No changes to Kings' group that won Cup

The SportsXchange

The Los Angeles Kings' thinking certainly seems logical. They won the Stanley Cup, so why make changes?

In the three weeks after their unlikely run to the first championship in the franchise's 45-year history, the Kings decided to keep the entire roster intact for next season while still maintaining some flexibility.

The Kings were due to have only three unrestricted free agents this summer and promptly took care of two of them: Jarret Stoll signed a three-year contract and Colin Fraser signed a two-year contract, both on June 23. That left veteran winger Dustin Penner, whose return to the Kings was not certain.

Penner, acquired from Edmonton at the 2011 trade deadline, has massively underachieved for much of his tenure with the Kings, but he did perform well during the playoffs, and there were few wingers on the free agent market this summer with Penner's skill level.

Penner expressed his desire to return to the Kings, and it showed when he eschewed long-term offers from other teams and agreed, on July 1, to return to the Kings on a one-year, $3.25 million contract.

Penner's return means that all 23 players who dressed for at least one playoff game for the Kings this spring will be able to return in the fall.

General manager Dean Lombardi had mulled whether that was a good idea and considered the thought that perhaps some change would be good in order to prevent the players from getting complacent.

Indeed, on July 1, the Kings made an offer to top free agent Zach Parise, but that was more of a pie-in-the-sky shot by Lombardi, who thinks highly of Parise but knew that he was likely to be outbid.
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