July 1 open thread; LAK not expected to make big splash - LA Kings Insider

WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP, IT’S THE FIRST OF THE MONTH.

CASH YOUR CHECKS AND MOVE ON. A reminder that today is a good day for player and agent bank accounts. Drew Doughty gets a pre-tax $10-million infusion today, Ilya Kovalchuk a healthy $5.3M. $14.99M will be signed off to John Tavares. Of the 11 players who will receive a bonus of at least $8M today, only Doughty and Tyler Seguin have won Stanley Cups.

RUNNIN’ THROUGH THE ALLEY AND INTO THE MELEE. The LA Kings aren’t going to make a huge free agent splash. They’ve never been in for guys like Artemi Panarin et al and rather are more focused on improving from within. This approach is articulated here by GM Rob Blake. Prior to Kovalchuk, the last outside UFA the team spent at least $2M annually on was Simon Gagne, who signed a two-year, $7M contract in 2011.

HOP ON THE PHONE, CALL UP KRAYZIE BONE. This isn’t going out on a limb, but I’m still projecting them to sign a small group of role players. While there’s still an ultimate need to add a number two defender, free agency will present a better opportunity to add more of a depth defenseman who could battle alongside a younger group for a share of available minutes. I’ve read Ben Hutton’s name linked to the Kings but don’t think he’s the guy they end up with. Ontario’s blue line is also shaping up to be young again, so the signing of a depth defenseman would ultimately help out both teams.

I GOTTA GET PAID ON THE FIRST. For those inquiring, the Kings aren’t getting squeezed by the cap. CapFriendly has them with $13,290,606 of space – though that doesn’t include Nikolai Prokhorkin, Matt Luff or Jaret Anderson-Dolan, nor does it take into account the restricted free agents in need of new contracts such as Alex Iafallo, Adrian Kempe, Matt Roy and Michael Amadio.

Cap Friendly Unrestricted Free Agents

— Lead photo via Juan Ocampo/NHLI

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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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