When we did our first summertime projection of the LA Kings salary cap situation back at the beginning of June, we reported the team was planning to add a goaltender on a one-year contract for less than $2-million.
While the roster has changed quite a bit since then — largely due to a massive trade with Winnipeg — GM Rob Blake has only had to alter his goaltending plan just a smidge.
The problem is, LA’s remaining cap space has now decreased over the past 10 days.
Projecting out the roster a few days ago looked like this:
Here’s the latest update…
Blake and crew are now planning to only carry one extra player at the beginning of the season. So, 12 starting forwards, six starting defensemen, and two goalies… Plus one healthy scratch.
CONFIRMED — LA Kings did not qualify Jaret Anderson-Dolan or Zack MacEwen, both will become unrestricted free agents.
They'll potentially sign JAD to a new deal in the days ahead. https://t.co/R0u2npCmv5
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) June 30, 2023
Assuming they’re able to re-sign Jaret Anderson-Dolan (or an inexpensive unrestricted free agent, like Trevor Lewis) to a league minimum contract at $775k, they’ll save $100k compared to what’s listed above. And if they send Jordan Spence to the AHL (he’s waiver except for one more season), they’ll save that money too.
Add those two numbers together along with the $250k they already had available and the rough math says they have just over $1M to work with this weekend.
From what we understand via our team sources, they’re targeting two groups of goaltenders to make this work — either a guy 35 years or older (so he’s eligible for contract bonuses) or a younger, less experienced goalie. The latter would most likely be somebody who wasn’t re-signed by his previous club and is looking for a fresh start.
Their goalie addition will most likely come from a free agent signing, not a trade.
With all of that in mind, keep an eye on these players come July 1:
All player stats are from 2022-23 season, listed in order of the highest probability
Cam Talbot (35 years old)
36 GP, 17-14-2, 2.93 GAA, .898 SV%, 1 SO
Jaroslav Halak (38)
25 GP, 10-9-5, 2.72 GAA, .903 SV%, 1 SO
Mackenzie Blackwood (26)
22 GP, 10-6-2, 3.20 GAA, .893 SV%, 0 SO
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