July 10th: The deal is now official. The Kings have announced Kempe’s four-year, $5.5MM AAV contract extension.
July 8th 4:25 PM: TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the deal has a $5.5MM average annual value. The contract carries the following year-by-year structure:
- 2022-23 $5.25M
- 2023-24 $5.75M
- 2024-25 $5.5M
- 2025-26 $5.5M
The deal also carries a modified ten-team no-trade clause for the final two years of the contract. PuckPedia was on the details of the contract first.
July 8th 3:44 PM: The NHL Draft wasn’t the only business the Los Angeles Kings’ front office took care of in Montreal. According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the Kings have reached a deal with restricted free agent forward Adrian Kempe on a four-year extension. The official announcement of the deal is expected to come on Saturday. Word has not yet come in on the financial parameters of the deal outside of the term that LeBrun reported.
Kempe, 25, was set to become an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent next Wednesday. He’s coming off a breakout season, a year where the flew past his prior career highs in both goal scoring and overall point production. Kempe led the Kings with 35 goals, more than double his previous career-high of 16, a high he set all the way back in the 2017-18 season.
Kempe became one of the most frequently relied-upon wingers on Los Angeles’ roster, averaging nearly three minutes of ice time per game on the powerplay and nearly a minute and a half of ice time short-handed. His short-handed ice time ranked fourth on the Kings, and with Alex Iafallo also on the roster, the Kings have two wingers who bring speed, (varying degrees of) goal-scoring, and reliable two-way play to their lineup.
The Kings have already been active in improving their team this offseason, adding a dynamic, point-per-game winger to their top-six in Kevin Fiala. After an encouraging run to the playoffs in coach Todd McLellan’s third season in Los Angeles, it’s clear that the Kings’ front office wants to move their organization out of their rebuild and into the next phase of their competitive cycle. Getting Kempe back on a deal that buys two of his unrestricted free agent years, as they’ve reportedly done, is one important step in that process.