Gonchar on the Kings radar?
Could Sergei Gonchar be the player to get the rising Los Angeles over the hump in 2010? Although free agency is still two months away, the word around the league is that the Los Angeles Kings are prepared to make a major run at Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar this summer.
Multiple league sources say Gonchar not Kovaluchuk will be the Kings top priority this summer.
Gonchar’s agent J.P. Barry will be seeking at least $5 million per season on a multi-year deal, a price the Penguins can longer afford after giving defenseman Kris Letang $3.5 million per season over four years.
Gonchar though will limit his suitors and word out of Gonchar’s camp is that LA would be a team of interest.
The Kings have 16 players signed for 2010 and have approximately $15 million in cap space.
However, star defenseman Drew Doughty is entering the final year of his contract, along with young core players Jack Johnson and Wayne Simmonds.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi has had a fascination with Penguins players over the past two summers. Lombardi and the Kings were a finalist for Brooks Orpik in 2008 and signed Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi to a 4 year deal last summer.
Talks between the Penguins will begin after the season and if the Penguins advance to the Cup Finals, they will only have about a two week window to sign Gonchar.