LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi On Sekera Trade: Players “Made Me Start Working, To Go Out And Get’em Some Help”

AUDIO: Includes audio of the media conference call with Dean Lombardi discussing the Andrej Sekera trade on February 25.


Newly-acquired LA Kings
defenseman Andrej Sekera.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy
National Hockey League

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Even before the Los Angeles Kings lost defenseman Slava Voynov to his indefinite suspension, resulting from him being charged with domestic violence against his wife, it was no secret that they were looking for help on their blue line to fill the void left by big, physical, stay-at-home defenseman Willie Mitchell, who they could not fit under the salary cap last summer.

With both players out of their lineup, the Kings struggled, especially in their own end. That continued until their current eight-game winning streak, prompting President/General Manager Dean Lombardi to acquire defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes on February 25, in exchange for defenseman prospect Roland McKeown and a conditional first round pick.

As first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the conditions for the first round pick are: if the Kings make the playoffs, the pick will be in the 2015 National Hockey League Draft. If not, the pick will be in the 2016 draft.

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LA Kings Kyle Clifford Signed To 5-Year Contract Extension

AUDIO: Also includes audio of the media interview with Kyle Clifford, who talked about signing a five-year contract extension.


LA Kings left wing Kyle Clifford, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On February 25, the Los Angeles Kings signed left wing Kyle Clifford to a five-year contract extension.

As reported at virtually the same time by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet and Bob McKenzie of TSN, the deal has a salary cap hit of $1.6 million per season.

Clifford spoke to the media after practice shortly after the deal was announced.

“It’s a good feeling, obviously,” he said. “You can get it out of the way, and just focus on hockey. But it doesn’t guarantee anything. You still have to come to the rink every day, put your work in, and continue to progress to win games.”

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LA Kings Have Re-Discovered “Kings Hockey,” Perhaps Just In The Nick Of Time

AUDIO: Includes audio of media interviews with Matt Greene, Jake Muzzin and head coach Darryl Sutter after practice on Feburary 23, 2015.


LA Kings defenseman Matt Greene, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After winning seven straight games to move themselves, for at least one day, anyway, into third place in the Pacific Division, the Los Angeles Kings are firing on all cylinders, and as previously reported in this space, they’re doing it by playing Kings Hockey, a term used by the players off and on since last season.

Kings Hockey is when they smother opposing teams in the defensive zone, recovering pucks and breaking out quickly from their zone. That allows the Kings to generate speed through the neutral zone on attack. That speed is critical to their ability to beat opposing defensemen to loose pucks deep in the attacking zone, allowing them to get in on the forecheck, and create scoring chances off of that.

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Reasons Behind LA Kings’ Recent Success Might Not Be What You Think

LA Kings center Jarret Stoll, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Perhaps the most obvious reason that the Los Angeles Kings have won five straight games is because they have scored timely goals and have gotten the balanced scoring they have lacked all season long.

But that’s just the easy answer. The real starting point, when looking for the root cause of the Kings’ recent success lies 200 feet away, in their own zone.

Indeed, much-improved defensive play and penalty-killing have been the fundamental differences and the most important, most significant reasons behind the Kings’ current five-game winning streak.

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Believe It Or Not: Dwight King’s Critical Role In LA Kings’ Recent Success

AUDIO: Includes audio of media interview with Dwight King after practice on Feburary 17, 2015.


LA Kings left wing Dwight King, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since he was called up to the Los Angeles Kings for good in the 2011-12 season when the Kings won their first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history, left wing Dwight King has had his share of detractors.

Whether it was his perceived lack of speed or skating ability, his hands, puck-handling, goal scoring—you name it, King has probably been criticized rather heavily for it.

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