The Kings had two remaining restricted free agents to deal with but that has been cut to one as they announced the re-signing of defenseman Mikey Anderson to a one-year contract. The deal is worth $1MM.
The 23-year-old has quickly become an important part of the back end for Los Angeles over the last two seasons, logging over 20 minutes a night. Last season, he played in 57 games (missing the rest of them due to an upper-body injury and a brief stint in COVID protocol), collecting eight points while taking only four minor penalties. Anderson also took a regular turn on the penalty kill and led all Kings rearguards in hits. All in all, he has quickly become an unheralded top-four defender for them.
Anderson is coming off his entry-level deal with a required qualifying offer of $874,125 and didn’t have salary arbitration rights this summer. Between that, his limited offensive production, and their salary cap situation, that would have made a multi-year agreement hard to work out. By going this route, Los Angeles gets Anderson at a bargain rate which will help from a cap-management perspective. However, Anderson will qualify for salary arbitration next summer which will help pave the way for a bigger increase at that time. He’ll be owed a $1MM qualifying offer at that time.
GM Rob Blake will now turn his focus to their other unsigned blueliner in Sean Durzi. He’s in the same situation as Anderson was as he has completed his entry-level pact but didn’t qualify for arbitration eligibility this summer. The team has a little over $1.37MM in cap space to work with to get that contract done, per CapFriendly.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report that Anderson was nearing a one-year agreement.