Youth is wasted on the young. Willie Mitchell has been the glue to the L.A. Kings defense since he arrived here in 2010. Back in 2010, he was on our radar – “our” being Surly and I. I wrote an article about whether we should sign him and believed then we should. It is funny reading some of the comments to that article. Check it out. Surly wanted him like he wanted a three-some with…actually, he asked me not to tell that story so I digress. Here is Surly’s article on Willie Mitchell that followed mine, also in August of 2010. This is after we signed him.
We were both excited to have him.
And it’s been exciting to have him.
And it sucks to lose him.
But that is what happens with championship teams that have veterans. Willie didn’t play his entire or even most of his career here but he did make his biggest mark with our Los Angeles Kings. For that, he will always be remembered as the man with the long stick, big heart and who was masterful at clearing the crease, breaking out with the puck and chipping in few but big goals at big times from the point.
My educated guess is that Willie knows his next contract is his last contract and he wants to be paid well for at least 3 seasons to carry him to 40. Will a team? I think so. At 37 and two Stanley Cups, he has value. I just hope it isn’t to a direct competitor. Hopefully the Oilers pay him $11 million over 3 years.
Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll are both 32 and coming up fast on expiring contracts. Will they resign? Can we resign them and pay them market value? Will a home town discount be needed? Will Dean make a move at the draft and trade one in a package to move way up? When youth become veterans and the salary cap pinches at each end of the team you can put together, something has to give.
In 2013, that was Rob Scuderi.
In 2014, it is Willie Mitchell.
Categories: L.A. Kings News