Jordan Nolan

In-demand Futa ‘will remain a Los Angeles King,’ says Lombardi


LA Kings VP of hockey ops Mike Futa, considered to be in the mix for Toronto’s vacant GM gig, isn’t going anywhere — at least according to GM Dean Lombardi.

“Mike Futa is still a Los Angeles King and will remain a Los Angeles King,” Lombardi said, per LA Kings Insider. “You don’t think the guy could jump ship now, right?”

Lombardi’s comment came while Futa prepped and continued scouting for the NHL Entry Draft, which will go later this month. Scouting is how Futa established such a strong reputation across the league — in his eight seasons with the Kings, he headed up a department responsible for drafting the likes of Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, Alec Martinez, Slava Voynov, Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. (Jake Muzzin, an undrafted free agent, also came aboard under Futa’s watch.)

As mentioned above, Futa’s been tied primarily to the vacant GM gig in Toronto. But according to TSN, teams have tried in the past to lure him out of Los Angeles — Buffalo and Calgary during their GM searches — and the Kings responded with a promotion, new contract and stipulations about what jobs he could seek out.

Which probably explains why Lombardi was so adamant Futa wasn’t going anywhere.

“There’s a big challenge ahead of us,” he explained. “I don’t think [Futa’s] had time to think about it. He’s been going a hundred miles an hour.”

Sutter wants more from the ‘guys who haven’t scored in 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 games, whatever it is’


The Los Angeles Kings have tweaked their lines ahead of tonight’s contest versus the Coyotes, with hopes of getting some goals from a few more of their forwards.

“We’ve got guys who haven’t scored in 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 games, whatever it is, and some of them have had zero scoring opportunities for the last five as individuals,” coach Darryl Sutter said, per LA Kings Insider.

Sutter didn’t name names, but winger Dustin Brown has gone without a goal in his last 11 games, while winger Dwight King has gone goalless in 13.

This morning, Brown was skating on the first line with Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar, while King was on the third line with Nick Shore and Justin Williams. The second line had Trevor Lewis, Jeff Carter, and Tyler Toffoli, with Kyle Clifford, Andy Andreoff, and Jordan Nolan comprising the fourth.

Related: Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do

Still no deal between Williams and cap-strapped Kings


Kings forward and reigning Conn Smythe winner Justin Williams said in mid-January he wanted to stop new contract talks until the offseason — but it sounds like he and the Kings didn’t leave those discussions in a very productive place.

“They have respected our position of leaving negotiations until after the season,” Williams’ agent, Thane Campbell, told ESPN this week. “That being said, they have obviously not accepted our most recent contract position.”

Williams, 33, is in the last of a four-year, $14.6 million deal with a $3.65M annual cap hit. While his points-per-game average has dipped steadily over the last five seasons, he’s still on pace for around 20 goals and 40 points and remains one of the most productive postseason players in the league, having won three Stanley Cups while racking up 78 points in 115 career playoff games.

But it sure sounds like he and Campbell aren’t ready to budge off their latest offer.

Back in January, Campbell basically said what he told ESPN this week, explaining that the plan was to hold off on negotiations… but adding that, if L.A. was to accept their demands, Williams would sign immediately.

“Our intention is to leave negotiations until after the season,” he said. “However, if they accepted our current position at any time, the deal would get done. We are not removing our last offer from the table and I believe they understand our position has little flexibility.”

The Kings and GM Dean Lombardi have been very active recently, re-signing Jordan Nolan (three years, $2.85 million) and Kyle Clifford (five years, $8 million). Lombardi also acquired Andrej Sekera from Carolina and questions have already been asked about Sekera signing an extension, not unlike what Marian Gaborik did following his trade from Columbus.

Sekera and Williams won’t be the only Kings needing a new deals this summer. Jarret Stoll will go unrestricted on July 1, and prized rookies Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will become RFAs.

Kings sign Clifford to five-year, $8 million extension


Just one day after re-upping with Jordan Nolan on a three-year deal, Los Angeles has locked in another of its resident tough guys.

Forward Kyle Clifford, who leads the team with eight fighting majors this season, has agreed to a five-year, $8 million extension,  per Sportsnet. Clifford, 24, has spent his entire professional career with the Kings after being selected 35th overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and is on his way to surpassing his career-high in points (previously 17) this season, with 10 through 57 games.

A gritty forward that was a key contributor to last year’s playoff run — Clifford had seven points in 24 games and assisted on Alec Martinez’s Cup-winning goal — Clifford was in the last of a two-year, $2.15 million deal with a $1.075M cap hit.

While Clifford won’t get much of an annual raise on this new deal — his average annual value is now $1.6 million — it does give the 24-year-old some long-term security and gives L.A. a really nice cap hit, which is important given its lack of available space moving forward.

Kings re-sign Nolan: three years, $2.85 million


The Los Angeles Kings re-upped with one of their toughest customers on Tuesday, agreeing to a three-year deal with pending RFA forward Jordan Nolan.

Nolan, 25, signed for $2.85 million, per TSN. That represents an average annual value of $950,000, a nice pay bump from the $750,000 he’s making on his current contract.

A four-year veteran, Nolan has spent his entire career in Los Angeles, helping the team capture the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. He appeared in 20 games during the ’12 run but just three last year, as his role diminished following a good regular season in which he posted career highs in goals (six) and points (10).

This season, Nolan has four goals in 36 games while averaging 9:33 TOI per night.

With this new deal, it’ll be interesting to see what L.A. does with its other resident tough guy, Kyle Clifford. A pending RFA, Clifford is playing on a one-year, $1.075M deal and has proven to be an important contributor; he’s fought a team-high eight times and is on pace (three goals, 10 points) to eclipse his career-high of 14 points, set during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign.