According to Andy Strickland the first draft-related move of this (almost) off-season has transpired.Â Chris Pronger has been traded to the Los Angeles Kings for “a package including Jack Johnson and the 5th overall pick.”Â Note that this is an unconfirmed rumor.Â However, in the past Strickland has been very reliable.
*EDIT*: Strickland has revised his stance slightly.Â New blog link is up.
If true, what significance does this hold?Â Well it may indicate the end of one of Brian Burke‘s potential trading partners in the top 5.Â Los Angeles has been mentioned in many circles as one of the teams that would consider moving their pick for the right piece.Â To say they have an abundance of young talent would be an understatement.Â Most hockey minds agree that Kings management wants to show some tangible progress to their fanbase and begin winning (finally!).Â Apparently, they feel they can do so by adding Chris Pronger.Â While the addition of an all-star defenseman like Pronger makes any team instantly better, he is undoubtedly in the downswing of his career.Â Because of this, Dean Lombardi will regret this decision in a matter of a few years, when Jack Johnson is a stud and that fifth overall is hitting his stride in the NHL.Â Yet we do have to keep in mind that all reports pointed to Jack Johnson not staying in the Los Angeles organization much longer and this may have been the best trade he could orchestrate.
If this report does turn out to be accurate (and we still do not know all the details), the inevitable question arises: what does Brian Burke do now?