Leadership Skills Give Zac Leslie, Valentin Zykov A Boost At LA Kings Development Camp

AUDIO: Interviews with Los Angeles Kings prospects Zac Leslie and Valentin Zykov are included.


LA Kings right wing prospect Valentin Zykov
(click above for larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When most people who follow the National Hockey League look at a team’s prospects coming up through their system, the focus is almost exclusively on a particular player’s development, in terms of how they are improving their play.

But equally important in player development is how they handle themselves off the ice, and especially in terms of intangible qualities that can either benefit or hurt a player, especially a young, up-and-coming one.

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LA Kings Do Development Camp Differently

AUDIO: Story includes audio interviews with Nelson Emerson and Mike O’Connell from the Los Angeles Kings development staff.


LA Kings Director of Player Development Nelson Emerson
(click above for larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Years ago, the Los Angeles Kings ran their annual summer Development Camp for their young prospects as many National Hockey League clubs still do: focusing on the on-ice part of the game, including lots of scrimmage time. Some teams emphasize the scrimmage portion of their development camps, using that to retain and increase fan interest during the off-season lull. Some teams even go so far as to make their development camp scrimmages enough of a spectacle in which fans buy tickets to watch the games.

In the early years of their Development Camp, the Kings did that, too. But as Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi built his team into a two-time Stanley Cup Champion in recent years, their Development Camp has evolved into one that stresses off-ice instruction and training as much or more than on-ice instruction and drills. In fact, over the past handful of years, it has not been uncommon for the Kings to not play a scrimmage at all during their Development Camp. On top of that, their camp is so low-key that the team does not announce exact starting times for on-ice sessions, and only one day is designated as “media day,” when the local media are granted access to the prospects and the development staff for interviews.

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LA Kings D Slava Voynov Pleads No Contest To Misdemeanor Charges; What Should NHL, LA Kings Do Now?

LA Kings defenseman Slava
Voynov’s booking photo.
Photo: Redondo Beach Police Department

LOS ANGELES — On July 2, as part of a plea agreement, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, who had been charged with one felony count of “corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury,” has pled no contest to one misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse.

According to a press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, “Voynov caused his wife to suffer injuries to her eyebrow, cheek and neck during an argument at their Redondo Beach home. The injuries required medical attention at a local hospital where the defendant was arrested.”

The news was first reported by Larry Altman of the Daily Breeze and Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register. Both were at the Los Angeles Superior Court in Torrance, California where Judge Eric C. Taylor accepted the plea agreement.

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LA Kings Terminate Mike Richards’ Contract Citing “Material Breach”

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards, shown here during the
on-ice celebration after he helped lead the Kings to the
2012 Stanley Cup Championship on June 11, 2012,
at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — On June 29, the Los Angeles Kings terminated the contract of veteran center Mike Richards, citing a “material breach” of his contract.

The team issued the following statement.

“The Los Angeles Kings today have exercised the team’s right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract.”

The Kings also stated that there would be no further comment or details provided, at least, not in the immediate future.

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When It Comes To Mike Richards, Loyalty Becomes A Double-Edged Sword For LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards (center, with Stanley Cup behind his right shoulder), shown here during the
the team’s 2012 Stanley Cup Championship rally at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 14, 2012.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

 

LOS ANGELES — On June 28, as expected, the Los Angeles Kings placed veteran center Mike Richards on unconditional waivers. Once he clears waivers, the Kings will buy out his contract.

Although the buy out will give the Kings immediate salary cap relief, giving them an estimated $4.5 million extra to work with under the cap per capfriendly.com and generalfanager.com (Kings salary cap would be an estimated $61.8 million, down from $66.4 million), the buy out will be amortized over ten years, as far as the salary cap is concerned, with the Kings taking the following cap hits:

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