Given the lack of free agents on the Kings’ roster this summer, there isn’t going to be a whole lot of debate about which players should return, particularly among the restricted free agents. Jack Johnson will be back, unless his dad starts negotiating with a team in Outer Mongolia, and Teddy Purcell likely has done enough to at least earn a short-term contract.
Then there’s Brian Boyle. Perhaps no borderline NHL player in recent Kings history has generated more debate than Boyle. That’s because everyone seems to agree that Boyle has the physical attributes needed to be a NHL center. The questions seem to be whether Boyle will ever realize that potential and whether coaches are putting him in the correct positions needed to reach that potential.
So what would you do? The Kings have three established NHL centers in Kopitar, Handzus and Stoll. Then there’s a guy such as Trevor Lewis, waiting patiently for a spot. And there’s Andrei Loktionov, coming off a strong junior season. Do you give Boyle a shot, or move on?