The Kings’ options are limited. They’re nearly hitting their heads on the NHL’s $69-million salary cap for next season, but since they’ve just won their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons, maybe the best move is keeping their roster relatively intact for 2014-15.
The Kings agreed to terms with the last of their own free agents Friday, when they announced a new two-season contract for forward Kyle Clifford. The 22-year-old Clifford had 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) and 51 penalty minutes in 48 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
Andrew Bodnarchuk’s new two-season contract with the Kings is worth $1.1 million if he makes the roster. He’ll get $105,000 this coming season if he plays for the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the American Hockey League, and $125,000 for 2014-15. Colin Miller’s three-season deal with the Kings is an entry-level contract worth $1,807,500 if he plays in the NHL. He’ll make $50,000 this season, $52,500 next season and $55,000 for 2015-16. The website capgeek.com first reported the salary figures for the two defensemen.
Defensemen Andrew Bodnarchuk and Colin MIller agreed to contracts with the Kings on Monday. Bodnarchuk’s contract is for two seasons and MIller’s is for three. Bodnarchuk, 25, played 69 games last season with the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the American Hockey League and posted a career-high 20 points (five goals, 15 assists). Miller, 20, played 54 games for the junior-level Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League and had a career-high 55 points (20 goals, 35 assists). Figure both players will be invited to training camp in September, with Bodnarchuk fighting for a roster slot with the Kings and Miller looking to advance to Manchester.
There’s one name left on the Kings’ list of unsigned free agents and that’s Kyle Clifford’s. With a little more than $250,000 left under the salary cap, it would seem unlikely the Kings can re-sign him. So, it would seem they’re done for the off-season as far as signing and re-signing free agents. Here’s a closer look at what they’ve done:
Free agent forward Trevor Lewis agreed with the Kings on a one-season deal reportedly worth $1.325 million Tuesday, avoiding arbitration and more or less bringing an end to general manager Dean Lombardi’s summer to-do list. Lewis’ deal would bring the Kings’ salary cap space down to about $200,000, give or take a dime or two. Lewis’ signing gives the Kings a 24-man roster. He avoided an Aug. 2 arbitration hearing in Toronto.
Free agent forward Jordan Nolan avoided an arbitration hearing next month when he agreed to a new two-season, $1.4-million contract with the Kings on Friday. The website capgeek.com first reported the deal. Nolan had six points (two goals, four assists) in 44 games during the lockout-shortened 48-game season in 2012-13. His signing leaves free agent forward Trevor Lewis as the last of four Kings originally on the list of players who filed for arbitration. Lewis can avoid a hearing by signing with the team before his Aug. 2 hearing in Toronto. The Kings have roughly $1.5 million of salary cap space available to sign players for next season.
Dustin Penner signed a one-season, $2-million contract with the Ducks on Tuesday. Asked for his assessment of his time with the Kings, he said during a conference call: “I wish I could’ve contributed more, frequently and consistently on a personal level. I had a great time with L.A. Made a lot of great relationships that will span my lifetime. Winning a Cup in a city that hadn’t won one in 45 years, doesn’t get better than that.”
Can’t imagine anyone really wants to go through salary arbitration, and the NHL list is down to 14 from 21, according to the NHLPA. There once were four Kings on the list, but after defensemen Alec Martinez (Monday) and Jake Muzzin (last Friday) each agreed to new two-year deals, it’s down to only forwards Trevor Lewis and Jordan Nolan. Nolan is scheduled for Aug. 1 and Lewis is set for the next day. They can avoid the grueling hearings by agreeing to new contracts at any time before their dates.
The Kings and defenseman Alec Martinez agreed to a new two-season, $2.2-million contract, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing later this month. The website for the Canadian sports network TSN first reported the agreement late Sunday night. Martinez, 25, played in 27 of 48 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.