After the Kings’ Stanley Cup victory and a couple of days worth of celebration, GM Dean Lombardi did what many expected he would: Went right back to work on extending key players and keeping his championship team intact. Heading into the summer of 2012, the Kings had only 3 players due to become UFA’s on July 1st – Centers Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser and Left Wing Dustin Penner.
Last week Lombardi managed to sign Stoll to a 3 year extension, and Fraser to a 2 year deal. This solidifies the Kings up the middle heading into the season, with Kopitar and Richards as top two centermen, Stoll as a rock solid 3rd line center and Fraser centering the Kings’ 4th line unit.
Earlier today Lombardi made perhaps his most important move off the offseason to date when the club announced they had agreed on a ten year contract extension with goalie Jonathan Quick that will likely make him a King for life. Quick was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, 2013 and given that he is poised to become the greatest goalie in franchise history this was a no-brainer. 10 years might seem like an alarming contract for a goaltender, but it does keep the cap hit at a manageable $5.8M/year for a guy who was the team’s best player and runner up for the Vezina Trophy this past season. At 26 just entering his prime, there’s no reason to believe Quick can’t get better than he was this past season, which should be a scary thought for the competition.
The only unsigned UFA remaining is Dustin Penner, whom the Kings reportedly have interest in retaining. It will come down to how much of a pay cut Penner would be willing to take. Penner wants to stay and at the right price the Kings would like to hit him. There’s a couple more days left before free agency begins on July 1st, but as of right now the Kings are poised to start their defense of the Stanley Cup with at least largely the same roster that won it in 2012. Credit to Dean Lombardi for setting out to do just that.