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NHL Rumours: Los Angeles Kings RFA Forward Extension Talks

NHL rumours

We’ve got another edition of NHL rumours to start your week. Teams are already making moves before the start of July 1 free agency. We’ll find out a Stanley Cup champion on Monday. However, the hot stove chatter is really heating up. Restricted free agents have already been making deals and can do so at any time. This edition of NHL rumours takes a look at the Los Angeles Kings looking at a deal for one their RFAs.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Los Angeles Kings Deal Options for RFA Forward

Rumour: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek talked about the next contract for Quinton Byfield this coming off-season.

Analysis: Byfield took a big step in his career with his first 20-goal season of his brief NHL stint. He got the most ice time with the Kings since being draft second overall of the 2020 NHL Draft.

The 21-year-old is an RFA on July 1 and is looking for a new deal. He doesn’t have arbitration rights, but Kings General Manager Rob Blake would probably like to get him as close as possible to his unrestricted free agent status. Marek and Friedman said that Kings’ management started clearing the way to make Byfield’s next deal happen.

Clearing the Way

Blake was busy last week by trading Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Darcy Kuemper. Los Angeles also signed fellow RFA Alex Turcotte to a new three-year contract. Getting Dubois’ massive cap hit off the books helps give the Kings more flexibility for their younger players.

It seemed that Blake sort of admitted that the Dubois experiment didn’t work. However, he tried to salvage something out the deal by addressing the goalie situation. Blake can also move forward by locking down Byfield to a contract. Byfield was one of the positive aspects of a Kings team that struggled to score at times last season.

Kuemper’s cap hit is $5.25 million until the end of the 2026-27 season and have dead cap from Ivan Provorov and Mike Richards. However, the Dubois trade did relieve some pressure.

What Will Byfield’s Next Contract Look Like?

Byfield is represented by the Wasserman Group and Marek wonders what’s the plan for him. Does his representation go for a short-term or a bridge-deal? The salary cap is going to start climbing over the next few seasons and Byfield may want to score a big deal during the prime of his career. However, could Byfield’s camp go in a different direction?

Byfield could want a long-term deal that will provide security. This is something the Kings would likely want to make sure Byfield doesn’t hit the market during the project best years of his career. The cap is going up, but not having to worry about a new deal is something that maybe both sides want.

Friedman agreed that the Dubois deal was some of an overture that the team is preparing to clear money out for Byfield. Los Angeles has been a post-season team, but expectations are always high in Southern California. The team would love to get beyond the first round and return to the glory of the last decade.

Main photo by: Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY Sports

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Aron Kiviharju

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