Kings sign defenseman Jake Muzzin to a new two-year, $2-million contract

Jake Muzzin most likely would have spent the lockout-shortened NHL season in the minor leagues, but he got a promotion because of injuries to Kings defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell. Muzzin made the most of his chance and earned a new two-year, $2-million contract. Muzzin and the Kings agreed to a new deal Friday morning, keeping the team’s defense corps nearly intact for next season.

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Kings GM Dean Lombardi talks about trying to re-sign winger Dustin Penner

You get the feeling the Kings will be content to let left wing Dustin Penner walk as an unrestricted free agent. To be sure, they wouldn’t have that Stanley Cup championship banner hanging in the Staples Center rafters without him. But he’s also been something of a disappointment during the last two regular seasons.

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Kings free agent tracker (updated)

The decisions Wednesday by Trevor Lewis, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez and Jordan Nolan to elect salary arbitration means the Kings have only two remaining free agents to be signed or unsigned, and it’s possible Dustin Penner and Kyle Clifford could be headed elsewhere because of the team’s salary-cap constraints. Here’s an update:

Unrestricted free agents

Dustin Penner, left wing: Unsigned.

Keaton Ellerby, defenseman: Re-signed for one season, $735,000.

Brad Richardson, center: Signed two-year, $2.3-million deal with Vancouver.

Rob Scuderi, defenseman: Signed four-year, $13.5-million deal with Pittsburgh.

Restricted free agents

Kyle Clifford, left wing: Unsigned.

Trevor Lewis, center: Opted for salary arbitration.

Alec Martinez, defenseman: Opted for salary arbitration.

Jake Muzzin, defenseman: Opted for salary arbitration.

Jordan Nolan, center: Opted for salary arbitration.

Outside free agent

Jeff Schultz, defenseman: Signed one-year, $700,000 contract.

 

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Free agency analysis … it ain’t pretty

Here’s what Yahoo! Sports had to say about the Kings’ free agency efforts thus far:

The Kings lost The Piece, Rob Scuderi, to the Penguins and checking winger Brad Richardson to the Vancouver Canucks. They re-signed Keaton Ellerby for one year and inked Jeff Schultz, who was bought out by the Capitals for one year. Schultz is, as they say, not good. But hey, they’re still in the “pulling Matt Frattin for Bernier” afterglow, so …

Grade: D

Here’s what SI.com had to say while listing the Kings among the “losers:”

There was lots of talk suggesting they were in on Jarome Iginla — it’s easy to imagine how well he would have fit in with that group — but losing out on that bidding is nowhere near as painful as having to replace the steady Scuderi with Jeff Schultz (one year, $700,000), a player who could scarcely crack Washington’s D corps last season.

My own take:

If you ain’t getting better, you’re getting worse and the Kings ain’t getting better this summer. Not yet, anyway.

 

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Kings free agent tracker

Friday’s opening day of free agency altered the Kings’ roster and the first members of the Stanley Cup championship team of 2012 departed. Here’s a look at the Kings’ free agents, where they went, who arrived and who still needs a contract (as of July 6):

Unrestricted free agents

Dustin Penner, left wing: Unsigned.

Keaton Ellerby, defenseman: Re-signed for one season, $735,000.

Brad Richardson, center: Signed two-year, $2.3-million deal with Vancouver.

Rob Scuderi, defenseman: Signed four-year, $13.5-million deal with Pittsburgh.

Restricted free agents

Kyle Clifford, left wing: Unsigned.

Trevor Lewis, center: Unsigned.

Alec Martinez, defenseman: Unsigned.

Jake Muzzin, defenseman: Unsigned.

Jordan Nolan, center: Unsigned.

Outside free agent

Jeff Schultz, defenseman: Signed one-year, $700,000 contract.

 

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Brad Richardson signs with the Canucks

The Kings learned free-agent center Brad Richardson signed a two-season, $2.3-million contract Friday with the Vancouver Canucks. Richardson recorded one goal and five assists in only 16 games last season, sitting out all but two of the first 34 contests. He’s likely to be slotted into a fourth-line role with the Canucks. Richardson played 255 games over five seasons with the Kings, but had only 24 goals and 41 assists.

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Rob Scuderi talks about decision to leave the Kings for the Penguins

Defenseman Rob Scuderi explained his decision to leave the Kings and sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent this way: “When moving your family, the transition can be kind of odd and awkward. I thought going to Pittsburgh, the familiarity with the area would make for an easier transition. And most important, the team in a win-now mode.”

He also said his game would be a good fit with the Penguins, adding:  Continue reading

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Kings restricted free agents

Free agency begins Friday. Here’s a look at the Kings restricted free agents:

Kyle Clifford, LW, 7 goals, 7 assists, plus-1, 48 games. 2012-13 salary $680,000.

Keaton Ellerby, D, 0 goals, 3 assists, plus-3, 44 games. 2012-13 salary $700,000.

Trevor Lewis, C, 5 goals, 9 assists, plus-5, 48 games. 2012-13 salary $700,000.

Alec Martinez, D, 1 goal, 4 assists, minus-2, 27 games. 2012-13 salary $737,5000.

Jake Muzzin, D, 7 goals, 9 assists, plus-16, 45 games. 2012-13 salary $577,500.

Jordan Nolan, C, 2 goals, 4 assists, minus-5, 44 games. 2012-13 salary: $540,000.

Thanks to capgeek.com for salary info.

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Kings unrestricted free agents

Free agency begins Friday. Here’s a look at the Kings’ unrestricted free agents:

Dustin Penner, LW, 2 goals, 12 assists, minus-2, 33 games, 2012-13 salary $3.25 million.

Brad Richardson, C, 1 goal, 5 assists, plus-2, 16 games, 2012-13 salary $1.35 million.

Rob Scuderi, D, 1 goal, 11 assists, minus-6, 48 games. 2012-13 salary $3.4 million

Thanks to capgeek.com for salary info.

 

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