The Kings signed Tyler Toffoli. With the first domino having fallen, does anything change philosophically in regards to negotiating with Andrej Sekera, Martin Jones or Justin Williams?
“No, nothing changes,” Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Michael Futa said. “It’s the same thing with Willie, and it’s not just that. There’s a lot of “ors*.” It’s a different draft. Everybody talks about how solid [it is], and obviously you’ve talked to Yank (Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti) and the group about how solid the prospects are pick-wise. There’s a lot going on. Obviously it’s not a secret that the Mike Richards saga still is there. There are different opportunities that we’ve talked about, possibly including him in a deal. There’s talks still with Sekera. There’s quiet negotiations to keep him going, but things have to fall. You just can’t have everybody in. It’s unfortunate. The biggest is Justin Williams, who clearly has been a heart and soul two-time Stanley Cup winner. Those things aren’t out of the woods for us, but there’s so many different things that have to fall into place, and that’s why we kind of eat and then we go work out really quick, and try and avoid Dean for 25 minutes at a time, and then get right back at it, in every facet. I mean, Yank’s firing on all cylinders in here with the guys to be ready for that. The synergy’s in full circle, but there’s a lot to be asked before the draft tonight.”
With Toffoli’s signing, the Kings now have roughly $63.23M allotted to 17 players under contract for 2015-16, and next year’s salary cap has been set at $71.4M. Though Futa indicated “opportunities” regarding Richards, unless there has been a significant shift in negotiations with other teams, a buyout remains the most likely option at this time, as indicated to me through multiple team sources. Details of what a Richards buyout would cost the Kings can be found here.
*I couldn’t tell if he mean’t “ors,” as in, “there are a lot of different scenarios the Kings are looking at, hence ‘or,’” or whether he meant “oars,” as in “there are a lot of oars in the water.” Either way, we can continue with our lives.