The Los Angeles Kings went into the playoffs with a lot of confidence that their performance would continue to be successful and deep after the season. Although it would have been very difficult to see them reach the Stanley Cup Finals, there was a good chance that they could have won a round or two.
However, the Kings were once again short-circuited by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round. The Oilers knocking the Kings out of the postseason two years in a row meant the Kings weren’t going into the offseason thinking their fortunes would surely change.
Instead, major changes were made through both free agency and the trade front. The Kings traded with the Columbus Blue Jackets for Joonas Korpisalo before the trade deadline, and his performance during the regular season was one of the reasons the team had confidence going into the playoffs.
However, Corpisalo lost out on free agency as he signed a deal with the Ottawa Senators, a team that believed a solid goaltender would make the difference in them becoming a playoff team.
As a result, the Kings signed the much traveled Cam Talbot. While Talbot has had several impressive seasons in his career, he has rarely been able to string them together.
This could be good news for the Kings as last year was not a good one for the Senators. Talbot had a 17–14–2 record last season with a 2.93 goals against average and .898 save percentage.
Looks like the move is a net loss and worthwhile for the Kings C-minus grade,
Kings acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois
Technically, Dubois was traded by the Winnipeg Jets to the Kings, but in reality he was a free-agent acquisition. Dubois wanted no part of remaining with the Jets, but put his name on a contract with them so he could get maximum value in a sign-and-trade deal with the Kings.
Besides being happy to be out of Winnipeg, Dubois is also excited about signing an eight-year deal with the Kings that will pay him $8.5 million per season. The center is likely to play a second-line role with the Kings, as Los Angeles still has Ange Kopitar at No. 1st place.
The Kings will be hoping for consistency and production from Dubois as he certainly has sacrificed a lot to get there. The Kings left out Gabe Vilardi, Alex Ifalo and Rasmus Kupari, and that means the pressure will be on Dubois from the start.
Pressure has been an issue for Dubois in the past, and it will only go away if he starts off fast.
It looks like he’s going in with a strong attitude, and he may be a bit more mature than the player he was in the first half of his career with the Blue Jackets and Jets.
“To be honest, I think this is an opportunity for me to be who I am. I feel I am misunderstood at times.” They said, “I think now it will be a fun opportunity for me to be who I am and not show off to anyone, prove to anyone, but just be myself.”
kings have power to the middle
One of the most widely accepted concepts in the NHL is that if a team wants to win consistently, it has to have strength in the middle. The Kings look to be in a strong position as they will be able to get Kopitar, Dubois and Philippe Denault up the middle. There is a possibility that Dainault will be the number. 2 center and Dubois have to be the no. 3 Centre. Even if that is the case, the Kings expect Dubois to have a highly productive offensive year.
Last year he had a career-best 63 points and included 27 goals and 36 assists. Dubois played exceptionally well, scoring 11 of his goals when opponents were shorthanded. He also had a 13.2 shooting percentage, and this is a trend that will likely continue in the coming season. He never went below 11.4 in any of his 6 seasons in the NHL.
Dubois has been acquired at a premium. Although he could be of great benefit if he adjusts quickly to his new surroundings, the Kings have given up a lot. give to kings a grade of B for this acquisition.