For someone who isn’t notorious for being busy on the opening day of Free Agent Frenzy, Dean Lombardi was quite active as he signed a pair of defenseman, two forwards and a familiar face in goal. But let’s place our focus for the time being on the two blueliners.
The Los Angeles Kings first inked defenseman Tom Gilbert to a one-year deal worth $1.4 million.
Despite coming off knee surgery and having a notoriety for being inconsistent, Gilbert, 33, is a mobile, puck-moving defenseman. He is also a righthanded shot which is what Lombardi and the Kings were looking for.
While Gilbert is coming off a shortened season where he scored only one goal and one assist for Montreal, the native of Bloomington, Minn., had 28 points in 71 games for Florida in 2013-14. The Kings will hope the big blueliner can return to this sort of form next season.
In addition to Gilbert, the Kings also signed defenseman Zach Trotman to a one-year deal worth, according to Jon Rosen through a team source, $650,000.
A native of Carmel, Ind., Trotman, 25, may only have 67 NHL games under his belt but he has established himself quite nicely as a defensive defenseman who has improved on his skating and passing in recent years. Trotman also added two goals and five assists in 38 games for the Boston Bruins last season. Unfortunately, because of how much depth the B’s have on the blueline, Trotman became expendable as he will look to crack a full-time spot with the Kings this coming fall. Overall, not a bad player for someone who was the last pick of the 2010 Draft.
In just a matter of a few hours, the Kings were able to sign two defenseman while just spending a little over $2 million in total. Both D-men, however, appear to be, at this juncture at least, to be on opposite sides of the spectrum. Gilbert’s best days appear to be behind him while Trotman’s best days only seem to be ahead. In fairness, though, none of that can be proven until these two hit the ice.
Whatever the case may be, the Los Angeles Kings have added two more defensemen to the fold on what was unusually busy day for the silver-and-black.