I’m Making the Call… Kings Will Trade Richards
Last night I wrote about the Kings salary cap troubles (below) and this morning I’ve decided the Kings just CAN’T keep Carter, Richards and Kopitar.
I know, the golden rule, “You do NOT trade warriors or franchise players.” and you’re gonna lynch me for even THINKING this (“Richards is the heart and soul”, “Richard should be the Captain!”)
The Kings have an overabundance of Centers, with more on the way (Nick Shore, Jordan Weal, Andy Andreoff and Toffoli really is a natural center) and they can’t afford them. Not if they’re going to pay Slava and keep Scuderi. Not if they want a decent backup goaltender to replace the soon to be departed Bernier.
Kopitar was absolutely instrumental in the Kings winning the cup and he also kept in check every center that was thrown at him. He’s a big body who is only going to get bigger, but at 6.8 million dollars? You CAN’T trade him, right?
Warrior that he is, Richards has simply underperformed for what the Kings are paying him. Richards isn’t going to get the 2nd pick in the draft from Florida. Richards and Bernier might.
It’s the only way the Kings are going to survive and be able to pay Brown next season.
Richards to the Flames for one of their later 1st round picks seems more likely. Lombardi and the fans will be upset, but Richards has been concussed 2 straight years, is losing his goal scoring touch (30 goals in 130 games with the Kings. 30 goals a SEASON with the Flyers) and according to those I’ve spoken to in the media, can be quite not friendly. Is he a leader? Yes. Should he replace Brown? Probably. Will Brown be trade bait with 1 year left and a 3.1 cap hit? Maybe.
You want some more toughness, go out and sign Matt Cooke or Raffi Torres and replace Richards numbers with Toffoli.
Penner will be gone which leaves an opening for LW Tanner Pearson to make the club and/or for Kyle Clifford to shit or get off the pot once and for all.
I Know EXACTLY What Dean Lombardi is Going to Do! (because my crystal and magic 8 balls told me)
Step 1) He trades Richards and Bernier to Florida for the #2 pick. Florida gets 2 affordable starters. The Kings get a hightly touted prospect
Step 2) Lombardi FLIPS that pick to the Calgary Flames for their OTHER two 1st round picks. Calgary gets the #2 and the #6 picks and instantly rebuilds.
The Kings free up much needed cap space and can then sign Dustin Brown to a contract extension as well.
Right now, Lombardi has 51.8 million committed to 8 forwards, 4 defensemen and 1 goaltender.
Lets say Voynov agrees to a middle of the road contract at 4.5 million a year for the next two years (more than Jossi, More than Subban) until the salary cap is raised.
We’re up to 56.3
Bernier might HAVE to stick around as well as the Kings could simply qualify him and his very inexpensive 1.2 million (or next season 1.5 million) salary. What back-up do YOU know is going to play for 1.5 million dollars. Not Smith. Not Nabakov (although there are connections here)
Goaltender at 1.5
We’re up to 57.8
Let’s assume that King, Nolan and Lewis are also qualified and given moderate raises. Let’s say 2.5 for all three
We’re up to 60.3
Then there’s the defense.
Safe to say that either Martinez or Ellerby are gone. Whichever one stays will be the cheaper one (goodbye Marty)
Ellerby re-ups at 700,000
We’re up to 61 million
The Kings will need to replace Penner, likely with Toffoli, but since the Kings are losing Richardson as well, lets put in Pearson at 925
We’re up to 62 million
Muzzin is gonna want a decent raise. Maybe he settles for 725,000
We’re up to 62.7 million
Scuderi isn’t going to take a salary cut. He’s gonna cost the Kings 4 million
We’re up to 66.7 million and that’s over the cap
Who knows if and When Willie Mitchell will be put in LTIL, but until that happens, his number stays on the books.
So basically, the Kings are at the cap will little, if any room to spare if 1 or two players are hurt.
Oh, and Drew Doughty’s Parents: