In addition to Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Andrej Sekera, there are several other names who could potentially move on from the Kings organization.
Jamie McBain, a power play catalyst and capable puckmover who had three goals, nine points and a plus-four rating in 26 games but did play after February 26, is not in any active negotiations with the club. In consultations with hockey operations, I’ve been told that there’s “nothing going on.” As had been noted earlier in the off-season, because Jeff Schultz is still signed through 2015-16 (at an inexpensive $850K), he would have the upper-hand at an available depth defensive spot. Also, on Schultz: this is the final year on his contract, which could make him a touch more attractive to other teams should the Kings decide to place him on waivers with the intention of assigning him to AHL-Ontario. There’s a decent chance he’ll be the Kings’ sixth or seventh defenseman this coming year.
Also free to move on: Andrew Bodnarchuk, David Van der Gulik, Justin Azevedo and Bud Holloway. Surprise! The Kings still retained Azevedo’s and Holloway’s rights. In fact, remember that report two summers ago (and even Ron Hextall going on record) indicating the Kings might have interest in bringing him back to North America? He remained with SHL-Skelleftea before joining NLA-Bern and put up 37 points in 42 games in 2014-15. He’ll return to Bern in 2015-16 to fulfill the second year of his two-year contract. Azevedo had a good season in the KHL last year.
UPDATE, 3:45 p.m.: Holloway has signed in Montreal.
— Taylor Shire (@TShireGlobal) July 1, 2015
Here’s a stick tap to Bodnarchuk, who was always helpful and friendly in training camp, when the Black Aces came to town, and in Manchester. He also has a strong Twitter game. After what he went through at the beginning of the season – he suffered a knee injury during a training camp practice at Staples Center and was unavailable when the Kings experienced a rash of subtractions on defense – it was great to see him capture a Calder Cup with the Monarchs this spring. He’s a well-liked teammate and free to sign with whom he chooses.
And now, a signing! Defensive prospect Kevin Gravel has signed for two years. This had already been reported, and now it is official. The team was happy with Gravel’s development this season after he had agreed to join the organization on an AHL contract with Manchester. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Michigander plays a rugged but calm game in his own end and posted six goals, 15 points and 23 penalty minutes in 58 games with Manchester before adding an additional five assists during the club’s Calder Cup run. Gravel is bound for AHL-Ontario this fall but should get a pretty good look during camp.
— Michael Mersch (@mikemersch25) July 1, 2015