The Kings have signed 33-year-old center Derek Armstrong to a two-year, $3-million contract extension.
The signing speaks volumes about what the Kings — and GM Dean Lombardi in particular — think about Armstrong. They’ve been looking to trade guys with expiring contracts but in Armstrong’s case, they locked him up before he could become a free agent this summer. You’d have to think that a few playoff caliber teams out there would have loved to pick up a guy like Armstrong for the stretch run and the playoffs.
Armstrong isn’t a big name, and never will be, but he’s severely underrated. Put him out there with any two wingers and he will get the job done. He’s a very responsible two-way player who leads the Kings with a plus-16 rating, which is startling when you consider that only three Kings are in the plus category this season. Michael Cammalleri is second at plus-6 and Jamie Lundmark is plus-1. With one more goal, Armstrong will be in double digits for the fourth consecutive season and he’s two points from matching his career high of 41.
Maybe more importantly, as the Kings try to build with youth, Armstrong is an excellent teammate, an ego-free guy who toiled in the IHL and AHL for almost a decade but made himself into a NHL player.