June 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A general view of the Los Angeles Kings logo projected to the ice before game six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils at the Staples Center. The Kings won 6-1 to win the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
It has not been a week since the Kings’ season was ended by the Blackhawks, and things have already swung into offseason mode. It is a dull time of year for fans, and once the first few days of the Free Agency pass and the NHL Draft comes and goes things will drag on even more.
On the other side of the coin, the front offices of all 30 NHL teams are busier then ever during this time of year. They are continuously go through trade rumors and possibilities, trying to resign players while fending off other suitors all while trying to figure out who they want to Draft and invest in for their future.
Below is some of what should be on the Kings’ to do list over the next few summer months.
– First and foremost, sign Slava Voynov. This task should be pretty obvious, Voynov had a break out season this year and will get some more money for that for sure. What exactly he gets in terms of length and cash we will have to wait and see.
– Get into the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. The Kings currently have zero picks in the first round of the draft. They lost their only pick of the round in the Jeff Carter trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets. They need to free up some space, and have two picks in the second round, a package trade could be an option.
– Speaking of trades, this should be the last few weeks that back up goalie, Jonathan Bernier, will be a part of the Kings organization. There have been plenty of reports from numerous people close to the Kings saying that Bernier will likely be moved close to the Draft. Will Bernier bring the Kings a pick? Possibly.
– One of the biggest hurdles the Kings will face this offseason is money. They don’t have much money left under the cap and have quite a few players to try and bring back. Dean Lombardi is going to have to be selective with the players he gets back, and he will have to try and get some for a bargain.
– Dustin Brown is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. It has been said that Brown and the Kings will work on a contract extension sooner rather than later, and should be done in the next couple of months.
– The Kings need to decide who will be the odd man out this summer. There are a lot of guys who need new contracts and only so much money. Put that on top of prospects ready to blossom and there will have to be some departures this summer.
– Above all else, the Kings need to get healthy. The roster got pretty banged up during this year’s post season, with significant injuries to Jarrett Stoll, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Robyn Regehr, now is this time to recharge the batteries and get ready for a full 82-game schedule.
Of course some of these tasks are more important then others and the order they get done can varty dramatically, but one thing is certain these things need to get done.