Well, I just made fun of Andy Strickland for jumping the gun and then quickly backtracking, but now a second source is reporting that Chris Pronger has been dealt to Los Angeles. Steve Ludzik of The Score is also reporting that the Kings have sent Jack Johnson and the 5th overall pick to Anaheim in exchange for Chris Pronger.
TSN and Sportsnet have yet to confirm, so it's still possible that this hasn't happened, but at this point it seems likely that it has gone through. This is a very steep price for L.A. to pay for one of the game's better defensemen, and the inter-division trade represents a big risk for both teams.
We'll have to wait and see the exact details, but if the trade is exactly as outlined I think Anaheim wins it; that 5th overall pick is going to be a very good player and Johnson's a respectable prospect in his own right.
Two more things which I think we can say are likely if this trade has transpired:
- Los Angeles is out of the Dany Heatley sweepstakes
- Scott Niedermayer will return for another season in Anaheim
UPDATE: The Score isn't backing away from this; here's their analysis. This still hasn't been reported on TSN or Sportsnet, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if the details aren't complete at this point.
UPDATE II: Rich Hammond, the most connected guy in Los Angeles, got a text message (I thought that only happened in Edmonton?) from Dean Lombardi. Here it is, reprinted in its entirety: "Rumors not true." Combined with the fact that TSN and Sportsnet are still not reporting this, I think The Score may also have jumped the gun. Tanks to Dirk Hoag for sending this along.
UPDATE III: Apparently every GM out there sends text messages (someone drop Terry Jones a mem... no, make that a text message). Erik Duhatschek asked Anaheim GM Bob Murray, who sent back the following text message: "NO". There remains the possibility that this deal will transpire once the NHL roster freeze ends, but those denials are awfully emphatic.