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The Daily: What Should Kings Do With Dubois?; Berggren Leads Griffins

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Jonatan Berggren, detroit red wings, grand rapids griffins

When the Los Angeles Kings acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois last summer they felt like they were getting a top six-forward, a difference-maker and maybe the eventual replacement for Anze Kopitar.

A new Dubois eight-year contract for $68 million was part of the deal.

Today, the deal and the contract look like a significant mistake. Dubois, turning 26 next month, should be early in his prime years. But he put up only 40 points this season and ended up on the fourth line. By all accounts, he had no impact in the Kings’ playoff series against Edmonton.

The Kings may be looking at living with an $8.5 million bust. They can try to trade him, but it doesn’t seem likely anyone would take the contract without the Kings eating a chunk of cap space.

An insightful Sportsnet story by Rory Boylen offered a third option of buying him out with the cap hit spread out to 2038. It’s not as crazy as it sounds if the Kings could do it while Dubois is still 25. If he is 25, they could buy out the deal for one-third the value. Once he hits 26, the buyout is two-thirds.  The one-third option seems plausible. The problem: The first buyout opportunity comes June 15 or 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final is over. Dubois turns 26 on June. 24.

Boylen lays out the buyout scenario in interesting detail. It’s worth the read.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It.

  • Jonatan Berggren‘s strong season continues into the postseason. He has two overtime goals in the first three games of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ playoff series against Rockford.
  • The return of Elmer Soderblom to the Griffins’ lineup after an illness makes them stronger for the playoffs. They need his size against the Rockford IceHogs.
  • Dylan Larkin won’t be able to play for USA at the World Championship. He originally planned to play, but an injury will keep him out of the tournament.
  • Detroit prospect Dmitry Buchelnikov may be staying longer in the KHL than the Red Wings would like.

Red Wings Offseason

Jonatan Berggren leads the Grand Rapids Griffins offense in the postseason with two goals, four points and a plus-3 plus-minus. His linemate Carter Mazur has three assists. Their center Austin Czarnik boasts three goals. Goalie Sebastian Cossa has a 3.12 goals-against average, plus an .870 save percentage.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: Coach Jim Montgomery said David Pastrnak needed to “step up” in Game 7 and that’s exactly what he did for the Boston Bruins.

Florida: FHN’s George Richards explains how the Florida Panthers have struggled against the Bruins this season.

Nashville: An offensive drought and power play woes proved to be the Nashville Predators undoing against the Vancouver Canucks.

Philadelphia: Jonathan Bailey writes about how the Philadelphia Flyers can learn from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ firing of Todd Reirden.

Vegas: GM Kelly McCrimmon brought in Noah Hanifin to make a playoff impact and he is delivering for the Vegas Golden Knights.