Kings Contracts: Heating up, Cooling off, and the Buyout

Brown Bettman Stanley Cup by IkiriWhen it comes to the Los Angeles Kings summer to do list, to say things are fluid would be about as obvious as calling the sky blue. A potential buyout for center Mike Richards and the ongoing legal issues surrounding defenseman Slava Voynov should be enough to bring everything else to a screeching halt. However, business doesn’t work that way in the National Hockey League. It’s not that simple, it never is.

We have a ton of updates to share – so many, in fact, that we were going to break all of this up into several articles. Yet, it doesn’t really make as much sense as when you view everything in totality. All the parts are interrelated somehow, some way.

This is what we have gathered over the past week in talking with multiple sources inside the Kings’ management team:

OVERALL: Nearly every possible solution to “fixing” the Kings is on the table. They aren’t happy about not making the playoffs. Phrases like “too many passengers” and “lack of pride” were used during our conversations. There is a different edge to the mood of the people we’ve been speaking with. The general feeling is, the 2014-15 roster was more than capable of making the playoffs – and they should have. Outside of six names – Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Tanner Pearson, Jonathan Quick, and Tyler Toffoli – just about every other contract is being looked at. The rough cap number being thrown around is about $70.5M and they’re trying to piece it all together, which is no easy task, especially considering every action this summer could (and likely will) have a counter reaction somewhere else on the roster.

DUSTIN BROWN: It will take most readers less than a second to realize there was one key name missing from above. Before anybody starts jumping to conclusions, understand what you just read. That doesn’t mean Brown and/or the rest of the team is available via trade. It simply means, the Kings are committed to leaving no stone unturned in an effort to put together the best possible roster for next season. There are several defensemen who carry large enough contracts that moving one of them would bring some cap relief (and we’ll touch on each one of them later in this article). Among the forwards, the only contract large enough to make a dent – sans Richards – would be Brown. It’s on the table. Every idea is. He is not being shopped, but the right deal could spark further discussion. He also has a limited no-trade clause that kicks in this July, as part of the contract extension he signed last summer.

MORE BROWN, OTHER PLAYERS: Brown has hired a nutritionist and is said to be working out five days a week. In fact, the sense from several players is they feel a major move is happening, or is at least very likely. They clearly get the message that “something is happening.” Several of the younger players – including Toffoli and Pearson – have also committed to working out in Los Angeles this summer. Marian Gaborik was originally not going to, but then changed his mind. Brown is said to have radically changed his diet and is out to prove himself. As we reported back in September, he worked out diligently last summer and came into camp in the best shape of his life – which really says a lot after winning his second Cup in three years and signing a big contract extension last summer also. One person noted to us that Mike Richards was asked to stay in Los Angeles and train, but that he returned home instead after his exit meeting.

Richards  Mike Kings hockeyMIKE RICHARDS: His future isn’t the biggest question at the moment. It’s simply one of five big questions. As we understand it, the plan is to continue to seek a trade partner between now and the Draft coming up in late June. The Kings are allegedly prepared to offer additional compensation to entice a team to take on his contract. That could mean a prospect, it could mean a draft pick, it could mean retaining some of his salary. It could also mean any combination of those things. Again, every idea is a good one at the moment – or at least worth being explored. If, in the end, a deal can’t be worked out with another team, everybody seems to be on board with the buyout. As we’ve stated several times in 2015, it would be downright shocking to see Richards in a Kings uniform next season.

In a nutshell, the benefit to retaining half of Richards’ salary wouldn’t really help the Kings next season. A buyout would only have a cap hit of around $1.3M in 2015-16, so taking on half of his $5.75M salary would actually “cost” more (in cap dollars). However, when the buyout penalty goes up in years three and four, retaining half (or less) of his salary would actually be beneficial. For a better look at the numbers, this is a must-read article.

JUSTIN WILLIAMS: He is not expected back. Is that a guarantee? No. But there just doesn’t appear to be money available for a 34-year-old forward, especially on a team that could be looking to shed salary to get under the cap. They love what he gave them the past few years, but if another team wants to give him a four-year deal at $4-5M per season, the Kings aren’t really in the running here.

Jarret Stoll LA Kings MayorsManorJARRET STOLL: He is not expected back. There was already internal debate on his return (as we previously reported, the thought was a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $1.5M deal). The arrest in Las Vegas has really killed any thought of him returning. On a personal level, nearly everybody loves Stoll. He was one of the key leaders in the locker room. This can’t be emphasized enough. Nearly everybody looks up to him and follows his lead. Yet, management is said to not just be mad, but more disappointed about how everything went down. You can almost separate the drug issue, as that comes with its own set of consequences. Simply the idea that a party in Las Vegas came just a few days after the Kings had been eliminated from the playoffs sends the wrong message. We were told the Kings won’t stand for that type of thinking. They don’t want to see their players accepting their season so quickly – the “mourning period was too short.”

TYLER TOFFOLI: A three-year bridge deal is the current thinking on Toffoli. Nobody is expecting any problems on getting the deal done. What ultimately happens – and the timing of the contract being finalized – is somewhat dependent on which contracts are still on LA’s books by the end of June (i.e. when the Draft is over).

MARTIN JONES: This is a tricky one. Some of our best sources inside the Kings organization appear split on how this might play out. Everybody agrees a deal will eventually get done – just not when. One person close to the negotiations noted to us that Jones and his camp specifically asked for no talks to take place during the recent IIHF World Championships. It’s also been said that Jones is expected to make this hard on the Kings, as he wants the opportunity to be a starter. Barring a major change (and one that isn’t expected), he’s coming back next season; the Kings aren’t interested in trading him at the moment. He will likely want some assurances that he will be dealt next summer (not too dissimilar to what happened with Jonathan Bernier). We were also told by one person, ‘This could drag on, just like last time.” (A reference to Jones’ near holdout, when he wasn’t signed until after camp had already begun. Details here.).

JORDAN WEAL: He has gone from a sure-fire candidate to be traded at the Draft to a likely member of the Kings roster in October. Sure, he could still be dealt. However, he has more than convinced most in the organization that he is ready to jump to the next level. Some of the comments shared with us were, “He gives us a dynamic that we don’t have” …and, “He’s earned the right to play in the NHL.”

If it happens in LA, it will just have to be at wing, not center. He isn’t projected as a fourth-line center and also isn’t ready for top-6 minutes at wing, so you’re most likely looking at a third-line wing opportunity. He is out of waivers, and another team would surely snatch him up if the Kings tried to send him to the AHL to start next season. Thus, they need to commit to having a spot for him on the Kings 2015-16 roster, or deal him. There is a big push toward the former at the moment.

For those who have asked, people in LA management love Brian O’Neill, the AHL MVP this season. However, it usually comes with the caveat that they just can’t see both Weal and O’Neill on the Kings at the same time.

Does Weal have a legitimate thought to breaking through the Kings big/heavy roster? Go back and read these comments from Lombardi right after the season ended.

JOEL LOWRY: This is a little out of place here, but we’ll include it anyway. The plan is still to sign the 2011 draft pick. His injured back is the issue and he was in Los Angeles recently for tests. Expect a further update in the coming weeks. If/When he signs his entry level contract, he is expected to play next season in the AHL. More here.

Forbort Manchester Monarchs AHLFORBORT vs. MILLER: Speaking of prospects, while it is still expected Derek Forbort has a leg up on Colin Miller for a spot on the Kings roster next season, nothing is set in stone. There are at least two factors at play. One, if a spot becomes available for a puck-moving defenseman (more on that in a moment), that’s a Miller role, not a Forbort role. Second, there is still a lot of work to be done with both players over the summer and we’re told either guy could change impressions with any off-season improvements. The general thinking at the moment, though, is Forbort is more of a finished product, while Miller is likely a year away.

SLAVA VOYNOV: It’s almost a waste of time to write anything here, as 100s of different scenarios could take place. Putting the actual domestic violence issue to the side – as this isn’t a legal forum and obviously if he is guilty, that’s a horrible thing to do to somebody… Speaking purely from a hockey perspective (and because not a day goes by that we aren’t asked “what if” questions about Voynov), there is a chance he comes back, there is a chance he doesn’t. While that isn’t a crystal clear answer, the Kings have to be prepared for both options. There is at least one school of thought that the final outcome could be some sort of an outcome (plea deal?) that will have him punished, but it won’t impact his immigration status. This hypothetical outcome is also believed to likely come with an NHL-issued suspension (10-20 games?) to start next season. Bottom line, Voynov is the biggest question mark in the Kings’ off-season plans because they really can’t do anything with him, his roster spot, or his contract until his legal matters are over.

ANDREJ SEKERA: Things really get muddy when talking about Sekera. Management likes him, and he likes the Kings. Both parties want to come to an agreement, and a five-year deal is the current expectation. However, there isn’t much room for negotiation on money. The Kings have basically set their internal price with previous deals given to Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez (and to a lesser extent, Voynov). They also have limited cap room to get a deal done. As one person put it to us, it’s sort of a “This is what we have to offer, it’s up to you” situation. He could potentially get north of $5M on the open market in July. The Kings can’t go compete in that range. So, this comes down to how badly does he want to be here? The net takeaway is, everybody sounds positive that a deal will get done in the coming weeks.

If he signs with the Kings, that’s where things get a bit crazy. To make room for his contract, you’re likely forced to deal away a similar contract – that likely means Muzzin, Martinez, Voynov, or Brown. Lombardi and his cap expert, Jeff Soloman, have worked miracle after miracle over the past few summers. And maybe they have a secret plan in place that doesn’t involve any of those names.

It was noted to us the day Sekera was traded to Los Angeles, the Kings had a rough plan in place for how to sign him. They felt they had a good idea what it would take and how they would/could make it work within the salary cap. The question has always been, exactly what does that entail? It really depends how you view Sekera. Is he a replacement for Jake Muzzin? Probably not. So, if he’s not a top-pairing guy with Drew Doughty, he’s either a second or third-pairing player. If you slot him on the second-pairing with, for example, Slava Voynov, you’re paying Alec Martinez a lot of money to be a third-pairing defenseman. He just might be the best third-pairing defensemen in the league. As one exec noted to us, he’s helped the Kings win two Stanley Cups, would you really want to trade him? That’s a solid depth player right there.

Like everything, it boils down to money. If you have a top six defensive lineup of Doughty-Muzzin, Voynov-Sekera, and Martinez-Greene, there is a lot of money tied up on the defense (which might be the way the Kings opt to go), thus you’d have to give up a little salary at forward to make it happen.

If they feel that’s just way too much money (read: too large of a percentage of their cap dollars) tied up on the blueline, then one of Muzzin-Voynov-Martinez gets tabbed a trade target. Which sort of brings you back to square one – what are you getting in Sekera? He’s at least a year older than those players, but obviously still in his prime. He also hasn’t helped the team win a Cup, like those three have. That experience is still somewhat irreplaceable.

Sekera also isn’t Willie Mitchell; nor is he Rob Scuderi. He also doesn’t help the Kings get back to the formula they have preferred in the past, a right-shot paired with a left-shot, a younger player paired with a veteran, a puck-mover paired with a more defensive oriented guy. None of that is a knock on his game. It’s just more about answering the question, how does he really help them solidify their blueline? Perhaps he is a good player, and maybe just not a good fit in LA. There is also a possibility he is an upgrade over some of their second-tier guys and it’s just a matter of fitting him in at the right price (which has pretty much already been established), and then finding a way to deal one of the other contracts.

You also have to factor Brayden McNabb into all of this. The Kings liked his progression throughout the season and as several members of Kings’ management mentioned to us following the Sekera trade, McNabb still figures into their long-range plans.

There is also Jamie McBain. If Voynov is ultimately dealt, and he’s still available, that’s a good guy to have around, especially considering the low cost of the contract.

If you’re asking why spend the money on Sekera, ask yourself this question instead… In a worst case scenario (i.e. Voynov is gone and Sekera doesn’t re-sign with the Kings), which defensemen make up the second-pairing next season? That pairing was already an issue most of last season, now without Voynov and Sekera, what do you have there? You almost have to sign Sekera because of this possibility, then figure out how to make the other pieces work.

The combinations here are endless and can keep you busy for hours. Doughty and Muzzin on the top pairing, that’s a lock. Then what? Voynov-Sekera, and Martinez-Greene? Martinez-McNabb? McBain-Sekera, Martinez-Forbort? Miller-Sekera, Martinez-Greene? McNabb-Sekerra?

Oh, and about all of that Mike Futa leaving for the Toronto Maple Leafs talk… we covered that in detail here.

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Comments

  1. Another great piece. Thanks. IMHO Sekera is a must sign. Even with Slava on the team he is our second best defenseman. Having Slava and Sekera is a much better problem to have than having neither of them. Barring acquiring someone major, I dont see us contending if we dont have one of them. Moving Richards allows us to recoup a majority of his contract for this year, and even if Slava comes back he will be off the books likely for 1/4 to 1/2 the season (due to the combination injury/penalty) thus saving between $1-2m. Replacing Richards with Weal, and letting Stoll go also saves some more. The other benefit to having them both is that it reduces Drew’s minutes which I think will allow him to take the next step offensively. Just my opinion but he didnt look quite as dynamic to me this year (he was still great) and I noticed more mistakes in his own end than in the last couple of years and I attribute that to his heavy load. Its much harder to play those minuets as an offensive defenseman than as a defensive defenseman.

    • Crown Royal says:

      Agree with Ben that Sekera is a must sign. Voynov has to go. Slava created way too many problems for the Kings this season. Can he really be trusted as before, going forward? If he’s moved the money situation-problems on the blue line is much improved.

      It would be a mistake to trade Brown. He’s the guy who captained two Stanley Cup Championships. If he leaves, with MR now a marginal player at best, where does the leadership come from? Kopi, DD, JC? Sorry, give me a break! Greene is barely an NHL level player who may become obsolete at any time. There is no one else ready to fill the captain’s skates…Still hoping DL does not over pay Kopi. That’s the one contract that can destroy the Kings and cost DL his job. If he pays Kopi ten million a year and he (Kopi) continues to slip, it can be over for the Kings and DL in the foreseeable future and well beyond.

    • I agree with your comment Ben, They should let go Richards for sure , Drew is my favorite player and yes your right I agree to much ice time was put on him, he did have a few bad mistakes but overall he did pretty good and I really hope Slava comes back he is a good player and fit well with the Kings, Sekera I’m still on the fence about him, to me its just a wait and see, I know Dean will do the best for the team. I just hope that Williams will stay he is such a good leader I always thought he should have the C on his jersey, Brownie I don’t know he has been struggling for awhile now, but this all my thoughts and I’m a loyal Kings fan so GKG

      • John Hoven says:

        Williams has scored big goals, but he isn’t one of the locker room leaders.

  2. Excellent and informative work, as always. Thank you. I’m really interested to see how this all plays out, especially with 23, 10, 26 and 7.

  3. Now, this is REPORTING. Wow. Thank you for such indepth and concise coverage. And clearly stating when it’s “just my opinion.” You’re gold for us fans.

  4. Without seeing McBain used in heavy minutes, you can argue he’s not a Voynov replacement entirely but the offensive spark he provided and the puck movement was terrific. It’s hard to argue the $$ isn’t worth the risk. At the very least, until Voynov’s situation is cleared up. Of course you can argue time waits for noone and the window is open now, yet closing rapidly if you stand still. It would be a big loss to free up one of the other guys to make room for Sekera IMO. It’s difficult to let your kids go when you’ve found them laying deep in the later rounds and the progress they’ve had coming through the ranks.

    Do they Kings have room for small guys like Weal? I don’t think they play that type of game unless he has the skills of Johnny Hockey or Datsyuk, I don’t see him moving into top 6 minutes in the near future.

    It would be nice to see Brownie in a top 6 role consistently again and with Stick likely moving on, the option along side Kopi or Carter is a great place to be.
    Going with your post the other day about top 6 lines
    12-11-23, 70-77-73 looks mighty fine to me if they all remain healthy. then you move into the bottom 6. 74-37-22, 13-weal-71..

  5. Excellent coverage. Doughty – Muzzin .. Voynov – Sekera. . Martinez – Mc Nabb. What an awesome D-corp.. with Green getting off days.. I say sign Stoll for the 4thh line Center n Defensive Faceoffs/ Leadership n let Shore take the 3 line with King and Weal … that’s just my opinion but then again the cap is our enemy.

  6. The entire situation is paralyzing and we kinda have to wait as pieces are only going to be able to move little by little. It sounds like Richards is gone. The Voynov situation is killing us! If i’m DL i re-sign Sekera if possible, Sign Toffoli, Bring up Weal and O’neil and give them free reign, even play them on the first line. Don’t force them in to shut down roles. — Having Pearson back alone is huge. I think young hunger and a desire to succeed will energize the rest of the team and hopefully win us some more shootouts. Look at young teams like Calgary and Winnipeg, unreal! I can’t believe how Generous DL has been with some of these contracts. Brown’s for example, i mean i’m totally fine if we lose Brown because he’s not worth the 5+ mil he’s making every year. He needs to play like the player we know he can be. He needs to play like a top 6 player. He’s one of my fav kings, and i love Brownie, he’s the longest tenured King, but dude needs to score 20+ goals this season to justify that kind of money. Not 11 Goals and 16 assists in 82 games. Brown needs to step it up if we want to make the playoffs.

    • Brown brings us another cup and i won’t complain about his salary again for 2 years 🙂

  7. How do the same players who won 2 cups in 3 years suddenly develop a “lack of pride”?

  8. What’s the word on Zykov?? Is he anywhere close to NHL minutes?

    • John Hoven says:

      Zykov will spend next season in the AHL (Ontario Reign). He was part of the Black Aces in Manchester early on during the playoffs, but returned home a few weeks ago. Next, he will be in LA for Development Camp in July.

  9. Penguins will give you Scuds back…. he works well in your system and played much better this year after his injury last year. Still doesn’t fit in the Pit system at all though. Bet they would even take Richards off your hands for him but you would have to send either one of those scoring kids or Carter (mikes drinking buddy) back with him because Richards contract is BAD…. It works though, Kings get a D man and save about 6 mil in cap space, Pens get a scoring forward who can play wing with Sid (Olympics) or more than likely fit with Geno and can absorb the 10 mil in forwards because the d men in Pit will all be kids except Letang. Also given how many crazy injuries the Pens players get there is a good change MR gets hurt and finishes his career on LTIR playing there…

    • Crown Royal says:

      Adam, you must be living in a bird haze induced by the Penguin if you think the Kings would give up TT, TP, or JC just to unload Richards and add another defenseman they don’t need. The Kings are trying to figure out which D-man to move on from (Sekara or Voynov) and which D-man to potentially promote (Forbort or Miller.)

      No offense but your suggestion is “for the birds.”

  10. That’s okay, the Hawks will win the cup this year, keeping the “hawks/kings” every other year intact, so we can come in and win it all for 2016 after refreshing and retooling…

  11. Timothy Patcherd says:

    How is Alec Martinez’s experience winning a Cup for the Kings “irreplaceable” when they have 19 other players who also helped this team win a Cup, if not both, give or take? I don’t understand that line of thinking at all and if that’s what someone inside the Kings organization told you, it confirms fan concerns about how Dean and his staff are too loyal, too conservative, too old school, and too reluctant to upgrade the team with improved talent because they care more about experience, “leadership,” and chemistry than talent, despite the fact that those things are mostly illusions, at least in terms of the effect they have on winning hockey games. They even said Stoll is considered maybe their best leader, which is of course why they were dumb enough to keep him on the roster at inflated $ last year, a decision that played a part in why the team missed the playoffs (not getting enough production for the $ spent, showing loyalty to players who aren’t good anymore just because they’re good leaders).

    Yup, Stoll is such a good leader he got popped for cocaine 6 days after the team he was leading fell on its face. Not only does this management group overvalue leadership, but it doesn’t even know when its leaders are frauds.

    Lastly, can you do an update on Matt Greene please? It’s confusing to see all these better players listed as potential trade options because the Kings have to move someone for cap reasons, but to see no mention of Greene, the biggest contract albatross they have on the blueline. Sure you don’t clear quite as much space as with Martinez, but 2.5 million is sizeable nonetheless. Only 1.5 million less than Martinez, which is 1.5 they had planned to give Stoll, by the sounds of it, but now they’ve been forced to wise up. Add that 1.5 mil saved from Stol to the 2.5 mil saved from moving Greene, and you save just as much as if you’d moved Martinez and kept Stoll. So why don’t you mention Greene? He should be the first guy moved, not Martinez, especially not Muzzin or, the best of the group regardless of all the outside issues, and someone the Kings missed badly last season who not even Sekera could adequately replcae, Slava Voynov.

    The real secret to winning in the NHL: Keep your good players at all costs, get rid of your bad players at all costs, and right away. Muzzin, Martinez, and Voynov are good players. Greene is not. No idea why the Kings would get rid of the former 3 before getting rid of Greene.

    • John Hoven says:

      Greene is one of the other key locker room leaders. Not going anywhere. Also, he is the only stay-at-home defenseman they have on the roster.

      • Crown Royal says:

        John,
        What about McNabb, he’s pretty much a stay-at-home D-man?
        Forbort is much more mobile than Greene and should be integrated into that spot immediately despite being a left shot.
        Greene is intelligent, funny, and a team leader. However he’s a liability against faster players and a disaster when double teamed on the forecheck. His penalty killing has gone way downhill.
        We can agree to disagree about Greene. I think he should be moved out.

    • Because Greene is a big stay at home D, and he is more a leader in that room then any other player except Justin Williams.

    • Crown Royal says:

      Timothy,
      Agree with you about Greene. I would rather have Martinez.
      I would be more comfortable with Muzzin if he were a second pairing guy.
      As good a player as Voynov has been, I would move him because of the legal issues and potential problems that could arise with him in the future. I think Sekera is more versatile (even though Voynov played the left side in the KHL) as Sekera is more likely to play both sides now in the NHL.

      I’m also very happy Stoll won’t be back. He was one of the major problems on the ice this season with his declining play.

    • I agree with you also timothy. leadership does heavily overshadow talent on this team. from the outside it may look like greene doesn’t do much. but he may be very vocal in the locker room. but that can only go so far against the cap. four years for a d man like him sends chills down my spine. we payed the price for stoll’s “leadership” and he turned out to be a huge fraud, lets hope this isn’t the same situation

  12. karl golledge says:

    mike richards…..”It would be shocking to see him in a Kings jersey next year”…..lol…it would be shocking to see him in a NHL/AHL jersey next year

  13. Mudfish4 says:

    Question for you guys on Richards…..we’ve all heard the “not the same since the concussion” and “out of shape” arguments. I agree with those somewhat in that he self admittedly talked about not staying in as good of shape while out for an injury 2 season ago and had a hard time coming back strong. But it really looked like he did come into last season in great shape. He was skating hard and faster than many of the other Kings, but still just looked off. The effort was there but not the result.

    I haven’t heard of many people talking about his issues as mental. We’ve seen it in baseball a lot over the years where a player lets a series of errors get into their head and literally ruins their career. Rick Ankiel went through it where he couldn’t even throw a pitch over the plate. He would bounce it 10 ft in front or 10 ft over. Something he’s done perfectly his whole life goes out the window when you start “thinking” rather than relying on muscle memory. Same thing happened to Chuck Knoblauch who couldn’t even make the throw 15 ft away from 1st base.

    I’m thinking Richards started to struggle for probably the first time in his career and it got into his head. He started “thinking” about plays rather than just letting his muscle memory and reactions do it. It happens when you lose confidence and start over thinking. Trust me, this same thing has happened to me. I played baseball for 15 years and could hit someone spot in the glove 90/100. Long story but basically I started to “aim” my throws while working at pitching school and haven’t been able to throw the same since. I lost my natural release point (muscle memory) and haven’t been able to get it back since. It’s horrible.

    I see a lot of that in Richards’ play last year. He over thinks his passes which are normally some of the best in the league. He over thinks something as simple as catching a pass on the fly and over skates it. Things like that have little to do with conditioning and everything to do with mental. Thoughts?

    • Crown Royal says:

      I agree some of Richards problems are mental but some are physical. His play with the puck improved after being in Manchester and coming back up to the Kings but his skating was still unacceptable. DL seems unable to reach Richards mentally where it has to start in under to get fixed. He is physically not on par with other NHL players at this moment. Mentally he needs an overhaul in order to get there physically. I agree with John. MR is done in L.A.

  14. Kyle Bilharz says:

    Great article JH! I listen to every podcast and read every article, and I have to say you’ve really outdid yourself! Thank you for your undying contributions to the Kings Fandom…Much more appreciated than you know – and entertaining! Thanks John!

  15. With all due respect to Dustin Brown and all he has meant to the team over the years, his contract is the most problematic one after Richards. His production has slipped year after year, and he didn’t get better in last year’s playoffs. Leadership is important, but not when the captain is a liability on the ice, as Brown has been about 40% of the time lately.

    I don’t think the D situation is that big a problem, actually. Assuming Voynov is allowed to remain in the country, they’ll find a time who’s willing to take him. If Sekera works out, fine, if not, well McNabb played very well for long stretches before Sekera showed up. They never should have re-signed Greene last year, but I think our blue line is just fine.

    It will be really sad to see Williams go. He and Carter have been the most consistent playoff performers for us, and you’re not only losing production if he leaves, you’re actually losing a psychological edge. He’s intimidating in a non-physical, mojo way. Watch him with the puck during last year’s playoffs, it’s like the Blackhawks knew he could score at any minute, and they worried about him way too much, freeing up other guys.

    Stoll is dead weight. His faceoff skill dipped seriously last year, and he’s not a team player anymore. He reminds me of Penner from a few years back. His loss won’t mean anything, really. Hopefully King will continue to perform at the high level he did when was paired with Toffoli and Carter.

    We’re going to be fine, folks.

  16. I’m really tired of hearing how great the Blackhawks are & all that they have done in the past 6 years! All that talk of dynasty (akin to the old Red Wings era) is a bit premature IMHO! Yes, they are a great team, but I’m just tired of hearing about it!

    When are the east coast biased networks going to ever talk about our LA Kings accomplishing what they have done in the past short THREE years?? It’s almost as if they have forgotten what the Kings did last year (post Olympics) to climb into the playoffs, then proceed to handle all their opponents, including the CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS!! Hawks should have beat the Kings last year, but they didn’t! They lost game 7 on THEIR home ice!!

    So come on network people, let’s give the Kings the much deserved Kudos!!

  17. Just curious… are you not allowed to renegotiate contracts in the NHL?

Trackbacks

  1. […] surrounding the bevy or roster decisions the L.A. Kings need to make this summer (as detailed in this feature story), plus offered opinions and predictions on the pair of Game 7s that will decide who plays in this […]

  2. […] The Mayor had a really nice breakdown on what the Kings brass are thinking HERE […]

  3. […] John Hoven of Mayor’s Manor – Contracts, contracts, contracts are the topic of discussions here. Hoven suggests a few up in the air players will return to Los Angeles while some will not. […]

  4. […] for this year’s Final. John Hoven of MayorsManor also joined the show to breakdown several roster options being explored by the Los Angeles Kings, plus offer opinions on the most surprising and disappointing teams in the […]

  5. […] Network Radio Sunday night to review all the latest thinking surrounding the LA Kings roster, as documented here. Topics covered included: Mike Richards, Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll, Dustin Brown, Andrej […]

  6. […] Kings Contracts: Heating up, Cooling off, and the Buyout […]

  7. […] at the off-season roster moves being contemplated by the LA Kings, be sure to check out our recent MayorsManor feature story covering more than a dozen players. Plus, the remainder of Lombardi’s comments are linked […]

  8. […] at the off-season roster moves being contemplated by the LA Kings, be sure to check out our recent MayorsManor feature story covering more than a dozen players. Plus, the remainder of Lombardi’s comments are linked […]

  9. […] at the off-season roster moves being contemplated by the LA Kings, be sure to check out our recent MayorsManor feature story covering more than a dozen players. Plus, the remainder of Lombardi’s comments are linked […]

  10. […] at the off-season roster moves being contemplated by the LA Kings, be sure to check out our recent MayorsManor feature story covering more than a dozen players. Plus, the remainder of Lombardi’s comments are linked […]

  11. […] On if Jordan Weal will be on the Kings roster next year: […]

  12. […] Recently, Mark Yannetti, Kings Director of Scouting, joined the MayorsManor Live podcast for a Calder Cup preview. If you haven’t listened to it yet, we highly encourage you to, as he spoke rather candidly about the development of four of the team’s top-10 ranked prospects. He also mentioned there being up to five spots available on the NHL roster come training camp – something we delved into here. […]