Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Nick Kypreos tweet,
I’m told clubs have been notified they are out of Mitchell race. Look for LA Kings to announce Willie Mitchell soon on a multi year deal.
added 3:00pm, via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
The Kings have reached an agreement with defenseman Willie Mitchell for a two-year contract worth $3.5 million per year.
I agree with no touch icing, others make no sense, hockey has been around for a long time and its fun as hell to play exactly the way it is
-Dustin Brown of the LA Kings on some of the rules at the R & D camp, via Twitter.
Make sure to check out the LA Kings Fight Club website were you can watch classic fights like this one between Marty McSorley and Ken Baumgartner.
Kings defenseman/assistant captain Matt Greene recently underwent shoulder surgery. Expected recovery time from the surgery is approximately three months.
from Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News,
The Kings quickly found a replacement for Frolov by signing Alexei Ponikarovsky to a one-year contract.
Hopefully these two signings will put to rest those silly Internet-based rumors claiming the Rangers would trade Marian Gaborik to the Kings and then try to sign Kovalchuk.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi, meanwhile, suggested to the Times he wasn’t finished making moves.
Lombardi noted he needs to replace departed defensemen Sean O’Donnell and Randy Jones, but it appears he might look to within his organization first before considering a trade or signing.
The openings give promising young blueliner Thomas Hickey, whom the Kings selected fourth overall in the 2007 entry draft, the opportunity to crack the lineup.
more trade/signing talk…
from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum,
And so Plan C — as in “consolation” — came to pass Tuesday when the Kings signed left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky for one year at $3 million plus a $200,000 signing bonus.
This is a lateral step and not a leap forward, an emergence from limbo to grab the best second-tier player available and compensate for losing the frustrating but undeniably talented Frolov and his two 30-goal seasons….
He’s not awful. You don’t score 20 goals in the NHL by being incompetent. Inconsistent? Yes. He scored six goals in 15 games in January and only two in his final 21 games.
Soft? So his reputation says despite his 6-foot-4, 220-pound build. But Lombardi likes his size enough to have pursued him at the trade deadline — and considered Ponikarovsky the best consolation prize 27 days into a free-agent market that was thin on forwards to begin with.
“So much time and energy went into this Kovalchuk thing that you’re exposed. Because it dragged on for so long and arguably has continued to drag on, we weren’t addressing other needs. It was impossible anyway,” Lombardi said. “And then you get into the problem that we are in a free-agency mode and everything is tied to this guy that you’re clearly telling the marketplace that everybody else is second fiddle.”
via Darren Dreger tweet,
(Alex) Ponikarovski agrees to deal with the LA Kings.
added 3:02pm, Kings verify signing, but no terms yet.
Day 1 of the LA Kings Ice Crew Auditions…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Kings didn’t know the structure of the Devils’ proposal and were surprised by the spike after the second season. General Manager Dean Lombardi acknowledged that his offer, made last Thursday in his third round of talks with Kovalchuk, wasn’t in the ballpark.
He felt he couldn’t pay Kovalchuk $11.5 million in any season because that would become the starting point when he negotiates a new deal with defenseman Drew Doughty. He wouldn’t be able to afford Kovalchuk, core players and other pieces, which makes some sense.
But when will an elite free agent agree to come here for less? To come here to win, not to use the Kings as leverage to make financial history?
That’s what Kovalchuk wanted from the start: to trump countryman Alexander Ovechkin, who has a 13-year, $124-million contract with Washington. Kovalchuk will earn more than Ovechkin in six seasons, and he must love that.
Nor was the $102-million total a coincidence. Kovalchuk rejected a 12-year, $101-million offer from Atlanta before the Thrashers traded him to the Devils in February and no one thought he’d equal that. He beat it, if barely.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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