Christian Ehrhoff is headed to Los Angeles.
GM Dean Lombardi confirmed to Rich Hammond of The Orange County Register that the Kings have inked the unrestricted free agent blue liner to a one-year, $1.5 million deal.
Last month Ehrhoff’s agent, Rick Curran, told PHT that his client “doesn’t mind having the flexibility of a single year commitment. He’s confident in his ability to provide a valued role to the right team. If there’s a mutual fit, an extension will likely follow.”
As a result of multiple concussions, the 33-year-old appeared in just 49 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season scoring three goals and 11 assists while averaging 21:46 in time on ice.
Ehrhoff joined the Penguins on a one-year, $4 million deal after being bought out by the Buffalo Sabres following the 2013-14 season.
For the first time since his trade to the Kings, Milan Lucic will be in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon to tour the team’s facilities and sort out living arrangements for next season.
Lucic will also have his first formal meeting with the local media.
However, he won’t be signing an extension during his visit.
The 27-year-old has one year remaining on his three-year, $18 million deal, which carries a cap hit of $6 million. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career next summer.
On Friday, Lucic took out an ad in the Boston Globe to thank the Bruins organization and the fans.
Originally a second-round pick of the Bruins (50th overall) in 2006, Lucic appeared in 556 games with Boston scoring 139 goals and 342 points to go along with 772 penalty minutes. He helped the Bruins capture the franchise’s sixth Stanley Cup in 2011.
The Pacific Division continued to get tougher on Friday in the wake of Milan Lucic’s arrival in Los Angeles.
The Anaheim Ducks signed Brian McGrattan while the Arizona Coyotes added tough guy John Scott on a one-year deal.
Scott spent the 2014-15 season with the San Jose Sharks scoring career-high three goals and four points to go along with 87 penalty minutes in 38 games. The 32-year-old has a history with Coyotes’ assistant GM Darcy Regier as the two were together in Buffalo.
According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, Scott’s deal is a one-way contract worth $575,000.
Arizona also signed Steve Downie to a one-year deal on July 1.
The Canucks added Brandon Prust in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens.
“L.A. got tougher in bringing in Lucic. Other teams got tougher,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said on Thursday when discussing the Prust acquisition. “I don’t want our younger players getting picked on this year. I want them to go out, be able to play and feel comfortable.
“With (Derek) Dorsett and Prust in the lineup, they’re going to create a safe working environment for our young players.”
Dorsett (17) and Prust (16) were second and third in fighting majors last season, according to Hockeyfights.com. Colorado’s Cody McLeod led the league with 19.
Downie was 14th in fighting majors last season with eight.
With goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh taking a job with the Philadelphia Flyers last week the L.A. Kings have hired Dusty Imoo to join Bill Ranford’s staff, according to Jon Rosen.
Imoo previously served as the Winnipeg Jets’ developmental goaltending coach.
“Dusty’s had two years of experience basically doing the same thing in Winnipeg and did a really good job with [Connor] Hellebyuck and a little bit with [Eric] Comrie. Obviously we’re looking forward to him working with our guys,” said Ranford.
The 44-year-old played 15 seasons of pro hockey including stops in Japan and Australia. Imoo represented Japan at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano and participated in four World Championships.
Prior to joining the Jets, Imoo spent time as a goaltending coach with the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds and BCHL’s Surrey Eagles.
Paul Bissonnette has assured himself this summer won’t be like last year.
The 30-year-old has signed a one-year contract with the Ontario Reign – the new AHL affiliate of the L.A. Kings.
“I’m happy about it. It’s good to be returning back to some familiar faces,” Bissonnette told PHT on Wednesday. “I’m very happy and excited to be headed to California.”
At this time last year the Welland, Ontario native was without a contract and considering an offer to play with the Cardiff Devils of the British Elite Ice Hockey League.
He admitted last month that the stress of not having a contract to play in North America at the start of the hockey season caused him to deal “with a bit of depression”.
Bissonnette eventually signed a professional tryout agreement with the AHL’s Portland Pirates.
After being released by the Pirates in December, Bissonnette signed a deal with the Manchester Monarchs – the L.A. Kings affiliate. The veteran of 202 NHL games scored one goal and six assists to go along with 167 penalty minutes in 48 games with the Monarchs.
He also appeared in 11 playoff games as Manchester captured the Calder Cup.
“It was pretty special, especially after a tough start to the year,” Bissonnette said. “It was a good way to finish out and kind of look at it in a positive light.”
Photo courtesy of Paul Bissonnette.