The Los Angeles Kings have acquired right wing Jason Ward, right wing Marc-Andre Cliché and center Jan Marek from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Sean Avery and left wing John Seymour, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Lombardi is scheduled to participate in a media conference call today at 4 p.m. (PT).
Ward, 27, has played in 46 games this season for the Rangers and has 10 points (4-6=10) and 26 penalty minutes. The 6-2, 205-pound native of Chapleau, Ontario, has played in 232 career NHL regular season games with the Rangers and Montreal, and has 58 points (24-34=58) and 113 penalty minutes. Ward, who was originally selected by Montreal in first-round (11th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, signed with the Rangers as an unrestricted free agent on August 4, 2005.
Cliché, 19, has played in 35 games this season for Lewiston of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and has 36 points (15-21=36) and 30 penalty minutes. The 6-1, 185-pound native of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, was originally selected by the Rangers in the second-round (56th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He has played the last two seasons with Lewiston, including the 2005-06 season when he had 82 points (37-45=82) as he ranked second on the team in all three offensive categories. Cliché also last season led Lewiston in game-winning goals with eight and he tied for the team lead in power play goals with 22, and he recently earned a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2007 World Juniors in Sweden.
Marek, 27, has played in 42 games this season for Magnitogorsk of the Russian Hockey League and has 43 points (17-26=43). The 5-10, 185-pound native of Jindrichuv Hradec, Czech Republic, was originally selected by the Rangers in the eighth-round (243rd overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He has played the last two seasons with HC Sparta Praha, including the 2005-06 season when he had 54 points (22-32=54) to lead the Czech Extraliga in points and tied for second in the league with 32 assists. He also led his team last season in plus-minus with a plus-25 and his 22 goals ranked second on the club.
Avery, 26, played in 55 games with the Kings this season and had 28 points (10-18=28) and 116 penalty minutes. The 5-9, 185-pound native of Pickering, Ontario, was acquired by the Kings on March 11, 2003, from Detroit as part of a multi-player trade. In 293 career regular season NHL games with the Kings and Detroit, Avery has 114 points (42-72=114) and 855 penalty minutes.
Seymour, 19, played in 34 games with Brampton of the Ontario Hockey League this season and had six points (1-5=6) and 29 penalty minutes. He was originally selected by the Kings in the seventh-round (226th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.