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LA Kings Have A Power Forward In The Making In Michael Mersch

AUDIO AND VIDEO: Story includes a video interview with Michael Mersch and an audio interview with Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake.


LA Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch,
shown here playing for their AHL affiliate,
the Manchester Monarchs.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumphrecht

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For many, many years, the Los Angeles Kings were grossly deficient in the areas of drafting and developing young players. Of course, they were so bad at drafting players that their dreadful player development usually didn’t matter.

But all that has changed since President/General Manager Dean Lombardi joined the club in April 2006. He quickly made drafting and development one of the top priorities of the franchise. That focus has paid off in spades, and now, the Kings are now one of the top teams in the National Hockey League when it comes to drafting and developing their young prospects.

Evidence of that can be seen on the 2013-14 roster, which includes the likes of Drew Doughty, Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli and Slava Voynov, among others, all of whom are homegrown players—some are late-round draft picks— who are now filling significant roles, and it doesn’t stop there.

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LA Kings HockeyFest ’14, Rookie Camp, Alumni Game – In Photos

LA Kings defenseman Robyn Regher (left) and head coach Darryl Sutter (right), shown here during HockeyFest ’14, held on September 14, 2014, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On September 14, 2014, despite the scorching heat, the Los Angeles Kings hosted their annual HockeyFest at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.

Over 1,500 fans were estimated to have attended the event where fans, who lined up as early as 3:45 AM, got the opportunity to get a photograph with the Stanely Cup, hear from team executives and coaches about what was going on with the team and where it is headed, the ever-popular Kids Press Conference, games and other activities for children, a hockey clinic for children, and much more.

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2013-14 Was A Solid Development Year For LA Kings Goaltender Prospect Patrik Bartosak

LA Kings goaltender prospect Patrik Bartosak
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Around this time last year, Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Patrik Bartosak wowed spectators with a stellar performance during the second game of the 2013 rookie tournament against the Anaheim Ducks, making several difficult saves, bailing out his teammates time and time again.

Bartosak led the rookie Kings to a 3-2 shootout win over the rookie Ducks, allowing one goal on 26 shots in two periods of work. But even though Mathias Niederberger played in the third period (a planned move), Bartosak faced the most difficult of the Ducks’ scoring chances, most of which came during a very poor first period by the Kings rookies, who were badly out-skated, outworked and out-chanced.

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NHL Rule Changes For 2014-15: Taking The Bad With The Good

COMMENTARY: The National Hockey League has announced rule changes for the 2014-15 season, and like many things the league has done over the years, you have to take the bad with the good.


Photo courtesy
National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — The National Hockey League announced rule changes for the 2014-15 season on September 11, 2014 that are a mixed bag, in terms of likely positive and negative impacts.

Most significant are:

  • The “Spin-O-Rama” move will not be permitted for penalty shots or shootouts.
  • Crack down on diving/embellishment. Players who are repeat offenders and their head coaches will be subject to an initial warning and increasing fines for subsequent incidents.
  • NHL Hockey Operations (the Situation Room in Toronto) has been given broader authority to assist on-ice officials in determining the legitimacy of all potential goals, “…to ensure they are ‘good hockey goals.’”

Of the most significant rule changes, the NHL has given us two good changes along with one bad one.

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