The Los Angeles Kings were dealt a brutal injury blow this week, with star forward Adrian Kempe suffering an upper-body injury in a 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.

The loss was disappointing, but Kempe's ailment could be devastating; the 27-year-old is having a phenomenal campaign with 19 goals and 51 points in 57 games. He's emerged into one of the team's top players in 2023-24, and his absence will be felt throughout the lineup.

The Swede flew back to LA for an MRI, and will at least miss the rest of the Kings' current road trip. The squad lost by an identical score to the other Alberta franchise, falling 4-2 to the Calgary Flames in the second half of a back-to-back on Tuesday.

Now 29-19-10, the Kings have lost three of four games, and with the hopes of securing a top-three finish in the Pacific Division still alive, it might be time for general Rob Blake to get to work.

Kings looking to replace Adrian Kempe with scoring winger

Although Kempe has only been ruled out for the remainder of the road trip, which ends on Thursday night in Vancouver, there is fear that the star could miss the rest of the 2023-24 regular-season.

Now without Viktor Arvidsson long-term after he was injured briefly after returning from back surgery, there are holes to fill in up front. And Blake is reportedly looking for a scoring winger to plug the gaps.

“As the puck drops in Calgary, hearing Kings have started to make calls on available wingers, which would indicate more lengthy absence for Adrian Kempe (possible LTIR),” reported The Fourth Period's Dennis Bernstein on Tuesday night.

“LAK already down 2 wingers with Viktor Arvidsson and Carl Grundstrom on LTIR.”

If Kempe is forced to miss the rest of the regular-season, it would give the team $5.5 million in salary cap space to add that scoring winger. That could look like Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel or Seattle Kraken's Jordan Eberle, although neither forward would come cheap.

Still, the Kings have Stanley Cup aspirations in 2024, and without Adrian Kempe, they must get better. Expect Rob Blake and the Kings' front office to be very active ahead of the Mar. 8 NHL Trade Deadline.