Free agency and salary cap compliance - LA Kings Insider

When the subject of a Rob Scuderi contract extension was raised on yesterday’s conference call with Dean Lombardi, it brought up the question “But what to do about all of the team’s restricted and unrestricted free agents?”

As it stands now – and a primary assist to CapGeek on this – the Kings have 49.26 million dollars allotted towards 13 players for the 2013-14 season. Because the salary cap drops to 64.3 million dollars next season – and there’s certainly a chance that will happen – unless players currently under contract for next season are traded, Lombardi will be tasked with spending 15.04 million dollars on the following players:

Restricted Free Agents
Kyle Clifford
Trevor Lewis
Jordan Nolan
Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez
Keaton Ellerby
Jake Muzzin
Jonathan Bernier

Unrestricted Free Agents
Rob Scuderi
Dustin Penner
Brad Richardson
Davis Drewiske

Not counting players in the American Hockey League, there are four defensemen currently under contract for 2013-14. Two are currently rehabilitating long-term injuries (Matt Greene, Willie Mitchell) and one has never played in a National Hockey League game (Andrew Campbell).

Because of the scarcity of available top-four defensemen via trade, and the immense cost of obtaining one via free agency, re-signing Slava Voynov will be the team’s largest weight-bearing contract pillar between now and next season. It must be viewed as the team’s highest priority of all unsigned UFAs and RFAs. I’m assuming that Voynov receives a new contract that contains an annual cap hit of between three and five million dollars, which means the team is looking at roughly 10 to 12 million dollars to allot to the names above.

Scuderi isn’t likely to accept a pay cut with Los Angeles, considering he likely would earn more on the open market, and his “ugly but effective game” has been a part of two Stanley Cup blueprints and still translates into defensive success at this level. It’s fair to say that his current 3.4 million dollar cap hit is in the general ballpark of what any hypothetical extension would cost against the team’s cap space.

If Scuderi is to be re-signed, and if Voynov receives the amount of money highlighted above, that leaves roughly 6.5 to 8.5 million dollars of an annual cap hit to allot to the other 10 free agents. Kyle Clifford and Alec Martinez are obviously both heavily involved in the team’s current and future plans, and their new contracts should also be considered priorities, though not necessarily to the same degree as Voynov’s.

There are spaces to fill, prospects such as Tyler Toffoli, Linden Vey and Tanner Pearson worthy of consideration, and a limited amount of capital to make it all work.

So who gets extended? What should the team’s priorities be? What contract figures would seem reasonable to you? On which players is the jury still convening over? Who is likely to be in their last year in Los Angeles?

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.