Los Angeles Kings defensman Willie Mitchell has stated that he has begun speaking with the franchise on an informal basis in regards to re-signing. He expects to receive the offer prior to the start of summer.
According to NHL.com, Mitchell wants to be back with the Kings — which is hardly a surprise — and thus starts the back and forth we’ve seen so many times this summer between players wanting a long term deal and their teams being reluctant to hand one out, for whatever reason.
“I’m sure it will happen in the next little bit. We’re kind of all doing the same things: exit medicals; a little bit of partying mixed in. Just a little bit. See how my golf swing is this afternoon. Really, if it’s going to get done, it gets done in a short period of time. There’s lots of time.”
The nonchalant answer is expected from a player who just won the Stanley Cup, however staying with the team is exactly what Mitchell wants.
General manager Dean Lombardi has not released any statements regarding the issue. Mitchell will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 without the offer.
Mitchell is said to be wanting a two year contract offer, and with other top players in need of new contracts, this may be a hard hit to the Kings salary cap.
“There’s lots of moving parts,” said Mitchell. “There’s Willie Mitchell the player. There’s the salary cap. And then, as a GM, you structure the team so hopefully you can have success over a long period of time. So I get it. If you’re asking me if I want to play hockey? Hell yeah.”
Mitchell turns 38 during the 2014-15 season, and when asked about his age, he simply stated that he plans to play until he’s 50. But on a serious note, his age is considered an elder in the sport and this could have an impact on the two year deal he is currently looking for.