NHL Free Agency: Could the Chicago Blackhawks Use Any Los Angeles Kings UFAs?
Chicago Blackhawks fans watching Los Angeles celebrate its first Stanley Cup in franchise history may still have memories of the Hawks' own cup run two years ago. Could any of the Kings, with their new championship pedigrees, help Chicago get back to the top?
It seems unlikely that the Kings are going to break up their team this summer. Those of you hoping for a Jonathan Quick-Bryan Bickell deal to be completed by GM Stan Bowman probably shouldn't hold your breath.
Los Angeles does have unrestricted free agents who could be signed. Two happen to be players I wrote about back at the trade deadline when Chicago was on the coast.
I thought, at the time, that some of those Kings might be worth a look. While they may not be at the top of the free-agent market, they could have value at the right price.
Besides, this is the Kings' day in the sun. We'll have plenty of time this month to target other teams' UFAs for Bowman to kick the tires on. Let's put L.A.'s four UFAs under the microscope.
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Jarret Stoll, 29, was the Kings' checking center. He had five points in the playoffs.
This was Stoll's first season in Los Angeles in which he didn't put up double-digit goals and top the 40-point plateau. He knocked in 20 goals the season before and won 55 percent of his draws in 2011-12.
Unless Dave Bolland goes anywhere, it seems unlikely Stoll will end up in Chicago. Still, he's the type of player that would fit in well, especially with his skill at the dot.
Back in February, Dustin Penner was on the fringe of the lineup in Los Angeles. He missed 17 games this season, via scratches and both pancake and non-pancake related injuries.
As I mentioned a few months ago, Penner is a big body who can do damage in front of the net and put up some good numbers back in Edmonton. After a disappointing run in Los Angeles (seven goals, 10 assists in 65 games), he did have a solid playoff performance (three goals, eight assists).
If Penner, who turns 30 before the 2012-13 season, is commanding anywhere near this year's $4.25 million salary, the Blackhawks would do well to steer clear.
However, for under $2 million, he might not be a terrible guy to take a chance on.
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Scott Parse will likely be available next month but doesn't figure to be on many NHL radars.
The 27-year-old Parse played in just nine games for the Kings before hip surgery put him on the shelf for the season back in December.
He's not really a fit for the Blackhawks, so let's move along.
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Of all the former Blackhawks you find fans clamoring for, Colin Fraser's name isn't usually one of them. Yet, he is the one with two Stanley Cups in the last three seasons.
Fraser skated in all but two games in the postseason, missing two games when his son was hospitalized. He had a goal in Game 1 against the Devils.
Even though Chicago would have little reason to bring back Fraser, it's still all right to feel good about a former Blackhawks player reaching the pinnacle of NHL hockey. He's a good guy who went through a trade to Edmonton before being dealt to the Kings.
Once in L.A., Fraser had to get ankle surgery and started the season on injured reserve. He ended it as an integral part of the fourth line for Darryl Sutter and got another ring to boot.