Kings lock up blueliner McNabb to two-year, $3.4-million deal

Jared Clinton
Brayden McNabb (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Brayden McNabb has been a steady, reliable, second- or third-pairing defender for the Los Angeles Kings over the past two seasons, and he’s been rewarded for his steady development with a new two-year deal.

The Kings announced Friday they have signed McNabb, who was set to become a restricted free agent, to a two-year contract. While the Los Angeles didn’t release any details of the deal, the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman reported the contract will see McNabb, 25, earn $1.6 million in 2016-17 and get a raise to $1.8 million in 2017-18, which means he’ll carry an annual cap hit of $1.7 million.

McNabb’s offensive stats won’t exactly blow anyone away — he scored two goals and 14 points in 2015-16 — but that he’s able to effectively slot into both the second and third pairings makes him a valuable asset on the Kings blueline. This past season, he averaged nearly 18:48 in ice time per game. He wasn’t a major factor on either the power play or penalty kill, especially after the Kings’ acquisition of Rob Scuderi, but McNabb does take a regular shift when Los Angeles is down a man. Read more

Returning Matt Nieto should give Sharks an injection of speed for Game 2

Matt Nieto. (Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH – In a Stanley Cup final where speed could end up being a determining factor, the San Jose Sharks got a lot faster for Game 2 when they announced winger Matt Nieto would be drawing back into the lineup after missing eight games with what is suspected to be a left shoulder injury.

Nieto has been out of the Sharks lineup since crashing into the net in Game 6 of their second-round series against the Nashville Predators. He was ready to go for Game 1 of the final, but the Sharks elected to sit him out. But after seeing how fast the Penguins are as a team and needed players who can keep up to that speed, Nieto gets the call for Game 2.

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Report: Kings to strip Brown of captaincy — who wears the ‘C’ next season?

Jared Clinton
Dustin Brown celebrates with Drew Doughty, Brayden McNabb, Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dustin Brown still has six years and $32.5 million remaining on his contract with the Kings, but it appears as though he’s about to spend the rest of his days in Los Angeles without the captaincy.

TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported Friday afternoon that Brown, 31, has been told he won’t be the Kings’ captain next season and that Los Angeles plans to “go in a different direction” with the captaincy moving forward. Brown, the 15th captain in Kings franchise history, has worn the ‘C’ for the past eight seasons and took on the role just three seasons into his NHL career. It’s his no longer, however.

There are likely a number of factors involved in the Kings stripping Brown of the captaincy, but the foremost is certainly the downturn in production he has seen over the past several seasons. Brown was named captain following a 33-goal, 60-point season in 2007-08, but he hasn’t been able to recreate that production since. Read more

Darryl Sutter reportedly signs extension with the Los Angeles Kings

Jared Clinton
Darryl Sutter (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Darryl Sutter’s contract may be close to expiring, but the Kings coach will be back behind the bench in Los Angeles next season.

Sutter has reportedly agreed to an extension with the Kings, according to Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times, and the deal could be announced as early as Friday. Dillman reported that while no terms of the contract are available, it will pay the two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach more than $3 million per season.

The Kings locking up Sutter is huge for the continued success of the franchise and certainly helps give the franchise a clear direction before the off-season even begins. Had Los Angeles’ summer started with Sutter choosing to leave the club, the Kings would have needed to enter into the coaching search before they could really start moving forward. Sutter’s extension eliminates that need.

Sutter told Dillman that more important than his “own stuff” was the future of the club, which he wanted to ensure was in place before he signed back on. Read more

Capitals will be back – and they’ll win a Stanley Cup someday

Braden Holtby  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Tuesday night was a terrible night to be a Washington Capitals fan. Wednesday will be an even worse day to be one. And the coming days, both in the short- and long-term in the off-season, will be tinged with regret and lamentations about what might have been.

This was a year when the Stanley Cup was the Capitals to lose…and they lost it. With a number of the heavyweights already out of the tournament in the first round, the Capitals came into the second round as the best team in the NHL and the prohibitive favorite. Instead, the Capitals and their fans will be left to ponder why a team with such an abundance of talent at all positions is such an abject failure in the playoffs.

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Kings GM Lombardi says ‘offer on the table’ for coach Sutter to return

Jared Clinton
Darryl Sutter (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings have had the most successful chapter in team history under coach Darryl Sutter, but following a first-round playoff exit this season, there are questions about whether or not Sutter will be back behind the bench next season. Make no mistake, though: it’s not because the Kings don’t want him.

Sutter coached the Kings to two Stanley Cups in his first three seasons behind the bench and the smothering, puck possession style of play he has established in Los Angeles has made the franchise incredibly successful. And while the past two years have been disappointing — the Kings missed the post-season in 2014-15 and won only one game in their first-round series against the Sharks this past season — Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi still believes Sutter can get the job done behind the Kings’ bench. The issue, however, is that Sutter’s contract is up and he’s yet to sign a contract extension with the club.

In speaking about the season that was, Lombardi talked philosophically about the challenges that lie ahead for the Kings. Per L.A. Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen, Lombardi said that what the Kings have built worked in the past, but in a league where things are often imitated, other teams have ridden similar philosophies as the Kings and it has levelled the playing field. Now, Lombardi said, is time for the Kings to recapture “the innovation, the spark, the challenge that was there seven years ago and we were coming from the gutter.” Read more

Kopitar, Barkov and Eriksson nominated for Lady Byng Trophy

Anze Kopitar

Anze Kopitar was nominated for his second 2016 NHL award on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Kings center was named one of the three finalists for the league’s Lady Byng Trophy, given to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Kopitar is also up for the Selke Trophy for the top defensive forward.

Joining Kopitar among the final three are Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov and Boston Bruins left winger Loui Eriksson.

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