Los Angeles Kings: Can The 2017-18 Team Take Back The Throne?
The Los Angeles Kings, for the most part, had no big offseason moves. In many cases, it means that the team could be in good shape as is.
In fact, the Kings only made two “big” moves to this point in the offseason. The first roster move the Kings made: Michael Cammalleri, who began his career with the Kings is now back. Cammalleri will look to bolster the Kings offense after moving on from the Calgary Flames. The Flames, by the way, were the team he played for since 2008-09 – after being traded from the Kings during the 2002-03 season.
Secondly, on July 1, the Kings also signed goaltender Darcy Kuemper, formerly of the Minnesota Wild. Kuemper who signed on only for 1-year, will look to backup superstar goalie Jonathan Quick. The Kings also added a familiar name as head coach. John Stevens was named the replacement coach. Taking the place of Darryl Sutter, John Stevens looks to take everything he’s learned as an assistant to lead the Kings.
Up the management chain, Rob Blake will now serve as General Manager, and Luc Robatille will now serve the role of President. In terms of management, the Kings almost look like a brand new team. However, the majority of the players will stay the same. This, in turn, could help with team chemistry. As the Los Angeles Kings continue their chase to re-claim their throne, the following personnel moves have been made this offseason:
Darcy Kuemper: Signed 1-year contract on July 1.
Michael Cammalleri: Signed 1-year contract July 1.
Darryl Sutter: Relieved of his duties on April 23. Later replaced by John Stevens.
Dean Lombardi: Relieved of his GM duties.
Peter Budaj: Signed contract with Tampa Bay Lightning.
Ben Bishop: Signed contract with Dallas Stars.
The Los Angeles Kings finished the season watching the playoffs again. For two of the last three seasons, the Kings have come close to cracking the playoff picture, yet, still remained so far away. Finishing 39-35-8 put them fifth in the Pacific Division. Looking at the roster tells an interesting story. With players such as Quick and Kopitar, the Kings should have had a better year. 2017-18 is a brand new season. The majority of the team stuck together, this seems to be a good sign. A clean slate, new faces to solidify some weak spots, and some new coaching should see the Kings make some sort of noise this season.