The Kings have a plethora of restricted free agents to evaluate – most notably, Drew Doughty and Wayne Simmonds.
However, they also have four unrestricted free agents they need to make decisions on by July 1st – Peter Harrold, John Zeiler, Michal Handzus and Alexei Ponikarovsky.
Let’s focus on the latter two.
Earlier today I posted comments from coach Terry Murray regarding why he would want Handzus back – including saying, “He’s a real linchpin kind of a guy. He’s a leader. He’s a great example. He’s a professional in all senses of the word – getting ready, doing the work that needs to be done to be a player.” (read the full article here)
As for Ponikarovsky, he said “Big body, a 6-5″ guy. I need him to score more, though,” before later adding “It wasn’t because of poor play. I mean, he’s trying, he cares. He’s going to the net. He’s using his size most of the time. I just need more of what you’ve shown for seven years on your resume, a 20-goal scorer. What happened? He can do some good things.”
Both decisions will basically come down to money (of course) and possible replacements (i.e. younger prospects and/or other players available via the free agent market or trade).
Ignoring money – or assuming the contracts were reasonable (as the Kings no longer have to over-pay to get players, they have plenty of prospects now to fill third and fourth-line roles)…
If you were Kings GM Dean Lombardi, what would you do?
Poll closes Saturday at noon PST.
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