While We’re Waiting… A Look at Next Season
With the cap coming down next year, the Kings have some decisions to make:
Right now they’re on the hook for 50 million
Kopitar, Richards, Williams, Carter, Stoll, Brown, Toffoli, Fraser, King
RFA’S: Clifford, Lewis, Nolan
UFA’S: Richardson Penner
Unlikely Penner returns. It will be the make or break season for Clifford who will likely inherit his role playing with Carter and Richards with Toffoli slotted into the 4th line role
Unlikely Richardson returns as well, which means someone from Manchester should be promoted. Linden Vey who has paid his dues?
How much does Clifford think he’s worth. Lewis is going to want much more than the 725 he’s making this season
Doughty, Greene and Mitchell (that’s it!)
RFA’S: Voynov, Martinez, Ellerby, Muzzin
UFA’S: Scuderi, Regehr
The Kings can’t afford Scuderi AND Regehr because Voynov is gonna want a fortune. This means going into next season, the Kings defense will be VERY depleted and unless a cheap veteran comes back in a Bernier deal, the Kings could be looking at a holdout (Voynov) and three inexperienced D-men in the lineup next season. If Scuderi AND Regehr depart, the Kings are in some deep shit.
We all know Bernier is toast, but are there really that many teams looking for a #1 goaltender? Calgary? Edmonton? ANYONE in the East?
The other thing Lombardi is going to want to do is PAY his captain on an extension going forward.
Lombardi always talks about a “culture” about how “these guys have to grow together”. Let me tell you something. I don’t give a shit how much time Linden Vey, Brandon Kozun and Tyler Toffoli have “grown” together, they are NOT the future of this franchise.
So what does Lombardi do?
He’s going to have to trade Bernier for some pretty damn good top prospects that are going to come in NEXT year.
I’m gonna enjoy this ride until its over because as soon as the draft day hits, the Kings will have to be wheeling and dealing.