With today the last day of the Kings Development Camp, with arbitration hearings approaching, and with Drew Doughty’s contract still looming large in the minds of Kings fans everywhere, this seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the summer moves, and explore where the Kings sit moving forward. So with that, let’s take a look at July “Kings Thoughts,” and what we have to look forward to in the coming weeks and months.
- Today is the last day to see the Kings prospects lace them up during the Development Camp. Unfortunately “life” gets in the way, and I haven’t been able to observe personally. That said, by most accounts the camp has been pretty successful. I wouldn’t be shocked if at least one player get snapped up on a contract. If I were to guess, at this point based on reports I’ve read, I’d say possibly Rob Mignardi?
- Drew Doughty needs to sign a contract. I realize reports are that he wants to be the highest paid Kings on the roster. My initial thought is that maybe Doughty would be amiable to a longer-term contract than Kopitar that may pay him more, but keep the cap hit reasonable. I find it somewhat hard to believe that Doughty’s goal is to make so much money that he handcuffs the very team he’s stuck on for the longer term.
- Brad Richardson’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for July 21st. He made a mere $900,000 last season, and in my estimation is due for a raise. The raise may not be substantial, but I can see him easily netting somewhere around $1.5million annually. It’s not a great deal for the Kings, since one of his assets is his affordable contract, but it’s certainly something the Kings can work around, at least until one of the other youngsters can grow into his spot.
- My thoughts for the summer continue to drift to some of our key players, wondering if they’re doing everything possible to come to camp in top shape. Kopitar, Brown, Richards, Gagne, Doughty, Williams and the rest need to be putting in the work, and until camp starts, it is impossible to tell how far along they’re going to be. I remain cautiously optimistic about the Kings chances this season, but coming to camp in good shape is critical to those chances.