Defenseman Chris Lee tore up the KHL last season and will now get his first crack at making the NHL at the age of 36. John Hoven of Mayors Manor reports (Twitter link) that Lee will attend training camp with the Kings on a PTO deal.
Last season, Lee led all KHL blueliners in scoring with 65 points (14-51-65) in 60 games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. He followed that up with another 21 points (1-20-21) in 18 postseason contests as his team reached the Gagarin Cup Finals before being beaten by SKA Saint Petersburg.
His performance earned him a spot on Canada’s entry into the World Championships where he fared relatively well. He suited up in seven games, collecting two assists while averaging 11:02 per game although that average is skewed from some games where he was listed as the seventh defenseman.
Lee will look to crack a Los Angeles blueline that hasn’t had a whole lot of turnover this offseason. Matt Greene was bought out and Brayden McNabb was lost in expansion while Christian Folin was added from Minnesota. Accordingly, Lee should have a real chance to make their roster.
[Related: Updated Kings Depth Chart]
Last month, his agent noted that he was only interested in a one-way contract if Lee was to return to North America. If he doesn’t receive one from the Kings or any other team at the end of camp, he’s expected to return overseas and likely suit up for Canada’s entry into the Olympics.
It’s disappointing when before training camp begins that your team (read LA Kings) has little chance of realistically competing for SC.
At least were in the group of the 4 teams that have won the cup since 09