It is, by most measures, an average free-agent crop this summer, which is likely why teams were rushing to get some business done Tuesday, before the market officially opens.
So instead, they sent him to Columbus along with two prospects in exchange for four forwards, three of whom (
Also Tuesday, the
Jones, who was traded from the Kings to the Bruins on Friday in the
Jones likely wouldn't have had the same opportunity had he stayed in Boston, where Tuuka Rask is dug in as the starter. Later Tuesday, he agreed to a three-year deal worth an average annual value of $3 million, according to CSN Bay Area.
The Kings also had feared they would be vulnerable in regard to Jones, feeling he would have received an offer sheet from a division rival. That prospect led to him being packaged in the Lucic deal.
In addition to Williams and Beleskey, other useful forwards available in free agency are
With focus in today's NHL on puck movement, free-wheeling defensemen are at a premium and there are a handful of useful ones set to hit the open market. One is Sekera, whom the Kings acquired from the
Talks between the Kings and Sekera failed to secure a contract extension. The timing works against the Kings because of the uncertainty over the
Carolina replaced Sekera on its organizational depth chart with Ducks defenseman
With Wisniewski gone and negotiations with the aging Beauchemin going south — Beauchemin wanted a three-year deal at $5 million per season — the Ducks picked up veteran
Cody Franson, who finished the year in Nashville after starting in Toronto, is the other defenseman attracting attention on the free-agent market, a right-handed shooter with size who can handle the puck.
The Kings were unable to sign Williams, known as Mr. Game 7, to an extension, after he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL's playoff MVP in 2014. He will be 34 in October, so this likely will be Williams' last chance to cash in on his reputation as a money player. After switching between a top-six and a third-line role with the Kings last season, his asking price is expected to be far beyond what they can afford.