Kings Links: Jordan Nolan Returns
The Kings signed the gritty pugilist to a two year contract worth a total of 1.4m dollars.
Jordan Nolan re-signed with the Kings a few days ago. The 24 year-old forward earned himself a 2 year deal worth a total of 1.4m. Not bad for a kid with 10 points in 70 career games. Nolan established himself early after being called up late in the 2011/12 campaign. He joined Dwight King on a line with Mike Richards to attempt to provide a different look for a stagnant Kings offense and neither has really looked back since (though perhaps both should have). While Nolan sees limited ice time and was probably the worst forward on the team last season, he has shown flashes of intelligence and skill (especially relative to his role) at times during his brief tenure with the team. He is no lock for the opening night lineup, but one expects him to draw a fairly regular shift barring a significant change in roster makeup in the coming weeks.
With Nolan re-signed, the only two restricted free agents from last year's NHL team that have yet to sign are Trevor Lewis and Kyle Clifford. Trevor Lewis did elect to file for arbitration. While there is no scheduled hearing publicly listed for Lewis, all arbitration cases will be settled over the next two weeks. Hearings run from July 22nd to August 6th.
Los Angeles Kings
THN did a brief interview with Drew Doughty at Wayne Simmonds' charity ball hockey tournament. He looks forward to shattering the hopes and dreams of the east's elite and it should be fun for us to watch as well. The other good news for Kings fans is that we will have even more to whine about when eastern based members of the media talk about Drew's poor performance while looking only at his point totals. They'll ignore the fact that he draws the toughest competition in the league and the fact that he plays with an anvil in Robyn Regehr. Count on it. If Drew notches a sub .5 PPG rate, we will hear about it and it will be really dumb.
In a two-pronged announcement, the NHL agreed to send its players to Sochi for the Olympics and released the schedule for the 2013/14 season. Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty are all basically locks for their national teams. Slava Voynov, Mike Richards, and Jeff Carter will all receive heavy consideration as well. Congrats to the never properly appreciated Anze Kopitar on getting to play for his country on the big stage. (I know you're wondering, and no, Jordan Nolan will not crack Team Canada. Sorry.)
I saw other team blogs breaking down the schedule for their readers, so I thought that I'd do the same. Here it goes: The Kings win every game or we whine a whole lot when they don't. We get really loud and obnoxious and annoying and the four or five level headed fans remaining either remain so level headed that they go unnoticed or bash their head into a wall after realizing that no one is paying attention to their cries that the world isn't ending just because the Kings lost to Edmonton and Colorado. I think that about sums up the 2013/14 Kings schedule. Go Kings Go! [2013/14 Schedule]
A pair of former Kings prospects earned NHL contracts in recent days. Defenseman Denis Grebeshkov returned to the Edmonton Oilers after a three-year stint in the KHL. He rejoins the team that gave him his first and only real chance at NHL success. Grebeshkov was a first round pick of the Kings in 2002; he played 12 games with the Kings between stints in Manchester. Elsewhere, goaltender Christopher Gibson signed a three-year entry level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Gibson was a second round pick in 2011. He had a stellar draft year, but he struggled after the Kings selected him. They never offered him a contract and the Maple Leafs jumped all over him after he became an unrestricted free agent. Most importantly, Christopher Gibson is a Finnish name, apparently.
Lastly, here's a little article on the construction of the current Kings' roster. It somewhat ironically links to Surly & Scribe, who are not 100% fond of the analysis the article describes. More importantly, it's a good description of the current state of analysis across the league. Here's a hint: the good teams can be linked – either through actual roster construction or public statement – to "advanced" stats. Stats are certainly not the only thing, as Adam Gretz explains, but they're a big chunk of the puzzle. The teams that jumped on them in the past few years – before everyone begins to look for the next market inefficiency -- will probably be the teams that reliably contend for a Stanley Cup over the course of the next decade.
Around the league
In the most important transaction of the decade so far, the Coyotes signed Brandon Yip to a one year, two-way contract. The move itself would be minor if not for the fact that it is the first time that the Coyotes publicly acknowledge the sound that a coyote actually makes. [Five For
Transaction roundup: Dater didn't jinx the Matt Duchene extension, Chris Stewart re-signs with the Blues for two more years [of embarrassing himself against the Kings] and the Flyers retain Sean Couturier for the next two seasons.
Fear The Fin has a writeup on Joe Pavelski's imminent contract extension. The Dustin Brown contract will likely wind up being a comparable for Pavelski. Expect the Sharks to work hard to retain Pavelski, as several of their high end players head to free agency in a year. San Jose hopes that Pavelski can serve as the stick that props their window open.
Pension Plan Puppets does a take down of the interview that Leafs' assistant coach Greg Cronin did with Alex Brownscombe of Maple Leafs Hot Stove. Remember all that stuff I just said about "advanced" stats being a big piece of the puzzle? Dave Nonis sure doesn't.