LA Kings: Does the LA Kings core have a championship encore?

LA Kings (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images) /
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LA Kings Gabe Vilardi
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With what many consider to be the top-rated prospect pool in the NHL, hopes are high that the LA Kings will become a championship-caliber team once again soon.

For Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter, time, unfortunately, is rapidly running out. As previously mentioned, both players contracts are expiring after next season, and with the Kings needing roster spots for up and coming prospects, it’s doubtful they will be brought back as free agents.

Neither player has no trade or no-move clauses either, so they are susceptible to either being traded or taken in the Seattle expansion draft, which will take place in the offseason. With the Kings not being expected to be a contender for a few seasons yet, it appears Brown and Carter may very well have already won their last Stanley Cup in the City of Angels.

Jonathan Quick’s chances for another Los Angeles cup are a little less clear than Brown’s, and Carter’s are. He is currently 35 years old and has two seasons remaining on his contract after this one, and like Brown and Carter, he has zero trade or movement protection. The saving grace for Quick is that as a goaltender, his roster spot is more secure.

For as vaunted as their prospect pool is, the LA Kings best goalie prospects will not be ready for at least a few years, making Quick’s spot on the roster more secure unless they decide to move him. The 2022-23 season will be the last one in his current contract, and if the prospect pool develops as hoped, there is a chance Quick could be a part of at least a playoff run in his final season.

Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty of the cornerstones of this LA Kings team and will be for some time to come. Each has several years remaining on their contracts (Kopitar has four, Doughty has seven), and each has either no trade or no move protection.

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The young talent that will be making their way to the Staples Center soon enough will need veteran leadership to help guide them to the top, and Kopitar and Doughty certainly know the way. Should everything work out as planned, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty have the best chance to represent the “old guard” in another LA Kings Stanley Cup parade.