Blake's pen probably got the closest it's been to running out of ink this summer these past couple of days with the signings of Tobis Bjornfor, Cal Petersen, Michael Amadio, Daniel Brickley, Matt Roy and Sheldon Rempal.
Tobias Bjornfot, the Kings first-round pick (22nd overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft, signed a three-year entry-level contract. Not surprising news, as we knew it was coming, but certainly exciting. I'm eager to see how he develops. You think he makes the squad out of camp..?
The Man in the Iron Mask
No brainer here. SoCal has the potential to be a special netminder (IMO) for this team and extending him for three-years at $2.575M ($858.3K AAV) seems pretty sweet.
The contract will take him through the 2021-22 season, with the first year being a two-way deal. This will save the Kings a little bit of dough when he spends time in the A. Important to note that 2019-20 will be the final season that he's waivers-exempt. The last two years will see him paid the same regardless if he's in the show or the minors.
At 24, Petersen has 11 NHL games under his belt with a 5-4-1 record and 2.60 GAA. He also boasts a .924 save percentage. His numbers with the Reign looked like this: 13-19-3 with a 4.02 GAA and .896 save percentage, where he ranked fourth in saves during the 2018-19 season.
I think this is a good signing and will give Petersen a shot to prove himself and his worth at the NHL-level.
The Four Horsemen
Four RFAs have signed new deals to stay in LA.
Michael Amadio (F)
Signed a two-year extension with an AAV of $700K.
"The 23-year-old Amadio (born May 13, 1996) played in 43 games last season with the Kings, recording 13 points (6-7=13) and six penalty minutes. He also appeared in 28 games with the Ontario Reign (AHL), where he registered 26 points (8-18=26), a plus-6 rating and 12 penalty minutes"
Daniel Brickley (D)
Signed two-year extension with an AAV of $700K.
"The 24-year-old Brickley (born March 30, 1995) appeared in four games last season for the Kings, posting one point (0-1=1). He also appeared in 42 games with the Reign, posting 12 points (2-10=12) and 22 penalty minutes."
Matt Roy (D)
Signed two-year extension with an AAV of $700K.
"The 24-year-old Roy (born March 1, 1995) made his NHL debut this season. He appeared in 25 games for the Kings and tallied six points (2-4=6) and eight penalty minutes. He played in 45 games for the Reign, posting 29 points (8-21=29) and 17 penalty minutes.
Selected by the Kings in the seventh-round (194th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Roy has appeared in 102 AHL games with the Reign over the last three seasons, posting 47 points (12-35=47) and 47 penalty minutes."
Sheldon Rempal (F)
Signed his qualifying offer (one-year).
"The 23-year-old Rempal (born August 7, 1995) made his NHL debut this season. He appeared in seven games for the Kings and an additional 49 games with the Reign, posting 40 points (15-25=40) and 25 penalty minutes with Ontario."
They've Stuck to the Plan
Looking at the above signings, along with the others this summer, and it's easy to see Blake and his team have stuck to their plan of going young - which seems to have drawn the ire of some fans.
As we've discussed before, I'm all for playing the kids, but I understand peoples frustration. I think a lot of folks feel like the Kings are in neutral. Maybe if they could have moved Quick, or a bigger contract that made sense, we might have seen some different moves. Not a knock on the guys they signed this summer - but "significant" in a sense of pieces with significant NHL experience.
on the King's that came out today had some good points in it. I found a quote from McLellan especially interesting:
"I think this team won Cups because of attitude and character, not because they were the most skilled team, and it got them to the top of the mountain. Attitude and character can't take them deep into the valley now. … The players will have to make that decision when they walk in the door that they are going to adjust now a little bit, accept some responsibility for the practice habits, for the standards they set for themselves individually and collectively, and I'll push them up."
This idea about attitude propelling this team has been the narrative for the past few months. There's no doubt about it that there seemed like a lot of complacency last year - especially amongst the vets. There was a need to bring someone in who could shake up that locker room. While we don't know the effects of an attitude change yet, I do agree with McLellan that it's an aspect of the game that can have a drastic effect, positive or negative, depending on how it's taught, enforced and used.
Is McLellan the guy to do this for the Kings?
We'll have to wait and see, but he certainly seems to feel he has the chops to do so. What's interesting is that McLellan and Blake seem to feel that there's no way the veterans will have the down year that they had last year. I agree with them to an extent and I think they'll turn things around. However, the reality is that the core is another year older and are now flanked by a number of young guys with small NHL sample sizes - and some with none.
I think if McLellan can get through to these guys and create those good practice habits, instill the right attitude (as cliche as that is) and be able to execute, they'll find that success. I guess we'll know in time.
Will they win the cup? Probably not, but having a winning record and developing these young guys would be a great start.
Go Kings Go