Trevor Lewis might have been born and raised in Utah, but in his professional career home has always been with the Los Angeles Kings. Now, he’s back after agreeing to sign a one-year deal to return for the 2023-24 NHL season. Lewis spent the last three seasons playing for Canadian teams, including the last two with former Kings coach Darryl Sutter. As always, Lewis was the same dependable skater during his time in Winnipeg and Calgary, helping the Flames to a division title just two seasons ago.
When in the lineup next season, he would be expected to fulfill any fourth line duties needed, as well as contribute to the Kings penalty kill; part of coach Todd McLellan’s game plan that will need some tinkering come training camp, as the composition of that part of the team’s game saw several strong defensive players recently depart in a trade with Winnipeg.
Lewis is only eight games away from reaching the 900 games played plateau. If not for the NHL lockout in 2012-2013, where players missed out on 34 games, he could have had game No. 1,000 in his sights this year. After making his debut December 19, 2008 vs. the Buffalo Sabres, he promptly scored his first NHL goal the following night in Detroit. Drafted by LA in the first round at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft (17th overall), Lewis has previously skated in 674 games with the Kings between 2009 and 2020.
Those 674 games rank as 11th most im Kings franchise history and he has won the team’s Unsung Hero award a record seven times.
While the full terms are not confirmed as of this writing, we’re expecting the contract to be for a base salary of around $775k, the league minimum. Plus, as a player who is at least 35 years old, Lewis’ contract is eligible for performance bonuses. Perhaps the deal will give him the opportunity to potentially end up closer to $1M if he hits certain benchmarks, like games played. The beauty of a bonus heavy contract is that only the base counts toward the salary cap for this season. All of the bonus money is calculated at the end of the year and actually comes off the team’s salary cap for next season. It’s sort of like a loan against the future cap (and in this case, a year where the Kings will have much more cap space to work with than the upcoming season).
Since leaving the Kings, Kevin Fiala has now taken over his old No. 22 jersey in LA. Perhaps Lewis will now return to his original No. 61. If not, he will become one of the small handful of players to wear three different jersey numbers with the Kings.
Next up, we’re expecting the Kings to find at least one depth defenseman on a low money deal. This will add to the depth signing of forward Mikhail Maltsev, as well as an official announcement of the Jaret Anderson-Dolan contract extension that should be forthcoming later today.
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