A half hour ago, I would have told you that the Los Angeles Kings were done signing free agents. I was wrong. Because after making four thrifty signings, Dean Lombardi one-upped himself to grab former King Teddy Purcell as the fifth (and probably last) piece of LA's July 1 haul.
LA Kings have signed forward Teddy Purcell— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2016
Teddy Purcell played 91 games for the Kings at the end of the last decade before he was traded for veteran Jeff Halpern. So what was Purcell doing while he was gone? Well, he scored an impressive 203 points in 310 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but like everyone else associated with Edmonton lately, a move to the Oilers spelled trouble. He dipped below 0.5 points per game up north despite skating with Taylor Hall, Leon Draisaitl, Nail Yakupov, and other members of Edmonton's young forward group. (Sadly, he only got 13 total minutes with Connor McDavid.)
A move to Florida offered hope, though, and he capitalized with 11 points in 15 games down the stretch and a couple of goals in an otherwise lackluster first round. Clearly, the 30-year-old Purcell has something left in the tank. Over the last three seasons, though, his 5v5 scoring rate (1.41 points per 60) is even with Andrew Shaw, just behind new Sharks signee Mikkel Boedker, and just ahead of Dwight King. His possession numbers are strong enough that said scoring rate might be acceptable, but we'd probably like to see him improve on that rate. For the record, that rate would have been seventh on last year's Kings.
Purcell (kings) is a handy middle six forward. pic.twitter.com/ncT66Pv5wc— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 1, 2016
The impact of the first four players in this class is questionable at this point; right now we can't even guarantee that one of them will be in the Opening Night lineup. Teddy Purcell, however, should have an immediate place in LA's top nine and could potentially make up for a good portion of Milan Lucic's lost production. Lucic, Tyler Toffoli, Dustin Brown, Tanner Pearson, and Marian Gaborik combined for 199 points last season. If Purcell, Toffoli, Brown, Pearson, and Gaborik can break 200 points, LA's offense should be just fine.
(Also, thanks to Micah Blake McCurdy for the chart goodness today. See his work at hockeyviz.com.)