Kings sign Mario Kempe to one-year, two-way contract; Iafallo elects arbitration - LA Kings Insider

Some news over the holiday weekend:

MARIO KEMPE SIGNS. Adrian’s older brother, who was in attendance at Staples Center when Adrian scored his first career goal against Washington late in the 2016-17 season, has signed with Los Angeles, the Kings announced Friday. Mario Kempe, originally drafted by Philadelphia in the fifth round in 2007, totaled six goals and 13 points in 70 NHL games with Arizona over the last two seasons and 23 goals and 48 points in 58 AHL contests with Tucson. The six-foot, 185-pound forward turns 31 during training camp.

The contract is worth $700,000 at the NHL level.

This is an interesting depth signing, though one more probable to have a greater impact with Ontario than Los Angeles. And that’s fine! The Reign need quality, character veteran players, too. Like Martin Frk, who also signed a one-year, two-way contract on July 1, Mario Kempe will compete for a depth role in training camp, though the Kings would prefer if one of their younger and homegrown players – one of the “eight-to-ten” that Blake referenced would play for Los Angeles – held a firmer grasp on such a role.

Mikael Kempe, father to Mario and Adrian, has served as the general manager and a coach with Göta/Traneberg in Sweden’s Hockeytvåan, the fourth level of Swedish hockey. As a coach’s son, expect similar responsible and speed-based play away from the puck as Adrian has demonstrated in the pro game.

Playing with his brother, Mario posted one goal and two points in four games for Sweden’s fifth-place entry at the World Championship this past spring.

Adam Pantozzi/NHLI

IAFALLO ELECTS ARBITRATION. Friday was the deadline for player-elected salary arbitration. As shared (and not heeded) on Twitter, this isn’t news. Every year a decent handful of restricted free agents in need of new contracts elect for arbitration, even though the vast majority will agree upon new contracts in advance of their arbitration date. Last year, four of 44 cases went before an arbitrator, and that’s still a higher number than usual. This year, 40 players elected for arbitration.

Via the NHLPA, arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to Aug. 4. Teams may also elect for an arbitrator by 2:00 p.m. PT Saturday, July 6, though that list of cases will be much smaller than the 40 names shared today.

In the unlikely event that the two sides don’t reach a deal before their hearing, a player representative and a team representative meet in front of an arbitrator, who issues a binding one or two-year contract, with the length of the contract determined by the team in player-elected arbitration and determined by the player in team-elected arbitration. It is generally not in either party’s interest to get to arbitration, which puts the team and player in an adversarial setting.

The last six LA Kings to elect arbitration:

2017: Kevin Gravel (signed one-year, $650K, on July 14, 2017)
2014: Dwight King (signed three-year, $5.85M contract on July 30, 2014)
2013: Jake Muzzin (signed two-year, $2M contract on July 12, 2013)
2013: Alec Martinez (signed two-year, $2.2M contract on July 14, 2013)
2013: Jordan Nolan (signed two-year, $1.4M contract on July 19, 2013)
2013: Trevor Lewis (signed one-year, $1.325M contract on July 23, 2013)

Restricted free agents in need of new contracts in addition to Iafallo are Michael Amadio, Daniel Brickley, Adrian Kempe, Cal Petersen, Sheldon Rempal and Matt Roy. Petersen and Roy also had the option to elect salary arbitration.

Adam Pantozzi/NHLI

–Lead photo via Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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.