After getting back to the playoffs following a disappointing 2014-15 campaign, the Kings weren’t able to go far as they fell to the eventual Stanley Cup finalist San Jose Sharks in the first round. GM Dean Lombardi will have his work cut out for him if he wants to bring everyone back for next season.
Key Restricted Free Agent: D Derek Forbort – The Kings’ first round pick in 2010 used up the last of his waiver exemption last year, a season where he was up and down between Los Angeles and AHL Ontario. He has progressed slowly in his development but should be viewed as the seventh defenceman heading into next season as things stand. He’s coming off his entry-level deal with a cap hit of $863,333 and might be wise to accept an NHL pay cut for more guaranteed money in an effort to aid his chances of making the opening night lineup.
Other NHL RFA’s: F Nic Dowd
Key Unrestricted Free Agents: W Milan Lucic was LA’s key offseason acquisition and they managed to fit him under the cap as a result of Boston picking up $2.75MM of his $6MM cap hit. That luxury won’t be there this offseason and the power forward is set to be one of the top forwards available on the market. The Kings have already expressed an interest in re-signing him but Lucic may have to take a pay cut for that to happen.
W Kris Versteeg was added at the trade deadline for added offensive depth and produced relatively well, picking up 4 goals in in 14 regular season games after being acquired. Coming off a $4.7MM salary, he will probably be too pricey for the Kings to bring back. G Jhonas Enroth did a fine job as the backup goalie but if they want to keep Lucic, he too may be too expensive to keep around even if the asking price is close to the $1.25MM he earned last year.
Cap Situation: The Kings sit less than $4MM under the cap, according to Cap Friendly though that number would increase if the cap goes up. They don’t have many holes to fill on their roster though, just a backup goalie and perhaps one more forward.