Kings send Strbak, Anshakov to Pens

DALLAS -- The Los Angeles Kings acquired center Martin Straka from the cash-strapped Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night for defenseman
Martin Strbak and minor league forward Sergei Anshakov.

The Kings announced the deal during the third period of their
game against the Dallas Stars.

Straka had four goals and eight assists in 22 games for the
Penguins this season. A four-time career 20-goal scorer, Straka set
career highs for assists (68) and points (95) during the 2000-01

Straka's production has slipped since he missed most of the
2001-02 season with a broken leg. He had 18 goals and 28 assists in
60 games last season.

"We're excited to have him," Kings coach Andy Murray said
after his team's game. "He's known to be a really good person.
I've coached against him when I was coaching Team Canada. He should
add some character to our team. The offense will take care of
itself as long as we get the other things from him."

The Penguins also have dealt a number of stars -- Jaromir Jagr,
Robert Lang and Alexei Kovalev among them -- to shed payroll,
forcing Straka to play with less-talented linemates.

The Penguins have been looking to deal Straka since February,
about the time they dealt Kovalev to the Rangers. The 31-year-old
Straka is making $4.35 million this season and $4.7 million next
season, about one-quarter of the Penguins' $26 million payroll.
That figure does not include the $3 million-plus in bonuses rookie
goalie Marc-Andre Fleury potentially could earn if he stays with
the team.

Straka's big contract had become a liability to the last-place
Penguins, who have seen attendance drop by more than 3,000 per game
this season. Pittsburgh is last in the Eastern Conference with 15

Straka no doubt hopes to regain his scoring touch in the more
wide-open Western Conference. He and Kovalev tied for fourth in the
league in scoring in 2000-01.

"Martin Straka will bring dynamic elements to our lineup with
his speed, quickness and skill," Kings vice president and general
manager Dave Taylor said. "We think his talents will fit in well
with our other top offensive players and we are excited to bring
his abilities into that mix."

Strbak, 28, had two goals and no assists in five games with the
Kings this season. Anshakov, 19, a second-round pick in the 2002
draft, has not played with Los Angeles this season, but gives the
rebuilding Penguins another prospect.