Ray Ferraro, an unrestricted free-agent center who spent the last three-plus seasons with the Kings, signed a two-year contract with the expansion Atlanta Thrashers on Monday.
Ferraro, who will be 35 in a few weeks, was hampered by knee problems most of last season but a strong finish gave him 13 goals and 31 points in 65 games. His age and questions about his production took him out of the Kings' plans.
"When I met with Dave [Taylor, the Kings' general manager] at the end of the season he said he'd let me know by June 30, one way or another, and I never heard from him," Ferraro said.
Ferraro, who has 346 goals, 395 assists and 741 points in 1,020 games over 15 seasons, said he has been following a workout program that has put him in the best physical shape he can remember. Thrasher Coach Curt Fraser probably will look to him for leadership and scoring, and Ferraro anticipates being able to deliver both.
"I had 13 goals last year, playing in a situation that could best be described as being shackled. Ask any of our forwards, and they'll say that," he said. "I don't know what system Curt is going to use, but everything I read about Curt is, he wants pressure and offense. Being healthier, I think I can get into position to score. I'd love to score 20 to 25 goals. I'd love to do that and I'd be disappointed if I don't."