It had appeared as though the entire Kings team would be back for the lockout-shortened season.
Until Sunday morning.
The Stanley Cup champion Kings traded popular enforcer Kevin Westgarth to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Anthony Stewart. Additionally, the Kings will receive a fourth-round draft pick in 2013 and a sixth-rounder in 2014.
The move made sense on multiple levels.
Westgarth, who was the Kings' player representative and a key figure in collective bargaining agreement talks, lives in Raleigh, N.C., during the off-season. He spent most of the lockout there when he wasn't in New York for labor sessions.
Stewart could give the Kings some depth up front. The 28-year-old was a former first-round draft choice -- taken by Florida in 2003 -- and had 20 points in 77 games with the Hurricanes last season.