Restricted free-agent forward Trevor Lewis re-signed with the Kings on Friday. His two-year deal pays a reported $1.45 million.
The announcement came with little surprise one day after general manager Dean Lombardi said a new contract was “close.” Lewis had only three goals and 13 points in 72 games last season, his first full year in the NHL. But he was hard to take out of the lineup because of his speed — a rare commodity on last year’s squad — and penalty-killing value. Lewis also had a goal and four points in the Kings’ six-game playoff series against San Jose.
Lewis can play either center or the wing, and figures to compete with Andrei Loktionov for the fourth-line center position in training camp.
The Kings also announced the signings of forwards Marc-Andre Cliche, Rich Clune and David Meckler, defensemen Andrew Campbell and Patrick Mullen, and goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. All six players spent the entire season in Manchester and were restricted free agents.
One player who won’t be returning to the Monarchs is Corey Elkins. The agent for the restricted free-agent forward wrote on Twitter that Elkins could be headed to Europe for a year and won’t re-sign with the Kings. Elkins had 18 goals and 44 points in 76 games for Manchester last season, after posting 21 goals and 43 points in 72 games the year before. Signed as a free agent out of Ohio State University, Elkins had one goal in three games with the Kings, all in 2009-10.
DOB – 3-23-87
– Reg season: 11 goals, 10 assists (21 points/52 games played), 25 PIM
– Post season: 1 assist, 9 SOG (4 games)
Manchester coach Mark Morris on Marc-Andre Cliche:
“Marc is a steady, reliable depth forward right now. He is extremely coachable, very mature and he’s very responsible. His confidence grew when he returned from the injury, and strangely enough it has worked to his favor because he gave us a real boast with added goal scoring that we didn’t know he had along with his ability to shut down the opposition. He’s a key penalty killer and we just got better in that area when he returned to the lineup.”
“His defensive game is pretty sound. His reaction time is improving. He is a strong guy on the face-offs, and he also is good at positioning himself to block passing lanes. He is a real character guy who is willing to do what it takes, especially in responsible roles, the kind that most guys aren’t willing to pay a price for, he is willing to do it. He’ll block shots and take a hit to make a play. He is accountable.”
“He surprises us with his speed sometimes, when goes after a loose puck. He finds a way to get there. He won’t wow you at first glance with his speed, but he is a strong kid and I think his desire is going to negate any shortcomings he may have.”
“I think he has made some huge strides and I can see him being a responsible third or fourth line guy in a few years.”