As much as the new regime will try to bring more offense and young legs to Los Angeles, the Kings still need to retain some of their precious few forwards. They marked a big name off of that list in re-signing Tanner Pearson on Tuesday.
The Kings handed Pearson a four-year, $15 million contract (which means an annual cap hit of $3.75 million per season).
At 24, Pearson is one of the brighter spots in a fairly bare cupboard of young scorers. Of course, he’s not the biggest RFA forward the Kings must deal with, as Tyler Toffoli might be quite a bit more challenging to bring to the table.
Pearson quietly enjoyed his best season at the NHL level in 2016-17, scoring 24 goals (his first 20+ goal season) and 44 points (eight more than his previous career-high from 2015-16). Some of his best work came as part of “That 70’s Line” alongside with Toffoli and Jeff Carter.
As you might expect from the Kings’ quirky Twitter feed, the deal inspired this fun little GIF:
With help from Cap Friendly, it looks like the Kings have about $10.8 million to work with during the summer as of this writing, but that’s with some significant spots to fill and Toffoli to re-sign. Still, this is a very fair price for Pearson overall.