Los Angeles Kings

NHL free-agency review: How LA Kings stack up in Pacific Division


NHL free-agency review: How LA Kings stack up in Pacific Division

Editor’s note: NHL free agency was fast and furious, and the moves that teams did (and did not) make set the tone for next season. All week, we’ll examine the Sharks’ Pacific Division rivals, and whether their free-agency approach put them in better, worse or the same position. Today, we dive into the LA Kings.

There's no way to sugarcoat it: The Kings took a serious nosedive last season into the cellar of the Western Conference.

With a dismal record both at home and on the road --and only winning month in the entire season --  it's no wonder their rivalry with the Sharks lacked so much oomph last season.

But LA is moving on from that, tapping San Jose's former coach Todd McLellan to stand behind their bench and making steps towards a rebuild. But have they done enough so far this offseason to signal a turnaround?

Here's a look at what the Kings have done since free agency opened up on July 1.

Players who signed

The Kings have added some pieces so far this offseason, although nothing that will fully change the look of the team.

LA got its biggest boost a week after the market opened when they re-signed RFA Alex Iafallo to a two-year deal. The 25-year-old was a rare player on the Kings' roster that improved his game last season and is expected to take on an even bigger role in the 2019-20 season.

The Kings also tried adding depth to their lineup by signing former Red Wings' forward Martin Frk and former Sharks d-man Joakim Ryan to one-year contracts. Neither player posted many points with their respective clubs last season, so it isn't entirely clear if they'll thrive on a new team.

Players who left

The Kings bought out the rest of Dion Phaneuf's contract in June, and the 34-year-old defenseman reportedly has received offers from other teams since the market opened. The loss shouldn't affect LA a ton , considering Phaneuf didn't produce much during his two campaigns there. 

They did lose some depth, however, with winger Brendan Leipsic going to the Capitals on a one-year deal. How the team plans to fill in pieces of their lineup still remains to be seen.

There's a possibility there will be more moves on the horizon, since the Kings only have $9,440,606 in cap space and a couple of players due to hit free agency after next season. They could move Kings staple Tyler Toffoli, who often is mentioned in trade rumors and is coming off of a down season.

[RELATED: Why Roenick won't count out Sharks after losing Pavelski]

Better, worse, or the same?

So far, the Kings haven't done much since the market opened to signal any major change to the team. Even with the few tweaks, the core of the team is still very much intact.

While there's still plenty of time for LA to make more adjustments to its roster, the lack of flexibility under the cap could make that difficult. And if the bulk of the team is staying together, it doesn't appear that there will be any significant changes to how they perform in the Pacific Division next season.

Patrick Marleau selling Toronto house amid Maple Leafs trade rumors


Patrick Marleau selling Toronto house amid Maple Leafs trade rumors

The possibility of Patrick Marleau playing for a third NHL team next season seems even realer.

The Maple Leafs winger is selling his Toronto home amid rumors the Original Six franchise is seeking to trade the former Sharks captain, the Toronto Star reported Thursday.

The massive six-bedroom, seven-bathroom home is listed at $11.888 million, and includes an in-ground pool and the backyard rink Marleau built for his four sons for Christmas during his first season in Toronto.

After spending the first 19 seasons of his NHL career in San Jose, the No. 2 pick in the 1997 NHL Draft signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract. Marleau developed a close relationship with young Toronto stars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, but the 39-year-old scored the second-fewest points of his career (37) in an 82-game season in 2018-19.

With the Maple Leafs needing salary-cap space in order to re-sign Marner and their pending restricted free agents, Marleau's $6.25 million hit has kept his name in the rumor mill since Toronto was eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in May.

Marleau is owed $4.25 million in salary, $3 million of which comes in a signing bonus paid out in two installments, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported last month. That makes Marleau's deal conceivably movable, but the veteran has a no-movement clause in his contract and would be able to decide his destination.

Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported last week that Marleau was willing to waive the clause, and that he wants to play closer to the West Coast with his wife and three children moving back to San Jose.

[RELATED: How Sharks' previous late-round draft picks have proven successful]

The Athletic's James Mirtle wrote Monday that he was told the Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche weren't interested "at this time," and the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes would want an additional player or pick in exchange for taking on Marleau's contract. The Leafs can retain up to 50 percent of Marleau's contract in a trade, but an ensuing $3.125 million cap hit still might be too rich for some teams' tastes. 

But with Marleau's home now on the market, it seems like the longest-tenured player in Sharks history will have a new home sooner rather than later.

NHL rumors: Maple Leafs, LA Kings have talked Patrick Marleau trade


NHL rumors: Maple Leafs, LA Kings have talked Patrick Marleau trade

There could be a Sharks reunion in the works for Patrick Marleau, just not in San Jose. 

The Los Angeles Kings hired former Sharks coach Todd McLellan on April 16. Fewer than two months later, the Kings reportedly are interested in reuniting McLellan with one of his former stars. 

Marleau could be packing his bags and coming back to the West Coast. The Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs have talked about a potential trade regarding Marleau, The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported Friday. 

Marleau, 39, had a rough year in his second season with the Maple Leafs. The center scored just 37 points, which is his lowest since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. And his 16 goals were the lowest he's scored in a full season since his rookie year. 

[RELATED: Sharks bring back Bob Boughner to coaching staff]

This could get tricky for the two teams, though. Marleau does have a no-trade clause and can ultimately decide his future. 

But Marleau did play seven of his 19 seasons in San Jose under McLellan. There's reason to believe he would waive his no-trade clause and soon become a rival of the Sharks.