24 hours after re-signing Keaton Ellerby for just over $700,000, the Kings have picked up another defenseman for an almost identical deal. This time, it's free agent defenseman Jeff Schultz. Schultz played in Washington last year, but he was bought out by the team at year's end. Schultz made $3 million last year; he'll make $700,000 this year.
We're going to need some time to figure out what we're getting here. Start with this: he's 27 years old, 6'6", and shoots left. Also, Schultz is a cautionary tale about trusting +/- too much. He was a +50 (!) in 2009-10, which earned him his big extension from Washington. Now, he's going to struggle to crack the Kings' lineup.
If you assume Robyn Regehr has solidified a lineup spot (and he has), you're left with Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, Ellerby, Schultz, and potentially Willie Mitchell fighting for playing time on the left side opposite Doughty, Voynov, and Greene. Who are the odd men out? And is Dean going to move a defenseman now?
In the other biggish Kings news, Brad Richardson is off to the Vancouver Canucks. Two years, $1.15 million per. Richardson was in and out of the lineup in his entire time with Los Angeles, but with a logjam on the fourth line, he was deemed expendable. Richardson had 60 points in 224 career games for Los Angeles.