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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