Next Season Can't Wait
The Los Angeles Kings may have recently been eliminated from the playoffs, but for front office executives, next season has already begun. The Kings have wasted little time in beginning to mold the roster for the 2013-14 season as they have re-signed defenseman Slava Voynov and right wing Brandon Kozun earlier this week.
The re-signings are just the beginning of a busy “off-season” for the Kings organization. With so many moving parts with the upcoming draft and free agency, it should be an interesting couple of weeks. For front office executives, summer will have to wait.
“There really isn’t an off-season until sometime after development camp,” said Monarchs Director of Hockey Operations Hubie McDonough. “There are pending restricted free agents and unrestricted free agents. Then there is the NHL Entry Draft in a couple weeks. Before you know it, the first day of free agency for players is here and it is July 5. It’s not until after Development Camp, toward the middle and end of July, that there is really a summer break.”
Monarchs Country should pay close attention to the NHL Draft as the players drafted on that day usually suit up in Manchester following the completion of their junior or collegiate careers. Once in Manchester, the players continue to develop their skills as they work to make it onto the Kings roster in the NHL. The role the Monarchs play in the Kings organization was validated once again this season as six players from Manchester’s team appeared in the playoffs for the Kings and a total of 13 former Monarchs suited up for Los Angeles this post-season.
“(Jake) Muzzin jumped into their line-up and really ran with it,” reflected McDonough. “Slava (Voynov) was another player that really elevated his game and he was playing big minutes, even played in their top four defensemen pairing all season. (Tyler) Toffoli played real well. He was a late season call-up and produced right away. I don’t think anyone expected him to come in like that. Even in the playoffs with the added pressure and the magnification of each play, Toffoli answered and really stepped up and those are just some of the guys that were here this season.”
But that was last season and this season has already begun. The molding of the rosters by balancing the long term path of the organization and the immediate roster needs are factored in over the next month. Difficult decisions need to be made on who to re-sign and not to re-sign based on who might be available to draft or who may be available to sign as a free agent.
As each piece falls into place, the anticipation and excitement for the upcoming season grows bigger. Next season is practically here, are you ready?