While I was catching up on some of my blog reading, I found a short post over at The Battle of California about the Kings and their struggle to reach the salary cap floor.
So far, the Kings have only $27.7M in salary commitments for the 2008-09 season. The salary cap floor is $40.7M. They have yet to re-sign RFA forward Patrick O'Sullivan, or the recently traded for Jarret Stoll and Brad Richardson. They have bought out goaltender Dan Cloutier, but still have somewhere between three and five goalies under contract. Granted, most of those contracts are two-way deals, so that money won't count against the cap. They have just four defensemen signed. The free agent market has pretty much dried up, so they're going to have to make some trades to get defensemen and possibly some trades just to take on some salary commitment.
O'Sullivan had a pretty good season in the last year of his entry level contract. He put up 53(22/31) points, and stands to have a payday probably in the neighborhood of $3.5M. Even if that's the case, the Kings would be $9.5 below the cap, and they'll need defense. None of their free agent defensemen can command a big bucks payday, so they're still in trouble versus the cap floor. Why not trade some of their young talent and/or draft picks to Carolina for defenseman Franke Kaberle and his hefty $2.5M salary?
Another interesting thing that's being discussed in LA is another trade that would be done for the express purpose of spending money. One of Carolina's favorite "I hate that guy" guys, Jack Johnson, is in the last year of his entry level contract and could be dangled as attractive trade bait to a team looking to shed some salary this season. Jim Kelly from SI.com suggests that the Blackhawks would make a good trade partner, but his suggestion of Johnson for Khabibulin doesn't make sense because the 'Hawks aren't deep enough in goal to do that, and I don't think Huet is ready to be anointed "the one". The Hawks (and Flames, and Flyers) need to shed salary, but I don't see that particular trade going down.
As for the other? Picking up a veteran defenseman and a salary commitment? Absolutely! I'm not sure what Carolina would want in return if they sent Kaberle that way, though. Draft picks? A bag of pucks? 20 gallons of fuel for the Olympia? (Zamboni™ is a registered trademark, and Carolina's is not a ZAMBONI brand ice resurfacer).
When the Kings traded away their best player -- Mike Cammalleri, it was evident that they're entering yet another rebuilding phase. Now, they have yet to re-sign one of their best young players --Patrick O'Sullivan, and there is talk of trading away one of their other young promising players -- Anze Kopitar or Jack Johnson. They're never going to get better if they keep doing that.
Anyway, I hope the Canes can help them (and themselves) by sending Kaberle out there. Anything at all in return would be great.
4 years ago