The Kings announced that they have sent qualifying offers to seven of their eight restricted free agents. Dwight King, Justin Azevedo, Andrew Campebll, Thomas Hickey, Stefan Legein, David Meckler and Jake Muzzin were sent offers. By doing so, the Kings signaled their intention to keep their rights. Should any of those players sign an offer sheet with a different team, the Kings would be able to match the offer or receive compensation. (It should be noted that reports indicate Azevedo might play in Finland next season.) By contrast, the Kings did not extend a qualifying offer to Ray Kaunisto, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Also, the Kings have announced their 2012 preseason schedule. It presumes, of course, that there will be labor peace and that training camp will start on time. The schedule is similar to last year’s, but with no trip to Kansas City (or Hamburg). Here’s the rundown…
Monday, Sept. 24, vs. Phoenix at Jobing.com Arena, 7:30 p.m. (split-squad)
Monday, Sept. 24, vs. Phoenix at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m. (split-squad)
Wednesday, Sept. 26, vs. Colorado at Pepsi Center, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29, vs. Colorado at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 1, vs. Anaheim at Honda Center, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6, vs. Anaheim at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 8, vs. New York Rangers at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.
The regular-season schedule is expected to be released tomorrow. As of a couple months ago, the Kings were scheduled to open the regular season at home against the Rangers, but the schedule goes through many revisions so that might have changed. As for the preseason, tickets are already on sale for the “Frozen Fury’’ game in Las Vegas, as well as the game in Ontario. That game has been set up as a “split arena’’ game, meaning the teams instead for the arena to be half Kings fans, half Ducks fans.