Mark Hardy, the veteran defenseman King fans loved to hate, was traded Monday to the New York Rangers.
In a deal that is sure to please the Forum faithful, who let out a roar last Saturday night when it was announced that Hardy had been scratched from a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Kings acquired forward Ron Duguay, one of the few National Hockey League players who does not wear a helmet.
"I suppose they'll be happy about this," said Hardy, who needed a helmet this season to shield him from the abuse being hurled from the stands.
Hardy, 29, was in his eighth full season with the Kings. A second-round draft pick in 1979, the Swiss native holds club records for assists and points by a defenseman.
But he had fallen out of favor with the fans in recent seasons.
The booing got so bad this season that Hardy sought out a hypnotist, Peter Siegel, who has counseled him for the last 2 1/2 months.
"I was playing well on the road," Hardy said, "but I'd come home and be worried about making a mistake or making the wrong play, and you can't play the game like that. You've got to be spontaneous."
Hardy's confidence grew, and the booing subsided in recent weeks.
"But right when it stopped, boom, I'm gone," Hardy said.
Said King General Manager Rogie Vachon: "The fans were booing, but I think he gave us pretty much what he had. He worked really hard. I have nothing bad to say about Mark."
The move to acquire Duguay was made to give the Kings more size at forward, Vachon said.
Duguay, 30, is a 10-year veteran who has played center and wing.
In 1984-85, his most productive season, he had 38 goals and 89 points for the Detroit Red Wings, but Vachon said he acquired the 6-foot 2-inch, 210-pound Duguay for his strength and defensive abilities.
Duguay, who makes his off-season home in San Clemente, had only 8 points in 48 games this season.