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LA Kings: Dean Lombardi’s Gamble On Justin Williams Is Paying Off Many Times Over

LA Kings right wing Justin Williams
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back in early March 2009, when the Los Angeles Kings acquired veteran right wing Justin Williams, many people, including yours truly, expressed concern about the deal, given Williams’ lengthy injury history.

Indeed, before joining the Kings, Williams had played a full, 82-game season just twice. From 2000-01 to 2008-09, he suffered injuries that include broken fingers and hands, a broken wrist, shoulder strains and sprains, a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn Achilles tendon.

When he was acquired by the Kings, Williams was on injured reserve after suffering another broken hand.

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LA Kings And NY Rangers: 2014 Stanley Cup Final Preview/Prediction

The Stanley Cup
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — After eight months, the National Hockey League has finally reached the peak of its crescendo, with the New York Rangers here on the left coast to face-off against the Los Angeles Kings in 2014’s quest for hockey’s version of the Holy Grail, the Stanley Cup.

Players, head coaches and general managers of both teams met the media on June 3 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the players spent a lot of time analyzing their opponent.

“[The Kings are] a big team,” said Rangers forward Brad Richards. “Straightforward, experienced, and they obviously don’t give up. We’ve seen that over the last few years, and especially this year. You know that their will is there. We’re going to have to get to that, and match that. After that, there’s not a lot of surprises. It’s straightforward hockey, and they’re going to come. Besides that, we’ll see where it goes.”

“They’re obviously a very, very good team,” said Rangers forward Chris Kreider. “That’s why they are where they are, at this point in the season. That’s why they’ve had so much success over the past few years.”

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LA Kings Defenseman Robyn Regher Is Close To Returning, But…

LA Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Even if he does not return to action in tonight’s Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regher is getting closer and closer to returning.

“That’ll be a coaches’ decision,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been working hard at getting back to feeling like I can be ready to roll. At this point, it’s whatever [head coach] Darryl [Sutter] would like me to be. If he feels like he’d like me in the lineup, I feel like I’m ready to go, and if he wants to stay with the same lineup that was successful in Game 7 against Chicago, I totally understand that, too.”

“As a player, coming off a fairly substantial injury and missing a significant amount of time, you work as hard as possible, both on and off the ice, to be as [well-prepared] as you can [be],” he added. “That’s what I’m thinking about right now.”

But after stating that he feels that he’s ready to go, Regehr backed off that statement.

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2014 Stanley Cup Final Media Day – In Photos

A large banner hung at the Star Plaza entrance at Staples Center in Los Angeles marks the eve of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, featuring the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers, with Game 1 scheduled for June 4, 2014.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — June 3 was media day for the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, pitting the Los Angeles Kings against the New York Rangers, with Game 1 scheduled for June 4, starting at 5:00 PM PDT, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Both teams practiced at Staples Center, and after their respective sessions, head coaches and general managers, along with players, met with the media.

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