Looking for elements of toughness, the Kings traded defenseman Darryl Sydor and a fifth-round draft pick in 1996 to the Dallas Stars on Saturday for defenseman Doug Zmolek, 25, and right wing Shane Churla, 30.
Sydor, who had been the subject of trade rumors recently, had been wildly inconsistent since his promising rookie year when the Kings went to the Stanley Cup finals in 1992-93. King Coach Larry Robinson quickly grew frustrated with him this season, calling him a "time bomb."
"It's not a relief," said Sydor, a first-round pick in 1990. "I guess I didn't help the cause the way I was playing. I knew it was going to happen, but I didn't want it to happen. They wanted to get more character players in here, but I believe in myself as a character player."
Sydor, 23, who had 12 points in 58 games, was asked what he will remember most about Los Angeles.
"Our Stanley Cup run," he said. "We had a great team, from the coaching staff on down. And how it's gone since then, you'll never forget some of those things."
Zmolek, 6 feet 2, 220 pounds, a first-round pick in 1989, is a solid, stay-at-home defenseman. This season, he had six points in 42 games and 65 penalty minutes. Churla, 6-1, 210, a noted enforcer, has had memorable fights with King defenseman Marty McSorley. He had seven points and a team-leading 168 penalty minutes.
Robinson, when asked whether Churla's arrival would pave the way for McSorley's departure, said: 'That's not the case. What it does is put less emphasis on Marty and Barry Potomski and Shane. It gives us overall better toughness."
Said Churla: "That's part of the game you leave on the ice. When you change teams, he [McSorley] is the guy you go to war with, not against."