Milan Lucic Will Hit Free Agency, Can Talk To Other Teams Immediately

A text message this morning announces the end of Lucic's time in LA.

Optimism had already given way to resignation for a lot of Los Angeles Kings fans as the offseason dragged on, but as of today, it appears that Milan Lucic will in fact be leaving the Kings this offseason.

Pierre LeBrun broke the news this morning:

It's not necessarily bad news for LA. If Lucic's asking price was $6 million plus, re-signing him would have hamstrung the Kings' salary cap freedom even more than it had been previously. It gives LA room to pursue a free agent and allows them to hold on to their young forwards, including Tyler Toffoli, who will command a major raise after next year. Having said that, Lucic's departure leaves a major hole next to Anze Kopitar, and there are plenty of questions about where the scoring will come from next season beyond Kopitar, Toffoli, and Jeff Carter.

The Lucic news is going to get oversahdowed by expansion news and awards pretty soon, but we'll have more on both the player and the cap situation (with a $73 million cap) in the coming days. And as for his destination? We can only guess who's going to sign him for way too much money. Hopefully...