The Los Angeles Kings are in off-season mode and, while it is still over a month away, can never be too soon for free agency. The NHL free agency period begins on July 1st, however, the Kings have some time to lock up some free agents before that period begins.
Kings have roster decisions to make
Among the more higher profile players the Kings have include UFA’s goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, and defensemen Vladislav Gavrikov and Alex Edler. RFA’s include forwards Gabe Vilardi ans Samuel Fagemo and defenseman Tobias Bjornfot. With a low projected cap space of $3.65 million, the decisions of Kings general manager Rob Blake will not be easy but necessary. These are a few of the more premier names on the Kings list as there are minor league deals that need to be made.
Whether he decides to make them walk or leave via trade, Blake has some tough decisions to make from now until July 1st. This is a good problem for the Los Angeles Kings organization because they have a lot of forward depth with some intriguing defensive prospects. The Kings will not be able to re-sign all of the players available so some will find new homes. Vilardi, Korpisalno, and Gavrikov should be the main focus as they played key roles in the Kings 2022-23 season. They may be 1, 2, and 3 on Blake’s to-do list this off-season.
Los Angeles does not have the cap space to offer team friendly deals to everyone. Some additional moves will have to be made to even get the three players listed above under contract. The Kings may have a problem getting these issues resolved but, as mentioned above, a few trades could solve a roster issue or two.
While the Kings may have to let some players go, This may also be a great opportunity for players on the AHL affilaite, Ontario Reign roster to get a shot at the NHL roster if need be. Blake has been high on a few of the Reign prospects so they could get a good look in training and developmental camp if a forward or two leave this off-season.
(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley) (photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)
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