Dave Taylor worked the phones yesterday and came up with a deal that should help the power play. The Kings added American international Mark Parrish and offensive (you pick the emphasis) defenseman Brent Sopel in exchange for former first round picks Dennis Grebeshkov and Jeff Tambellini. There's been a lot of concern among Kings fans over the progress of Grebeshkov, or lack thereof. A couple of years ago it was assumed that he'd be quarterbacking the power play by this season, but according to reports, he's actually regressed. His attitude hasn't helped much either. Tambellini seems like the real deal, though. He led Manchester in scoring before the deal, has great speed and a wicked writst shot. Tough to lose him, but with Kopitar, Tukonen, Pushkarev, and Boyle all making progress, they have the depth at forward to make a deal like this. It does make them a bit thinner on the blue line, with Richard Petiot being their only good prospect back there. If I were still an Islanders fan (I used to love Mike Bossy when I was a kid), I'd be pretty happy with this package.
I am still a fan of the Kings, though, and similarly, I'm pretty happy with this package. The Kings get better right away without taking anything from the big club. Parrish will improve the power play, although I'm a little concerned that he'll take some minutes away from Dustin Brown there. I liked what I saw out of Brown on the power play lately, and Parrish is a similar player in that he goes to the front of the net. He's more skilled than Brown right now, though, and he's one of the best in the NHL at deflecting the puck. Sopel, honestly, I don't know all that much about him. I've heard that he's a skilled defensman as far as his offense is concerned, and that if he's paired with someone like Matty (which will probably be the case) he can be a real asset. He should also help improve the power play. Don't know whether he'll be on the first or second unit. I still like seeing Lubo and Corvo out there on the first unit.
Parrish is an unrestricted free agent after the season, so the Kings will have to make the decision to bring him back if they have the cap space. Sopel is guaranteed another year after this, which puts Corvo's future with the Kings into doubt. Corvo's a UFA after this season, and he's played well enough to demand a good contract, and now with Sopel in the mix, the Kings might decide they don't need to pay a couple million to both of them. Personally, I'm a Corvo fan, so I want him back.
One thing this trade does for me is it shows me just how much the unbalanced schedule prevents me from knowing that much about Eastern Conference players. I liked the old days when everyone would play everyone at least twice. Oh well. I'll pretty much root for anyone that's American, so it's nice to see the Kings add another one. Let's hope the deal pays immediate dividends, starting tonight against the Wings.