There were no bad breakup scenes, no botched qualifying offers, and the Kings smoothly moved through what can be an often rough, post-Stanley Cup period.
They wrapped up the biggest piece of business when goalie Jonathan Quick signed his 10-year, $58-million contract extension Sunday, and previously worked out deals with forwards Jarret Stoll, Colin Fraser and Dustin Penner, keeping the championship team intact.
“The key here was each one of those players definitely wanted to stay,” Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi said Monday. “They were willing to work with us in terms of making it fit within the salary structure. It’s a credit to those players.”
The front-office focus since winning the Cup has been impressive. The Kings went after the biggest free-agent prize, Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils, but consider it, at best, a longshot. Parise told reporters in Toronto on Monday afternoon that he has moved closer to a decision but had not set any deadlines.
The Kings have turned to Plan B, which could involve Coyotes captain Shane Doan, whose future in Phoenix is unclear.
Lombardi would not discuss free-agency plans in his interview with two reporters. He did speak about the other moves and said that Kings Coach Darryl Sutter has four or five names in mind for an assistant coaching spot.
Sutter was blunt in his recent meeting with Penner, who agreed to a one-year, $3.25-million deal Sunday. Penner, who had 11 points in the playoffs, scored seven goals and had 18 points in the regular season. He did play with an injured wrist, which will require attention in the off-season.
“We want to make sure he’s committed to the effort we saw the last two months and not the player prior to,” Lombardi said. “And he was very good too. [For] Darryl, this was, look him in the eye, man to man. There were no punches pulled.
“To his credit, he could have easily went to the market and maybe came back. But he called that night and said, ‘No. I want to stay and I’m going to show you.’ He was willing to take a one-year deal.”