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Mitchell: ‘No idea’ if he’ll be back with L.A.

Jun 17, 2014, 6:34 PM EST

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After winning the second Stanley Cup of his career, Willie Mitchell knows he wants to keep playing hockey.

Where he’ll play, though, is less clear.

“I have no idea on that yet,” Mitchell said, per NHL.com. “Ask Dean [Lombardi, Kings GM] about that. There’s lots of moving parts. There’s Willie Mitchell the player. There’s the salary cap. And then, as a GM, you structure the team so hopefully you can have success over a long period of time. So I get it.

“If you’re asking me if I want to play hockey? Hell yeah.”

Mitchell’s value to the Kings can’t be understated. Two years ago, he scored a career-high 24 points and averaged a whopping 25:19 in the playoffs as the Kings won their first ever Cup; after missing the entire 2013 campaign with knee issues, he returned this season and was a regular fixture on the L.A. blueline, playing more than 20 minutes a night during the regular season before upping that to 22:20 in the playoffs (despite missing eight games with an undisclosed injury.)

The Kings, though, do have some cap issues.

The 37-year-old Mitchell just wrapped his two-year, $7 million deal and, per NHL.com, is reportedly looking for another two-year pact this time around. It’s safe to assume he’d be looking for similar money, which begs the question — can L.A. give it to him?

The Kings have 18 players under contract for next season at around $57 million, per CapGeek. That leaves around $13 million to fill out the roster and hopefully bring back playoff scoring ace Marian Gaborik, who won’t come cheaply. New deals are also needed for RFAs Dwight King and Linden Vey, and it remains to be seen what L.A. will do with another veteran blueliner in UFA Matt Greene.

As for Mitchell, all he knows is that he wants to keep going.

“To be honest, I think this playoff is probably the best hockey I’ve played,” he said. “I think this one around it felt even better, which, for me, is a big personal accomplishment after missing last year with a couple of knee surgeries.”

 

 

  1. georgejarkko - Jun 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    I don’t think he’s a $7 Million Dollar Man anymore, but the Kings should be able to make him a solid offer.

  2. wildguy71 - Jun 17, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    It was 7mil over 2 years…. Only 3.5 per, not a bad price when he’s healthy.

  3. bmoreredfury311 - Jun 17, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    GMBM should make a move.

  4. aldog83 - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Since we cant keep everyone.

    I think Gaborik is a bigger priority on a team that always enters playoffs as poorest scoring teams.

    Sign him if he will play for less.

    Hopefully the cap will go up.

    • dwadholm - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      Aren’t you even a little bit worried about Gaborik and the long term. He gets injured. he runs hot and cold. He is getting older. These are the kind of situations that it seems GM’s never learn from. A guy (usually a goalie) peaks at the right time of the year or in the playoffs and they project that to future years. I’m not doubting his ability or his recent success, I just think you have to be careful not to overpay in these situations.

  5. broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    At 37 years old Mitchell was a beast on the back end for the Kings. Still think he has a couple good years left in him. He could really help out a team with a young D corps if the money is right.

  6. blomfeld - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    Mitchell is an integral part of our defensive corps and we ‘want’ him in going forward … in fact, we ‘need’ him and we ‘love’ him … at least for the foreseeable future …

  7. moogro - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    If they sign Gaborik, they better get ready to bring someone else in next March, because that’s about the time he’ll break down.

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