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What Should the LA Kings Do This Offseason

One of the most memorable postseason runs in recent history gave the Los Angeles Kings their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. After playing three consecutive seven-game series to reach the NHL finals, the Kings dispatched the New York Rangers in five games for the title. General Manager Dean Lombardi has built an impressive core of talent, one that should contend for the next several years. In the era of the NHL salary cap the Kings will still have some roster decisions to make in the offseason. Their overall depth and stable of young players should offset any major veteran losses.

Here’s a look at what the Kings need to do in the offseason to continue their potential dynasty:
Bring Back Gaborik: The Kings Trade deadline acquisition of Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets turned out to be a masterstroke, especially in the first and second rounds of the playoffs. The dynamic forward scored several big postseason goals, forming a winning combination with Anze Kopitar. Gaborik led the NHL in postseason goals with fourteen, winning his first Stanley Cup in the process. He’ll be a coveted free agent but all signs indicate that the Kings have the interest and ability to re-sign the Slovakian forward. This postseason the Kings became a much more dynamic offensive team, and Gaborik’s presence was a big factor in that evolution.

Sign either Willie Mitchell or Matt Greene: Lombardi has done a fantastic job locking up the core of the roster in long-term deals. Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez, the team’s top defensive combo, are signed through next season. Two veteran blue-liners, Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene are unrestricted free agents. Both have battled injuries the past couple of seasons, but are key contributors when healthy, as well as a veteran presence. Mitchell in particular played a massive role this postseason. The Kings don’t need to re-sign both veterans but should look to bring one of them back for the veteran presence and overall depth of the defense.

Continue the youth movement: In the new NHL salary cap era it’s incredible how adeptly Dean Lombardi has built the roster and managed the salary cap. Core players Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Slava Voynov and Mike Richards are all signed for the next five seasons while Anze Kopitar, Alec Martinez and Jarett Stoll are all signed through at least next season. The long-term deals have given the Kings stability while their young players have developed. This past postseason the Kings received massive contributions from the exciting young talent of Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Kyle Clifford. All three played big roles and should play even bigger roles next season. The offensive spark provided by the three, along with Gaborik, played a role in the Kings offensive evolution from a defensive and puck possession team to the highest scoring team in the past postseason.

Along with the Chicago Blackhawks the Kings will be the favorites to represent the Western Conference in the NHL finals next season. They are a potential dynasty, a franchise built for the long haul. The key now is health and the continued evolution of the young talent the organization has built. In the last twenty seasons dynasties in the NHL have been few and far between. In an era of competitive balance created by the salary cap the Kings have a real opportunity to win consecutive titles.

Stanley Cup game 5

GAME 5 KINGS VS RANGERS STANLEY CUP

Kings Vs Rangers Stanley Cup

FACE OFF LA KINGS VS RANGERS

LA Kings Jonathan Quick

QUICK PASSING THE RANGERS TEAM

Chris M.

Preview: Kings at Coyotes

Preview: Los Angeles at Phoenix
When: 9:00 PM       ET, Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Where: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Tickets: You can still puchase Coyotes Vs Kings Tickets for this game.

THE STORY: Failing to score has been a reoccurring issue this season for the Los  Angeles Kings. Their recent rut has dropped them out the top eight spots in the Western Conference. The Kings get an opportunity to make up some ground on one of the teams they’re chasing when they travel to face the streaking Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. Los Angeles is 3-1-1 in five  meetings this season, but Phoenix is unbeaten in five straight at home.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS West (Kings), FS Arizona Plus (Coyotes)

ABOUT THE KINGS (27-21-11):
It’s easy to see why the Kings have only two wins in their past eight games. They have managed three goals in  the six losses, including shutouts their two previous games. “The last  couple years, we’ve been battling for a playoff spot,” captain Dustin  Brown said. “As frustrating as these last two games have been,  offensively, we’ve got to refocus.” Goaltender Jonathan Quick has done  his part against the Coyotes, stopping 42 of 43 shots in the last two  meetings.

ABOUT THE COYOTES (29-21-9): While the Kings are headed in the wrong direction, the Coyotes are on an uptick, going  7-0-1 in February. Phoenix has grabbed 17 of a possible 20 points coming in, the main reason the club has jumped to seventh in the West – two  points in front of Calgary and Los Angeles. Forward Radim Vrbata has  been red-hot. He has five goals and four assists the past eight games,  including four game-winners, en route to a career-best 28 tallies.

OVERTIME:

1. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith is unbeaten in his last seven starts while posting a minuscule 0.99 goals against average.

2. The Kings average 2.03 goals, last in the NHL.

PREDICTION: Coyotes 3, Kings 2 (OT)

Next up for the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center is the Chicago Blackhawks this Saturday night February 25th at the Staples Center. We have great Kings Vs Blackhawks tickets still in stock. Just look for the BV green button for the best savings on this game.