Free agency primer; LAKI, Joe Yerdon join Kings Men Podcast - LA Kings Insider

Good morning from LAKI HQ, Insiders.

Several bullet-type points as free agency opens at 9:00 a.m. PT:

-The Kings have pushed very hard to try to land Joe Thornton, but it’s still unclear where exactly he will sign. His decision appears to be partially linked to Patrick Marleau’s decision, based on conversations and reports, but it’s not easy at this point to place a finger on what Marleau’s decision would be. Throughout this process, it has been slightly more likely that Thornton will sign in San Jose over anywhere else, but if he chooses to leave the Sharks, Los Angeles will have a very good opportunity to land the future Hall of Famer. Expect these decisions to be made quickly.

-I’ve never heard Justin Williams’ name linked to the Kings. I believe they’ve contacted him, but they’ve also basically contacted virtually all of the forwards who have demonstrated offensive success in the NHL and also have a pulse. The Kings have kept things a bit mum in trying to curtail leaks, but I don’t have any expectation that he will end up back in Los Angeles. I’m not expecting Jarome Iginla to re-sign, either.

As previously reported by LAKI, highly touted goaltending prospect Cal Petersen will sign an entry-level contract with Los Angeles after choosing not to sign with Buffalo, who drafted him in the third round in 2013. This would be a major coup for the Kings, who’ve attempted a multi-level approach towards rebuilding their goaltending pipeline, and Petersen will be expected to command a wide load for AHL-Ontario. Expect this signing to be announced today.

-Earlier in the off-season the sense I had was that the Kings were planning to acquire a back-up to Jonathan Quick, but now, based on the expected signing of Cal Petersen and what I’d read in Elliotte Friedman’s column, this is a bit tougher to read, and I’m not sure if this is still the case. (I’m not getting a ton of info on this at the moment.) I still expect them to offer a tryout to someone to provide competition to Campbell at training camp.

-I’m not expecting the Kings to be in on the biggest names outside of Thornton, but their checklist should they not catch the big Shark is more or less expected to include a third or fourth line center, a winger who has the chance to play in the top-six, and a depth defenseman. That’s not to say all boxes will be checked off, and if prices get silly, there is still the opportunity to acquire assets via trade. The Kings also appear to feel confident to go into next season without any real wholesale changes as several younger players continue to grow into roles with the club.

Jesse Cohen and I talk about this on the most recent Kings Men Podcast. We also recruited Sabres NHL.com correspondent Joe Yerdon, who provides context to the Cal Petersen saga and describes the type of goaltender the Kings will be picking up. Enjoy the audio on your Saturday morning, and please listen quickly, because much of this will become obsolete in an hour or so. Enjoy the silly season, Insiders.

Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

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

Bio

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

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

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

Bio

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

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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

Bio

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.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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

Bio

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.

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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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

Bio

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.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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

Bio

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.

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