Some progress appears to be getting made when it comes to contract talks between the Kings and restricted free agent center Adrian Kempe. GM Rob Blake told reporters last week (including Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider) that things are getting close, while Lisa Dillman of The Athletic adds (Twitter link) that it will wind up being a short-term bridge deal. The 22-year-old saw his output dip last season from 16 goals and 37 points to just 12 and 26, respectively, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Los Angeles isn’t ready to commit a long-term contract to him just yet. While this Kempe is currently unsigned, there will be at least one Kempe in training camp for the Kings after they signed his brother Mario Kempe early in free agency this summer.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- Capitals GM Brian MacLellan stated last week that they’ll likely have to make a trade for salary-cap reasons. With that in mind, J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington examined some of the potential cost casualties. Considering the Caps are firmly in win-now mode, it’s unlikely that they’ll part with a core player who limits their options. He lists defenseman Christian Djoos, center Chandler Stephenson and center Travis Boyd as potential trade options although the latter makes just over the league minimum, so the savings from moving him could be limited. Washington will have to trim more than $1 million off its payroll, and with so few options from which to deal, it may take multiple moves to get there.
- While the CBA between the NHL and NHLPA is attracting the headlines at the moment with the league opting to not opt out and the players having until the middle of the month to decide, there’s another contract that’s being negotiated. Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber reports (Twitter link) that the deal between the league and the NHL Officials’ Association expired on Saturday without a new agreement in place. However, the hope is that a new deal will be agreed upon by the start of the season. The officials will be reporting to their own training camp this weekend.