Dion Phaneuf happy to join contending Kings

It’s always an emotional time when a player gets traded during the season. Such is the case for three-time All-Star defenseman Dion Phaneuf. He and forward Nate Thompson on Tuesday night were acquired by the Kings from the Ottawa Senators in a trade that sent forwards Nick Shore and Marian Gaborik to Ottawa.

The Senators at the time were playing in Pittsburgh, where the Kings will play Thursday, meaning Phaneuf and Thompson did not have to travel to join the team.

Phaneuf, a 6-foot-4, 225-pounder, is 32. This is the third time he has been traded during a season. He thanked the Ottawa organization with nary a negative thing to say about it.

He acknowledged it’s “disappointing” to get moved. But he’s excited about what the future might bring with the Kings.

“I’m really, I’m honored to be going there,” said Phaneuf, who is in his 13th season in the league. “I’m excited about the team they have, where they’re at in the standings, and I’m going to go there and do my best to do whatever I can to help their team.”

After Tuesday’s 7-3 loss at Carolina, the Kings had a record of 30-21-5 (65 points) and were a point out of the playoffs. The Senators are 19-27-9 (47 points) and have virtually no shot at making the postseason.

Phaneuf had three goals and 13 assists season in 53 games for the Senators. He has 133 career goals and 345 assists.

Thompson, 33, had just four goals and seven assists this season for Ottawa. He has 52 goals and 70 assists in 593 career games.


The Kings have recalled forward Michael Mersch from Ontario of the AHL. He takes the roster spot vacated by forward Trevor Lewis, who Tuesday was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

Mersch, 25, had 18 goals and 15 assists in 45 games with the Reign. He led the team with nine power-play goals.


The Kings are 1-2-0 on this seven-game trip. They will follow the game at Pittsburgh with games Saturday in Buffalo, Monday in Chicago and Tuesday in Winnipeg. … The Kings and Penguins (32-22-4, 68 points) have played once this season, with the Penguins defeating the Kings 3-1 on Jan. 18 at Staples Center.

— Kings Insider Josh Cooper contributed to this report


When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: PPG Paints Arena

Radio: KABC 790/AM

TV: Fox Sports West


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