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Examining the Kings' cap situation

September 19, 2020, 2:35 PM ET [10 Comments]
Ben Shelley
Los Angeles Kings Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me on Twitter: @BenShelley_20
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As the offseason continues for the majority of the league, the Los Angeles Kings have one thing that many teams don’t: cap space.

I’ve said before that I don’t think the Kings will be overly active in free agency this year and if they were to add, it would likely be a fairly minor, short-term addition. But what does their cap situation look like right now?

The Kings have almost $17 million in cap space (according to CapFriendly.com), with about $64.5 million committed to 18 players (11 forwards, five defenseman and two goalies). Ben Hutton is also the only notable free agent still in need of a contract (I’m assuming Trevor Lewis won’t be back). This leaves five spots left on the 23-man roster and we can assume that either Kale Clague or Tobias Bjornfot will start the year on the roster, which contributes a maximum of just under $900,000 to the cap. Then we can also assume no matter who the 12th forward is, they’ll probably be making under $1 million as well. The other two spots are spares who would likely be making close to the league minimum and if Hutton is re-signed, I’d bet his AAV would be somewhere in the range of around $2.5 million.

So between those five salaries added, the Kings would likely be spending another $6 million. This leaves about $11 million remaining in cap space for the season, with this roster:

Forwards (13)
- Anze Kopitar
- Alex Iafallo
- Dustin Brown
- Jeff Carter
- Adrian Kempe
- Blake Lizotte
- Austin Wagner
- Martin Frk
- Trevor Moore
- Michael Amadio
- Gabriel Vilardi
- 12th Forward (Under $1M)
- SPARE (Under $1M)

Defensemen (8)
- Drew Doughty
- Sean Walker
- Matt Roy
- Ben Hutton
- Mikey Anderson
- Kale Clague
- Kurtis MacDermid
- SPARE (Under $1M)

Goalies (2)
- Jonathan Quick
- Cal Petersen

Now, we do know that many teams around the league will have an internal cap and need to shed salary. However, if the Kings are able to spend up to the cap, they’ve got a ton of flexibility. It's important to note that they will need to re-sign Alex Iafallo, Matt Roy and Blake Lizotte in 2021, along with Trevor Moore and Michael Amadio, but between those five players, that’s probably still not a ton of space needed, even if they all stick around. Plus, with Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter’s combined $11.1 million coming off the books in 2022, they have the space to make a move or two without being affected any time soon.

Los Angeles has the option to test free agency or try to steal a player at a bargain from a team needing to clear cap space, as one of very few teams who will be able to try to attract someone without losing any current roster players. Of course, they could also take on a bad contract or two in order to continue stockpiling assets instead. Regardless of what they do, their cap space certainly gives them the flexibility to make some moves and speed up the rebuild, should they choose to do so.

***NOTE: We've launched a HockeyBuzz Kings Twitter account! For anyone interested, you can follow @HB_LAKings for updates on articles, Kings news, etc. We're starting right from scratch, so any followers would be appreciated!***

Here's today's poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):

Would you be in favour of the Kings using some of their cap space to target someone via trade/free agency?
Yes, it will speed up the rebuild
No, wait for the prospects and take on bad contracts instead
Create your own Polls


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