Los Angeles Kings: Odds That Each Pending FA Gets a Contract

With the 2020-21 season coming to an finish, groups might want to begin planning their offseason quickly. The Los Angeles Kings have a number of choices to make about how their crew will search for opening night time subsequent season. Happily for Rob Blake, re-signing gamers is on the backside of his listing of issues. With Alex Iafallo signing his title to a brand new four-year extension simply earlier than the commerce deadline, Blake was in a position to full the one “huge” extension he would have wanted to fret about this summer season.

The Kings nonetheless have just a few smaller offers to get achieved, however with solely two pending unrestricted free brokers (UFA) in your complete group — Daniel Brickley and Mark Alt — and 6 pending restricted free brokers (RFA), Blake and his administration crew probably aren’t too frightened heading into the offseason. With cap house not being a difficulty, Blake will probably need to open up roster spots for subsequent season because the Kings’ plethora of younger expertise ought to start integrating itself subsequent season.

Andreas Athanasiou

Contract Extension Odds: When you had advised me that Andreas Athanasiou would nonetheless be a Kings participant come the top of the 2020-21 season, I most likely would have known as you loopy. Subsequently, it’s even crazier to me that he’s virtually actually going to have his contract prolonged this summer season. That isn’t to say I don’t assume it’s a good suggestion or don’t like him — fairly the alternative, in truth. I actually just like the participant, however I believed he was going to be commerce bait at this season’s deadline. With 17 factors in 34 video games up to now this season, he has performed effectively sufficient to earn himself a spot on the crew subsequent season for my part. In response to LA Kings insider John Hoven, Athanasiou may be very near signing a two-year contract extension with the crew.

Execs: Athanasiou has confirmed to be a really versatile participant that may slot in on each the second and third line for the Kings. He’s one of many quickest gamers within the league and when this man catches fireplace, he’ll rating numerous targets. Because the crew continues to deliver up extra of their younger expertise, he needs to be an ideal participant to enrich the prime quality of expertise developing.

Andreas Athanasiou, Los Angeles Kings (Picture by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures),

He is an ideal participant to both play on a second line and hopefully recapture the shape that noticed him rating 30-goals two seasons in the past, or as a third-line participant that brings pace and scoring depth to a rising Kings roster. Total, as long as the contract’s common annual worth (AAV) is cheap, I feel extending him is a superb thought. Given an inexpensive contract, he may also be simple to commerce if the crew can’t discover a dwelling for him on the roster.

Cons: The cons to re-signing Athanasiou would be the identical as with most gamers on this listing — taking roster spots away from prospects. As I discussed above, he will definitely be a useful participant within the coming years for this crew and may make an impression. However, if a number of the crew’s prospects start to become full-time NHL gamers, he is perhaps blocking their pathway onto the crew. Granted, having too many good gamers is all the time a great drawback to have, however it’s, however, nonetheless an issue.

Taking his play this season and the probably low AAV to re-sign him, I imagine providing an extension to Athanasiou is a good suggestion. Remembering that, if the Kings have to commerce him sooner or later to liberate roster spots, it’ll probably be simple to search out consumers.

Blake Lizotte

Contract Extension Odds: I feel Blake Lizotte is actually a lock to be re-signed by the Kings this offseason. Regardless of the crew having one of many deepest swimming pools of middle prospects within the league, I feel he’ll nonetheless be with them come opening night time of subsequent season. Coach Todd McLellan has proven that he likes the participant and particularly likes his potential to play up and down the crew’s lineup. Contemplating he’ll probably signal to a really low cost deal, there isn’t a lot of a cause for the Kings to let him stroll.

Execs: Lizotte is a Swiss Military knife. He can play wherever within the lineup from the second to the fourth line — he kills penalties and may even do the job on the second power-play unit. He’s a superb skater who can win numerous battles within the nook regardless of his lack of measurement. His 200-foot sport and flexibility make him an important asset for this Kings crew.

Cons: The largest con to Lizotte is his potential ceiling. He’s an important bottom-six ahead, however won’t ever exceed that, he’s a participant that can probably solely publish 30 factors in his greatest season. This isn’t essentially the worst factor for the Kings, nonetheless, as a result of the crew wants gamers like him within the backside six. However, like Athanasiou, if a number of the crew’s prospects start to make a push for the NHL roster, it is perhaps tough to discover a spot for him.

Trevor Moore

Contract Extension Odds: One other participant that can virtually actually be prolonged is Trevor Moore. The Southern California-native has confirmed himself to be a really helpful participant this season, as he has moved up and down the crew’s lineup as wanted. He has appeared particularly efficient paired with Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Carl Grundstrom.

Trevor Moore Los Angeles Kings
Trevor Moore, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He has additionally added extra offense to the crew this yr than most individuals anticipated — his 18 factors in 42 video games is on no account elite, however continues to be a incredible return for somebody that was anticipated to be a fourth-line participant.

Execs: Like Lizotte, Moore is a particularly versatile participant who might be helpful up and down the lineup. He has frolicked on virtually each line and gotten time on each the facility play and penalty kill. He received’t be a participant that places up large level totals, however can actually assist spherical out the crew’s backside six.

Cons: The one con towards Moore is that he won’t ever be a large level producer for the Kings. Even when he continues bettering offensively, he’ll probably cap out at round 25-30 factors in his greatest season. Regardless of this, I feel the Kings will definitely re-sign the 26-year-old ahead.

Matt Luff

Contract Extension Odds: I feel it’s unlikely that the Kings supply Matt Luff an extension this offseason. Regardless of some very stable seasons with the Ontario Reign, he has by no means been in a position to stick on the NHL roster. There have been a number of alternatives to present him an prolonged run of video games this season, however coach McLellan and the crew by no means gave him that. To me, this means that the group doesn’t see a future for him on the NHL roster and can probably let him stroll.

Execs: The one professional I can provide you with for re-signing Luff is that he’d be a stable man to usher in if the crew runs into an harm disaster and he’ll assist the AHL roster. He’s good on the forecheck and has a superb launch, however that alone most likely isn’t sufficient.

Cons: I’ve by no means been impressed by him on the NHL stage. The Kings have numerous gamers higher than him and actually don’t have any cause for the participant, outdoors of bolstering their AHL squad. With so many good prospects on this crew’s group, and extra coming to Ontario within the type of Martin Chromiak, there isn’t actually a spot for him anymore.

Christian Wolanin

Contract Extension Odds: I feel it’s unlikely that the Kings lengthen Christian Wolanin. He was delivered to the crew in change for Michael Amadio, in a transfer that was probably designed extra to open up a roster spot at ahead than the rest. I don’t assume the Kings noticed a future with Wolanin when buying and selling for him.

Execs: He might be a stable seventh defenseman for the Kings in the event that they lose anybody this offseason. He may additionally present some management down in Ontario if the Kings determine to increase him.

Cons: He’s, merely put, not that good. With prospects like Sean Durzi, Jordan Spence, and Helge Grans probably pushing for minutes quickly, I don’t see any cause to re-sign Wolanin.

Kale Clague

Contract Extension Odds: There’s a great likelihood the Kings lengthen Kale Clague this offseason. He has confirmed greater than succesful this season of taking part in at an NHL stage and continues to be rising. Whereas he is perhaps utilized in a commerce this offseason to bolster the crew’s blue line, the Kings may do so much worse than him for a third-pairing defenseman.

Execs: Clague is a really stable two-way defenseman who has confirmed that he can compete effectively on the NHL stage. He’s very adept at leaping up into the play and has an important breakout go. He has not too long ago proven in his final couple of video games a willingness and talent to throw some huge hits as effectively.

Cons: There are nonetheless some cons with extending Clague. One being, you would possibly lose him within the enlargement draft anyway — relying on how the Kings’ safety listing seems to be, he is perhaps uncovered within the enlargement draft and I feel the Seattle Kraken would possibly take the participant in that case.

Kale Clague Los Angeles Kings
Kale Clague, Los Angeles Kings (Picture by Juan Ocampo/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures)

The opposite con is that he takes up a roster spot. As I discussed when speaking about Wolanin, the Kings do have some stable prospects coming via which may want ice time quickly and he might be blocking that. I feel the Kings ought to, and sure will, lengthen him in the course of the offseason.

The Verdict

Whereas Blake and his administration crew don’t have a large headache this summer season in the case of pending free brokers, there’s nonetheless work to be achieved. The crew may safe stable depth at each ahead and protection with some sensible enterprise this summer season.

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