LA pushing hard for Hartnell. Could it work?

According to hockeybuzz.com blogger Matthew Barry, despite acquiring big-name forward Ryan Smyth to help bolster the offense, the Kings are still looking to add a “gritty winger” to the mix.  And from what a source tells Barry, LA has its eye focused hard on Flyers’ forward Scott Hartnell.

“But after (Dean) Lombardi admitted to (Rich) Hammond the other day that he was indeed looking to acquire the gritty winger, I got word from a very well placed source that has told me that the Kings are still trying to acquire (Hartnell). Cap hit wise Hartnell is at 4.2 but salary wise, his next 4 years are intriguing: 4.2, 4.2, 3.7 and 3.2. For a 27 year old, that’s just too delicious to pass up.”

The rumor speculates that the Kings would offer defenseman Jack Johnson and possibly forward Wayne Simmonds.  The numbers would work out on that deal, considering Johnson’s new contract would be essentially flush with the blue liner he replaces on the Flyers, either Matt Carle or Randy Jones.  And with Simmonds making less than a million, doing some fuzzy math, it could save the Flyers an estimated $3 million on the cap, while giving them the fiercest back end in the Eastern conference, and quite possibly the West as well.

But on the downside, could the Flyers afford to lose more scoring?  After trading Joffrey Lupul and losing Mike Knuble to free agency, the depth the Flyers possessed in years prior is running thin.  The team only has two and a half solid scoring lines with Hartnell in tow.  Without him, they lose that power presence at the wing and key special teams player now that Knuble is gone.

In the end, does the proposal work? Yes, but does it make sense?  Not really.  Which is why all the buzz about this potential move is all coming out of LA LA land.

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Filed under 2009-10 season, Around the NHL, Offseason

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