Dafoe feeling like king after trade


PHOENIX -- Byron Dafoe got his wish.

Dafoe asked the Washington Capitals to trade him four months ago -- preferably to the Los Angeles Kings -- and lo and behold, the Capitals traded the 24-year-old goalie a week ago.

Dafoe and left wing Dimitri Khristich were traded on draft day in exchange for the Kings' first- and fourth-round picks in next season's entry draft.

Dafoe spent most of last season with the Phoenix Roadrunners, becoming one of the team's most durable and popular players. He set several Roadrunners records in 49 games while on loan from the Capitals. He was 25-16-6 with a 3.7 goals-against average and an .889 save percentage.

Dafoe became so impressed with the Roadrunners and the Kings (Phoenix's NHL affiliate) that when things went sour with the Capitals last March, he hoped the Kings would somehow acquire him.

They nearly did, but Washington squelched a potential trade in early March.

After being summoned by the Capitals in mid-March and assigned to Portland (Maine) of the American Hockey League, an angry Dafoe asked to be traded. He said the Capitals promised him that if he were recalled from Phoenix, it would only be to play in Washington.

The Capitals obviously didn't forget Dafoe's request and sent him west.

"I was smiling ear-to-ear when I heard I'd been traded to the Kings," Dafoe said. "When [Washington general manager] David Poile first called, he said, 'We've traded you,' and then he paused.

"I thought, 'Oh no, I hope it's not. . . .' and then he said, 'to the Kings.' That was a relief and I couldn't be happier. I have to give the Capitals credit. They handled the whole situation from start to finish with class, and I appreciate that."

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