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Kings acquire defenseman Troy Stecher from Red Wings for seventh-round pick

With a little under 20 games left in the 2021-22 NHL season, the Los Angeles Kings find themselves firmly planted as the No. 2 team in the Pacific Division standings with a 34-22-8 record, eight points behind the leading Calgary Flames. 

However, a bizarre goal differential of just one point, with just 182 goals scored over the course of the season -- 10th best in the Western Conference and 21st overall in the NHL -- has the Kings taking a different approach when it comes to winning games. 

All because a top 10 defense has them allowing just 181 goals this season, keeping them afloat in an otherwise offense heavy race to the playoffs. 

In response, they've acquired defenseman Troy Stecher from the Red Wings in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the upcoming NHL Draft. 

His time on ice has been limited this season, due to a wrist injury that kept him out until just over a month ago. In the time since his return, he's average a little over 15 minutes per game. 

Over 16 games this season, Stecher, 27,  has two goals scored with one assist and a -6 +/- rating. 

However, a recent stretch of five games -- which has seen the Kings allow 15 goals in just five games -- has put the team on alert as they head down the stretch. 

With injuries to five of 12 defenseman on the roster Stecher should see some light playing time almost immediately, though as players return from their own respective injuries it will be interesting to see where Head Coach Todd McLellan pencils him in on various lineups. 

Following the conclusion of the season, Stecher will be an unrestricted free agent after signing a two-year, $3.4 million contract with Detroit in 2020.

The native Canadian, Stecher has appeared for his homeland in both the 2019 and 2021 IIHF World Championships, where he's helped them earn one gold medal (2021) and one silver (2019). 

He began his NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks as an undrafted free agent out of the University of North Dakota. Over the course of his professional career he's totaled 15 goals and 73 assists for 88 points with a career +/- of -23.

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