24-year-old Keaton Ellerby played in 38 games in 2013, but he won’t be back with the Los Angeles Kings next season. The team has decided against sending a qualifying offer to Ellerby, Stefan Legein, or David Kolomatis, according to Los Angeles Times writer Lisa Dillman.
Ellerby started last season with the Florida Panthers, but they sent him to the Kings in early February in exchange for a fifth round draft pick. At the time, the Kings were without blueliners Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene.
Mitchell never ended up returning and his availability for 2013-14 is still unknown, but Ellerby still fell in the depth charts to the point where he participated in just five of the Kings’ 18 postseason games.
Although Ellerby is now eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, blueliners Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin are restricted free agents. Meanwhile, defenseman Rob Scuderi, 34, will be able to test the UFA waters on July 5, but the Kings have been trying to re-sign him, according to LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen.
Passing on Ellerby would free up a spot for Scuderi. As it is, the Kings have five defenseman inked to one-way deals.
Forward Legein and defenseman Kolomatis are both 24 years old and weren’t able to make their respective NHL debuts with the Kings.