The Los Angeles Kings were hit with some good news and some bad news during their Stanley Cup title defense in this year’s postseason. The good news was the emergence of Slava Voynov as an up-and-coming offensive threat, and a serious weapon from the blue line.
The bad news is that they now have to pay him. Like to the tune of a $5 million cap hit pay him.
In a case of perfect timing, at least on Voynov’s end, he’s set to become a restricted free agent this summer. Which means the Kings are going to have to come up with the funds to keep him, probably before July 5th. Teams could be chomping at the bit to get their hands on Voynov with an offer sheet.
Voynov is coming off of his entry-level deal that paid him just a touch over $800k. His cap hit is about to go up exponentially for the Kings, or wherever he ends up. He had a fantastic postseason for Los Angeles, coming up with timely goals that helped them to a more impressive title defense than the two champions before them, reaching the Western Conference Finals.
In 48 games, Voynov set a new career high for points, with 25 from the blue line. In 17 postseason games, his scoring rate was sky high, with 13 points over that span. Six of those points came from putting the puck in the back of the net, four of which were of the game-winning variety.
Voynov is part of an emerging crop of young offensive defenseman throughout the league with huge potential. He’s a weapon in the offensive zone, but also capable of playing in his own end and playing the physical game if he has to. As his career wears on, we should see him develop into a very good, if not elite, all-around d-man.
Now the Kings just have to get him locked up.