With Several Cut Loose, Blake Shaping Kings Opening Night Roster

To say it’s a new day in Los Angeles would be a bit of an understatement.

Case in point, Jordan Nolan. Drafted by the Kings, developed by the Kings, won two Stanley Cups with the Kings… and thank you for your service, but we are prepared to go in a new direction. It’s nothing personal, it’s business.

Ditto for Michael Mersch. An offensive catalyst during the organization’s AHL Championship just a few years ago, and thought to be on the verge of (finally) breaking into the NHL… however, he was put on waivers this morning.

While neither of these moves were accompanied by seismic shifts in the Kings overall landscape, GM Rob Blake is certainly putting all parties on notice – this is his team, with his fingerprints all over the roster, and he is determined to construct a group of 23 players as he sees fit. The past is the past, and he is looking forward.

With the above two out of the mix, that likely clears the way for highly-rated prospect Jonny Brodzinski, Justin Auger (who would require waivers before being sent to the AHL) and possibly even Brooks Laich (who came to camp on a PTO). As of now, here is how we see things shaping up…

2017-18 LA Kings Projected Opening Night Roster

Mike Cammalleri – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli
Adrian Kempe – Nic Dowd – Jonny Brodzinski
Kyle Clifford – Nick Shore – Trevor Lewis

Derek Forbort – Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez – Jake Muzzin
Christian Folin – Paul LaDue

Jonathan Quick
Darcy Kuemper

Scratches: Kurtis MacDermid on defense, plus two of Andy Andreoff / Brooks Laich / Justin Auger

Sept. 30, Update on MacDermid – Per CapFriendly.com, the rugged defenseman does not need waivers, contrary to what most people thought. Citing a very rare CBA clause (in fact, this is believed to be only the second player so far this season who falls into this exception), here are the details… 

If a player plays their first pro game under contract at the age of 20 or older, that is considered their first waivers year; which is the case for MacDermid. He didn’t play his first pro game until 2015-16 at the age of 21, giving him three years exemption from then, and therefore this is his last exemption year.

Still, we continue to believe he will make the team out of camp over Fantenberg. 

ICYMI – we previously went into detail on why Kevin Gravel will start the season in AHL Ontario, how Brodzinski fits into the big picture, looked at Marian Gaborik’s future in Los Angeles, and touched on what’s the likely next step for Oscar Fantenberg. See here if you missed it:

Probable Roster Decisions in Advance of Kings Opening Night


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  1. For scratches, hope/pray Blake picks A. Iafallo (great speed, puck possession) and Auger, instead of risky Laich. Laich has been unreliable and injury prone last 4yrs. 2014, only 9 games w/Caps due to groin injury surgery, then out 2 mos. for undisclosed injury w/Toronto Marlies and season ended early w/ just one goal and elbow surgery. Couldn’t cut it w/AHL team 2016-17, he doesn’t have the skill of these younger players w/lots of potential!

  2. Rob Blake’s Kings, huh?

    Barely making the playoffs – Dallas? Stronger. Ducks? Stronger. What makes the Kings stronger? There’s no Mitchell or Regehr on D. The 3rd and 4th lines are still atrocious and the top line is one of the worst in the league. Cammalleri and Brown? Are you joking?

    So glad I gave up my ST a year ago. Got to see them win 2 cups so I can die peacefully.

    Rob Blake’s Kings?