Trouble on the Left Wing: A Look at Players the Los Angeles Kings Could Go After

Michael Stuart@HB_MikeStuartCorrespondent IJune 25, 2011

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 23:  Ryan Smyth #94 of the Los Angeles Kings in action during their game against the San Jose Sharks in game five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on April 23, 2011 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With the addition of Mike Richards, it has become abundantly clear that the Los Angeles Kings will not have to rely on Anze Kopitar nearly as much in this coming season. 

The issue of depth scoring has been given a Band-Aid as Richards will be able to put up 70 points with consistency on a Kings team that is starving for another star.

However, Richards is another center.  While the Kings were in dire need of a second top-tier center, they are now in need of some help on the left wing. 

It appears as though Ryan Smyth is going to be on his way to Edmonton within the next couple of days.  He was a 20-30 goal scorer with the physical playing style that everyone loves to watch. 

Then there is the always enigmatic Dustin Penner.  Nobody really knows what the Kings are going to do with him, as there have been rumors that they will do anything to get rid of him. 

However, Dustin could come out and have a season like he did two years ago, where he established himself as a great power forward.

Free agency looks to be where the Kings are going to address their issues as they make a push to go after the Stanley Cup this coming season. 

The rumor that Brad Richards could be on his way to Los Angeles is out there, but to be honest, I just don't see it as being realistic. 

He is going to want a lot of money, and while the Kings have the space, where's the room?  They have two great centers in Kopitar and Richards.  That is arguably the best one-two punch south of Vancouver

TAMPA, FL - MAY 19:  Andrew Ference #21 of the Boston Bruins skates against Simon Gagne #12 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 19, 2011 in Tampa,
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Other names out there include Erik Cole, Brooks Laich and Simon Gagne.  Each of them brings different attributes that make them attractive. 

In Cole, you get a hard-working guy who is able to produce.  However, the Kings have to be scared away from what they saw from him in Edmonton.  He just didn't seem to fit in with Western Conference hockey.

On the opposite side of the spectrum we have Simon Gagne.  He is often injured but full of skill.  Though his year in Tampa wasn't spectacular, we all know what he can do based on his years in Philadelphia

He would be an interesting pick up for the Kings as they could slide him in beside Richards and there would be some consistency there from their Philly days.

Then there is Brooks Laich.  He is one of the hardest-working guys who plays the game with a lot of integrity and skill. 

Laich has averaged about 20 goals over the last four years, and that kind of player will never hurt your team.  He could be a great fit in Los Angeles, but he will command a pretty penny. 

If I had to guess, I would put my money on the Kings trying to make a pitch for Gagne or Laich.  The Gagne pitch will have a lot to do with what Mike Richards tells Dean Lombardi.  Though, I believe it could be a great fit. 

Who do you think the Kings will go after?  Do you see Simon Gagne as being a good fit?