All That Has Transpired: Los Angeles Kings

We’re going to take a look at each NHL team, breaking down every new addition and subtraction, as well as promising prospects leading up to the start of the 2014-15 season. Today, we take a look at the Los Angeles Kings.

By: Gemma Fagan

LAK

Los Angeles Kings

Marian Gaborik cashed in this offseason with the Kings after scoring a league best 14 goals in the playoffs. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Marian Gaborik cashed in this offseason with the Kings after scoring a league best 14 goals in the playoffs. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Free Agents Signed:

RW Adam Cracknell

RW David van der Gulik

Free Agents Lost:

D Willie Mitchell

C Linden Vey

Promising Prospects:

LW Tanner Pearson

LW Valentin Zykov

D Derek Forbort

C Adrian Kampe

D Nick Ebert

 

While most teams spent the offseason trying to find ways to improve their current rosters, Kings GM Dean Lombardi spent his trying to keep his two time Stanley Cup winning roster intact. In the aftermath of winning their second Stanley Cup in three seasons, Lombardi had a few decisions to make on who would stay and who would go. With most of their of their key players locked in to long term deals, the Kings find themselves at the top end of the current salary cap scale, which will no doubt make things quite interesting in the coming two seasons when the likes of Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams come up for free agency.

In the offseason, the Kings moved to secure Marian Gaborik‘s services long term after an impressive showing by the Slovakian in the postseason. He proved to be the spark the Kings needed up front with the sharp shooter bagging himself 14 goals and 8 assists for his playoff campaign. If all goes to plan for Gaborik, he’ll spend the remainder of his career on the West Coast after the two parties came to terms on a seven-year contract worth $34.125 million. The reigning champions also re-signed defenseman and alternate captain Matt Greene and left winger Dwight King to 4 and 3 year extension respectfully.

However, the new contract extension came at a price though and the Kings were unable to retain the services of Willie Mitchell as the veteran defender found himself a new home with the Florida Panthers.

The Kings will head into the 2014-15 season with a team that is nearly identical to their Stanley Cup winning roster. The Kings are hoping that the scoring issues that have plagued them in previous season will be a thing of the past, especially now that Gaborik has been secured to be Kopitar’s wing man for the foreseeable future.

Their prospect pool also continues to come up with the goods, with Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson both showing positive signs when they were put on the second line with Jeff Carter during the team’s playoff run. While Pearson found the winning formula on “That 70’s line” with Carter and Toffoli, word out of Kings’ development camp was that he may not get the green light straight away from Head Coach Darryl Sutter, but there is no doubt he’ll find his way back to Carter’s wing sooner rather than later.

Drew Doughty will once again anchor the Kings defense, with Jake Muzzin and Slava Voynov rounding out the team’s top three defensemen. Jonathan Quick has been somewhat inconsistent since his surreal Cup run in 2012 but he is still better than most and with Martin Jones as his understudy, Los Angeles certainly won’t be worried about their goaltending situation anytime soon.

With all eyes once again looking towards the West Coast, the Kings’ juggernaut will continue to be a force to be reckoned with this coming season, and they are once again one of the favorites to win the coveted dance with Lord Stanley.