Patrick O'Sullivan in the Kings' fold
Editor's note: More details available about the O'Sullivan deal added at 5:28 p.m.
The Kings reached a verbal agreement with restricted free agent forward Patrick O'Sullivan on a three-year deal this afternoon, and he's expected to be on a plane to Los Angeles tonight and report to their El Segundo practice rink on Wednesday.
The Kings open their season Saturday at San Jose, and it will be up to Coach Terry Murray if he plays in that game.
The agreement was so recent that monetary figures weren't available and the Kings weren't disclosing anything.
A three-year deal was part of General Manager Dean Lombardi's plan for keeping his core of young players together.
"It was one of those things that certainly once it started moving on we felt, 'Let's get this done right now,' instead of going for a stopgap," Lombardi said.
"It was fair and it also fits with putting this group together with some term. You're looking at keeping this group together and making it all fit."
O'Sullivan's agent, Pat Morris, did not return an e-mail or a phone call, but we'll let you know what he says if he comments on the deal.
O'Sullivan scored 53 points for the Kings last season and is a top-six forward with considerable skill. Getting him under contract will increase the roster to 23 and may bump someone else down the totem pole or to Manchester of the American Hockey League. So far, no one has been sent down.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: The Kings' Patrick O'Sullivan, right, tangles in front of the Kings net with San Jose Shark Joe Pavelski during second period at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Dec. 26, 2007. Credit: Richard Hartog/Los Angeles Times