Sorry to interrupt your drunken two Stanley Cups in three seasons stupor but there is business to be done.
I know you want to add Mike Richards to this list and we will discuss that briefly at the end.
He who has a long stick
Willie Mitchell is coming off a $3.5M per season contract. He is 37 years old. He has miles on him but he still has a lot of value to our Kings. I have often called him the glue to our D core. Less glue today than before but his contribution to clearing the front, breakouts and the timely goals and assists are beyond reasonable dispute. Willie Mitchell has value. 2 years, $2.75M per season. Willie will be back.
Matt Greene is only 31 but I am concerned. His average contract was $3M rounded off. He has had serious injuries and he was a healthy scratch for much of the season. Yet, when we needed him the most, he came up huge.
He was every bit as good in June of 2014 as he was in June of 2012.
The question with Greener is simple and complex. Simple is if he is healthy enough to come back and he can play like we have seen, then he has a lot of value to our Kings. Complex in the sense that if he cannot and with Robyn Regehr essentially being a round peg to that round hole, then Matt Greene becomes expendable. Just writing that made me nauseous because I love Greener. But if I have to look at this logically and set aside all emotion, I don’t think Greene resigns and one of two things happen – either he retires or another team signs him.
Smilers get it all
Dwight King had a breakout regular season. 77 games, 15 goals, 15 assists, + 16. Add to that 3 goals, 11 assists and +5 in the playoffs and you have damn respectable numbers for a third line left wing.
Will Dwight King be back? No brainer. Of course. He does so many little things (winning board battles being one of them) that Sutter and Lombardi covet that I cannot imagine Kinger playing elsewhere. Besides, what would we do without that dynamic smile? King is an RFA. He made $750K last season. He is due for a raise. He is only 24 years old. I think King gets signed to a 2-3 year contract at around $1.5M per season. Dean Lombardi will want to sign him longer but I don’t see King’s agent going for it.
First, he should know his client has more value in the open market. He can easily get $2M to $2.5 per year for 3-5 years…hell, Toronto Maple Leafs would sign him to a 6 year, $30M contract but stupid shouldn’t be the standard for negotiations. And I think King will want to be a UFA by age 26 or 27 where he will maximize his next contract. If Lombardi wants to lock him up longer, he will have to increase the dollars.
Still hasn’t grown on me but, what the hell, I will write it for Surly’s sake…Gabitar?
Marian Gaborik. This one is a piece of cake. Seriously. Not crazy. 3-4 years, $5.3 to 5.8M per season. That’s it. Marian has found a home but his injury history has to be considered when evaluating his next contract and balanced with his incredible chemistry with Anze Kopitar. He wants to be here. We want him to be here. It’s a marriage that makes sense for team and player.
Richie. Rick. Mike. Fuck islands, dry or otherwise
Mike Richards. I have read and heard it all. Buyout. Trade. This. That. Before the Blackhawks series, I was asking questions. After the Blackhawks series and the Stanley Cup Final, I don’t want to see Mike go anywhere.
He must come to camp in better shape. He must have a better regular season and be more consistent. But what player at the center position can play with any line, and any linemate, make everyone around him better, play on the powerplay, kill penalties, be trusted all 200 feet, pick pockets like he does and see the ice so well. You know why Clifford started to come into his own? Partly Mike Richards. Richie is like a player-coach out there and I didn’t fully appreciate his contribution until I started keying in on him commencing in game 6 of the Chicago series and the Cup Final.
I refuse to give credibility to reports of any ongoing substance abuse issues. That was the same shit we heard coming out of Philly and, with all due respect, fuck Philadelphia. We don’t have a manic owner. We don’t let one of our stars go. I would be shocked if Dean Lombardi traded or bought out Mike Richards. First, buying him out makes zero sense. There will be 29 teams falling over themselves to pick him up. It will take the St. Louis Blues 1.5 seconds. Second, trade him and you better be ready to fill a serious hole and our serious hole is…not there. We just won the Stanley Mother Sutting Cup with this team. THIS team doesn’t need any fixing.
You still with me?
I know your attention span is not what it was before we won. I will only forgive you because neither is mine. Pretty sure the wife has called my name several times while I have been writing this and it is only a matter of time before something comes flying at my head…on that note, GO KINGS!
Categories: L.A. Kings News