Free-agent eve - LA Kings Insider

Well, tomorrow is clearly one of the biggest off-ice days of the year in the NHL world, the start of the free-agent signing period. Since the end of the season, I’ve been of the mind that the Kings will seek a top-six forward and a top-four defenseman, one through free agency and the other via trade (depending on the respective markets), but we shall see, starting tomorrow. The big fish on the free-agent market is clearly Ilya Kovalchuk. There’s reportedly strong mutual interest between Kovalchuk and the Kings, but will it get done? Remember that, this time last year, almost nobody thought Marian Hossa, last year’s big fish, would end up in Chicago.

The question is, how much would you pay Kovalchuk? I’m interested to know, so cast your vote below. And, does this quote from former Kovalchuk teammate Bobby Holik concern you? Holik told Craig Custance of The Sporting News, “I would be cautious as a GM signing him. If Kovy is willing to play No. 2 or No. 3 on the depth chart, that’s ideal. You have a super-talented player, but to build a team around him would be a mistake. … It’s not that Ilya doesn’t want to win, but he wants to play the way he wants to play.” Or does the same article, in which Bob Hartley, Kovalchuk’s former coach in Atlanta, offers tremendous praise for Kovalchuk’s talent, ease your mind?

Of course, I’ll be following on the action here on the blog tomorrow. I’m scheduled to be a guest on the SiriusXM Home Ice channel at 8:45 a.m., and then we’ll have a live chat starting at 9 a.m., which is when the signing period begins. Should be an interesting day!

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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.