by Amy Moritz
Don Lucia remembered when Keith Ballard was on the University of Minnesota hockey team.
Ballard was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres after his freshman year in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He was then traded twice before making his NHL debut.
So he wasn't too surprised to hear his freshman Hudson Fasching was part of a deal that sent him from the L.A. Kings to the Sabres on NHL trade deadline day.
"I haven’t talked to him yet but I’m not surprised … they’re all aware of it," Lucia said to Minnesota media on Wednesday afternoon. "Keith Ballard was here and he was traded twice before he even left here and that’s just all part of the process. It reinforces when you move beyond this level you are an asset. And they can trade their assets as they see fit and that’s all part of the process of being a professional"
The Kings "understand that he’s a ways away," Lucia said." Buffalo is rebuilding but you know, who knows, before he leaves here he could be traded again. Again, that’s all part of the process. It’s not a negative or a positive. ... that's just the way professional sports are. I mean you have to trade whether it’s draft picks or players to try and maybe get some immediate help. LA’s a type of team that’s probably trying to win a Cup this year."
The Gophers (23-4-5) are the No. 1 ranked team in the nation and play at Ohio State this weekend.
Fasching has played well for the Gophers, ranking third on the team and seventh in the Big Ten with 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) through 31 games. He spent the last two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team notching 32 points in 62 games.