Up next is the Los Angeles Kings who surprised some people (including myself) and made the playoffs last season. I thought they were two or three years out from where they were last summer, but they added Phillip Danault, Victor Arvidsson and Alex Edler before the season which accelerated the timeline a little.
GM and Coach
Rob Blake has been the GM of the Kings since April of 2017. The team made the playoffs in his first year and lost in the first round, but missed the playoffs the three years following and then lost in the first round this season to Calgary.
Todd McLellan has been the head coach with Los Angeles for three seasons after stints in San Jose and Edmonton before. His overall record with the Kings is 94 wins, 100 losses and 24 OT or shootout losses. The team has made the playoffs once and that was this year.
Currently, the Kings have just over $19.86 million of cap space available for the 2022-23 season.
Next season will be the last year of dead cap space for Dion Phaneuf ($1,062,500) but the termination penalty for Mike Richards will be $900k and continue for a total of $3.2 million split over five years after this one.
For the 2022 draft, the Kings have all of their picks except in the third round where they have Pittsburgh's and they traded away their 7th round.
In 2023 and 2024 they have all of their picks in addition to Pittsburgh's 3rd round pick in 2023 as part of the Jeff Carter trade.
Overall the team has 20 of their 21 picks over the next three drafts.
Unrestricted free agents are Andreas Athanasiou (27), Alexander Edler (36), Olli Maatta (27), Troy Stecher (28), Martin Frk (28), Austin Strand (25), Christian Wolanin (27) and Garret Sparks (28).
Injuries to Athanasiou and Edler took away from otherwise fine years for both players. Athanasiou had 11 goals and six assists in 28 games, which would have pro-rated to 32 goals over 82 games. He is still a bit of a liability defensively and injury risk, so I'm not sure the Kings will look to bring him back for the same money ($2.7 million AAV) he earned last season but perhaps half of that per year. Edler managed 41 games and put up three goals and 16 assists with 56 hits and 70 blocked shots. If he could manage 70 games with those numbers, he is still a productive player at 36 years of age. I think Edler can still squeeze out a two-year deal as a UFA at around $1.5 to 2.25 million AAV.
Maatta and Stecher are in similar situations as they are two players coming into unrestricted free agency on contracts that they won't come close to in money. Both will be a sixth or seventh defender on their new team or the Kings, so their contract should be commensurate with that role at around $1 to 1.5 million AAV.
Frk, Strand, Wolanin or Sparks could be brought back but I would