Free agency, on the horizon

From one big week to the other…

Wednesday, for those who don’t keep close tabs, is the first day that unrestricted free agents can sign contracts with new teams. The Kings don’t have much work to do in terms of their own UFAs, as only Derek Armstrong, Kyle Calder, Denis Gauthier and Matt Moulson fall into that category. Restricted free agents needing new contracts include Teddy Purcell, Jack Johnson, Corey Elkins, Kevin Westgarth, Joe Piskula, Drew Bagnall, Scott Parse, Danny Taylor and Vladimir Dravecky.

I’m still awaiting confirmation as to which players the Kings have made qualifying offers to, but we should find that out today.

As for the unrestricted free agents, the Kings have identified the three “top-tier” left wingers. Not surprisingly, they are Marian Gaborik, Martin Havlat and Marian Hossa. Realistically, the Kings’ chances of landing any one of those three is iffy at best. Hossa and Havlat are likely to bring huge multi-year contracts. That leaves Gaborik as the wild card, and the Kings are likely to be interested only if Gaborik is willing to sign a one-year contract, or maybe two years at the most.

After that, there’s a long list of potential targets at left wing, so anything could happen this week. As previously discussed, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Kings go after a veteran defenseman on a short term deal. Rob Blake is available…just kidding. It should be an interesting couple of days…

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  • AK47

    YESS Rob Blake!!! haha but honestly, if we come away with either Gaborik, Hossa or Havlat, then I will be a very happy man..

  • mike

    Rich,
    What are the differences in RFA, and UFA. What i know is UFA are able to sign with any team on July 1st. But what are the “Restrictions” or a RFA? Also what determines if you will be a RFA or a UFA? Is it in the contract? Thanks

  • Matt George

    Good One Rich!

    You stopped my heart for a split second with the Blake thing … can’t imagine a bigger nightmare than him returning.

  • Bernie9

    Sign Moen & Beauchemin to 2-3 year deals & stay the course!

  • KevinWestgarth

    Bernie9 said,
    “Sign Moen & Beauchemin to 2-3 year deals & stay the course!”

    Agree

  • No One

    Johnson, while a restricted free agent, CAN NOT negotiate with other teams. He falls under the “Players with Under 3 years of professional experience” section of the CBA. The 5 games in 06/07 don’t count as a year, the minimum is 10 professional games.

    Restricted Free Agents (who are qualified) can negotiate with any team they wish. However, the Kings would have the right to match the offer, or accept draft pick compensation. The compensation chart should be released tomorrow, but I don’t expect it to change much from last year. It is based on the increase of the average player salary.

    Length of service defines UFA. Now it is 27 years old, or 7 accrued years.

  • xpapertiger

    Gaborik & Hossa & Havlat = RW
    LOL

  • anthonyy

    I hope the team doesn’t come out empty handed.
    The draft was a snoozer, I hope free agency doesn’t.
    My advice to DL. Whatever your first insticts are, get a second advice.

  • JJ4Pres

    Sign Havlat, Samuelsson, and Ohlund……thats it.

  • Hockey Jesus

    Beauchemin yes…Travis Moen not so much. I think the D needs another veteran and let the kids slowly migrate into the line-up.

    Doughty-Johnson
    Greene-Quincey
    Beauchemin-O’Donnell
    Hickey or Drewiskie

    Sounds good. Que no?

  • Barons11

    Is Ryan Clowe a possibility? Has their been any talk regarding him and the Kings?

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/kings smokiemcpot

    Anyone interested in Tanguay. He had an injury last season which fits with DL’s signing of post-injured players. But he is a good 2a/2b LW and would compliment Fro. Also he could probably be had for about 3.5-4.5 mil on a one or two year contract. He is a career plus player, only 29, and has a cup. Any thoughts?

  • AK47

    JJ4Pres,

    Are you kidding? We have enough europeans, we need some canadians!

  • gralx

    I don’t know that the Kings are going to get one of the UFAs that you are all looking at. My take is that there are those who are having cap space issues and they will be prime for plucking a good one without having to mortgage the farm to get him.

  • Moondoggie

    An interesting week for sure……

    Gaborik, Hossa or Havlat will work just fine but I believe the bidding will be high, again. Realistically, we can’t get our hopes up too much on the UFA’s, there are so many intangibles. We need an LW but if we don’t get him via UFA we can always go internal. It will take longer to achieve the results but, ultimately we’ll develop the player we need within the organization. I hate to be negative about this because everyone wants the Kings to sign a big name UFA but again, I think DL will do what he’s said all along, if the package is right he’ll go for it, if not, stick with the plan. That serves the Kings long term interests best.

    Speaking of DL, the Kings have done it again for next year’s draft which is supposed to be another deep one, a 1st, 2 – 2nd’s & 3 – 3rd’s, six picks in the first three rounds. Not bad……not bad at all.

    Here’s to another July 1st, good luck & Go Kings!

  • Deano Lombardo

    Bernie9 said:

    “Sign Moen & Beauchemin to 2-3 year deals & stay the course!”

    THIS!

    Then we after Kovalchuk NEXT YEAR

  • Moondoggie

    Anthonyy…..Have you Youtubed Kyle Clifford??? This kid is a total stud, he doesn’t back down from anyone. Both Clifford & Schenn should make you very happy about this year’s draft as well as some of the others the Kings drafted….

  • 34YearKingsFan

    Sign Beauchemin – I really like his game and he fits in well: age, style of play. Plus, it would really annoy the Ducks … :)

    Also, take a chance on Gaborik.

  • Ersberg

    Beauchemin would be a very good pick-up for us.

    1) He alrady lives here.
    2) He and OD have played together extensively.
    3) He’ll be playing in a “defense first” system, which he would benefit greatly from.
    4) He’ll be much more affordable than some other defensive options in the league.

    I like the idea of nabbing Beach and Moen, actually. The more Cup experience the better.

  • threepwood

    Anthony,

    Instead of moving right along onto yet another boorish and predictable Dean Lombardi slam, perhaps you would like to justify to everyone the contradiction in your comments about Boyle???

    First, you say that Boyle doesn’t deserve any more chances or a contract. Then, when Lombardi salvages a third round pick for the guy, it’s yet another terrible move by an incompetent GM.

    Which one is it and why?

    The people who take the time to write intelligent and/or heartfelt opinions in this forum deserve more than “Oops” and “He got me” from you after you get caught in the act.

  • Quisp

    I don’t think we’re signing a defenseman unless DL is planning on moving JJ. I think he’s fine with Hickey or Voynov stepping in. Okay, wait: he might sign someone cheap and old-ish, a la SOD, to be the 8th guy. But he’s not going to spend. Remember that if he signs Beauchemin, who will get 4-ish MM, it would be nearly impossible to sign a big UFA forward. The money is better spent on the top-six forwards, and that’s where I expect he’ll add someone, if he adds anyone.

  • MacSwede

    ak47!!!

    Whats wrong with europeans???? Look at Detroit? How many swedes do they have? 7-9? And some more Europeans..

  • KevinWestgarth

    Macswede,

    I have to agree with AK47. The Kings already have Kopi, Moller, Frolov, Handzus. I think its fair to say that the Kings need to acquire some grit, unless they part with either one of those four…

  • vicarious

    IMO, a good kings result wld be to: 1) Sign Fro & johnson. 2) Put in bids for Boewmeister, Beuchemin and Hossa–doubt any of these UFA sign here but hope for the best and signing any one of those three wld be a coup for the kings. If not, 3) have patience, look for a pre-camp deal if possible, and, 4) please god, i’ve suffered near 20 years now but let those whiners without patience become duck fans.

  • Brian

    I just want to make sure that those who want DL to sign a “big-name” know the consequences. If we sign a big name player for a long-term deal, the cap will prevent us from getting another big-name in the future (Kovalchuk next year?)

    Therefore, the bug name must be near perfect and we shouldn’t sign one just for the sake of doing so or to make the few people who “need” a big-name for some reason happy.

    Let’s get the perfect player if he’s there and I’d not or if it’s the perfect player but for the wrong price, stay the path and be patient.

    Oh, and ownership will spend if it’s right

  • Ersberg

    Quisp-

    “Remember that if he signs Beauchemin, who will get 4-ish MM, it would be nearly impossible to sign a big UFA forward.”

    Unless we’re trading players in another deal, which would probably mean we’re shedding salary.

    As Rich has indicated, it’s “iffy” at best to land one of those three UFA’s. I’m more interested in one or two Sturm, Cheechoo, Clowe, Hartnell, or Gagne. I think they’re far more realistic for us to aquire. It is rumored Holmgren ‘might’ be shopping those two since aquiring Pronger.

    I doubt Voynov(needs experience) and/or Hickey(still a bit smallish) make it this year, but that’s of course, my opinion.

  • darko25o

    with Franc B. coming off major surgery, I’d much rather have Aucoin…and to you Ohlund fans out there, that guy is more prown to injury than Gaborik, and Demitra…combined!

  • Jim K

    I agree with Ersberg. It will be a lot easier for DL to trade for our top line winger than to acquire the big 3 (Hossa/Havlat/Gaborik). I would take a strong look at Hartnell ($4.2 million) or Gagne ($5.25 million)and I am sure Philly woudld love to take JJ and a 1st (they just traded their next 2 1st round picks). And then make a push for Beauchemin. We would be set for next year. Plus can you imagine how crazy it would make Anthonyy if we made a trade with Philly. It would get crazy around here.

  • Quisp

    Ersberg:

    Probably right re Hickey and Voynov. But I choose to be optimistic.

    As far as shedding salary goes, who would the candidates be? I can’t really see trading Frolov for picks so we can sign a UFA.

  • Ersberg

    Quisp-

    Honestly, I hope Hickey makes it this year. Doughty and Hickey would fire lasers from the points together. I’m counting the days when those two play together.

    I could see Lombardi trading Stoll or Zus, if he feels one of the kids or another cheaper trade option surfaces. I’m hoping Lewis steps up big for us this year. Frolov may be one of the guys he’d dangle in a deal, but I hope not.

  • MrMach5

    My Bet is we miss out on Hossa, Havlat & we pick up Blake for one year at 4 million.

  • LBlocal

    I will most likely take heat for my UFA choices, but staying with the “competitiveness” theme following this weekends’ draft..

    On July 01, I would like to see the Kings make a run at:

    Mark Bell
    Ian Laperriere
    Chris Neil or Colton Orr

  • Sydor25

    “xpapertiger said:
    Gaborik & Hossa & Havlat = RW
    LOL”

    You forget that all three of those players shoot left.

    Right now Kopitar is the only Kings forward that is a left shot. Brown, Frolov, Stoll, Purell, Moller, Williams & Simmonds are all right shots. The Kings need another offensive forward that shoots left.

  • stevebone

    What is the latest on JJ? Are the the sides talking?

  • marc

    If we’re looking for a veteran defenseman, Jay McKee is now available. St. Louis just released him and are going to buy him out.

  • Quisp

    Chances of Rob Blake signing with the Kings = zero.

    Ersberg, re Handzus and Stoll:

    Handzus has two more years on his contract and a NTC. Therefore, I think it’s highly likely he will be dealt, at the deadline, to a cup contender, either this upcoming season or the one after. He’s not going to be approving an off-season trade to Tampa.

    Stoll, meanwhile, could be traded at any time. He’s one of those guys who has value and who is not “untouchable” (c.f. Brown, Kopitar, Doughty). And you’re right that these guys become expendable once the prospects ripen. That time is NOT now, but a year from now…maybe.

    Schenn, Loktionov, Moller (though he’s winging it a lot these days), Azevedo, Lewis… some of those guys will creep in, play wing for awhile, and then bump the old guys out. Eeeeeeventually…

  • PuckDaddy

    I’m a long time Kings fan but I might just LOOSE IT if Deano really believes the fans will go along with any more excuses. Sign Hossa!

    We have the most cap space in the league which means we can front load a deal, out bid just about anyone and still retain his services at a reasonable price over the length of the contract.

    From everything I’ve read about Detroits offer (8 yrs $4M average) we could absolutely blow them out of the water w/ ~ $10M year one and much less over the length of the contract.

    Gaborik injuries concern me but we have waited LONG ENOUGH to not land a marquee player like Hossa when all the financial pieces are in place!!! ARGGGH!

  • Garrett
  • stevebone

    I like the Sedins for a three to four year contract, I was thinking the same thing.

  • Garrett

    Steve –

    Said this in a chat the other day on here, nearly got stoned. But I really like it so long as they don’t have to resign them the same year as Kopi and Brown.

    3 or 5 year contract would be good, no?

  • DetroitSons1952

    Why not Tanguay?? He would be a great replacement for Calder and he can play either side left or right, has never been a -minus in the NHL, had 41 points last season with Montreal and was a plus 13 with 5 PPG. The guy works his a$$ off on the ice and he would be reasonable and for 2 years he’s been a 1st and 2nd liner. Played 50 games in 08-09, had a seperated shoulder and missed 28 near the end of the season. He sure as heck wouldn’t hurt us.

  • -J

    No, a 3 or 5 year contract to the sedins would NOT be good.

  • DetroitSons1952

    I meant to say if he signed for 2 years I’m sure it would be a reasonable signing. He’s played 1st and 2nd lines almost all of his career and was on the PP for the Canadians last season also, Calgary just wasn’t his piece of pie.

  • DetroitSons1952

    Also, even though he is a left shot, he is a left winger….. hmmmm who needs one those????

  • http://www.myspace.com/fightingIris TweenerSongs

    My opinion (you know how I love to give it) is that we really shoot for Gaborik. Dean’s “type” of player can be had easily – and I would LOVE to see one more rugged, grinding, ‘bridge’ winger (with a bit of talent…sorry, Zeiler) in our lineup, somebody who competes and hits and drops the gloves when necessary (Moen, Lappy, that type of guy).

    What we really, truly need – to balance out our lines and give us some very good depth – is one, single, sick-talented sniper-type. Gaborik is the guy. He’s younger than the others, young enough to maybe WANT to come to a team like L.A.: up & coming, obviously on the way to elite status. If he has any of that youthful competitiveness in him, I’m sure he’d love to come to a young, hungry team and be ‘the man’. Young enough to be part of the core, as well. Just adding one absolute scoring monster on our top line would move everybody down, and we immediately have two very good, talented scoring lines. If we can remain relatively healthy (the top guys, anyway), not only would we make the playoffs, but we’d be scary once we go there.

    Of course, that also depends on our signing one more physical, tough-to-play-against veteran defenseman. As much as I can’t stand the Ducks (or ex-Ducks), I would LOVE to see Beauchemin on our blue line. Just another guy who hits, plays hard, clears out the crease, and drops the gloves. Sign JJ as well (unless he’s in a package for Gagne), and all-of-a-sudden, we have a VERY strong group of defensemen. If not, imagine our lines with Gaborik AND another guy like Gagne! It could be done, salary cap-wise. Brings a tear to my eye.

    But anyway, Gaborik is the guy for us. He plays hard(ish), and when he’s healthy (which will obviously be the key factor), he scores at will. Jeez, that would improve our team tremendously. Lots of good ideas on here, though…that’s just my personal take.

    Any of you guys live near Hollywood? My girl is playing in August (I won’t say anything more about it for now, lest I get myself in trouble with Rich…send me a message on Myspace, if you’d like). Speaking of Rich, come on, brother! “…iffy at best”. Man, you really know how to make a guy’s night. Downer!

  • http://www.myspace.com/fightingIris TweenerSongs

    P.S. By the way, PLEASE say “no” to both Hartnell and the Sedin twins. To me, Hartnell is a cheap-shot artist, one of those guys who plays without honor. He pushes goaltenders over the line (after they’ve made a save and covered the puck), whines like a little beeyatch after a penalty, tries to check people when they are in vulnerable positions, etc. Why would we NOT want a guy like that? I’m sure that’s what people are probably thinking. For my money, I’d rather have a guy who respects the game a bit more, that’s all. Sure, you can argue that the culture IS that type of play, and I could not disagree. I just don’t like the way he plays, I think he’s a punk. I hope we don’t get him.

    The Sedins, on the other hand, would appear to me to be the extreme contrary. They just don’t seem like ‘winners’, somehow, if that makes sense. They’re not especially soft or anything (they are simply ‘soft’ is all), but something about them…I don’t know. They just don’t seem like they care about winning the way that nearly ALL North Americans do, and even the way most Europeans do. It’s like they did not grow up dreaming about the Cup, if that makes sense. They seem like guys who grew up with money. How’s that for not making sense? This has rapidly turned into my worst comment ever (I know, I know…I’ve set it up for you guys, go ahead and tee off).

  • MrMach5

    Id buy a full year season ticket package if we signed the Sedins!

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/kings smokiemcpot

    Thank you D-sons. Tanguay would be a perfect fit, even if just to bridge the gap until next season when Kovi is a free agent. I think one year at whatever, (the kings have the space to do it) probably only 3.5 to 5.5 max, would really help as a solid bridge player or more if he plays well.

  • MacSwede

    Ak47 and kevinwestgarth!

    So europeans have no grit? come on!! How long are you going to use that inaccurate statement….are you Don Cherry or what???

    So Detroit won the cup last year, and made the finals this year with “no grit”, imagine that…

    And by the way, who won the conn smythe this year? A Canadian…

  • http://K KevinWestgarth

    MacSwede,

    I didn’t say Euro’s have no grit. However, I do believe that the Red Wings lost because they have too many European players, while the Pens had more North Americans willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, like Guerin, Kunitz, Orpik, Talbot, Kennedy, Cook, Adams, Bouchier, Gil, etc… Add those players with Crosby and Malkin, and you simply have a cup.

  • -J

    Oh, not this anti-euro crud again. Anyone else thinking K. Westgarth is khanon reborn?

  • KevinWestgarth

    This is the at least the third time I’ve read someone say I’m Khanon. Once again, who is Khanon and why do you guys keep comparing me to him/her?

  • -J

    Because you appear to be one and the same in your opinions.

  • do u what u do..i know booz..

    sign hossa for a year … OR miss out making a run at kovalchuck next year.. what about RICK NASH UFA next year as well…LW…red wing killer.. owner of “THE GOAL” . Columbus org. is in near financial shambles. NASH VS K CHUCK?

    heatley sweepstakes..DL do not participate..entertain i get but is he a GG?(goodguy) didnt he kill his buddy boozin it up?imagine him in LA. on sunset partying?? geezz..