Trade already brewing for recently ousted Kings!

Trade already brewing for recently ousted Kings!

The clock is ticking if LA wants to make it work:

Chris Gosselin

The Los Angeles Kings were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Edmonton Oilers earlier this week and so their offseason begins now. As the team cleared the dressing room on Friday, tough questions were asked on what direction the organization needs to head into, and also tough comments were made on past choices. Especially the one involving the blockbuster trade that brought forward Pierre-Luc Dubois to LA from the Winnipeg Jets, which led to him signing an eight-year contract worth $8.5 million annually last summer.

This season was a disaster for both Dubois and the Kings, who still managed to grab on to a playoff spot. However, with LA now ousted from competition, all eyes are turning to the forward and what needs to happen with him.

Three scenarios are emerging from LA, as Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen puts it, and they involve buying out, trading or keeping Dubois.

However, if the Kings are serious about shipping out Dubois, they need to do so quite fast as the forward a full no-movement clause kicking once the 2024-25 NHL calendar flips over on July 1. The clause will then be introduced for the next four years:

“They’d have to move him before then to create the best market. At the same time, given Dubois’ history of working his way out of two other cities, any acquiring team would want to be sure he’d be satisfied with their city.

"Of course, moving Dubois might also require the Kings to retain some of his salary — and perhaps more salary than the cap penalties from a buyout. The San Jose Sharks traded Tomas Hertl to Vegas and retained $1.387 million on their books for another five seasons. The Sharks are rebuilding though, while the Kings are trying to contend, so keeping that amount — or likely more — for seven years would not be the ideal scenario.”

The Kings could look into the buyout option, however, it will be quite costly for the organization.

“If the only choice is to buy him out at 26 years old for two-thirds, it might be too big of a pill to swallow. Remember, the “dead cap” space left behind would be stretched out over twice the remaining length of the contract, so a Dubois buyout would leave behind a cap wake for 14 years.

"At a two-thirds buyout, Dubois’ dead cap space would range from $2.7-$4.9 million in the next seven years, and then cost $2.26 million for the last seven years (2031-32 to 2037-38).

"But, if the Kings have a window to buy out Dubois at one-third the value, the dead cap space would range from $1.5-$3.82 million in the first seven years, and then cost $1.13 million for each of the final seven years.”

The last option is to keep Dubois and give him another shot at this. However, the window is narrow and the Kings will have to decide fast, especially if they choose to work on an impending trade in the coming weeks. When asked about what he needs to do to improve, Dubois told Dennis Bernstein that he is focused on getting better, and has no concern about a potential trade or buyout. 

"Have a good summer. Work hard in the gym, skate... a lot of things that you can do, I'm committed to having a better season, I'll do anything to be better."

Recommended articles: