Kings ‘plug away’ on Rob Scuderi deal

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Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi has generated a reputation for pulling off shrewd deals – Jonathan Quick’s salary was $1.7 million last season, for example – but retaining underrated defenseman Rob Scuderi represents a significant challenge this summer.

Scuderi’s agent Steve Bartlett told ESPN on Wednesday that the Kings have “shown [a] strong interest in having him return,” something Lombardi made no qualms about to Frozen Royalty.

“We’re going to continue to plug away on [trying to sign Scuderi],” Lombardi said.

Securing the 34-year-old at the right price is the stumbling point.

“I think we all would love to have [Scuderi] back, but as we say, with the cap coming down, it’s all about making things fit,” Lombardi said. “It’s not about our desire to have the player. At least now, with [the Bernier trade] off our plate, and we know we’ve got a pretty good handle on our [salary cap] space—the other thing too, don’t forget, at least getting Frattin and Scrivens up, now we know the price. It also gives us a little more certainty on how aggressive we can be.”

“We know where we stand as far as other [roster] holes, which clearly define, in most cases, what we’re going to have left to get under the cap. So it’s probably fair to say that our first call will be back to Rob here this week.”

It’s tougher to put a price on a stay-at-home defenseman – especially a distinguished one such as Scuderi – but the Kings hope to find that sweet spot.

Judging by Dustin Brown still registering a mere $3.175 million salary cap in 2013-14, the Kings are generally pretty good at this sort of thing.