The Kings knocked out the first of what will likely amount to five restricted free agent deals by signing Jake Muzzin earlier today. Kyle Clifford, Alec Martinez, Trevor Lewis, and Jordan Nolan remain unsigned. The latter three filed for arbitration on Wednesday. While arbitration can be tumultuous for some (see: Michael Cammalleri), Jake Muzzin proves that filing for arbitration ultimately means very little. Usually it just means that the player has no issue staying with his team. While Dean Lombardi has a pretty short history with arbitration as general manager of the Kings, one doesn't expect many hiccups with the last three arbitration-eligible free agents.
- In addition to signing Muzzin, the Kings signed forwards Maxim Kitsyn and Brian O'Neill. Kitsyn signed a three year entry level contract, while O'Neill re-signed for just one season. O'Neill spent last season with Manchester, where he accrued 3 goals and 12 assists in 49 games. Kitsyn has yet to play professional hockey in North America and he spent last season in Russia. Russia guru Dmitry Chesnokov reported that Kitsyn would like to play in LA. Here's Kitsyn's review by Hockey's Future.
- Jon Rosen has interviews from the prospect camp with Derek Forbort and Valentin Zykov.
- While it seemed like a longshot to begin with, Dustin Penner is likely taking his talents elsewhere next season. We touched on the unlikelihood of him coming back yesterday (and John Hoven did before us). Penner remains a competent possession player that is likely to outperform his point totals as a King.
- Dean Lombardi spoke with John Hoven yesterday about having too many defenseman. I think the most interesting takeaway from that is the following quote from Dean: "Let’s see if Schultz can get back on that plus-50 season, make Keaton better, get Marty back on track and Muzz, just keep getting better. So, we have multiple options there depending on how they grasp ‘I gotta get better.’" Interesting to see him reference +/- for one. However, far more intriguing to me is the little bit about Alec Martinez. Maybe not all hope is lost for him as a King? The link also contains an update/non-update on Willie Mitchell.
Around the League
- The Edmonton Oilers added to an already talented forward pool by acquiring David Perron yesterday. Edmonton sent Magnus Paajarvi and a second round pick to St. Louis in exchange for Perron. You should remember Perron for repeatedly running into Jonathan Quick in the first round of this season's playoffs. Also for being a generally solid hockey player. We get to see him more this year. Fun, yeah? [via Copper & Blue]
- Mike Gillis, GM of the Vancouver Canucks, has every intention of meeting with Roberto Luongo at some point. No, really you guys. He totally is going to hash things out with his star goalie at some point. He pinky swore. [via NHL.com]
- Matt Duchene appears close to an extension with the Avalanche. Alternatively, he's about to be traded. Who knows!? #daterjinx [via Adrian Dater]
- Here's some fallout from the Kovalchuk retirement. [In Lou We Trust] [Player Quotes via Fire & Ice]
That's about it. Not too much going on around the hockey world right now. However, several solid players remain in free agency and that should provide something to pay attention to for the next two months. Wait, two whole months? UNTIL PRE-SEASON?