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Visnovsky is traded by Kings

June 30, 2008|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

The Kings unloaded another high-priced player this off-season as they dealt defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday for center Jarret Stoll and defenseman Matt Greene.

Visnovsky, 31, slumped to eight goals and 33 assists last season but has been the team's highest-scoring defenseman for the last three years. He is scheduled to make $7 million this season in the first year of his five-year, $28-million extension.

In seven seasons with the Kings, Visnovsky scored 70 goals and had 279 points. He had 17 goals and a career-high 67 points in 2005-06 and had a personal-best 18 goals and 58 points in 2006-07.

"It's never easy to give up a player of Lubo's caliber, but for the direction of the franchise, this exchange allows us to add two players who fit the long-term vision for this team," General Manager Dean Lombardi said.

In trading Visnovsky and Michael Cammalleri, the Kings have cleared $10.6 million of salary off the 2008-09 books. The club needs to sign Stoll, who will be a restricted free agent on Tuesday, but has Greene at a reasonable $1.25 million next season.

Stoll, 26, has a hard shot and can play the point on the power play. He had 14 goals and 36 points last season, far off his career season of 2005-06, when he had 22 goals and 68 points in helping Edmonton reach the Stanley Cup finals.

Greene, 25, is expected to add some toughness on the blue line. The 6-foot-3, 223-pound defender played in only 46 games last season because of an ankle injury.

The Kings have just over $23 million committed for next season, although it's unclear if they have big plans for free agency. Some of that money under the cap figures to be reserved for All-Star center and leading scorer Anze Kopitar, whose three-year entry-level deal is up in 2009.

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eric.stephens@latimes.com

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