PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times believes that the Kings should either trade Slava Voynov or terminate his contract, regardless of how everything ultimately shakes out with the league and law enforcement. (Los Angeles Times)
Speaking of departing Kings, The Royal Half bids Justin Williams a fond farewell. (The Royal Half)
Paul Martin’s heartfelt goodbye letter to the Pittsburgh Penguins (and fans) is a great read. It also might leave you yelling “Spumoni!” the next time you see Martin hemmed in his own zone. (Players’ Tribune)
“Nothing changes with regard to his status vis-a-vis the NHL. No timetables for next steps,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Hammond. “I imagine we will hear from the Player’s camp and the PA when they are ready to engage.”
“We believe the legal system has effectively resolved this matter and the punishment is fair and just. Any act of domestic violence is unacceptable. As an organization, the prevention of domestic violence and the education of our players and employees is of paramount importance. We will continue to actively develop and implement a strategy to deliver this message. We remain steadfast in our support of the National Hockey League as they now begin their own investigative process. Until that is complete we will withhold further comment.”
The 25-year-old has appeared in 190 games over four seasons with the Kings scoring 18 goals and 81 points while averaging 21:15 in ice time. He played just six games during the 2014-15 season prior to his arrest.
Today’s development nullifies Voynov’s felony domestic violence trial, which was to begin next week. In October, the Kings d-man was charged after an incident as his Redondo Beach house, with prosecutors alleging Voynov choked and hit Varlamova, and pushed her into a TV.
This doesn’t figure to be the end of the Voynov saga, though, as several questions remain:
The Boston Bruins continued a shockingly busy run of trades by sending Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings for the 13th pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, prospect Colin Miller and backup goalie Martin Jones.
Lucic confirmed that he’s been traded to PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban.
With that, the Bruins have traded away Lucic, Dougie Hamilton and Carl Soderberg in what appears to be a bold rebuilding project. Strangely, they’re loading up on draft picks in the teens, as they now hold picks 13-15.
Update: The situation might be more promising for the Kings if LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen is correct about Boston retaining $2.75 million of Lucic’s salary in 2015-16:
Lucic, 27, has one year remaining on a deal that carries a $6 million cap hit. According to ESPN’s Joe McDonald, Boston retained $2.7 million of that in the transaction. Lucic can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The jokes are piling in, although some aren’t at Boston’s expense this time around:
I'm not sure I'll recognize the Bruins by tomorrow.
Check PHT every day until June 30 for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…
The 29-year-old defenseman recorded 44 points with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2013-14, but that’s the only time he’s even reached the 30-point mark. He certainly didn’t come close to repeating that level of offensive success last season.
Which isn’t to say his campaign was bad. He still logged top-four minutes and looked good from an analytics perspective. He had a 54.2% five-on-five Corsi rating compared to his teams’ 51.1% when he was off the ice, which means that in terms of puck possession, an argument could be made that 2014-15 was one of his better seasons.
He started the 2014-15 campaign with the Hurricanes, but was shipped to Los Angeles on Feb. 25 in exchange for Roland McKeown and a 2016 first round pick. He made a good first impression with the Kings and they’ve shown interest in re-signing him.
He’s likely to get a significant raise after completing his four-year, $11 million deal, but the Kings might be able to accommodate him after they added their own suspension to Slava Voynov on top of the NHL’s, giving the team more certainty that he’ll be off the books next season.
If Los Angeles can’t re-sign him though, then Colorado’s quest for a left-handed defenseman might lead to Sekera, per the Denver Post.