Here’s the last of the forwards. We’ll tackle the defensemen next…
This season: 36 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, minus-6 rating.
Positives: Zeiler’s value comes in his ability to work hard in the corners, deliver hits, provoke opponents into penalties and play a responsible defensive game. He came out of relative anonymity in 2006-07 to earn a multi-year contract, and his value to the Kings clearly comes in an energy-line role.
Negatives: After an impressive 23-game stint in 2006-07, Zeiler signed a four-year contract and was on a two-way deal this season. He seemed set to hold down a regular role as a fourth-line winger, but never really got it going with the Kings even though he played almost a half a season in the NHL. His sophomore year lacked the same spark.
Looking ahead: Zeiler seemed to take a bit of a step backward this season, but with a salary of just over $500,000, he’s a cheap and steady option in an energy-line role. Again, there should be considerable competition for those roles, so Zeiler’s presence on the Kings’ roster next season is far from certain.
Contract situation: Signed through 2010-11 (cap number of $543,750 next season).