Unless he has a late-afternoon change of heart, Dean Lombardi isn’t talking publicly today, which means he’s still working. The Kings were one of the teams that got involved in the Zach Parise sweepstakes today (did any team not get involved?) and given that Parise is reportedly waiting until tomorrow to make his decision, the Kings are still in a holding pattern. Bob McKenzie of TSN reported that Parise’s camp has essentially been telling some teams, ‘’Thanks, but no thanks,’’ and as of now, my understanding is that the Kings haven’t received one of those calls. Still unknown is exactly how many teams are in the running.
Even with the addition of Dustin Penner’s new $3.25-million contract, the Kings wouldn’t have any trouble fitting in Parise next season (or a player such as Shane Doan, for that matter). The seasons beyond that — Parise is reportedly fielding offers in the range of 12 years — would be a problem, but presumably, Lombardi would worry about crossing that bridge later, as he is very fond of Parise’s game. [UPDATE: In the late afternoon, ESPN.com’s well-connected Pierre LeBrun indicated his belief that Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Minnesota and Philadelphia were the four teams most likely to sign Parise.] Here’s a reasonable guess at how the Kings’ 2012-13 lineup might look, with salary-cap hits included.
Brown ($3.175 million)-Kopitar ($6.8)-Williams ($3.65)
Penner ($3.25)-Richards ($5.75)-Carter ($5.273)
Gagne ($3.5)-Stoll ($3.25)-Lewis ($0.725)
King ($0.725)-Fraser ($0.825)-Nolan ($0.532)
Richardson ($1.175)-Westgarth ($0.725)
Doughty ($7.0)-Scuderi ($3.4)
Mitchell ($3.5)-Voynov ($0.817)
Greene ($2.95)-Martinez ($0.738)
TOTAL: $61.43 million