On his 31 Thoughts Podcast, Elliotte Freidman revealed the LA Kings were not the only ones in hot pursuit of former Montreal Canadien Phillip Danault.
It is not surprising that the LA Kings had competition for the services of then unrestricted free agent Phillip Danault. While some were surprised by the term and money Danault got from the Kings (six years at a $5.5 million AAV), it appears that’s what LA had to do to keep Danault from signing with another team from the east coast.
That team was the New York Rangers.
“LA went hard – they outbid the Rangers,” Friedman said of the competition between the Kings and Rangers for Danault. “I don’t know if they gave him an extra year or a bit more money, but they were willing to go to a place that the Rangers weren’t willing to go. That’s why they got him and Edler, too.
“They’re still going to grow a bit, but they’ve listened to what [Drew] Doughty and [Anze] Kopitar have had to say,” Friedman added. “And they want to get people back in the building. To me, that says the KIngs are looking at their situation – we gotta sell some tickets here.”
In analyzing the situation, it really shouldn’t come as a shock that the Rangers were in pursuit of Phillip Danault as well. Like the Kings, New York is a young team loaded with top-tier prospects that are on the verge of being a serious contender. If the Rangers are lacking in one area, it’s depth at the center position.
Danault would have greatly helped them fill that void, but that will not happen now, thanks to the efforts of Rob Blake, Luc Robitaille, and company to bring the former 26th overall pick to the LA Kings.
Friedman on 31TP talking Danault/Kings: "LA went hard, they outbid the Rangers. I don't know if they gave him an extra year or a bit more money, but they were willing to go to a place the Rangers weren't willing to go."
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) August 13, 2021