The Los Angeles Kings are working quickly to alleviate their cap troubles, as Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports that the team has activated Matt Greene from long-term injured reserve in order to buy him out when the window opens on Thursday. Greene is apparently healthy, as you cannot buy out a player who is currently injured. Greene has just one year left on his current contract worth $2.5MM, meaning the Kings will free up $1.67MM in cap space this season with this move. He’ll be on the books for $833K for the next two years.
Greene hasn’t played since mid-January, and was placed on LTIR at the end of that month after dealing with back and groin injuries for much of the season. The 34-year old defenseman missed almost all of the previous season as well after undergoing shoulder surgery, meaning his departure won’t affect the team much. What it does do, is open up some cap room for a club desperately looking for relief. After signing Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson to new contracts, the Kings have just over $5MM left if the cap stays flat this summer. Though the heavy lifting is finished in terms of restricted free agents, the Kings would like to add to their current group and try to get back into the playoffs next season. Buyouts of Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown have been discussed, but this move can be just as effective.
The Kings already have depth on defense and even if they do lose one of them to Vegas in the expansion draft should still have more than enough to head into next season. It’s up front that they need help, as the group as a whole was too slow to effectively compete in the NHL this season and had only two 20-goal scorers. With that in mind, expect more moves by the Kings in the next few weeks to give a fresh start to new coach John Stevens and his team as they try to get back to Stanley Cup relevancy.