Going into this offseason, the LA Kings have a boatload of salary-cap space available but need to be careful how they use it. Here’s how it can be done.
The LA Kings have needs. With just over $20 million in salary-cap space available and no major free agents of their own to sign, they have the wherewithal to address those needs. They must, however, be careful on how they go about utilizing that cap space,
The LA Kings’ major needs have been scoring, in particular from the left-wing and the left side of their defense. The best forwards available in unrestricted free agency available this offseason, particularly at left wing, are Alex Ovechkin, Gabriel Landeskog, Tayor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Brandon Saad, Zack Hyman, Mike Hoffman, and Blake Coleman.
Ovechkin, Landeskog, and Hall will most likely re-sign with their current teams, and to a lesser extent, so will Hyman and Saad. This really leaves Nugent-Hopkins, Hoffman, and Coleman left as targets that shouldn’t require a drastic overpay to sign.
Speaking of signing needs, the LA Kings do have some RFA’s of their own that need new contracts. Andreas Athanasiou, Trevor Moore, Blake Lizotte, Lias Andersson, Kale Clague, and Jacob Moverare will be re-signed by the Kings even with Moverare not figuring to play in Los Angeles next season.
I expect Athanasiou’s new contract to carry a $2.25 million AAV, with Moore coming in around $1.25 million AAV and Andersson, Clague, and Lizotte coming in at around $1 million AAV. Moverare’s AAV won’t count against the cap if he ends up in Ontario as expected. The combined total of the RFA re-signings will cost around $6.5 million AAV but keep in mind the Kings will lose a player to the Seattle expansion draft, and along with it, that player’s cap hit.
We don’t know yet who Seattle will pluck off of the LA Kings roster, but we don’t expect it to be anyone with a sizable cap hit like Brown or Quick, for example. For argument’s sake, let’s say they take someone with a $1 million AAV, bringing the combined total of in-house re-signing cap hit at $5,5 million AAV.
With all of that said, with the roster constructed the way it currently is, the Kings will have about $15 million to spend this off-season. Let’s take a look at how they can get the maximum “bang for their buck” this summer.