Sean O'Donnell leaves Kings for Flyers
Sean O'Donnell, the veteran defenseman who mentored Drew Doughty and was a steadying presence for the Kings last season, has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers for $1 million plus bonuses.
O'Donnell, soon to be 39, was told last week by General Manager Dean Lombardi that he would have to play a reduced role with the Kings this season, perhaps as a seventh defenseman, but Lombardi said O'Donnell believes he can still play top-four minutes.
O'Donnell, who won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, is a strong and valuable presence in the locker room but, as Coach Terry Murray said, the game got a little fast for him during the playoffs.
His departure will give youngsters like Davis Drewiske, Thomas Hickey, Alec Martinez and Colten Teubert a chance to make the Kings' roster next season. It also leaves space for them to sign a top-four defenseman as a free agent, though two of the big names are gone.
Sergei Gonchar left Pittsburgh for a three-year deal with Ottawa at $5.5 million per year and Zbynek Michalek left Phoenix for Pittsburgh for a five-year, $20-million deal. That leaves Paul Martin, Anton Volchenkov and Dan Hamhuis still in play.
More as things happen...
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Sean O'Donnell in 2009. Credit: Los Angeles Times.