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Lucic to be unrestricted free agent July 1: report

28-year-old forward unable to reach agreement on new contract with Kings @NHLdotcom

Forward Milan Lucic will become an unrestricted free agent July 1 after he was unable to agree to a new contract with the Los Angeles Kings, ESPN reported Wednesday.

The 28-year-old forward is coming off a three-year contract reportedly worth $18 million that he signed with the Boston Bruins. Boston traded him to Los Angeles in June 2015 for the Kings' 2015 first-round pick (No. 13), goaltender Martin Jones and defenseman Colin Miller.

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi confirmed to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun that Lucic is headed to free agency and that he has sent a letter authorizing Lucic to talk to other teams right away. NHL teams can officially begin talking to potential unrestricted agents June 25.

Lucic told the Los Angeles Times in April that he wanted to remain with the Kings.

"To be honest, I really don't have much interest in hitting the open market, or even hearing what's out there -- because in my mind, this is where I want to be," he said. "Why flirt with something when you know what you want?"

Lucic had 20 goals, 55 points and 79 penalty minutes in 81 games for the Kings this season; his 35 assists tied his NHL career-high.

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