Big week ahead for Kings, Lucic - LA Kings Insider

Insiders! It’s the most wonderful time of the off-season, if such a thing exists. Just think: home openers are announced today (Los Angeles is expected to open up at San Jose on the first Wednesday of the regular season before returning home to welcome Philadelphia to Staples Center), the full schedule comes out tomorrow, which will be followed by the NHL Awards on Wednesday and the meeting in which the Board of Governors are likely to approve expansion to Las Vegas. The salary cap is also expected to be revealed around this time, which will be followed by the NHL Draft in Buffalo this Friday and Saturday and the inevitable trades associated with it. As is tradition, LA Kings Insider will be on site in both Vegas and Western New York to report on this league news as it relates to the Kings.

Also coming this week: Los Angeles’ best offer to Milan Lucic, apparently. I had hoped to share this with you over the weekend, but newborn carin’ and Father’s Day celebratin’ got in the way, so it will officially kick off a busy week at traveling LAKI HQ.

Said Dean Lombardi, when asked about the state of Lucic negotiations last Thursday: “I think it’s pretty safe to say we’ve had to do a lot of work here, given some of our due diligence. It’s probably safe to say we will be making – I guess we want to say – our best offer, under the circumstances probably early next week, is probably when I envision this. There’s a lot of due diligence that goes into formulating an offer. There is no question we want him back and I think he clearly wants to be here, but there are a number of things we had to work through that we didn’t anticipate. But we haven’t given up. So, we’ve had a number of conference calls on how to structure this under the circumstances and I think we’re going to have something here, I envision by early next week. And that will give him some time to think about it, but after that, I don’t think there’s much more work we can do given what we’re up against.”

Last week, a team source acknowledged that talks with Lucic, which appeared to have previously quieted, were “ongoing,” and that resigning the forward was a “priority.”

Whether you’re in the camp that advocates re-signing Lucic or cutting bait, were the Kings to re-sign the power forward, it would allow them flexibility to be able to trade for a young defenseman that could enhance the depth on the back end, based on conversations with team sources. Don’t expect any major news one way or another so early in the week. If Los Angeles re-signs Lucic, reports will emerge shortly beforehand, followed by an official press release. If the team decides to move on, the realization could come in the form of reports of new contracts to the team’s other UFAs – namely, Trevor Lewis. The Kings will be hard-pressed to sign Lewis in addition to Lucic without getting highly creative, so if L.A. announces a new contract for Lewis, it’s likely an indication that Lucic will be moving on to greener pastures. (There’s a drought here; our pastures are golden-hued.)

The NHL’s salary cap, based on reports and foresight, appears to be in the range of $73-million for 2016-17. That’s based on the players exercising their 5% escalator clause, which seems like a good bet. Los Angeles has allocated $64.843M to 19 players for the 2016-17 season, dollar figures that include Mike Richards’ cap recapture and settlement but not the retention-affected $2.25M cap hit for Vincent Lecavalier, who has confirmed that he is retiring. Teams may have up to 23 players on the active roster.

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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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