Well the title pretty much says it all doesn’t it? Reports have the Los Angeles Kings inking Corey Elkins, Marc- Andre Cliche, Rich Clune and Trevor Lewis to one year deals. It appears that all three have signed their qualifying offers, though certainly we’ll be sure to report otherwise if/when it becomes clear. As a result of the signing, all three will remain Kings property for at least one more year as they continue their quest to become solid NHL players.
Corey Elkins, 25 years old, is a center who has appeared in a scant three NHL games in his career, tallying one goal and a -2. It’s an uninspired total, but the kid hasn’t had a real opportunity to make it stick in the NHL. The next year will be important for him, though he will almost certainly start in Manchester. A strong training camp, and possibly some injuries may open the door for him to make his impact on the big club next year.
Rich Clune, 23 years old, was acquired from the Dallas Stars for disappointing Lauri Tukonen, and while he hasn’t impressed in his time here, there remains a large amount of potential for Clune. He appeared in 14 games last season, though his point totals were a modest 2 assists. Regardless of the lack of scoring, Clune did well in his appearances to provide some energy to the roster, and is a real threat to make the team out of training camp. In all likelihood he’ll be a 3rd/4th line player for good, but he’s got some skills to be sure.
Trevor Lewis, 23 years old, struggled through some injuries last season when he suffered an upper body injusy in November and missed 47 games. Selected in the 1st round of the 2006 Entry Draft, Lewis has been a study in disappointment throughout his career. He’s a strong forward, and started out with the potential that clearly management believes that he retains. Lewis returned to action last season and led the Monarchs in shots during the playoff games as Manchester made a run to the AHL Eastern Conference Finals. Lewis has scored 1 goal and 2 assists in 11 NHL games over the past two seasons, but no points at all in the five games he played last year. This next year may well be a do-or-die season for Lewis and his professional aspirations.
Marc-Andre Cliche, 23 years old, played only one game last season in the NHL against Dallas. Cliche was the centerpiece of the deal that sent Sean Avery to the New York Rangers, and his high energy-role is a potentially valuable piece for the Kings. Serving as the alternate captain for the Monarchs last season, Cliche scored 25 points in 66 games, and added two points in the 12 playoff games in which he appeared. Cliche remains a valuable asset (probably the reason the Kings retained his services), but he’s going to want to make a strong push for the NHL roster this season.