Happy Friday, insiders!
While a bit of anxiety arose from Kings fans all summer, defender Mickey Anderson was well present on the first day of training camp, armed with a one-year contract extension.
The one-year period presented an opportunity for Anderson. A chance to keep growing, a chance to keep evolving and a chance to continue to be part of something he believes in, which is what royalty builds here in Los Angeles.
“For my personal situation, I looked at it as a way to build another year,” he said. “Building on the last two seasons and even the third season of MLS, another way to continue growing and developing and then reassess where we are next year. I really love where we are as a group and as a team, and a system wise, and I am very happy to be a part of it.”
Anderson’s comments are consistent with what we’ve heard from others about the confidence and excitement in the vision set forth by Kings. His primary defensive partner, Drew Doughty, expressed confidence in the organization’s direction during his exit interview last May, with others agreeing with that view as well.
That confidence is the thing that has allowed Anderson to put his faith in what the Kings are building, locking himself in the 2022-23 season, while also providing extra time to continue working toward a possible extension for the following years. The Kings will see the opening in the salary cap division come off-season, with Anderson qualifying for another contract again at that time, despite having refereeing rights in his corner unlike this off-season last season.
“A one-year deal that gives us more time, as I said, to build for another year, play well and try to see if there’s a solution we can get to over time, next year.”
Unlike Doughty, Anderson used representation in his contract negotiations. Doughty, as well documented, negotiated his own contract with the Blake and the Kings when he agreed to an eight-year extension on July 1, 2018.
Anderson is represented by Jay Grossman, who also represents Inquisitor of Kings Samuel Helenius, and noted that his agent did the bulk of the heavy lifting when it came to negotiations. Some players prefer to be very practical, as Doughty was, while others prefer to know almost nothing until things are ready for formalization. Anderson leans more towards the latter, which is content to work through his acting and take things from there.
“For me, my agent did the bulk of it and kind of got me into how to do it [went]Anderson explained. “You have a guy like Drew who was able to do it himself, but there’s a lot of work to do. You have a lot of different sides to try to get similar contracts and what not to try to work out between you and the team. So, on that front, it’s good to have an agent. It can be another layer of support to support you and what you think. For me personally, I’ve been involved, but it’s more than just getting used feedback.”
While direct involvement in the negotiations wasn’t something that mattered to Anderson, getting a deal before starting training camp was definitely a priority for the Minnesota native.
As we head into camp tomorrow, there are a handful of players who remain unsigned free agents throughout the league. These players will not be on the ice with their teammates on day one. While there has been concern on this front from Kings fans, the situation with Anderson has never really been a concern. The two teams certainly took advantage of the allotted time, but in speaking with Anderson, there was absolutely no doubt that the two sides would get things done by the time the first set hits the ice at El Segundo tomorrow morning.
“You want to make a deal before camp,” Anderson said emphatically. “As much as you think you’re in good shape, and no matter how good your summer training is, camp is camp and it’s going to be tough no matter what. It’s something you want to be a part of for your own personal well-being, just to be in shape, and be ready to go all year long, but Also in the first two weeks the team is together and you kind of start building a team model. You have to be in the room and figure out how it’s going to be. From my personal point of view, two weeks are very important to be a part of and I’m very happy that we were able to find something and get it done before the camp started “.
Another important clarification from the interview is that Anderson was sure to note that he wanted to stay here for the long-term, despite the short-term extension he signed earlier this month.
For a few of the reasons outlined above, Anderson is using this year as an opportunity to continue growing and developing on the strong defensive front he has already established. Although he will become a free agent again next summer, he will remain tied and in his mind, he hopes to remain a part of the Kings organization for the foreseeable future.
“I love the place here, I love the way the team goes, the organization, the way we move,” he said. “The city, the living arrangements here and our group of men, I would like to stay here as long as possible.”
With day one now in the rearview mirror, we’re gearing up to start day two of LA Kings bootcamp.
The format today is almost identical to yesterday’s sessions, at least in terms of timing and alignment, although the order of groups and individuals in each group is different from what we saw yesterday. Group B starts at 10am, with a slightly different look and feel, and we go away.
Today’s schedule 2
• 10:00 am – Group B exercises
• 10:50 am – brawl, groups A and B
• 12:25 pm – Group 1 exercises
• 1:00 p.m. – Group C exercise
As was the case last season, we are looking at some changes to the kits between day one and two and we can expect to see additional changes again tomorrow, between day two and three. Some of the veteran players – Drew Dottie and Philip Danault – will be skating with Group C this afternoon and will not participate in the scrimmage session. Expect to see players rotate in and out of camp here at the start of camp, giving different players different opportunities and different alignments.
Here’s how the kings will line up today –
Kevin Fiala – Anzi Kopetar – Adrien Quimby
Alex Yavalo – Quinton Byfield – Arthur Kaliev
Leas Anderson – Nate Thompson – Gabe Velardi
Austin Wagner – Akil Thomas – Tyler Madden
Sean Walker – Matt Roy
Tobias Björnfoot – Jordan Spence
Jacob Mofrier – Helge Gruns
Trevor Moore – Rasmus Kopari – Samuel Fajimo
Brendan Lemieux – Blake Liszot – Karl Grundstrom
Garrett Anderson Dolan – Samuel Helenius – Martin Kromiak
Taylor Ward – Riley Fiddler Schultz – Jacob Doughty
Mickey Anderson – Cameron Jones
Alex Adler – Brandt Clark
Kim Nousiainen – Landon Kosior
Francesco Benelli – Philip Danault – Aidan Dudas
Justin Nashbor – TJ Tainan – Brett Kemp
Caleb Lawrence – Eric Alari
Angus Booth – Drew Doughty
Cameron Supreca – Shawn Dorzy