ll forget. Don’t let that stop us from gaining an asset to help the Kings get Eichel.
The Devils have traded with the Kings in the past already. Less than a year after the Stanley Cup, the Kings traded Andrei Loktionov for a 5th-round pick. It looked like a good trade for the Devils at the time. They brought a Russian in to build chemistry with Ilya Kovalchuk, and they can see the lineup get younger. The two teams made two other trades since then (one which led to the Devils drafting Anthony Brodeur).
The Devils and Kings could come together for a trade again. Surprisingly, the Los Angeles Kings are just $2.73 million in cap space. Even if the Sabres inexplicably cover half of Eichel’s $10 million salary (which they won’t), the Kings don’t have enough money to fit him on the roster. Maybe there’s some LTIR chicanery the Kings could pull, but on paper, this doesn’t work.
The Devils could take on one of these salaries for a price. This player might not be in the plans for the Devils right now. They might even get immediately bought out similar to what the Carolina Hurricanes did with Patrick Marleau. It gets the Kings out of a bind, and this is a good draft to make it happen.
The most obvious candidate would be Dustin Brown. His $5.75 million salary coming off the books would really help the Kings’ situation. However, he has a modified no-trade clause that definitely would include the Devils. Other options include Olli Maatta who makes just over $3 million and is in the final year of his deal. There’s the possibility the Devils could even just take on some of the Eichel deal in a three-way trade, but that sits on the Devils cap for six more seasons, and with a lot of young players looking for new contracts, it’s not worth it. The Devils are looking for a shorter commitment, and the Kings could find something to make it work.