So much for no news… The Kings have signed defenseman Willie Mitchell, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks this afternoon. Unlike the Kovalchuk saga, this contract is unlikely to be rejected, seeing as it is for two-years at $3.5 million per year. Mitchell is not an offensive defenseman, but that’s just as well, since the Kings don’t have any real need for an offensive, puck-moving defenseman.
The guy is 33 years old, so he’s not precisely a spring chicken, but should have a good two years left in him, assuming we dodge the infamous Kings injury troubles. Mitchell suffered from a concussion last season, and post-concussion symptoms knocked him out for the season.
In general it seems like a good move. If Mitchell is healthy, he could be a top-pairing shut down defenseman, something that would be even more important during the playoffs, if we make them this season (and we better). At $3.5 million, Mitchell is a reasonable gamble. He’s more expensive than O’Donnell, but substantially more talented. In general I think it’s a strong move, and if the Kings are able to secure a scoring winger, this could be a very good season.