Sean O'Donnell: Kings never made an offer
Classy veteran defenseman Sean O'Donnell, who left the Kings as a free agent to sign a one-year, $1-million deal (plus bonuses) with the Philadelphia Flyers, said Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi did not offer him a new deal--but he has no hard feelings.
"I don't really know what their plan is. Dean and I spoke but it was informal," O'Donnell said by phone. "I think I was more of a Plan C or Plan D for them. Maybe they have something else going. I don't know."
Lombardi said last week he had suggested that O'Donnell might have to take a reduced role next season, but O'Donnell -- who will be 39 in October -- had balked. O'Donnell confirmed that. "I still thought, especially in the situation here in L.A., I still had more left in me than what Dean felt I had," he said.
He said the Flyers, who lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals, "called within five minutes of free agency. It was the first offer I got and it seemed like a good fit." Some other teams were interested, he said, but none stepped up.
"It's a team that came very close, obviously, with how far they got," he said.
The move will reunite him with Chris Pronger, his teammate on the Ducks' 2007 Stanley Cup championship team. "We've spoken a couple of times and he can be pretty persuasive," O'Donnell said. "We're still good friends, but that wasn't the only reason I went there."
O'Donnell was a good mentor to the Kings' young defensemen the past two seasons and he will be missed as a voice of reason in their locker room.
More on free agent doings as things happen...
-- Helene Elliott