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Devils acquire AHL MVP O’Neill from Kings

AHL Calder Cup Hockey

From left, Utica Comets’ Peter Andersson slips as he battles with Manchester Monarchs’ Brian O’Neill during Game 5 of the Calder Cup American Hockey League series at Utica Memorial Auditorium, Saturday, June 13, 2015, in Utica, N.Y. Manchester won 2-1 and won the series. (Mark DiOrio/Observer-Dispatch via AP)


We don’t usually pass along minor-league transactions, but this one’s intriguing -- the New Jersey Devils have acquired Brian O’Neill, the reigning American League MVP, from the Los Angeles Kings.

In exchange, L.A. receives a conditional seventh-round pick.

O’Neill, 27, scored 78 points in 69 games for Manchester last season, then another 20 in 19 playoff games as the Monarchs captured the Calder Cup. O’Neill finished third in playoff scoring, losing out on playoff MVP honors to teammate Jordan Weal.

It’ll be interesting to see if O’Neill can parlay the AHL MVP award into NHL success. The ’13-14 winner, Texas’ Travis Morin, got a handful of games with the Dallas Stars the following year and the winner two seasons ago, Tyler Johnson, has gone on to become a star in Tampa Bay.

Whatever the case, O’Neill looks to have a greater shot at NHL minutes in New Jersey than in Los Angeles. The Kings are stacked at forward while the Devils have been adding veterans on the cheap in recent weeks, signing the likes of Jiri Tlusty and Lee Stempniak to one-year deals.