The Los Angeles Kings have started talks with Brendan Leipsic’s representatives, according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider. The team would like to sign Leipsic if possible after he found his NHL footing in Los Angeles following a waiver claim in early December. The 25-year old forward scored 18 points in 45 games for the Kings, more tha he had for any one team previously.
Leipsic was originally selected in the third round by the Nashville Predators, but has already been involved in two trades and was picked by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. That kind of turmoil is rarely productive for an NHL career, something a new contract with Los Angeles could fix. Obviously the Kings have lots of work to do this summer in order to try and get younger and faster, but Leipsic has apparently done enough to impress the front office in his short tenure.
- Jonny Brodzinski however looks like he’ll be heading for a fresh start elsewhere. The 25-year old forward qualifies for Group VI unrestricted free agency this summer and GM Rob Blake told Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times that Brodzinski will make it to the open market. Blake did explain that he expects to sign a “majority” of the team’s restricted free agents however, which include names like Leipsic, Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe. Brodzinski ended up playing just 54 games for the Kings over the last three seasons, and wasn’t able to translate his powerful shot and minor league scoring ability into much production at the NHL level.
- Blake told Rosen that the team will have just two assistant coaches this season, including Marco Sturm who will stay on with the club. Rosen expects the other coaching hire to be Trent Yawney who worked with head coach Todd McLellan in Edmonton last season, but notes that there have been other interviews. The Kings handed McLellan a five-year, $25MM deal to turn things around in Los Angeles and will need to surround him by the best coaching staff possible if a return to the playoffs is in the cards.