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Which of the Kings’ UFAs will be re-signed?

June 22, 2022, 7:53 PM ET [2 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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While the Los Angeles Kings don’t have a ton of notable unrestricted free agents this year, they’ll still have to make decisions on whether or not to bring back a few players on expiring contracts.

The Kings have cap space right now but still need to be cautious not to overspend, which could end up hurting them down the road. Below, we’ll take a look at the Kings’ UFAs and how likely each of them are to be re-signed.

The likes of Martin Frk, Garret Sparks, Austin Strand and Christian Wolanin aren’t included below, given they weren’t NHL regulars this season.


Athanasiou can do better than another one-year deal but it doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Kings to sign him to a deal with more term. With many other prospects up front who have the potential to continue developing, the team has limited spots within their forward group. Athanasiou has dealt with injury trouble, missing most of this season, and while he has been productive for the Kings, he hasn’t necessarily made enough of an impact for Los Angeles to commit for multiple years. He’s highly skilled offensively but isn’t an overly complete player and given he’s turning 28 years old in August, it’s likely we see Athanasiou walk away to get a better deal elsewhere and the Kings give more opportunity to some of their younger talent instead.

Status: Unlikely to Return


Despite missing a huge chunk of the year, Edler was solid for the Kings when he did play. He took on a smaller role than expected, averaging just 18:28 per game, but scored 19 points in 41 games. A benefit of bringing back Edler would be that it would likely just be on another one-year deal or perhaps two years at most, giving the Kings a buffer while they look for a permanent solution. He can bring pretty good value for what should be a cheap price and while the Kings could look to bring in an impact defenseman on the left side instead, re-signing Edler should certainly still be on the table.

Status: Could Return


Maatta performed better in his second season with the Kings and was leaned on a bit with so many absences. He played in 66 games this year, averaging over 18 minutes per game. The defenseman will be turning 28 years old in August and there’s always the option of bringing him back on a cheap, short-term deal. If the Kings were going to choose between bringing back Edler and Maatta though, it should be Edler coming back, and with Mikey Anderson and Tobias Bjornfot already in the mix on the left side, Maatta will likely find himself heading elsewhere.

Status: Unlikely to Return


Stecher was brought in as part of an effort to offset all the injuries to the Kings’ defense group. While he ended up performing pretty well with the Kings, the team has far too many younger, right-handed defensemen as is and it’s unlikely we see him brought back, even in a depth role.

Status: Unlikely to Return


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