Kings GM Rob Blake held court with reporters earlier this week (video link) in advance of training camp and shared some insight on his plans for the upcoming season and some of his younger players. Here are some of the highlights.
- The team is open to doing like Ottawa did recently to leverage their cap space into adding another asset and Blake mentioned that they have had some discussions with teams on that front. Los Angeles currently has more than $12MM in cap room, per CapFriendly, giving them ample space on that front to bring a player or two in. Having said that, Blake stated that he doesn’t expect any other roster additions at this time.
- There have been no discussions yet regarding a contract extension for winger Alex Iafallo. The 27-year-old is in the final year of his deal that carries a $2.425MM AAV and he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer. Iafallo has improved his offensive production each season and finished second in team scoring in 2019-20 with 17 goals and 26 assists in 70 games. Even with the financial situation as a result of the pandemic, he should still be in line for a raise on his next deal.
- While there is some uncertainty surrounding what can happen in terms of assigning youngsters like Quinton Byfield and Arthur Kaliyev, Blake believes that at the very least they can carry them with the NHL club until the OHL season gets underway. The GM allowed for the possibility for the youngsters to see a handful of NHL games although they are wary of the pro-rated limit on the number of games played before the first year of an entry-level deal is burned. Normally, it’s nine games but this year, it’s six. It’s possible that the prospects (who are currently at the World Juniors) could start with their taxi squad.
- Prospects Cale Hults and Johan Sodergran were left off of their training camp roster due to injuries. Hults, who opted to forego his senior year at Penn State back in April, is recovering from hip surgery while Sodergran suffered a back injury while on loan to Almtuna of the Allsvenskan in Sweden.
- Separate from Blake’s presser, Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times relays (Twitter link) that Adrian Kempe is expected to remain on the wing to start the season. A natural center, the 24-year-old has struggled considerably at the faceoff dot in his four-year career but finished last season strong after being deployed on the left side.