The Los Angeles Kings have acquired forward Kris Versteeg in a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes ahead of the trade deadline, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Kings sent prospect Valentin Zykov and a conditional fifth-round draft pick to Carolina to acquire Versteeg, who had previously been traded six times in his career. The Kings reportedly were looking for depth up front at the deadline, and now they have added a versatile winger in Versteeg. The Hurricanes continued to sell off some of their top players, as they now have dealt Versteeg and Eric Staal at the trade deadline.
Versteeg has Stanley Cup experience after winning titles with the Blackhawks in 2010 and 2015, and he now will likely play on one of the top lines for the Kings. Versteeg has been fairly productive this season, putting up 33 points, including 11 goals in 63 games for Carolina. The 29-year-old Versteeg was traded from the Blackhawks to the Hurricanes last year.
The Kings have been dealing with an injury to Marian Gaborik, and now Versteeg can give the team a replacement option until he returns. Lisa Dillman at the LA Times writes that the team has been looking to fill the scoring void left by Gaborik, who has been out with a knee injury. Gaborik was moved to long-term injured reserve to make the Versteeg deal official.
"I think he gives us some depth and the ability to finish and play all positions for us," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
The Hurricanes traded Staal over the weekend to the Rangers for a prospect and draft picks, and now they have done the same with Versteeg. Pierre LeBrun at ESPN reported that the Hurricanes traded Staal to New York for top prospect Aleksi Saarela along with second-round picks in 2016 and 2017. The Hurricanes are in slight rebuilding mode, and they traded Staal since he was heading towards unrestricted free agency.
The Kings are in first place in the Pacific Division standings with a 37-21-4 record. The team has 78 points this season and is looking to make a Stanley Cup run after winning two years ago. The Hurricanes are just outside the playoff race in the Eastern Conference with 66 points.