As the Los Angeles Kings take stock of their season, their playoff loss to the Edmonton Oilers, and try to figure out how a team that improve a lot over the year and made big moves at the trade deadline could be ousted from the playoffs in fewer games, there will be questions about certain contracts, pending free agents, and what/who to target this summer.
Among the names that could be headed out of town is goaltender Cal Petersen. The only challenge there is, he’s got a modified no-trade clause in his $5 million per season contract that could make simply trading or dumping his deal a bit more challenging.
Frank Servalli of Daily Faceoff writes that goaltending is a big issue for the Kings this summer, especially considering they’ll need to make a decision on recently-acquired goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. Did he play well enough to earn a new contract? As a pending free agent, the Kings will want to be sure he’s their guy if the plan is to offer him a high-ticket deal to keep him from testing the market. Meanwhile, Seravalli adds, the Kings have “got to find a way to dump Cal Petersen’s $5 million contract.”
What Korpisalo gave the Kings is what the organization was hoping Petersen would provide. Instead, after being signed to a three-year, $15 million contract in 2021, he lasted only 10 games this season before being sent to the minors. And, because the Kings also have Pheonix Copley under contract for next season at a team-friendly rate of $1.5 million, Petersen is absolutely expendable if the priority is Korpisalo.
If Korpisalo becomes a player of interest to multiple teams, the projected $6.7 million in cap space the Kings have next season (only 19 roster players are under contract), might not offer enough room to re-sign Korpisalo. If he’s willing to stay on an affordable short-term deal, that would be one thing. He’s probably not and the Kings also have to make room for winger Gabriel Vilardi.
Who Would Take Petersen’s Contract?
This is one of those trades where the Kings might have to offer a sweetener or find a team looking to take on bad contracts in exchange for draft picks. The team traded away their first and third-round picks this year but picked up a third from the Penguins and also have their own second-rounder. It’s not clear yet what it would take to dump that contract, especially if the Kings don’t want to retain salary to send Petersen elsewhere.
Next: Corey Perry Answers Questions About His NHL Playing Future
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