LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phillip Danault signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
Slotting in Danault, a 28-year-old forward who had five goals and 19 assists for the Montreal Canadiens this past season, with captain Anze Kopitar gives the Kings one of the strongest pairs of two-way centers in the NHL.
Danault established himself as a defensive stalwart, especially on the penalty kill, and a standout in the faceoff circle in six seasons with Montreal, traits that were on display as he helped the Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup Final this year. He had one goal and three assists in 22 postseason games.
While Danault has a limited offensive game, never scoring more than 13 goals in eight seasons with Chicago and Montreal, the Kings have a deep crop of prospects at center they will expect to provide scoring. That group includes first-round picks Alex Turcotte, Rasmus Kupari, and Quinton Byfield, the second overall selection in the 2020 draft.
After pivoting into rebuilding mode during the 2018-19 season to stockpile draft picks and young players, the Kings have spent this offseason focused on adding established NHL players that can both help the remaining players from their 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup-winning teams get back into the playoffs and assist in the development of the next generation.
The Kings also signed veteran defenseman Alex Edler to a one-year, $3.5 million contract and re-signed forward Andreas Athanasiou to a one-year, $2.7 million contract on Wednesday. They traded for forward Viktor Arvidsson earlier this month.
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