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It's No Big Deal for the Kings

June 22, 2003|Jerry Crowe | Times Staff Writer

A blockbuster trade involving the Kings failed to materialize Saturday on the first day of the NHL entry draft, but club President Tim Leiweke said that management will continue tinkering with the roster this summer.

"I think we have a couple more moves in us," Leiweke said.

At the cost of only a second-round pick in next year's draft, the Kings last month added goaltender Roman Cechmanek, who ranked among the league's statistical leaders in each of his three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers.

And for two draft picks, a fourth-round selection this year and a second-round choice next year, they reacquired Jozef Stumpel on Friday from the Boston Bruins, giving them a solid second-line center behind Jason Allison.

But after finishing 14 points out of the playoffs last season, they still need a veteran, top-six winger, a shortcoming many had expected them to address Saturday in a trade involving one or more of their three first-round draft picks.

"Are we going to try to add another piece or two? Yeah," Leiweke said Saturday in Hollywood at a draft party for season-seat subscribers. "Could we have gotten it today? Sometimes it's hard at the draft because people come along and think you're going to sell your soul. And we didn't want to sell our soul today."

Luc Robitaille, released last month by the Detroit Red Wings, has talked to the Kings about returning for a third stint with the club, and the Kings are expected to extend a formal offer to the 37-year-old left wing after he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Kings also have talked privately about pursuing Teemu Selanne, who also will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"I think there are going to be some opportunities after July 1," Leiweke said. "We're going to keep pounding away here."

But the Kings won't get involved in any bidding wars.

"If Dave ends up signing Luc," Leiweke said, referring to General Manager Dave Taylor, "we still have at least one or two more moves in us. But if people expect us to do a big deal like [Sergei] Fedorov, that's not coming....

"But I think we still have a few more pieces we have to fill."

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