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June 16, 2014 | 11:54pm ET
Kings, Gaborik to begin talks
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Los Angeles Kings celebrated their second championship in the last three seasons with their fans today, but it's quickly back to work for GM Dean Lombardi.

The Kings showed off hockey's top prize at their championship parade outside of Staples Center earlier today and will spend the off-season as the NHL's top dogs.

However, with the free agent market set to open up July 1, Lombardi has some key decisions to make.

Forward Marian Gaborik and defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell are pending unrestricted free agents.

Lombardi is set on signing Gaborik to a new contract, as the two sides will begin discussions this week, though the team's blueline could get a change for the 2014-15 campaign.

It's believed the Kings will try to lock up Mitchell to a new deal, if he decides not to retire, while the team may go in a different direction with Greene.

It has also been speculated that veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr may also call it a career after capturing his first Stanley Cup. If he, and/or Mitchell, hangs up his skates, that may result in the Kings re-signing Greene.

With between roughly $10 million and $13 million in available cap space, depending on where the final cap number hits for next season, the Kings have some flexibility to work with. If Regehr retires, that will free up an additional $3 million in cap space.

Gaborik, 32, is expected to sign a deal in the five-year range, worth at least $6 million, annually. He is coming off a five-year, $37.5 million deal.

Lombardi could go after a free agent defenseman this summer, and the team may be willing to give youngster Brayden McNabb a shot at making the club next season.

One thing is clear, though. The Kings do not plan on buying out the contract of center Mike Richards.


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