From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.
40-27-15, 95 points. Third in the Pacific Division, eighth in the Western Conference.
Defeated Vancouver (4-1) in the conference quarterfinals, St. Louis (4-0) in the semis, Phoenix (4-1) in the finals and New Jersey (4-2) in the Stanley Cup finals.
Scott Parse (UFA, still unsigned)
First round, 30th overall — LW Tanner Pearson (OHL Barrie)
While it might not seem like L.A. did much this offseason, GM Dean Lombardi made a plethora of moves to retain last year’s Cup-winning team — including a major one for Jonathan Quick.
The Conn Smythe winner received a 10-year, $58 million extension in late June, putting the Kings in the unique position of having four players under contract through 2019 (Quick, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty.)
Lombardi didn’t stop spending with Quick. He was aggressive in retaining all of his key unrestricted and restricted free agents, inking deals with Dustin Penner (one year, $3.25 million), Dwight King (two years, $1.5 million), Jarret Stoll (three years, $9.3 million) and Colin Fraser (two years, $1.65 million).
As such, the Kings will head into 2012-13 with a near-identical squad. The most notable change came behind the bench, where ex-Blues head coach Davis Payne was named as Darryl Sutter’s assistant, replacing Jamie Kompon (who signed on in Chicago.)
The Quick signing was soon followed by reports that backup goalie Jonathan Bernier — the 11th overall pick in 2006 — expected to be shipped out of Los Angeles. The highly-touted ‘tender has high pedigree (Bernier was named the AHL’s top goalie in 2009-10) and could net Lombardi a nice asset in a trade, which has to be tantalizing given the Kings have nearly $8 million in available cap space.
Other than Bernier, the Kings’ focus will be on trying to successfully defend the Stanley Cup for the first time since Detroit won back-to-backs in 1997-98. Rarely do teams return almost their entire Cup-winning rosters — consider the last three:
— Boston lost Tomas Kaberle, Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi.
— Chicago lost Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg and Antti Niemi.
— Pittsburgh lost Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi, Miroslav Satan and Petr Sykora.
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