NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders traded second-leading
goal scorer Mark Parrish and defenseman Brent Sopel to the Los
Angeles Kings on Wednesday night for two prospects.
Parrish, a U.S. Olympian, scored his 24th of the season on
Tuesday in New York's shootout victory over New Jersey. Sopel was
scratched because the team said he had a bruised knee.
The Kings said Sopel's knee will keep him out of action for
7-to-10 days, depending on his progress.
"It's exciting to be back in a playoff hunt," Parrish said on
a conference call. "In New York, we were struggling and fighting
the whole year. At this point in my career, all I care about is
With 21 games remaining and the postseason a long shot,
outgoing general manager Mike Milbury made a move to make the team
younger and cheaper by acquiring defenseman Denis Grebeshkov and
left winger Jeff Tambellini, both former first-round picks.
"This is a trade made undoubtedly with an eye on the future of
our organization, but we're also very comfortable putting Denis and
Jeff right into our lineup and still making a run at the playoffs
this season," said Milbury, who will give up his title once a
replacement is found.
Tambellini is the son of former Islanders Stanley Cup winner
Steve Tambellini, the Vancouver Canucks assistant GM who is a
potential candidate to replace Milbury.
Grebeshkov, 22, was the Kings' first-round pick in 2002. The
21-year-old Tambellini was chosen the following year with the 27th
"Grebeshkov is an extremely talented two-way defenseman who
will have a long career on the blue line for us," Milbury said.
"Tambellini is a fantastic skater and an exciting player with a
lot of skill."
Grebeshkov has spent most of the season with Manchester of the
AHL, where he had two goals and 25 assists in 48 games. He had two
assists in eight games with Los Angeles.
Tambellini was Manchester's leading scorer this season with 25
goals and 56 points in 56 games. He had no points in four games
with the Kings.
Both players are expected to join the Islanders for practice on
"I've always followed the Islanders because of my dad's link to
their tradition. I'm so excited about the opportunity to be an
Islander," Tambellini said in a statement.
New York also received a conditional third-round pick in this
The trade will help the Kings up front and on defense as they
work to solidify their playoff position. Los Angeles is sixth in
the Western Conference with 75 points but only four behind
"Mark has been a proven goal scorer and we feel will also help
upgrade our power play," Kings GM Dave Taylor said in a conference
call. "Brett will be able to help us in all situations. Both
players are only 29 and we feel have a lot of great hockey left."
Parrish only signed a one-year deal in the offseason and can
become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. In five seasons
with the Islanders, he had 118 goals and 96 assists in 345 games.
A false report out of Canada on Monday had him traded away three
days too soon. But when he scored Tuesday night, he seemed resigned
to the fact that it might be his last one with the Islanders.
"My name's been in rumors for a long time, so I'm kind of used
to it, but it is in the back of my mind," he said.
Sopel was acquired last summer from Vancouver and then signed a
two-year deal with the Islanders to avoid arbitration and keep from
becoming a free agent after this season.
But he was shipped out after a disappointing 57-game stint in
which he had two goals and 25 assists.