The 2017 NHL free agency officially began July 1 with all 31 teams looking to revamp their rosters. For the Los Angeles Kings, the offseason marks the first time new general manager Rob Blake has full control over personnel matters after taking over the position from Dean Lombardi.
Teams were allowed to talk to unrestricted free agents prior to the free agent period opening which allowed for teams to announce deals as quickly as July 1. Blake wasted no time and quickly added goaltending depth by agreeing to terms with former Minnesota Wild, Darcy Keumper, according to Kings:
The LA Kings have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent goaltender Darcy Kuemper on a one-year contract, Kings Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake announced today.
Kuemper’s contract will have an Annual Average Value (AAV) of $650,000.
Kuemper will look to become Jonathan Quick’s backup for the 2017-18 NHL season but will need to compete with Jack Campbell, Jeff Zatkoff, and Cal Petersen for the opportunity. Out of the four, Keumper easily has the most NHL experience, having played 102 games for the Wild dating back to the 2012-13 season and should easily earn the role.
The Wild originally drafted Kuemper during the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Draft and have primarily used the 27-year-old as a backup throughout his career. In five seasons, Kuemper posted a 41-34-14 record with a .910 save percentage and 2.60 goals-against average.
With five goaltenders under contract, the Blake appears to have the position under wraps and can look towards filling in the remainder of roster. The Kings have been in contact with Joe Thornton while trying to revamp their offense but also need to add more defenders.