Arbitration in any industry can get downright ugly, this is especially the case when it comes to sports where management and players find themselves at odds with each other. The recent Jimmy Graham vs. New Orleans Saints ordeal in the NFL shows just how ugly the negotiations can get. The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings should and likely will avoid going to arbitration with grinder Dwight King as they look to lock up another piece of their team.
For starters, while King’s size, physicality and tenacity are what he is known for, his offensive repertoire is improving. Coming off a 30 point season with 11 points in the playoffs, King is becoming more valuable than he ever has been to the Kings.
His last contract was a two-year deal that paid him under $1 million per season, means a bump into seven figures should satisfy King and his agent to the point where arbitration is avoided. Somewhere in the ball park of $4.5 million over three years is a fair deal to both King and the team. The term is longer than an arbitrator can give him (all arbitration based contracts are limited to one year) and his bump in pay should be enough to satisfy King and his agent.
King was by chance given one of the latest possible dates for a hearing, which works well for getting a deal done. Look for Dean Lombardi to have King signed for a reasonable cap hit over a fair term to ensure his big body continues to help the Kings win.
With King being the last player to re-sign, the Kings’ organization from top to bottom can focus all their attention on defending their Cup. A task that will surely require every ounce of attention the team has.