Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Entries with the tag: los angeles kings

Simmons on Voynov, the Oilers, Draisaitl, etc.

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons discusses the fates of Eric Staal and Tyler Myers in his weekly notebook, but he also makes a point regarding the Slava Voynov case that...Let's say the New York Post's Larry Brooks examines in greater detail...

Will be an interesting conversation around Lou Marsh time ... If Slava Voynov remains suspended until his Dec. 1 court date, he will have sat out 18 games, making his one of the longest suspensions in NHL history. What makes this so complicated is that he has yet to be formally charged with anything, his salary is counting against the Los Angeles salary cap and in the backdrop of the Ray Rice situation, the NHL is caught in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t circumstance.

Amongst Simmons' notes:

Now that they’ve won three home games in a row, the heat is off Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins. For now. But had the wins not come in the homestand, the Oilers were preparing to make a coaching change. The man they were already sniffing around: Mark Messier

(have we ever heard that rumor before? Naaaaaaah)

This is why I remain skeptical of the Maple Leafs' ability to work as a functional sports team...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: brendan+shanahan, dallas+eakins, dave+nonis, edmonton+oilers, kyle+dubas, leon+draisaitl, los+angeles+kings, mark+hunter, mark+messier, slava+voynov, toronto+maple+leafs

Kings raise their championship banner

The Los Angeles Kings raised their Stanley Cup banner this evening: (short version)

Long version below...:

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman holds ‘state of the game’ speech/Q and A

Prior to the start of Thursday's Los Angeles Kings-San Jose Sharks game, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held his annual start-of-the-year "state of the game" speech and media Q and A session. NHL.com's Dan Rosen provides a transcript thereof:

On how much of the League's success last season comes from having the Stanley Cup champions in the second largest media market in the United States:

"Market size, particularly when you're dealing with major media markets, has an impact in terms of gathering attention. But I got asked that question when I did the media avail before the Stanley Cup Final started and it's frankly more important what's taking place on the ice. You can have the biggest markets in the world, but if the game isn't exciting, compelling and competitive it's not going to generate a lot of interest. The Kings, for example, had a magical, spectacular run in last year's playoffs, and I think that was as important, if not more, than it was taking place with a team based in Los Angeles.

"It's interesting, we talk about competitiveness and competitive balance, and you see it. As the season starts most of the prognostications I'm seeing are all over the place as to who is going to make the playoffs and who is going to win the Cup. Nobody knows, but there aren't a whole lot of teams that are out of the conversation. That's one of the things we think is paramount about our system."

The Q and A continues at extensive length...

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  Tags: gary+bettman, los+angeles+kings, san+jose+sharks

The ‘other’ Darryl Sutter

From TSN's James Duthie...

Darryl Sutter won't stop talking. 

This isn't an oxymoron. Or a dream sequence in another TSN Films skit.  

This is truth. 

On a sunny evening on the boardwalk of Manhattan Beach, California, the coach of two of the last three Stanley Cup champions is sharing his views on, in no particular order:

- Brothers ("I've played on a team my whole life, not from making a team...I was born into a team.")

- Criminal Minds ("I love that show. We've gotten to meet some of the actors and actresses. It's pretty cool.")

- Eliminating the penalty box ("Why not have them sit on the bench and sell the best six seats in the house?")

- Yoga ("I put it in our training twice this year...so that's a big move right there. But no, I'm not doing it.")

And Duthie continues, with Sutter explaining:

That guy you see on TV? The one with the semi-permanent scowl who can do an entire post game new conference in 25 words or less?  This is not that guy. 

"I've always enjoyed talking one-on-one with people," Sutter says. "I just don't like talking after games. We all saw what happened on the ice. I don't have much to add. Most questions you can answer with 'yes, no...maybe.'  So I don't want to go much beyond that."

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  Tags: darryl+sutter, los+angeles+kings

Los Angeles Kings’ championship rings ‘make a point’

The Los Angeles Kings' Twitter account went to town in terms of teasers on Monday...

And then came the championship ring ceremony retweets, revealing a ring that's both very faithful to the Kings' logo and...Might be classifed as a weapon by the TSA?

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: dustin+brown, los+angeles+kings, marian+gaborik, martin+jones

ESPN’s Strang weighs in on the Wings, Kings and Wild’s goaltending via chat session

ESPN's Katie Strang held a chat on ESPN.com today, and the first two questions of said chat touched upon meaty topics:

Ed (Queens Village): If you had to pick 1 this season Kings repeat as Cup Champs or Red Wings miss playoffs for 1st time this century?

Katie Strang: Well, I really do not like ever doubting the Wings. That record speaks for itself and the club has a well-earned reputation for its winning culture. That said, I think the chances of them missing are far greater than a Kings repeat. Winning a Cup takes so many elements beyond great personnel and a bevvy of talent. It takes grit, depth and yes, some luck. Especially during the salary-cap era, dynastic teams are harder to come by. Anything can happen in the East though I am banking on Wings making it again this year,

Michael (Minnesota): If you were Chuck Fletcher, what would you do with your goalie situation? Are you tempted to sign Brodeur?

Katie Strang: If I were Chuck Fletcher I'd be extremely concerned about my goaltending situation. I know he said publicly that there will be training camp competition with Harding, Backstrom and Kuemper but I wouldn't feel too confident with that. That's why, since the trade deadline, many assumed Brodeur would be a great fit there. His sons also play at famed hockey prep school Shattuck St. Mary's in Fairbault, MN. Makes a lot of sense. But I think Brodeur is holding out for potentially an injury situation that opens a spot up.

Continued

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  Tags: chuck+fletcher, detroit+red+wings, josh+harding, los+angeles+kings, martin+brodeur, minnesota+wild, niklas+backstrom

Los Angeles Kings ink Matt Greene to a 4-year extension

The Los Angeles Kings decided the middle of the NHL Awards show was the perfect time to announce that they've signed Matt Greene to an extension:

The Los Angeles Kings – the 2014 Stanley Cup Champions – have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with defenseman and assistant captain Matt Greene, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

Greene, 31, has played for the Kings since the club acquired him and Jarret Stoll in a trade with Edmonton in 2008. Greene has helped the Kings win two Stanley Cups during his six seasons in Los Angeles.

A 6-3, 234-pound native of Grand Ledge, Michigan, Greene played in 38 regular season games (2-4=6, 47 PIM, plus-6 rating) for the Kings this past season. He also played in 20 more playoff games (four assists), including all five Stanley Cup Final contests.

At the end of the regular season, Greene was selected by his teammates as the club’s Most Inspirational Player (Ace Bailey Memorial Award).

Overall, Greene has played in 504 career regular season NHL games with the Kings and Oilers and he has 69 points (13-56=69) and 582 penalty minutes. He has also played in 79 career NHL postseason games and has 14 points (2-12=14).

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings, matt+greene

Duhatschek: NHL likely to hold outdoor game between Kings and Sharks next February

The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek presented a Canada-centric look at the NHL's 2014-2015 season schedule on Sunday evening, and he revealed that the NHL will probably hold an outdoor game in California for the second consecutive season:

For the upcoming season, there is one Winter Classic – Jan. 1 in Washington, where the Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks – but it is believed that a Feb. 21 date between the Kings and the Sharks will also be played outdoors in the Bay Area, after the NHL successfully pulled off an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last January. The NHL is firming up the details of its outdoor schedule, though it is believed the number of games will be sharply reduced from the six that were on the schedule a year ago, Last year, the NHL flooded the market with outdoor games primarily for two reasons – to generate additional revenues coming out of a lockout that saw the cancellation of 34 games per team; and to draw attention back to the league before and after the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Three of the six outdoor games came just before the NHL took its Olympic break and two others came immediately afterward.

With no Olympics to bother with this year, the NHL All-Star Game returns to the schedule after a one-year hiatus, with Columbus hosting the 2015 event during a four-day between Jan. 22-26.

Continued with more "key dates"...

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, los+angeles+kings, san+jose+sharks, washington+capitals, winter+classic

Los Angeles Kings win the Stanley Cup

Alec Martinez just scored the game-winning goal in double overtime.

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  Tags: alec+martinez, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers

A different take on ‘the West is best’: competition breeds Cup domanance

The New York Times' Lynn Zinser offers a take on the Rangers-Kings series which ponders, "Is the West simply better?" theory from a slightly different (and noteworthy) perspective:

This ridiculously uphill battle, however, is brought to you by an N.H.L. that has seen its balance of power slip out of whack. The West has been reliably the better of the two conferences for quite some time, with its teams winning the season series against the East in every season since 2005-6. The West has also won five of the last seven Stanley Cups and six of the last eight Presidents’ Trophies, for the team with the best regular-season record.

That strength has only been increasing. In these playoffs, the quality of the two conference finals series were so far apart that a Stanley Cup finals sweep might have been predicted no matter which team won the West. The Chicago Blackhawks, after all, have won two of those recent five Stanley Cups, and the Kings were champs two years ago.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

‘Henke’s’ show gives the Rangers life

This time, the Los Angeles Kings couldn't rally from a 2-0 deficit, and it was due to some absolutely fantabulous goaltending--and a wee bit of luck--by Henrik Lundqvist, whose 40-save performance (including 15 saves in the 3rd period, a period in which the Rangers had 1 shot on Jonathan Quick) powered the Rangers to a 2-1 win and a Game 5 in Los Angeles this Friday.

Benoit Pouliot's first-period tip and Martin St. Louis' second-period drive to the net were answered by a Dustin Brown breakaway 8:46 into the 2nd, but after that, Lundqvist shut the door.

This little assist by Anton Stralman in the first period helped...

As did some slushy ice and another hand from Derek Stepan in the 3rd (via CJ Folger on Twitter):

And now the Rangers have some life, though the way the Kings dominated play doesn't bode well for a rally from a 3-0 deficit (though I will readily admit that BOTH teams look exhausted at this point).

I've seen better goaltending performances, but this one is in my top 5, and I've been watching hockey for 23 years now. Jonathan "The Scorpion King" Quick got bested by King Henrik, and that was...phenomenal stuff.

Please note: SB Nation's Steve Lepore and Grantland's Katie Baker pointed out that there is no hockey this weekend due to the World Cup of soccer taking place in Brazil, not due to some slight against the wonder that is our game.

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  Tags: anton+stralman, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers

TSN’s Insiders discuss Mike Richards’ future, Lecavalier trade and a sort-of Dan Boyle sweepstakes

As noted during the GM's meetings post, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun tends to issue a set of "Rumblings" in conjunction with an episode of TSN's Insider Trading, and that is most certainly the case this evening. TSN's Darren Dreger, James Duthie and LeBrun spent three-and-a-half minutes discussing hot topics, and TSN conveniently provided a transcript of the video.

In terms of items not discussed by the GM's meetings post or LeBrun's Rumblings...

The Stanley Cup Final is on but GM's are already focusing about next season. We expect Brad Richards to be bought out by the New York Rangers - what about Mike Richards by L.A.?

Darren Dreger: Well the Los Angeles Kings don't plan on buying out Mike Richards because then they would have to replace him. But Mike Richards doesn't want to be a fourth-line centre next year for the Kings. The Kings are expected to push Richards in the off-season to improve his conditions and get a little bit stronger. But we also know that Richards is a strong and confident young man and he may not want to follow the path that the Kings want him to follow. So this could get very interesting.

Is current Philadelphia Flyer Vincent Lecavalier soon to be an ex-Flyer?

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: dan+boyle, david+poile, garth+snow, los+angeles+kings, mike+richards, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, philadelphia+flyers, ron+hextall, shea+weber, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier

Quick was great but his teammates were better as LA defeats NY 3-0

Jonathan Quick made a pair of absolutely remarkable, beautiful backhand paddle saves en route to a shutout as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers 3-0 on Monday night...

 


But I'd argue that the Kings played so very well in shutting down six Rangers power plays and stifling secondary scoring chances to the point that had Quick surrendered goals on both of the above-listed instances, all the Kings needed was this last-second break to really put the hammer down on the Rangers;

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  Tags: jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers, rick+nash

Kings master the rope-a-dope again, win 5-4 in double OT

That was most certainly intriguing. For the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings surrendered a 2-0 lead; for the second consecutive game, the Kings forced overtime, overcoming both the Rangers' relentless attack and their own defensive mistakes (Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene did not have the best nights in their own end); and for the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings persevered and prevailed, with Dustin Brown tipping Willie Mitchell's shot past Henrik Lundqvist 10:26 into the second OT period.

Los Angeles prevails 5-4, and now the series gets interesting: both teams will have to try to get their players to bed sooner than later as 9 AM Pacific Daylight Time flights are on the Sunday docket, and the teams will play three games in five nights, so we may see the kind of mental fatigue that played into tonight's score leak its way into regulation time action.

Justin Williams had 3 assists, Willie Mitchell had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick stopped 34 shots for LA; Derik Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan McDonagh had 1-goal-and-1-assist games for the Rangers, Rick Nash had 8 shots, and Henrik Lundqvist (who may or may not have issued a Dustin Brown-style dive at one point--quite a bit of diving in this series!) stopped 39 for New York.

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  Tags: derick+brassard, dustin+brown, henrik+lundqvist, jonathan+quick, justin+williams, los+angeles+kings, mats+zuccarello, matt+greene, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+mcdonagh, willie+mitchell

Kings prevail in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final

The curse of the two-goal lead and/or perhaps some delayed jet-lag setting in? The Los Angeles Kings fell behind 2-0 against the New York Rangers, who had rest on their side coming into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, but after the Kings rallied to tie the game 2-2, the Kings came out with legs full of lead in the 3rd period, getting out-shot 20-3, and while Henrik Lundqvist stopped almost everything he saw, he wasn't able to steal this snipe shot by Justin Williams 4:36 into OT (Dan Girardi had a terrible giveaway, and his teammates all "flew by" and skated the other way, yielding a mini one-on-none):

The Kings prevailed 3-2 despite Lundqvist's 40-save performance, and now things get interesting: the Kings won the first game, which supposedly garners you a 77% chance of winning the Stanley Cup, but both Los Angeles, which had two days to turn around after beating the Hawks, and the Rangers, who had nearly a week off before taking their cross-continental flight on Monday, will BOTH be able to re-set and refocus in a big way as Game 2 doesn't take place until Saturday (7 PM EDT start).

Does momentum transfer from game to game, or will the series essentially re-set after two days of rest and recuperation for both clearly mentally and physically exhausted teams, at least given their play over the first 40 or so minutes?

We'll find out on Saturday night.

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  Tags: dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, justin+williams, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers

(Everybody is) picking the Kings to prevail in the Stanley Cup Final

The Kings-Rangers previews are already pouring in, and if you wish to cut to the chase, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's preview summarizes each and every one of the prognosticators' bottom lines:

Prediction

I would have predicted a five-game win for the Kings had they taken care of business in Game 6 at home against the Blackhawks. Instead, the Kings were taxed to the limit by Chicago, had to fly to Chicago and back, and poured every ounce they had in finishing off the Blackhawks. I feel better about New York making this a series because of it. Still ... West is best. Kings in 7.

Continued

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers

Hawks-Kings Game 7 post-game pressers

The NHL posted the players and coaches' presser transcripts after the Chicago Blackhawks lost Game 7 to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night, but the videos might better convey the tone of their comments.

First, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville took to the podium...

Then Kings coach Darryl Sutter was hilariously awkward as usual, while wearing a suit two sizes too big...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alec+martinez, chicago+blackhawks, darryl+sutter, joel+quenneville, justin+williams, los+angeles+kings

In the reminder department, part 2: John Moore’s still suspended; Carcillo ruling coming today

Because the New York Rangers haven't played since last Thursday, the New York Daily News's Peter Botte reminds us that Rangers defenseman John Moore will sit out Game 1 of the Rangers-Los Angeles Kings series on Wednesday:

John Moore still must sit out Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the back end of a two-game suspension for an illegal hit that concussed Montreal's Dale Weise in the previous round. But the dependable defenseman is relieved that his Rangers teammates have ensured he will have a chance to play again this season.

"It's tough to watch no matter what time of year, but the guys gave me a chance to keep playing now," Moore said after practice Sunday in Greenburgh. "Obviously, if I could take it all back I would, but the biggest thing now is I hope Dale is OK and I've just got to get ready and hope for opportunity to come back here."

Moore, who was replaced by Raphael Diaz in the lineup for the Eastern clincher, added that it doesn't "really matter what I think" about the penalty imposed by the NHL.

"I respect the league's decision. I know they're trying to protect the players, but it certainly wasn't my intent to injure Dale on that play and I just hope he's OK," Moore said.

Continued with more notes...

Update: Lest I forget, LoHud.com's Rick Carpiniello reminds us that Gary Bettman will rule on Daniel Carcillo's suspension appeal today, too:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: dale+weise, dan+carcillo, john+moore, los+angeles+kings, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

In the reminder department, part 1: Here’s the Stanley Cup Final’s sked

In case you have forgotten or were unaware, the NHL asked me to remind you...

2014 STANLEY CUP FINAL TO START WEDNESDAY

NEW YORK (June 1, 2014) – The National Hockey League today announced further schedule information, including starting times and television information, for the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, which begins Wednesday, June 4.

Based on their superior regular-season point total, the Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Kings will host Games One and Two of the best-of-seven Final, as well as Games Five and Seven, if necessary.

Games Three and Four, as well as Game Six, if necessary, will be hosted by the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers.

Media Day in advance of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final will be Tuesday, June 3, at STAPLES Center.  Interview opportunities will be available with the general manager, head coach and entire roster of each of the clubs participating in the Stanley Cup Final.  A full schedule of events for Media Day will be released on Monday.

2014 STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
All times listed are ET and subject to change

Game                DATE                        TIME (ET)   Los Angeles vs. NY Rangers      Networks       

Game 1        Wed., June 4                8 p.m.        NY Rangers at Los Angeles           NBC, CBC, RDS

Game 2        Saturday, June 7        7 p.m.        NY Rangers at Los Angeles           NBC, CBC, RDS

Game 3        Monday, June 9        8 p.m.        Los Angeles at NY Rangers           NBCSN, CBC, RDS

Game 4        Wed., June 11                8 p.m.        Los Angeles at NY Rangers           NBCSN, CBC, RDS

*Game 5        Friday, June 13        8 p.m.        NY Rangers at Los Angeles           NBC, CBC, RDS

*Game 6        Monday, June 16        8 p.m.        Los Angeles at NY Rangers           NBC, CBC, RDS

*Game 7        Wed., June 18                8 p.m.        NY Rangers at Los Angeles           NBC, CBC, RDS

Update:

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers

Los Angeles Kings advance to Stanley Cup Final

It was wild and woolly, but the Stanley Cup Final will not include a team attempting to earn a back-to-back Stanley Cup championship. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in OT--in a bizarre and entertaining game--and as such, the Kings will play the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday.

Tyler Toffoli gets the tip-in goal off Nick Leddy as well. --Scratch that, Tyler Toffoli insisted to the CBC's Cassie Campbell that he did not touch it, so it was Alec Martinez off of Nick Leddy.

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  Tags: alec+martinez, chicago+blackhawks, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers

Blackhawks force Game 7 in what was not the world’s prettiest game

I might be the only person to think as much, but between WOW Cable going in and out throughout Bob Cole's second-to-last game and perhaps some personal preference...The Chicago Blackhawks most certainly earned their 4-3 win (Game 7 of the Western Conference Final is on Sunday), and Patrick Kane scored two pretty goals...

But I thought the game was an ugly one, with really sloppy defensive mistakes and poor goaltending yielding the vast majority of the game's goals. Did Drew Doughty and Kane have fantastic games? Sure. Did Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick make some highlight-reel saves? Sure. But I saw two prize-fighters stumbling and bumbling their way through a series of missed punches, metaphorically speaking, or more sport-specifically-speaking, some really lazy plays and inattentiveness to detail by both sides.

Whoever is the first team to two goals seems to prevail in this series, and the Hawks were the first to two--and when the Kings were rallying to tie it up 3-3, they looked more like a team too preoccupied with trying to minimize mistakes, like it was overtime, and as such, their lack of urgency bit 'em in the ass.

Lots of players chasing after players and getting way out of position on both sides, some very soft goals against and what is, at this point, a cavalcade of mental mistakes yielding a bunch of goals from sixty to eighty feet out, sent into traffic jams.

This is the best part of the game for me--an openly biased Wings fan:

Otherwise, I saw a lot of sloppy hockey from two mentally and physically exhausted teams, teams that got burned due to puck-chasing and very mediocre goaltending. But that's just me.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, corey+crawford, drew+doughty, jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings, patrick+kane

The art of the coaches’ presser

I happen to find coaches' post-game pressers fascinating, because I believe that the personality of the coach and GM are reflected in the personality of their team (please see: the Bruins and "hard but clean" hockey). In the Western Conference, Ken Hitchcock will talk your ear off, Joel Quenneville will "make a funny" or two while maintaining an intense demeanor, and one season of John Tortorella was probably enough;

In the East, Claude Julien and Dan Bylsma will spar with the press, too many aggravating questions will get a, "See you, guys" and a walk-off from Mike Babcock (that's another intriguing wrinkle: some coaches want the dais and podium, letting the PR coordinator cut the press off at their leisure; others like to stand among the media throng and decide when the presser's over themselves; the playoffs make the latter coaches edgier because you're forced to do the formal presser set-up), Randy Carlyle's pressers are like going to a My Chemical Romance concert, circa 2005 (not that there's anything wrong with that); as you've seen with Michel Therrien and Alain Vigneault, some coaches get particularly theatrical, especially when dual-language media are involved.

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville's presser will follow this gem from Darryl Sutter (and people on the NHL media email list get these transcripts, which occasionally make us laugh, like this one did):

COACH SUTTER

Q.  It was like an eight-minute stretch in the first overtime between whistles.  From the bench, what was that sensation like?

COACH SUTTER:  Trying to get your changes in, trying to get your shifts in.  Overtime is not a real timeout unless there's a stoppage of play at the 10-minute mark.

Q.  Was this one a little more difficult knowing you were 20mins away from advancing and you didn’t get it?

COACH SUTTER:  Not really.  It's a tough building.  Damn near got it.

Q.  Any big adjustments next game?

COACH SUTTER:  You're a little premature in that.

Q.  When is the last time you saw an overtime with that much pace, basically no stoppages?

COACH SUTTER:  Well, probably every one we've had.  How many have we played this year? Two good teams.  Not going to slow down in overtime.

Contrast that one with Quenneville's:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, darryl+sutter, joel+quenneville, los+angeles+kings

Handzus forces game 6, one more game for Bob Cole in 2 OT

The Los Angeles Kings rallied from a 3-1 first-period deficit to tie Chicago 4-4, and the teams played a fast, frenetic first overtime--including eight minutes sans a whistle--but "chasing hockey is losing hockey," especially over the course of a marathon game, and in the end, Chicago forced Game 6 via the glacial Michal Handzus scoring the 5-4 goal 2:06 into double OT.

Here's Bob Cole with the call:

Bob Cole will hang up the headphones when this series is over, and while this Red Wings fan isn't thrilled to see the defending champs live to die another day, I sure hope that the CBC pays proper tribute to Cole on Friday. They've got the time and the 9 PM start to get gushy about the 80-year-old legend.

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  Tags: bob+cole, chicago+blackhawks, los+angeles+kings, michal+handzus

Carter, Kings’ depth lead them past Chicago

The Los Angeles Kings aren't exactly painting Picassos this spring, but their ability to rally from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits en route to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night was less than surprising...

Because, as the Associated Press's recap notes, the Kings have much more depth than those who don't stay up past 10:30 PM Eastern Time might imagine:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, drew+doughty, jeff+carter, jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings

Kings rally in a big way, rely on third period barrage to defeat Hawks

The Los Angeles' Kings' stunning rally from a 2-0 deficit to take a 6-2 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks might be summarized as follows (note the Chicago connection):

Recaps are rolling in presently, but the AP's missive does a fine job of covering the bare bones...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, jake+muzzin, jeff+carter, jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings

Roast Duck, indeed: Kings smoke Anaheim in Game 7

For all of the discussion of Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu's respective legacies that you'll be reading over the next few days--deserved discussion at that--the last game of the Highway Series between the aformentioned Finns' Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings wasn't much of a contest, because the all but literally ran over Anaheim.

NHL.com's Curtis Zupke's recap emphasizes that point:

The highly anticipated state title game was decided in an opening 10-minute, three-goal blitz by the Kings that began with yet another clutch goal by Justin Williams, who tied Wayne Gretzky for second all-time with his sixth career Game 7 goal.

After Los Angeles chased 20-year-old rookie goalie John Gibson on Anze Kopitar's first goal of the series that made it 4-0, Kings fans chanted "This is our house!" It was appropriate after the Kings won three of four games at Honda Center and improved to 6-0 in elimination games in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

....

[Justin] Williams nudged his second attempt across the goal line from the crease on the power play at 4:30 of the first period. Cam Fowler tried to rim the puck around but it didn't get out, and Richards put it on net for Williams.

Carter made it 2-0 when he finished a breakaway with one of his signature backhands at 8:48 after he muscled past Hampus Lindholm in the neutral zone. Richards sent Anaheim tumbling further with his second goal of the playoffs at 15:12 for a 3-0 lead. Richards dropped a pass to Dwight King and then went to the net to pop in the rebound that Gibson couldn't control.

That made it three goals allowed on nine shots against Gibson, who didn't have his best game but wasn't helped by his skaters either. Trailing 2-0, the Ducks might have changed the complexion of the game on a penalty shot awarded to Perry at 14:08, but Quick poke-checked away his attempt.

Zupke continues, and here's the NHL's highlight clip, including Corey Perry's unsuccessful penalty shot:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, anze+kopitar, hampus+lindholm, john+gibson, justin+williams, los+angeles+kings, wayne+gretzky

Teemu Forever? Not so fast…

Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne definitely played in his last NHL game as the Los Angeles Kings defeated his Ducks 6-2 in Game 7 of the teams' second-round series, but the widedspread Russian and Finnish articles suggesting that Selanne will jump to Jokerit Helsinki to play one more season just got quashed. Per the AP's Greg Beacham:

I wonder if that case was different if Jokerit wasn't switching to the KHL (one of their new owners is such a mucky-muck that he's on the U.S.'s Russian sanctions list) and was remaining in the Finnish league instead, but...Sometimes you've gotta know when to say when.

Here's more from the Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, los+angeles+kings, teemu+selanne

NHL releases Western Conference and Eastern Conference Final schedules

Via a Tweet from TSN's Bob McKenzie, here are the Western Conference and Eastern Conference Final schedules from NHL.com:

In text form:

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, los+angeles+kings, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

Kings force Game 7 against Ducks via workmanlike win

The other funny thing about hockey on Twitter is that while the East Coasters were focusing on the Lucic-vs-Weise crap, the Los Angeles Kings solved John Gibson, held the Anaheim Ducks to 21 shots, and crafted a Game 7-forcing 2-1 victory on Wednesday evening.

Gibson got beat cleanly by Jake Muzzin, 8:16 into the first period...

But he whiffed big time on this shot by Trevor Lewis, 14:04 into the 2nd...

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  Tags: jake+muzzin, john+gibson, kyle+palmieri, los+angeles+kings, trevor+lewis

NHL: Western Conference Final will begin on Sunday at 3 PM EDT. Participant 2 to be determined later

From the NHL:

2014 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL TO BEGIN SUNDAY

NEW YORK (May 15, 2014) – The National Hockey League today announced that the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final will begin Sunday, May 18, when the Chicago Blackhawks face off against the winner of the Second Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.

The starting time for Game 1 on Sunday will be 3 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on NBC in the U.S. and televised in Canada by TSN and RDS.

Based on the number of points each team earned during the regular season, the Ducks would host the Blackhawks in Game 1, while the Blackhawks would host the Kings in Game 1.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, los+angeles+kings

Ducks lean on Smith-Pelly and Gibson, who’s impressed(?) Darryl Sutter

The Anaheim Ducks used a 3-goal second period and a pair of Devante Smith-Pelly goals to build a 4-1 lead over the Los Angeles Kings, and then they held on, leaning hard on John Gibson (who stopped 39 of 42 shots against) to defeat the Kings 4-3, taking a 3-games-to-2 lead in the teams' second-round series...

But the coaches stole the show in both of Monday night's games, with Kings coach Darryl Sutter delivering this zinger in his post-game presser (per LA Kings Insider's Jon Rosen). Prepare yourself for massive sarcasm!

On what has “most impressed” him about John Gibson:

He’s the best goalie I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe we got one by him tonight. A lot of pressure on him now. A lot of pressure on him.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, darryl+sutter, devante+smith-pelly, john+gibson, los+angeles+kings

Ducks claw back into Kings series despite in-game injuries

The Anaheim Ducks lost the services of goaltender Frederik Andersen on a strange play, and Matt Beleskey suffered a "lower-body injury," but the Ducks stared a potential 3-games-to-none deficit in the face and came up winners, defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 Thursday night. A solid relief performance from Jonas Hiller in goal and some smart decisions played big factors in the win, as ESPN's Pierre LeBrun noted:

Ben Lovejoy desperately wanted to dish it off to Andrew Cogliano. But with that passing lane closed, he did about the last thing he ever wanted: He shot the puck. He of nine career regular-season goals whistled it top shelf on Jonathan Quick, no less; a dagger of a goal which stood up as the winner for the Anaheim Ducks on a night that had a little bit of everything.

"Easily No. 1," Lovejoy chuckled when asked where that goal stood in his career. "I don't score many goals. So they're all very, very, very special. But that was the first [fist] pump of my life, the first celebration, I hope I did it right. But it was an emotional goal and a big win for this team."

Knowing that a loss would dig a series hole every team wants to avoid, the Ducks showed a lot of moxie Thursday night in a gritty performance that needed all kinds of contributors.

"We all know being down 3-0 to the Kings wouldn't be a situation nice to be in," captain Ryan Getzlaf said after the Ducks' 3-2 win that cut the Kings' series lead to 2-1. "The guys did a great job responding tonight and getting back to where we need to be."

LeBrun continues, and NHL.com posted both a "recap" video...

And a highlight clip:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, frederik+andersen, jonas+hiller, los+angeles+kings, matt+beleskey

Gaborik delivers as Los Angeles defeats Anaheim in Game 1

The Los Angeles Kings blew a pair of one-goal leads against the Anahiem Ducks on Saturday, but Marian Gaborik forced overtime thanks to a goal scored with seven seconds remaining in regulation time...

And then he scored the game-winner 12:07 into OT, giving the Kings a 3-2 win in the opening game of the Freeway Series:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, los+angeles+kings, marian+gaborik

NHL lists start times for first round’s Game 7’s

From the NHL:

NEW YORK (April 29, 2014) – The National Hockey League today announced updated start time information for the First Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

  • The starting time for a potential Game 7 of the series between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, if necessary, has been set for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 30, in New York. In the U.S., the game would be seen on NBCSN, MSG and CSN Philadelphia. In Canada, the game would be televised on TSN and RDSI.
  • The starting time for Game 7 of the series between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild has been set for 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. MT on Wednesday, April 30, in Colorado. In the U.S. outside of the Colorado and Minnesota markets, the game will be seen on CNBC. In Canada, the game will be on TSN and RDS2.   
  • The starting time for Game 7 of the series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings has been set for 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, April 30, in San Jose. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN outside of the San Jose and Los Angeles markets. In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and RDS.

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, los+angeles+kings, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, san+jose+sharks

Intent to stand and watch?

The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are going to seven games in no small part due to Chris Lee's decision to allow Justin Williams to pitchfork Alex Stalock into the net, puck betwixt his toes:

Per CBS Sports' Chris Peters:

After Lee briefly spoke with the league's Situation Room in Toronto, he informed the crowd it was not a reviewable play and the goal counted. The Sharks bench was incensed, naturally.

The intent to blow rule is murky. Goals can be disallowed “when the referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle” (Rule 78.5, subsection xii). At that point, it was up to Lee to deem the play stopped. He didn't and therefore it's a goal.

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  Tags: alex+stalock, justin+williams, los+angeles+kings, san+jose+sharks

Kings take time out to praise…Selanne

You don't see this every decade...The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings are tangling presently, but prior to the game, the Kings honored a prestigious healthy scratch who's happened to be a pain in the Kings' side for almost twenty years:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, los+angeles+kings, teemu+selanne

Jonathan Quick delivers an inverted kick save (a.k.a. a “scorpion save”)

Jonathan Quick stopped 24 of 26 shots as his Los Angeles Kings defeated Winnipeg 4-2 on Saturday, but this save--a kick save made from Quick's stomach, deftly kicking the puck away from the net with his right leg--will find itself on highlight reels for months to come:

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  Tags: jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings, winnipeg+jets

Matheson sees the trade deadline shaping up as a Western Conference arms race

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson leads us up to the trade deadline wondering whether the trade deadline will in fact play out as witnessing Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim attempt to strike back at the St. Louis Blues' preemptive roster-strenghtening strike in bringing Ryan Miller and Steve Ott into the fold:

Do the Kings have to get New York Islanders’ unrestricted free agent winger Thomas Vanek now, even if the whole world knows Vanek is going to sign in Minnesota, where he has a summer home? Or should they go for Matt Moulson, who played 29 games with L.A. after general manager Dean Lombardi signed him as a free agent out of Cornell University in 2006?

Do the Ducks, who have two first-round picks and two seconds this June and need a right-handed shooting defenceman, take a big swing at six-foot-eight Tyler Myers in Buffalo, even though his salary-cap hit is $5.5 million? They could offer somebody like forward Kyle Palmeiri, but would probably keep winger Emerson Etem and goalie Viktor Fasth.

Are the Sharks deep enough with the return of third-line winger Raffi Torres following knee surgery, No. 2 centre Logan Couture (hand operation), and rookie sensation winger Tomas Hertl (knee) skating again?

Matheson continues, and he also discusses David Poile's health and the possible destinations for Christian Ehrhoff in his, "This 'n' That"...

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+macdonald, buffalo+sabres, chris+phillips, christian+ehrhoff, dean+lombardi, kyle+palmieri, los+angeles+kings, matt+moulson, new+york+islanders, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, thomas+vanek, tomas+hertl, tyler+myers

McKenzie weighs in on Saturday night’s controversies

After a player-brawl and coach-attempting-to-visit-opponents-scrap-filled 3-2 Vancouver Canucks shootout win over the Calgary Flames, coach John Tortorella played it by the book during his brief post-game presser:

He more or less built an impenetrable, "I'm not answering that" and/or, "I won't talk about fights with anyone who didn't play the game" facade (the latter, he did not say literally), with the initial summary of his comments reading as follows (and yes, he blamed Bob Hartley for starting 4th line versus...eventual 4th line):

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  Tags: calgary+flames, darryl+sutter, detroit+red+wings, john+tortorella, los+angeles+kings, niklas+kronwall, vancouver+canucks

Stadium Series: Dodger Stadium

Tomorrow the NHL will take over Dodger Stadium to prepare for the Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks.  Take a look at what outdoor hockey in Califorina is set to look like:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, dodger+stadium, los+angeles+kings, nhl+stadium+series

Kings lose Jonathan Quick to a ‘lower-body injury’

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick looks to have succumbed to the growing list of pad-shortened goalies who've suffered groin injuries, getting dinged in overtime during the Kings' 3-2 OT loss to Buffalo, as noted by NHL.com--and you'll be able to watch the video after watching some sort of stupid 30-second commercial because NHL.com believes that you should have to watch a commercial a) before every video and b) after searching for a video, before watching another 30-second commercial before you can actually watch the video you searched for:

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick left the game against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday with 1:20 to play in overtime. He was replaced by Ben Scrivens.

Quick was in obvious discomfort when play was stopped with 1:20 remaining in OT. It appeared he sustained a lower-body injury sliding across the crease about 30 seconds earlier as the Sabres rushed toward the goal.

After briefly skating out of his crease during the stoppage, he went down to his knees, bringing the Kings’ trainer onto the ice. He went to the dressing room. Scrivens played the rest of the overtime and the shootout, in which the Sabres scored twice for a 3-2 victory.

A Kings spokesman said only that Quick was being evaluated.

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  Tags: jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings

Jonathan Quick swings and misses

Via Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy, let's just say that Jonathan Quick may be the consensus pick to backstop Team USA to an Olympic medal in Sochi, but he did not have one of his finer moments on Monday night:

I've seen a decent amount of goalie stickhandling gaffes turned goals this year...Did Dominik Hasek start a school for goalies who wanted to be more adventurous and daring?

added 7:33am, Fans react to Quick's next save, watch below...

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  Tags: jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings

The Morning After Skate

Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.

In Case You Missed

It Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins Puck dropped in Boston to start the season for the two Atlantic teams’ first game of the 2013-14 season. Neither team wasted much time getting on the box score; however, to start it was on the penalty side. A hooking call to Bruins Reilly Smith would lead to a shorthanded goal by teammate Chris Kelly.

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  Tags: boston+bruins, calgary+flames, ilya+bryzgalov+to+the+echl, los+angeles+kings, minnesota+wild, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, tim+thomas+returns, vancouver+canucks, vlasic+skate+to+face, washington+capitals

TSN’s Insider Trading segment includes preseason praise and panning

TSN's Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun discussed David Clarkson's suspension, Paul Bissonnette's appealing of his suspension, the probability of the NHL and NHLPA adopting hybrid icing and even expansion to Seattle in an "Insider Trading" segment, but pre-season hockey games aren't exactly covered with the intense scrutiny of regular-season games, so the most intriguing part of their segment involves, well, assessing which players have played well and which ones have played poorly during the part of the season that theoretically doesn't count:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, dallas+stars, dustin+penner, florida+panthers, jake+allen, jose+theodore, los+angeles+kings, st.+louis+blues, tim+thomas

The ‘Stadium Series’ tilt between Anaheim and LA won’t have an outdoor alumni component

Somehow, color me unsurprised: per Puck Daddy's Harrison Mooney, LA Kings Insider's Jon Rosen reports that the "Stadium Series" between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on January 25th will involve no alumni games because making ice that is safe for players to skate on at Dodger Stadium is not a simple task:

The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks have excelled at expanding their alumni relations and bringing former players back within their organizational borders. Unfortunately for fans of the two Southern California teams that had hoped otherwise, there won’t be an alumni game surrounding the January 25 Kings-Ducks Coors Light NHL Stadium Series event at Dodger Stadium, as noted by Kelly Cheeseman, Chief Operating Officer, AEG Sports, in a conversation with LA Kings Insider.

“We went through that exercise ad nauseum to try to make that work, because…we were very excited about that possibility. But, unfortunately, just the logistics and the timing of our game, and the concerns of the ice conditions, aren’t going to allow us to pull off an alumni game, unfortunately. We got pretty far down the line. We looked at all the possibilities, and then we just said for the good of the game and for protecting the ice conditions, we needed to make sure that we held that integrity,” Cheeseman said.

Cheeseman said that the experience will incorporate “innovative ideas that will make the game different than any of the outdoor games that we’ve seen today. It’s definitely going to represent Southern California. It’s not going to be what you would traditionally see in any other market.”

Continued

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, los+angeles+kings

Kings extend conracts for Lombardi and Members of Hockey Operations Staff

From the Kings:

The Los Angeles Kings and Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi have agreed to terms on a new two-year contract extension, Kings Governor Tim Leiweke announced today.  In addition, Leiweke and the Kings today announced two-year contract extensions for Kings Vice President/Assistant General Manager Ron Hextall, Kings Vice President/Hockey Operations and Legal Affairs Jeff Solomon, and Kings Head Coach Terry Murray. 

Lombardi, Hextall, Solomon and Murray all had one year remaining on their contracts.  All four are under contract through the 2012-13 NHL season.

“Dean and his staff want to be here, they want to help finish what we have all started and we feel we are on the verge of something very special, so it was imperative that we keep our nucleus together,” said Leiweke.  “The timing was right to do this, and now our focus shifts to the NHL Draft this weekend here at STAPLES Center and LA Live, into free agency next week and to the rest of summer as we look to add a piece or two – the right piece or two—to this great young core we have together here with the Kings.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: los+angeles+kings, nhl-hockey

Kings offer assistant coaching job to John Stevens

From the Los Angeles Times:

Former Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Stevens, who was fired by the team in December, is the Kings’ choice to fill the assistant coaching vacancy created by Mark Hardy’s resignation and has been offered the job, and his hiring could be announced next week, confirmed an NHL source, who was granted anonymity because the organization is not ready to make the decision public.

Key Kings executives know Stevens well. Kings Coach Terry Murray, previously part of the Flyers’ staff, worked with Stevens in Philadelphia, and Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi and assistant GM Ron Hextall are familiar with him from their past employment in the Flyers’ organization.

Continue Reading:

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: los+angeles+kings, nhl-hockey

The Afternoon Line

From Alyssa Milano at her NHL.com blog,

I actually bumped into Luc Robataille last night, and I haven’t seen Luc in probably 15 years. When he saw me, he said to me “I used to carry you around on my back!” because when I met him I was so little. When we spoke last night, I said “you know what? You were like my only high school friend. I never got to go to high school, so you’re like my only high school buddy!” He laughed.


note: more on Alyssa yesterday, as she promotes her line of NHL fashions at the ASG.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, alyssa+milano, los+angeles+kings, luc+robitaille

Luc Shares His Luck

This week, Luc Robitaille of the LA Kings will be hosting a Celebrity Shoot-Out—a charity event in Utah to raise money for a spinal care center there. 

This is just one of the many ways Robitaille involves himself in charitable causes; not only just throwing money onto a collection plate, but getting involved in a very personal, hands-on way.  From Mike G. Morreale at NHL.com,

”Following Hurricane Katrina (in 2005), my wife and I started our own foundation (Shelter for Serenity) and actually went to New Orleans, picked up a bunch of families and brought them back to live in our house in Utah,’’ Robitaille told NHL.com. “We wanted to provide them a chance to restart their lives. But during this process, we realized that the people most affected and in need of help were the children. The kids were the ones at risk since they came mostly from poor families.’’

continued with much more about Robitaille’s various personal and team commitments to good causes.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: charity, los+angeles+kings, luc+robitaille

Tough Times in Finland

From CBS Sports wire,

Karalahti is one of 19 suspects in a widespread case of alleged smuggling and distribution of amphetamines in Finland, officials said. He will face trial in the Vantaa prison court near Helsinki on Jan. 29, the Espoo Regional Court said without announcing the exact charges.

Local media have reported that the 32-year-old Karalahti was linked to a drug smuggling network that imported and distributed drugs in Finland in July. Karalahti was taken off the ice for police questioning during a practice session last month with his Karpat team. 

Karalahti left the NHL before the beginning of the 2002-03 season after being suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

more…

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: finland, jere+karalahti, los+angeles+kings, nashville+predators

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