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LA Kings Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli Still Have A Long Way To Go…That’s A Good Thing

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: In Part 1 of this two-part series, we told you about Los Angeles Kings rookie left wing Tanner Pearson’s rise from being a very late bloomer who came within a hair of being a late seventh round pick in the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, instead of a first round pick in the 2012 draft. What might’ve happened if he had been picked in the seventh round instead of the first round?

In case you missed it, you can read that story here: LA Kings 2012 First Round Pick Tanner Pearson Just Missed Being a 7th Round Pick In 2011.

In Part 2, we’ll look at Pearson’s (so far) successful ascent to the NHL, with comments from Pearson and Kings Senior Vice President, Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Michael Futa, who shared his thoughts about both Pearson and right wing Tyler Toffoli.


LA Kings left wing Tanner Pearson
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CalishooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For the last seven seasons, center Anze Kopitar has led the Los Angeles Kings in scoring, and he has led them, essentially, from start to finish each season.

Don’t look now, but that is not how things will go this season, as rookie left wing Tanner Pearson, for now, anyway, leads the Kings in scoring with four goals and two assists for six points through four games.

Although no one should expect Pearson to end the season leading the Kings in scoring, anything is possible, right? In any case, Pearson’s early-season hot streak already has him in the conversation for the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s top rookie (he did not play enough games last season to lose rookie status).

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NHL Makes Yet Another Bad Decision On Discipline With Hiring Of Chris Pronger

COMMENTARY: Former National Hockey League defenseman Chris Pronger might turn out to be a great hire by the league for their Department of Player Safety. Nevertheless, he should never have been considered for the job at all.


LOS ANGELES — The National Hockey League has proven, once again, that the way they handle discipline of its players leaves a lot to desired, and that’s putting it mildly.

This time, it was not an on-ice incident, or a way-too-short suspension, which is the norm in the NHL. Nor was it an off-ice incident involving a crime, or a substance abuse incident. Nothing like any of that.

This time, the problem might run deeper.

On October 10, the NHL announced the hiring of former stalwart NHL defenseman Chris Pronger to work in their Department of Player Safety, alongside Senior Vice President, Player Safety, Stephane Quintal.

Pronger was a stellar defenseman in the league—a Stanley Cup Champion, Hart and Norris Trophy winner, five-time NHL All-Star, and a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner, just to name some of the accomplishments on his resume. His record of achievement is indisputable.

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LA Kings 2012 First Round Pick Tanner Pearson Just Missed Being a 7th Round Pick In 2011

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Did you know that, if not for one, critical decision back in 2011, Los Angeles Kings rookie sensation Tanner Pearson could easily still be toiling away in the minor leagues, getting limited ice time (and limited development) on the third or fourth line with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, and that he, and the Kings, might not have won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship because of that? Indeed, that was very nearly the case. Part 1 of a two-part series.


LA Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, shown here celebrating the team’s 2014 Stanley Cup Championship with his family on the ice at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — During the Los Angeles Kings’ remarkable 26-game run through the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, culminating in their second Stanley Cup Championship in the last three seasons, rookie left wing Tanner Pearson seemed to come out of nowhere, scoring four goals and contributing eight assists for twelve points, while playing on a line with right wing Tyler Toffoli and center Jeff Carter to make up what became known as the “That 70’s Line.”

That line gave the Kings a whole new look up front, and, in particular, gave the Chicago Blackhawks fits during the 2014 Western Conference Final—they had no answer for them.

For his part, Pearson used speed that had not been seen from him prior to the post-season to get to loose pucks and set up his line mates time and time again. In the end, the result was becoming a Stanley Cup Champion at the age of 21, and in just his first season in the National Hockey League.

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LA Kings Blue Liner Jake Muzzin Is Starting To Look And Sound Like An NHL Veteran

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past four months, you know that the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship last June.

The Kings spent this past summer enjoying the fruits of their labor, celebrating their second Stanley Cup win in the last three seasons, and like the rest of his teammates, defenseman Jake Muzzin got to spend a day with hockey’s version of the Holy Grail.

“This summer was an exciting one, that’s for sure,” said the 25-year-old, 6-3, 213-pound native of Woodstock, Ontario. “It was pretty busy. We had a lot going on. The day with the Cup was pretty special.”

“We did a lot,” added Muzzin. “I was a busy man that day. We brought it to both sides of the family, my Mom’s side and my Dad’s side. We had a parade through Woodstock, we had a key to the city ceremony, I signed [autographs for] the public for two-and-a-half hours or so, we had a reunion with the old team I played with in Woodstock, and we had a party that night.”

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