And according to LA Kings Insider’s sources, Blake is already doing the work.
[The Kings] are “actively working diligently” to ensure restricted free agents Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson are under contract with the Kings next season.
“They want to be here and we want them to be here,” said one source who noted there never has been any discussion at any point of either of those players being anywhere but Los Angeles else in 2017-18.
Toffoli and Pearson are both restricted free agents, and both at the end of their second NHL contracts.
Toffoli, 25, was the more expensive of the two, having just wrapped a two-year, $6.5 million deal with a $3.25M average annual cap hit. It’ll be interesting to see how negotiations play out.
After two terrific offensive campaigns — which included a career-high 32 goals in ’15-16 — Toffoli, like many Kings, had a difficult season in ’16-17. He missed nearly 20 games with a knee injury (he’s since had surgery to fix it) and finished with just 34 points, his lowest total since his rookie year.
Pearson, 24, went in the opposite direction. Last season was the finest of his young career, as he posted highs right across the board: Games played (80), goals (24), points (44) and time on ice per game (16:19). He was also terrific value for Los Angeles, given he played on a $1.4 million cap hit.
Given their similarity in age and experience, it’s been suggested their new deals could be reasonably close to one another both in money and term. Speaking of term, one has to think Blake will try to lock up Toffoli and Pearson for the long haul, as they represent two of the club’s young building blocks moving forward.
But Blake will have to do it under a tight cap situation. He also needs to get three more RFAs signed — Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff, Kevin Gravel — figure out what to do with trade deadline pickup Jarome Iginla, and find a backup for Jonathan Quick (if it isn’t AHLer Jack Campbell).