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Thread: Los Angeles Kings

  1. #61
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    Kopitar training in Slovenia.

    Anze's father proclaimed his leg injury healed, he's recovered and ready to go. The elder Kopitar also says this summer's workouts were by far the most intense and lengthy of his career, not just for the leg, but his 'upper and middle torso' as well - all part of a training program designed by the Kings trainers when Anze was still in LA following the end of the NHL season.

  2. #62
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    Assistant GM Ron Hextall spoke with Kings Insider about recent acquisition of Ethan Moreau.

    He’s been a captain. He’s been to the Finals. He’s got a lot of intangibles that we value. He’s a veteran presence. I think when you lose a Michal Handzus, you’ve got to try to compensate for that. I think Michal brought a lot to the table that we need to replace. Mike Richards brings a lot of intangibles in, no question, but we lost some size there as well with Handzus and Ponikarovsky, and we felt like we wanted to bring it back into the lineup because it was valuable to us during the playoffs. Again, it’s the intangibles. He’s a hard-nosed, win-at-all-costs kind of player, and those are clearly the players that you win with when it comes down to it.
    I had a conversation with him two days ago, and his whole motivation, the only thing he talked about, was winning the Cup. Here’s a guy who has played a long time, and he has been close, and his full motivation is to win the Cup. When you have guys with that mentality, they’re going to accept their role and do what they can for the team. I think Ethan understands that he’s not 20 years old anymore. He’s going to be in a role and he’s going to do the best he can in his role.
    Ethan plays both wings. I think he’s a little more comfortable on the left side but he can play both wings. Scott Parse can play both wings, so we’ve got some flexibility that’s going to have to play out. To sit here right now and say I can project where he’s going to be, I can’t necessarily say that. But again, we’ve got the flexibility with him and Parse both being able to play the right side.

  3. #63
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    The Kings are going to win the Stanley Cup this year. They're a scary team to face with all of the weapons they have and such tremendous goaltending. Doughty going into his fourth year and the savvy additions of Richards, Gagne and the like.
    "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

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  4. #64
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    Good decision here. I love the 3rd jersey. Now its a primary


    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=374790

  5. #65
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    Couple new posts on Mayors Manor:

    Ethan Moreau talks about joining the Kings

    Ethan Moreau was practically a member of the Kings before he ever signed a contract.

    Over the last few seasons, many of his former friends and one-time teammates were traded here - guys like Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene and Dustin Penner.

    Combine that with the fact he's spent many of those summers in Southern California training with his brother - and occasionally some of the Kings players - and you'll start to understand why he already felt like Los Angeles was home.

    It wasn't even that surprising to him when Kings captain Dustin Brown thumbed out a 'welcome aboard' tweet soon after his deal with Kings GM Dean Lombardi was made official.

    "I've had tough games against Brownie and we've kind of gone at it on the ice," said Moreau. "But, I've gotten to know him over the years and he was one of the first guys to call me. Overall, I have a pretty good relationship with most of the guys on the team. So, it was almost hard to play the Kings because I knew so many players on the team, just from being here in the summers and training with them and skating with them."

    Even so, as a professional athlete, he says he was able to flip the necessary switch on game nights.

    "Well, you can ask Stolly or Greener - I've had run-ins with both of them," Moreau began to explain. "I think for me, it's almost like I don't want to have friends out there. I almost go out of my to make sure that I prove that to my teammates. I'm never going to play anybody lightly because I know them. I probably play them a little bit harder so people don't think you're taking it easy on them."
    Anze Kopitar talks about his off-season training and progress recovering from ankle surgery.
    During what could be described as a 'farewell for now' press conference yesterday afternoon, Anze Kopitar shared the following thoughts...

    * On the injury and his recovery - The injury is fine and his leg no longer hurts him. A few of the training sessions /exercises had to be adjusted. Otherwise, everything went pretty much as planned. He was in regular communication with the doctor who operated on him, the medical team and training staff back in California. Everything went as planned, some things he was even able to do sooner than expected. His skates are a little uncomfortable at times because the ankle is still swollen. However, he's not too concerned about it.

    * On the actual workouts - He believes the level of training was optimal and is confident the staff back in LA will agree with what they see when he arrives. His typical workout began with an hour and a half of upper body training - including the shoulder area, which he believes can be vulnerable for a hockey player. He also did lots of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, mixed in with weight training. Around three times a week he also did extended running at the local stadium. More recently, he's also been jumping over obstacles, which was a good test for his ankle. As reported on MayorsManor back in July, he's been training on the ice for about a month now - starting out two to three times a week and building up to four times a week.

    * On changes to his summer workouts - He normally prefers to mix in soccer, basketball and golf. However, this summer, he refrained from basketball because of the stress it puts on your ankles. Admittedly, he did play soccer a few times though. He missed playing soccer and basketball this summer because that is normally his best chance to hang out and socialize with his friends. Much of his summers are spent training.

    * On goals for the season - Making the playoffs isn't enough for him and his teammates this year. They've made the playoffs two years in a row and haven't made it out of the first round. He said "there is no mystery" to what they want now - more. For him, it starts in the regular season, saying the Kings need to start well because those points are just as important as ones later in the year.

    * On the thought of opening the season in Europe - He spoke about the travel, the back to back games and all the other factors surrounding the first few weeks of the season. However, his most important point was clear, he cannot wait to start the season.

  6. #66
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    The story that just keeps on going:
    Lombardi also said the Kings filed their position with the NHL supporting their grievance over the Colin Fraser trade and that the Edmonton Oilers have a few days to respond. Commissioner Gary Bettman will then decide whether to hold a hearing, though Lombardi said the Kings can request one. They contend the Oilers misrepresented the extent of Fraser's injury when Edmonton traded him in the Ryan Smyth deal. Fraser underwent ankle surgery last month.
    But also that
    Kings have no intention of voiding deal or getting Smyth back. Not what they want/seek.
    The Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League. (Keep 17)
    3C 3LW 3RW 6D 2G 6BE.
    G,A,+-,PIM,PPP,SHP,GWG,SOG,FW,HIT; GS,W,L,GAA,SA,SV, SV%,SO
    (C) Getzlaf, Kopitar, Bozak, O'Reilly, Backlund
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  7. #67
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    Going to Hockey Fest at Staples Center this weekend. Although it will be great to see the new players, there will definitely be a somber tone. Not only did two former Kings (Pavol Demitra and Jan Marek) lose their lives in the tragic plane crash in Russia, but Sunday will mark the 10th anniverary of 9/11. Kings' scouts Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis were on one of the United Airlines flights that crashed into the World Trade Center.

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    I will be attending Hockeyfest tomorrow. Aside from the pep rally atmosphere to kick off a new season and various player panels, the most intriguing portion will be a Q&A with GM Dean Lombardi. I am guessing the Doughty negotiations will be a hot topic.

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    Rich Hammond from Kings Insider had an excellent piece on the two Kings' scouts that lost their lives on 9/11.
    10 Years Later: Memories of Kings Scouts Still Strong
    By Rich Hammond

    The exercise bike sat outside, in the sunshine, right where Ace Bailey enjoyed riding it.

    Sept. 11, 2001, would be a busy day around the Kings‚ training facility in El Segundo. Coaches and staffers would be on the move for hours, helping out with players‚ medical examinations and, in general, preparing for the start of training camp the next day.

    Bailey was scheduled to arrive at LAX from Boston late that morning. Pete Demers, the Kings‚ longtime trainer, knew this, and knew how Bailey -- with his ever-present tan and friendly smile -- loved to sit in the Southern California sun and get some exercise.

    So at 5 a.m., before his work day began, Demers dragged a bike outside. Bailey would be pleased, Demers thought, to arrive in El Segundo and be able to take his daily spin.

    Sixteen hours later, Demers quietly brought the bike back inside. Bailey didn't ride it. Didn't see it. Didn't make it to Los Angeles. Instead, he became a part of tragic history.

    Garnet "Ace" Bailey, the Kings' director of pro scouting, and amateur scout Mark Bavis lost their lives that day, when terrorists hijacked their scheduled Boston-to-Los Angeles flight and crashed the plane into the south tower of New York's World Trade Center.

    "I think the hardest thing for me that day was going back to the training center and putting the bike away"‚ Demers, now retired, said this week. "That bike stayed out there all day long. Then, about 9 o'clock that night, I went out and wheeled the bike back in and put it in its spot. That was it. Ace wasn't coming."

    The Sept. 11 attacks caused the deaths of approximately 3,000 people and impacted the lives of families around the world. Given how easily sports teams embrace the idea of being a tight-knit extended family, the Kings felt the loss of two brothers that day.

    Ten years later, the bond remains. Kings players wear a helmet decal honoring Bailey and Bavis, and during practice they skate past a banner featuring the men's initials. Portraits of Bailey and Bavis are hung prominently in the hallway of the Kings' offices. Bailey, the Kings' mascot, is named in honor of the former NHL winger and scout.

    This year, the Kings will hold their annual Hockey Fest fan event on Sept. 11. Proceeds from an autographed-jersey auction will go to benefit the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firefighters Fund and the day will start with a tribute to Bailey and Bavis.

    It will be a day of memories for those who were part of the team 10 years ago.

    "That was a tough day for the Kings organization, for sure, and probably the toughest day I've ever had in the hockey business"‚ Dave Taylor, who served as Kings general manager then, said this week. "Probably the toughest day I've ever had."

    As the 2001 season arrived, Bailey and Bavis were at different stages of their careers, with Bailey, 53, as the seasoned pro and Bavis, 31, as the youngster on the rise.

    Both men had playing backgrounds. Bavis was drafted by the New York Rangers in the ninth round in 1989 and played three seasons in the AHL and ECHL before he briefly joined the coaching ranks, at Harvard and in the junior-level North American League.

    Bavis joined the Kings in 2000 and made an impact. Bavis' responsibilities included scouting NCAA hockey, and in June 2001 -- Bavis' only draft as a member of the Kings' staff -- the Kings used first-round draft picks on a pair of college kids, at Bavis' urging.

    The Kings took David Steckel in the first round and Michael Cammalleri in the second round. Both players are still thriving in the NHL. Bavis helped give them their start.

    "He had a good eye," Taylor said. "He understood the game and he worked hard at it. I think he would have had a tremendous future. He just had a passion for hockey."

    Bavis worked as an amateur scout but still had a good relationship with Bailey, who had spent 32 years in the NHL as a player or scout, including seven as the Kings' director of pro scouting. Bailey won Stanley Cups with the Boston Bruins in 1970 and 1972.

    Taylor remembered Bailey as a natural leader, a man who colleagues would rally around, a friendly but take-charge personality who would run serious, organized meetings and then gather everyone at a restaurant for a good meal and some laughs.

    "He was just one of those guys who had an outgoing personality and a lot of life, and just really enjoyed himself," Taylor said.

    Both men made their offseason homes in Massachusetts, and the second week of September 2001 meant the start of training camp in Los Angeles, a time and place when all the scouts came together for meetings and to evaluate players.

    That Tuesday morning, Bailey and Bavis boarded a Boeing 767, which pushed away from a gate at Boston's Logan International Airport just before 8 a.m. Eastern time.

    At that moment, roughly 2,500 miles away, Demers started work. As the Kings‚ head trainer, he would have a busy day, overseeing the medical examinations of more than 60 players at a hotel ballroom in El Segundo. First, though, Demers thought of Bailey.

    "We had a little outdoor area by the weight room, and Ace loved that," Demers said. "I knew he was coming, so I took a bike and I wheeled it outside. It was still dark outside. I put a sign on it: 'Ace.' That was Ace's bike, that he was going to ride. ... Then I left and went to the hotel for the medicals, and then things started to unfold."

    As the Kings‚ staff worked, news from the East trickled in. A plane hit the World Trade Center. Then a second plane. One of the flights had come from Boston.

    Immediately, the news brought an ominous feel to the Kings' office. Scouts were scheduled to arrive that day from all parts of the world, and all of their travel had been coordinated by John Wolf, the Kings' longtime assistant to the general manager.

    Wolf knew that Bailey and Bavis had been booked on United 175, on one of the planes that, according to widespread media reports, had crashed into the World Trade Center. Officially, the Kings couldn't be 100-percent certain. Taylor made repeated calls to United Airlines and, for hours, was told only that the flight was "missing."

    Everyone hoped for the best -- Maybe a late reservation change? Maybe the guys overslept? -- but before long, Taylor could no longer avoid the staggering truth.

    "I called both guys' cell phones a number of times over the course of the day, just sort of hoping that they would answer," Taylor said. "But I never heard back, and when I talked to Kathy Bailey [Ace's wife], she said, 'Dave, I know Ace was on that plane. I dropped him off at the airport.' It was just so sad and so devastating for everybody."

    Wolf quietly broke the news, to Demers and other staff members, that Bailey and Bavis had been among the victims. The task of announcing the scouts' death fell to Taylor.

    "I addressed the team," Taylor said. "I broke the news to them about what had happened, that we had lost two family members on that flight. I had a real hard time speaking, and [then-coach] Andy Murray actually cut the meeting short at that point."

    Taylor's message, while brief, was poignant. It was a tribute not only to Bailey and Bavis but to all the scouts, all the men who work hard, countless hours -- living out of suitcases, scarfing down fast food, away from their families for weeks at a time.

    Taylor wanted the players to know that while the scouts don't spend much time around the team during the season, they remain part of the extended family of an NHL team.

    "That was monumental, for him to have to tell everybody that we lost two of our guys," Demers said. "It was the most courageous thing Dave Taylor ever had to do."

    Bailey and Bavis have legacies that live on, through foundations in their names. The Ace Bailey Children's Foundation -- www.acebailey.org -- seeks to build and renovate space in hospitals to make them more comforting to young patients. The Mark Bavis Leadership Foundation -- www.markbavisleadershipfoundation.org -- raises money in order to award grants to students for tuition and extracurricular activities.

    In interviews with FoxSportsWest.com, Kathy Bailey and Bavis‚ twin brother, Mike -- associate head coach at Boston University -- expressed the challenges of having to grieve the loss of loved ones as part of such a well-known, public event.

    There's also legal action pending. Bavis' family has a lawsuit pending against United Airlines, seeking monetary compensation because of alleged security flaws. In an ironic twist, the case is scheduled to go to trial in November, 10 years after Bavis' death.

    "I can‚t speak for all the families, but for me personally, for my family, it's something we live with every day," Mike Bavis told FoxSportsWest.com. "It doesn't have a meaning in terms of sixth year, eighth year, 10th year. It's what we deal with. But the things you've locked away, that you've tried to bury, come back every September."

    Around the continent, Bailey and Bavis will be remembered, by Demers from his family cottage in Nova Scotia and by Taylor in St. Louis, where his current team will be preparing for the start of training camp, just as the Kings did 10 years ago.

    "Not a day goes by when I don't think about those two guys," Demers said. "When you lose people like that, it effects you forever."

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    Justin Williams is healthy and ready to start the new season
    Given the serious nature of his leg injury, Anze Kopitar’s summer recovery has obviously been a major topic of discussion, but Kopitar wasn’t the only recovering King. Justin Williams underwent offseason surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder. Williams returned late in the season, wearing a highly restrictive shoulder harness, but had the surgery done once the Kings were eliminated from the playoffs and is expected to be 100 percent for the start of training camp next weekend.

    WILLIAMS: “The shoulder feels great. I was able to get it out of the way quicker than actually I wanted. I wanted to be able to play a few (playoff) rounds before I got it fixed, but we lost in the first round and I got it done two weeks after that. It’s been four months now, so there’s no issue at all.”

    Question: When you tried to come back and play at the end of last season, how bad was it?

    WILLIAMS: “It wasn’t great. [laughs] Sometimes you play through it. Everyone is injured at that time of the season. It seemed that my injury was just more publicly broadcast than all the other ones. It was fine. It’s something that I had to deal with, and I did.”

    Question: After Simon Gagne signed, he credited you as a guy who helped recruit him to come to the Kings…

    WILLIAMS: “I put my recruiting hat on, yeah. I heard we were somewhat interested, and I called him and asked him about it. He said yes. That day, for those guys, is pretty whirlwind, the first few days of free agency. You’re probably getting a lot of phone calls and stuff, but I think the familiarity with myself and Gagne, playing my first four years in Philadelphia with him and kind of growing up together, probably helped him along. Now we both have two kids. We’re older. We’re two of the older forwards on the team, whereas before we were youngsters when we broke in. It’s good to see him here.”

    Question: Looking at the roster, you’ve played quite a bit with Kopitar but you also have the history with Gagne. Any thoughts on which line you might fit on?

    WILLIAMS: “Interchangeable parts are pretty good up front. It’s exciting to know that no teams are going to be abel to key on one line. When you can have that balanced scoring that we anticipate having here, not only from the top two lines but certainly our bottom two as well, you’re going to have a good time. You’re going to be a thorn in the opponents’ sides most nights.”

  11. #71
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    All summer I have tried to ignore the Doughty speculation and just trust that as an RFA, sooner or later there would be a deal. I wasn't concerned about Drew pulling out of a fan cruise, or not showing up for Hockey Fest - but with players due to report tomorrow we are inching closer to that dreaded word (holdout). After bringing in Richards and Gagne this is not how I wanted training camp to start.

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    Rich Hammond from Kings Insider spoke with GM Dean Lombardi this morning about Drew Doughty.

    I don’t want to get into the intricacies what we offered, in terms of the minute details. It’s safe to say that, as far as the big picture within the league, we certainly made him an offer that puts him amongst the top defensemen in the league. Then you look at your team. It’s no secret that he would be at the top of our team. Then, thirdly, even thought I think you know how I feel philosophically about paying for potential, it’s part of the system unfortunately. But the third thing that’s critical to us is the allocation. Where we’re at now, we certainly stretched the limit in terms of paying him amongst the top players in the league, paying him appropriately within the team’s salary structure and, most importantly, being able to keep this group together.
    Lombardi also made a point to stress that the team tried to re-sign Doughty before July 1st
    “The other thing that I think has happened here is, we were very aggressive in trying to sign Drew before July 1. There were three reasons for that. Number one, we wanted to get our payroll in order, to have some finality in terms of what we would have to pursue free agents. Number two, obviously, we were potentially concerned about an offer sheet. Three, I felt that my experience in this, when young players are not signed, and have this period of uncertainty, they don’t always focus on training properly. So we really got aggressive there, prior to July 1, and realized that we were going to have to pay him at the top of our team. So we did it then.
    Here's where things get sticky. If I am reading this correctly, the Kings have pulled back their latest offer ...... and future offers will factor in that DD has missed days of work by holding out
    Question: Is it accurate to say that there is not an offer on the table at this point?

    LOMBARDI: “Yeah. Well, it’s not that one [previous offer]. It doesn’t mean, certainly, that there isn’t going to be dialogue. The point is that missing days of work has to now factor into this negotiation. There’s no doubt in my mind that this kid is going to play here and play here a long time. But now, like I said, missing a day of work has to be factored into this. It’s no different than any other player. The lines of communication are certainly open. There was a cordial discussion last night, and that’s it.”
    LOMBARDI: “The problem we have, and we’re going to have to see how this evolves, is that generally with a player, you establish his market value and he signs up for 275 days of work. That was the one thing that changed during the CBA, that players were paid during training camp. So, quite frankly, it’s the way we have to approach this. Let alone missing a day or work, as well as getting behind your teammates in terms of preparation. It probably makes this a little more difficult, but you have to factor that in now. You’re not getting a full year’s work as of today.”

    Question: Meaning the offer gets reduced by however many days he’s not here?

    LOMBARDI: “Well, as we talked about before, there has to be some finality, in terms of when the players are supposed to report. It’s no different, I think, than what the other teams have done. It’s, `OK, now we have to regroup here and see what evolves,’ and then I have to go back to ownership. It’s no different than anything else. You do this based on 275 days of work, and now it’s down to 274.”
    And no plans to switch to a short term deal
    Question: The other day, you kind of rejected the idea of a short-term contract, just to get something done. Is that still the feeling?

    LOMBARDI: “That was something that was talked about back in June, and neither side was really interested in it. That just goes back to what you asked me. We’ve looked at this every way. Even before we made our trade (for Mike Richards) and went through free agency, this was our number-one priority. This is a home-grown boy and a key part of this franchise.”

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    Sounds like a stressful situation... Hopefully it actually works out.

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    This is turning into quite the soap opera.

    I knew that Doughty's agent (Don Meehan) and Kings GM had a history. Meehan was the agent behind holdouts in San Jose while Lombardi was the Sharks' GM. But it goes deeper than that. He used to be Anze Kopitar's agent, but Kopi fired him before signing his most recent contract. No wonder Meehan is pushing for his client to be the highest paid player in LA over Kopitar.

    The Kings have offered Doughty an average of $6.8 million a year and were open to durations of six to eight years and to putting the 21-year-old defenseman’s average annual salary on a par with first-line center Anze Kopitar, an older and more proven player. But Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, is believed to be requesting an average of $7 million -- and here’s where it gets complicated.

    Meehan used to represent Kopitar but lost him as a client to Pat Brisson, another powerful agent whose roster includes Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. Brisson is a close friend of Luc Robitaille, who is the Kings’ president of business operations. Robitaille had access to Kopitar and could have helped steer Kopitar to Brisson, costing Meehan a high-profile client.

    Meehan now wants Doughty, who has enormous talent but has had one good season, one extraordinary season and a bumpy season, to be paid more than Kopitar. That would be a coup for Meehan in recruiting future clients and, some in the industry suggest, an in-your-face to Brisson.
    I thought the BS with Edmonton GM Tambellini was a nightmare. This summer would make a great 24/7 behind the scenes reality show.

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    not exactly the Kings signing I was hoping to read about today -

    The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with forward Kevin Westgarth, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

    Westgarth, 27, played in 56 regular season games with the Kings last season, recording three points (all assists) and 105 penalty minutes (second on the team). He also played in all six Kings playoff games and registered two assists and 14 penalty minutes.

    In 65 career NHL regular season games, all with the Kings, Westgarth has three assists and 114 penalty minutes.

    Westgarth, a 6-4, 234-pound native of Amherstburg, Ontario, had one year remaining on his contract. The new extension runs through the 2013-14 season. The Princeton University product originally signed with the Kings as an unrestricted free agent in 2007.

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