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Deep Blue Sea: Kings get a shake-up

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Welcome back to the Pacific Division.

Ottawa Senators v San Jose Sharks

While we’re waiting on the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Kings made a move last night. In what’s shaping up to be a real pattern, they traded with the Ottawa Senators while both teams were in the midst of a game — the Kings in Carolina and the Senators in Pittsburgh. The relative proximity of these two road trips should make for an easy hand-off.

The Senators unloaded veteran defenseman Dion Phaneuf and forward Nate Thompson in exchange for forwards Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore. As part of the deal, Ottawa will retain 25% of Phaneuf’s $7 million cap hit through the remainder of his contract, through 2021. Gaborik is also signed through 2021, but at $4.9 million. The Sens will also exchange Thompson’s $1.7 million contract for Shore’s $925,000.

It’s a heavily financial move for the Senators, unloading Phaneuf’s contract. While the Kings lacked forwards early in the season, now that they have a healthy forward group, they can focus on improving their defense. The 32-year-old Phaneuf will be looking for time in the top-four D-corps.

Phaneuf did not play in the second half of the Senator’s loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, while Gaborik and Shore finished in their loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Thompson has been injured and has only played in four games since the start of 2018.

This will be the first time Phaneuf has played for a team in the US, having played for the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Ottawa Senators prior to joining the Kings.

You can read more about the trade below, but first, here’s Sharks news and notes from around the web:

And here’s what’s going on around the league and from PyeongChang: