Some progress appears to be getting made when it comes to contract talks between the Kings and RFA center Adrian Kempe. GM Rob Blake told reporters last week (including Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider) that things are getting close while Lisa Dillman of The Athletic adds (Twitter link) that it will wind up being a short-term bridge deal. The 22-year-old saw his output dip last season from 16 goals and 37 points to just 12 and 26 respectively so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Los Angeles isn’t ready to commit a long-term contract to him just yet. While he’s currently unsigned, there will be at least one Kempe in training camp for the Kings after they signed his brother Adrian Kempe early in free agency this summer.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- Capitals GM Brian MacLellan stated last week that they’ll likely have to make a trade for salary cap reasons. With that in mind, J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington examined some of the potential cost casualties. Considering they’re firmly in win-now mode, it’s unlikely that they’ll part with a core player which limits their options. He lists defenseman Christian Djoos, center Chandler Stephenson, and center Travis Boyd as potential trade options though the latter makes just over the league minimum so the savings from moving him could be limited. They’ll have to trim more than $1MM off their payroll and with so few options to deal from, it may take multiple moves to get there.
- While the CBA between the NHL and NHLPA is attracting the headlines at the moment with the league opting to not opt out and the players having until the middle of the month to decide, there’s another contract that’s being worked on. Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber reports (Twitter link) that the deal between the league and the NHL Officials’ Association expired on Saturday without a new agreement in place. However, the hope is that a new deal will be agreed on by the start of the season. The officials will be reporting to their own training camp this weekend.