It was a gut wrenching end Sunday night. not a dry eye that belonged to a King's fan that evening(Connie). I, myself, was too depress to even watch the post game show on FSWest. The only thing I could think of is all accomplishments the Kings had provided us to see. Feats like Anze Kopitar setting career highs for Goals(34), Assists(47) and points(81). Seeing Jonathan Quick set a franchise record in Wins(39). Drew Doughty having a breakout season Playing every game hard with 16 goals, 43 assists, adding up to 59 points. Wayne Simmons also had a great season as well, 16 Goals, 24 assists for a total of 40 points. Jack Johnson more than triple his assists(from 5 to 28) and points(from 11 to 36) total from last season,
They had a good series with Vancouver Canucks. Even though they lost in six games they definitely showed they can play. Both Doughty and Johnson lead the team in points(7), but all of Johnson's points are assists. Doughty, Fredrik Modin and Michal Handzus lead the team in goals with 3 each. Handzus, Kopitar and Dustin Brown all had 5 points each, while Modin and Alexander Frolov each had 4 points. Of course the negatives was the shaky defense, questionable goal tending and some bad match-ups. The other negative I must add is the fact that the only player on the Kings who had a positive plus/minus was Simmons with a 1(OUCH!).
Now that the season is over, everyone can rest up for next season.......well, not everyone. Here is a list of players from this season who's are unrestricted/restricted free agents and their salaries.
Alexander Frolov (UFA) 4.000 Mil.
Fredrik Modin (UFA) 3.500 Mil. (he was acquired at the trade deadline)
Randy Jones (UFA) 3.000 Mil.
Jeff Halpern (UFA) 2.000 Mil. (he was acquired at the trade deadline)
Sean O'Donnell (UFA) 1.250 Mil.
Raitis Ivanans (UFA) 0.600 Mil.
Brad Richardson (RFA) 0.600 Mil.
Richard Clune (RFA) 0.562 Mil.
Scott Parse (RFA) 0.550 Mil
If that isn't enough for Dean Lombardi to think about, here is a list of unrestricted/restricted free agents and their salaries at the end of next season.
Michal Handzus (UFA) 4.000 Mil.
Justin Williams (UFA) 3.500 Mil.
Eric Ersberg (UFA) 0.750 Mil.
Peter Harrold (UFA) 0.550 Mil.
Wayne Simmons (UFA) 0.525 Mil.
Jack Johnson (RFA) 1.650 Mil.
Drew Doughty (RFA) 0.875 Mil.
Jonathan Bernier (RFA) 0.765 Mil.
Oscar Moller (RFA) 0.662 Mil.
One of the rumors I've heard is DL wants to get an extension done with Doughty before the start of free agency period. besides that, the other question on my mind is who will DL keep between Ersberg and Bernier? Quick is signed through the 2012/13 season. He will receive 1.900 Mil. next season, 1.800 Mil. the following season and 1.700 in the final year of his contract. My theory is this,Ersberg is demoted to Manchester and if Quick doesn't improve next season, look for Bernier to step up and take the #1 goalie spot. If this cenario happens, look for DL to try and dump Quick on some other team looking for a backup goalie for a 2nd, or at least a 3rd round draft pick.
Before he worries about the goalie situation, he needs to start thinking about signing a couple of free agents for the next season. Top priority is getting a scorer, but DLisn't going to spend alot of money on a player unless he thinks he'll be a good fit for this team so I don't think we'll see Ilya Kovalchuck or Patrick Marleau in a King's jersey(sorry). He might sign someone like Matt Cullen, Alex Tanguay, Raffi Torres or Tomas Holmstrom. Nicklas Backstrom would definitely be a good fit for this team but he might re-sign with Washington, or command a huge salary, not to mention he's a restricted free agent. If DL does sign Kovalchuck or Marleau, say goodbye to Frolov because the rumor is he wants a multi-year deal for 5.000 Mil per year so more likely he'll go after players mentioned above.
The next Priority is getting a defense man that isn't too slow. Unfortunately, there isn't any decent defense men that might be cheap. All the good defense men are going to command a salary of 5 Mil., or more, per season. Players Like Pavel Kubina, who earn 5 Mil. this season, is looking for 6 or 5.500 Mil. per season and will probably get it. All other Defense men are either seeking the big payday or too old and slow. DL is more likely be looking for a trade for a defense man, and more likely a scorer if his plans are to re-sign players like Doughty, Johnson, Bernier and possibly Frolov.
Well that's my opinion, I would like to know what other people think of what DL would do to make the Los Angeles Kings an even better team in the future. Until then, GO KINGS, GO!!! :)