Simon Gagne - Mike Richards - Dustin Brown
Have to say, that looks pretty good. A do-it-all center, a sniping winger and a guy that can work around the net. One both lines. Bonersville, Population: this guuuuy.
The key is that both lines are pretty solid defensively. Williams is probably the weakest of the 6 and that's just because he's always looking to attack. This allows the Kings to have whatever kind of 3rd line they'd like: they can have another shutdown line with Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis on it, or they can try to be more offensive and get Andrei Loktionov and Scott Parse in there.*
Gagne signed for 2 years, $7 million total, a price that seems a much better value than every other contract signed this off-season. Of course, this is because there's always the risk that Gagne could get another concussion or ailment that will knock him out for stretches at a time. Since the lockout, Gagne has only played 70+ games 3 times since the lockout; when he did play 70 games, though, he generally scored ~70 points.
Contrary to what those characters up in San Jose try to spin to make themselves feel better when they win the division, the Kings aren't favorites or even contenders... yet.** They need to do it once before they can claim such a lofty title. But they have the pieces to get there. The Kings don't have to look at match-ups and think, "Well, maybe if things break right...." They can match up to anyone, dictate play, dictate tempo, and crush people.
Now they just need to sign Drew Doughty.
*I'll talk more about it over the summer but I have no idea what the Kings are going to do with Scott Parse and Kyle Clifford. It seems like they're going to put Parse on the 3rd line and Clifford on the 4th, but I don't trust Murray to stick with it. Maybe one of them can play the right wing? Maybe Loktionov can? I'm confused.
**To me, it comes down to Brent Burns versus Jack Johnson. Which player can contribute more to his team and create 2 top pairings on the same squad? I think only Burns can do that and thus the Sharks are better.