KINGS MAKE A POWER MOVE

They pick up 6- foot- 4 Lu­cic from Bru­ins in a draft- day trade. Ducks get picks for Palmieri.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Lisa Dill­man

Doesn’t the mod­ern- day sports star go to Dis­ney­land af­ter some­thing sig­nif­i­cant un­folds, not be­fore?

Bos­ton Bru­ins power for­ward Mi­lan Lu­cic re­turned to his sum­mer home in Canada from the park visit and found out one day later that his job skills were be­ing trans­ferred to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

On Fri­day, the Kings got a bit big­ger and more phys­i­cal, ac­quir­ing the 6- foot- 4, 235- pound left wing in a trade with the Bru­ins. Bos­ton re­ceived the Kings’ top draft choice ( No. 13 over­all), backup goalie Martin Jones and mi­nor league de­fense­man Colin Miller.

The trade came sev­eral hours be­fore the NHL’s en­try draft in Sunrise, Fla., and, as ex­pected, Con­nor McDavid went to the Ed-

mon­ton Oil­ers at No. 1 and the Buf­falo Sabres took Jack Eichel at No. 2.

Ana­heim se­lected Swedish de­fense­man Ja­cob Lars­son at No. 27 and hired for­mer Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers coach Dal­las Eakins to coach the Ducks’ mi­nor league team in San Diego.

Af­ter their first- round se­lec­tion, the Ducks traded vet­eran for­ward Kyle Palmieri to New Jersey in ex­change for the Devils’ sec­ond- round pick ( No. 41) this year and third- round se­lec­tion in 2016. For Palmieri, a New Jersey na­tive who spent his en­tire NHL ca­reer with Ana­heim, it rep­re­sents a home­com­ing.

Kings Gen­eral Man­ager Dean Lom­bardi’s big mo­ment came away from the draft f loor with the Lu­cic trade.

“I do think ev­ery player on our team just grew three inches and put on 10 pounds of mus­cle,” Lom­bardi said Fri­day on a con­fer­ence call. “So that don’t hurt.”

The Bru­ins also will pick up $ 2.75 mil­lion of Lu­cic’s $ 6mil­lion salary for next sea­son, no small is­sue in a world con­strained by salary caps.

Bos­ton drafted Lu­cic, and he won a Stan­ley Cup with the Bru­ins in 2011 but re­al­ized his days with the re­build­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion were num­bered when he started hear­ing trade ru­mors.

“I had a lot of mixed emo­tions in the last 48 hours,” Lu­cic said in a tele­phone call from Kelowna, Bri­tish Columbia. “I kind of had that ner­vous, anx­ious, ex­cited, sad, all- in- one feel­ing, go­ing on in my stom­ach this morn­ing. Like some­thing big was go­ing to hap­pen.”

Lom­bardi, whose team missed the play­offs this past sea­son af­ter win­ning the Stan­ley Cup in 2014, looked at his or­ga­ni­za­tional charts and boxes and seized the chance to check the pow­er­for­ward/ left wing box.

“It’s the Clark Gillies, Bryan Trot­tier, Mike Bossy-type trio that most peo­ple think is the ul­ti­mate- type line,” Lom­bardi said of the Is­lan­ders icons. “We also won­dered whether Gabby [ Mar­ian Ga­borik] was bet­ter on the right [ wing].

“To get a player like Clark Gillies, there’s not many like this in the league, that can play with top play­ers and bring that el­e­ment.”

It’s a big price for the Kings to pay for a player who will be an un­re­stricted free agent af­ter next sea­son. Lu­cic’s pro­duc­tion was down this past sea­son with the strug­gling Bru­ins, a 15- point drop from the pre­vi­ous cam­paign.

But the chance to work with a play­mak­ing cen­ter like the Kings’ Anze Ko­pi­tar and the speedy Ga­borik could spark a re­ver­sal for the 27- year- old. That, and the big pic­ture of join­ing the two- time Stan­ley Cup cham­pi­ons and try­ing to help them win another one.

Lu­cic scored his f irst NHL goal, against the Kings, in 2007 and even thought Los An­ge­les might end up draft­ing him in 2006.

“I get to move on to a team that al­ready knows how to win,” Lu­cic said. “They’re not a team that’s learn­ing how to win or try­ing to make that step to win a Stan­ley Cup. They al­ready know how to do that.

“If you look at the ros­ter, I’d say we’re def­i­nitely in the top two or three teams in the league as con­tenders.”

If the trade had hap­pened a day ear­lier, Lu­cic could have stayed in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia af­ter his Dis­ney­land visit to check out some real es­tate.

“I was just down there with my old­est daugh­ter, en­joy­ing tak­ing her for her first time to Dis­ney­land,” he said. “It would have been nice to have got­ten the news while I was down there so I could stay down there and en­joy the start of be­ing a King a lit­tle bit more.”

Now the park is a lit­tle closer.

“I guess I’ve got to get an an­nual pass now,” Lu­cic said.

The Kings also took care of more busi­ness in the morn­ing, reach­ing a twoyear con­tract ex­ten­sion with for­ward Tyler Tof­foli worth $ 6.5 mil­lion. He will make $ 2.6 mil­lion next sea­son and $ 3.9 mil­lion in 2016- 17.

“It’s still a good deal for him, but in no way did he say, ‘ I’m go­ing to hold any­one hostage,’ ” Lom­bardi said. “If Tyler Tof­foli doesn’t step up and do this, we can’t do this [ Lu­cic] deal be­cause then we would have ex­posed our­selves to an of­fer sheet.

“It’s just ex­em­plary for a young player to re­al­ize his time will come and take a good deal but not try and shoot for the moon. So the team is al­lowed to go out and make it­self bet­ter.”

There will be other changes for the Kings.

Soon- to- be un­re­stricted free- agent for­ward Justin Wil­liams looks to be mov­ing on, al­most sure to re­ceive mul­ti­ple of­fers next week.

And the Kings, find­ing no tak­ers for the con­tract of Mike Richards, will con­front the buy­out is­sue again.

Jae C. Hong As­so­ci­ated Press

THE BRU­INS will pick up part of Lu­cic’s salary.

Brian Cas­sella Chicago Tri­bune

KYLE PALMIERI, sit­ting on ice, cel­e­brates a play­off goal. The Ducks traded him to his na­tive New Jersey.

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