There has not been much news surrounding the Los Angeles Kings during this offseason, and when there happens to be something worth while coming out of Dean Lombardi’s office it seems to focus on a defenseman.
The big topic going into this post season was whether or not Rob Scuderi would return. That decision came and Scuderi is now back in Pittsburgh. A conclusion that seemed inevitable as the free agency got closer and closer.
Outside of Scuderi, Lombardi has resigned Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin and Keaton Ellerby to new contracts.
Along with the faces that will be returning next season Lombardi also signed veteran Jeff Schultz via the free agency.
On top of all of that there is the health of Willie Mitchell playing in on all of the blue line drama. Will he be able to return in time for next season, or will he have to be placed on the long-term injured reserve? In recent reports it has been said that it looks like Mitchell is on the right track to be ready for next season, so let’s count him in hypothetically for now.
All in all, the Kings have Voynov, Martinez, Muzzin, Ellerby, Mitchell, Schultz, Drew Doughty, Matt Grenne, and Robyn Regehr. That is nine defensemen, which even with healthy scratches, wont work on a 23 man roster. So someone is going to have to go.
This could end in several ways. Lombardi could trade away a player or he could wait and see who looks good coming out of training camp. Then place the player on waivers and try to get them to Manchester.
So who is going to be the odd man out?
(I went ahead and left out the locks for next season, like Voynov and Doughty. But hey, if you think it is one of the players left off the list please tell me why I’d love to hear it.)