Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/17/14 at 09:19 AM ET
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
If Lombardi sticks to his track record, he will try his hardest to keep Richards and make the other pieces fit. Other less sentimental general managers would likely take the easier, colder route and give him a compliance buyout.
But Lombardi has always done things in his own way, and because of that, Richards — who has won at every level — might not get bought out.
It will be much more difficult to fit in Greene and/or Mitchell, even with the salary cap increasing next season. Greene turned down a contract offer during the regular season. Mitchell turned 37 on April 23, and is believed to be looking for a two-year deal. He might explore options elsewhere if the Kings can only offer one year.
Gaborik looms as the No. 1 off-season priority. Acquired at the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets, he was a great fit. His reputation was greatly enhanced in Los Angeles after a mediocre run in Columbus. He scored a league-high 14 playoff goals.
But there’s no way the Kings can afford his current $7.5-million salary and make all the other numbers work.
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