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Kings Likely Want Goalie Upgrade, Will Look at Connor Hellebuyck

The Los Angeles Kings can’t love their goaltending situation and it is believed they’ll look to make an upgrade during the season.

After trading for, then losing Joonas Korpisalo in free agency this summer, the Los Angeles Kings did what they could to upgrade their questionable goaltending situation, but it’s not clear they’ve done enough. A team hoping to be contenders in a very difficult Pacific Division, the club made a big trade for Pierre-Luc Dubois in the hopes they can compete with the likes of the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights, but it won’t mean much if their netminding isn’t up to par.

Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet has raised the question of whether the Los Angeles Kings will seek to acquire a new goaltender this season. He speculates that such a move might occur during the ongoing season if the current goaltending duo of Pheonix Copley and Cam Talbot fail to meet expectations.

Winnipeg Jets' Connor Hellebuyck reportedly declined a short-term offer, hinting at potential trade or free agency plans.
Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck reportedly declined a short-term offer, hinting at potential trade or free agency plans.

Dixon points out the uncertainty surrounding Connor Hellebuyck’s future with the Winnipeg Jets, as he has just one year left on his contract before potentially becoming a free agent. There has been plenty of chatter about his availability, but also reports that the Jets are having trouble moving the superstar because of his potential contract demands beyond this current deal.

The ask in trade is high, but that may come down. Regardless, it’s tough to trade for a goaltender if you know that in giving up assets to land him, you’re also signing your team up for a tough contract negotiation. It’s possible that Hellebuyck becomes nothing more than an NHL Trade Deadline rental and if that happens, expect the Kings to be keenly interested.

Any potential goaltender upgrade for the Kings would necessitate skillful cap management by their general manager, Rob Blake. They have little room to make a move, but the season brings with it all kinds of surprises and LTIR has become a deadline factor for many organizations.

As the Kings evaluate their goaltending situation and keep an eye on potential options, the coming season holds the possibility of a significant goaltending change that could impact their performance on the ice.

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