Matt Greene blossomed last season. He went from a defensive defenseman with questionable skating and average positioning to a defensive defenseman with better skating and much better positioning. Matt Greene just became a smarter D-Man while maintaining his physical edge.

Willie Mitchell…well, I love Willie Mitchell. As Rob Scuderi is “the piece”, I have coined Mitchell since his first L.A. Kings season as “the glue”. Glue because I consider him the heart and soul of the defensive core (a designation which will be taken by Drew Doughty in the coming season(s)). When the game is on the line, I want he and Doughty  to patrol the area around Jonathan Quick. Who clears the crease better? Who makes that quick, short pass to start the breakout? Who breaks up passes and keeps one timers at bay with his nice long stick? He is like a patrol officer…the smart and ass kicking type.

With a shortened season and down 0-2 (Surly is close to panicking despite what he claims), I calmly wonder if Dean Lombardi will look to make a trade.

Who is expendable?

Er…

Brad Richardson (pending UFA)? Maybe Simon Gagne (pending UFA)? Side note, did you realize Rob Scuderi is also a UFA after this season? I am not advocating trading him of course but I wonder…hey, Perry and Getzlaf are also UFAs. Oh man, can you imagine if they both walked from the Ducks? Just the thought warms my cockles. It would be like playing against an AHL team…a bad one. But I digress.

Will Dean actually take someone off the roster to bolster the defense? Remember kids, Dean Lombardi loves the defense. Do you know how much you have to love the position to draft Thomas Hickey 4th overall?

Want my opinion? It may not be a trade (probably won’t be) but I think I know who will be an L.A. King before the puck drops next season.

It’s somebody Dean Lombardi drafted.

Someone he likes and he believes fits real well.

He’s a veteran.

He’s also a UFA on July 1.

San Jose Sharks’ defensive defenseman Douglas Murray is an L.A. King before the start of next season.