Depth Players Los Angeles Kings Should Chase in Free Agency
The Los Angeles Kings don't have any major needs to address, having won two Stanley Cups in the past three years.
Depending on what happens with their free agents—Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene and restricted free agent Dwight King—the Kings may need to add some role players this summer.
The Kings should consider veteran players who would come at a low cost on one- or two-year contracts. Also, players who would fit into the Kings' possession-based, defensive style.
These are a few of the depth players the Kings should target in free agency.
Looking for a veteran shutdown defender for the third pairing? Ron Hainsey could fit well in L.A. if Greene or Mitchell don't return.
The 33-year-old spent 2013-14 with the Carolina Hurricanes on a one-year, $2 million contract. He won't garner any more than that in this offseason.
Hainsey racked up four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 82 games in Carolina. Not bad considering he hadn't scored a goal in his two previous seasons with the Winnipeg Jets. He may not offer a lot offensively, but Hainsey is dependable on the back end.
He's rarely missed time due to injury in the past seven years and isn't afraid of physical play. He recorded 96 hits last season.
It never hurts to add someone with good leadership qualities both on and off the ice.
If the price is right, why not try to bring back Dustin Penner?
The veteran forward has plenty of playoff experience, including the 2012 Stanley Cup run with L.A. where he notched 11 points in 20 games. Penner signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Anaheim Ducks last season—the team he won his first Cup with in 2006-07—but was traded to Washington at the deadline.
At age 31, Penner doesn't offer the same speed and offensive output he did a few years ago. However, he could be a factor on the third and fourth lines, adding more muscle and grit to an already tough bottom six.
Most importantly, Penner understands Darryl Sutter's system and would instantly fit back into a lineup filled with players he's suited up with before.
The winger notched 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points in 71 games. That's a good return for a veteran forward on a one-year contract worth $1.5 million.
If Morrow wants to go to another Cup contender, perhaps he will take a lower figure—say $1 million—which would be ideal for L.A., should they require a forward.
Morrow would add some grit and strong defensive abilities to the Kings' bottom six. And, he would be a great fit alongside a two-way center like Jarret Stoll.
Stephane Robidas is coming off a four-year, $13.2 million contract that carried a $3.3 million cap hit. However, given his recent injuries, he may be available for a reduced cost this summer.
The 37-year-old defenseman has good positioning in the defensive zone, great hockey sense and can still start the breakout with ease. He is still capable of playing more than 20 minutes per game, although the Kings likely wouldn't need to put that much pressure on him.
Robidas would be a great addition to the second or third pairing, perhaps alongside Slava Voynov. And, considering he hasn't won a Stanley Cup, the Kings should be a team he'd be willing to take a pay cut for.
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