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LA Kings Goalie Prospect J.F. Berube Looks To Take An Even Bigger Step Forward In 2014-15

LA KINGS PROSPECT WATCH: Throughout the summer, Frozen Royalty will be taking a look at several of the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects. In this installment, the focus is on 2009 fourth round selection, goaltender Jean-Francois Berube. Audio interviews with Berube and Kim Dillabaugh, who handles goaltender development for the Kings, are also included.


LA Kings goaltender prospect J.F. Berube (left) and Kim Dillabaugh (right),
who handles goaltender development for the Kings, shown here
during a practice session on May 8, 2014, at the
Toyota Sports Center in EL Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Back on June 13, 2014, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, more than one hour after the Los Angeles Kings had won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship by defeating the New York Rangers in Game 5, 3-2 in double overtime, most of the Kings players had retreated into their dressing room as their own, private celebration had begun.

But a few players remained on the ice, soaking in the atmosphere. This handful of players also hoisted hockey’s version of the Holy Grail, but only briefly, and they did not skate with the Stanley Cup at all.

Those players were some of the Black Aces—young prospects who had been recalled during the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, to observe rather than play.

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A Glimpse At The Critical Role Development Has Played In LA Kings’ Championships

Former NHL defenseman and general manager Mike O’Connell (standing) instructs LA Kings prospects during the team’s 2014 Development Camp on July 8, 2014, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

2014 DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Frozen Royalty begins its coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2014 Development Camp with a story on what the team is trying to accomplish during their annual camp for their young prospects and the impact their development staff has had on the team’s success. ALSO: listen to an audio interview with former Kings left wing Mike Donnelly, now on the team’s development and scouting staffs.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — The hockey world is now in what should probably be known as The Dreaded Lull, that period between the height of unrestricted free agent signings on July 1, and the start of National Hockey League training camps in mid-September, a period when it seems like everything related to the game has been sucked into a black hole.

The result: hockey fans are bored out of their minds, clamoring for any little tidbit of something hockey-related to help them survive the two-and-a-half months before training camps open.

Something that helps fans cope is that NHL teams now have development camps for their young prospects in July and August, giving fans and hockey media alike something to chew on during The Dreaded Lull, and the Los Angeles Kings are no exception.

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Granting A Request and Getting Their Man Were Key Factors In LA Kings Trading Linden Vey To Vancouver

2014 LA KINGS DRAFT WRAP-UP: Confused about why the Los Angeles Kings traded away forward Linden Vey, one of their finest prospects? Here’s the answer…


LA Kings 2014 NHL Draft second round pick (50th overall)
defenseman Roland McKeown.

 

LOS ANGELES — A little over two weeks has passed since the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second time in the last three seasons and while the team, the entire organization, and their fans continue to celebrate, the hard part of winning a championship has already hit the Kings front office…

…keeping the team that just won hockey’s Holy Grail together.

Days earlier, the Kings confirmed that they will not be able to sign veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell to a new contract due to salary cap constraints and with the cap for the 2014-15 season coming in at $69 million, about $2 million less than what most expected, teams like the Kings, who were already very close to the cap ceiling, are facing even greater challenges in terms of keeping their rosters intact.

With just $3.66 million of available cap space, the Kings do not have much wiggle room at all, and that fact is now reverberating in the minds of players throughout their system whose contracts expire on June 30, not just that of President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and his front office staff.

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Los Angeles Kings 2014 NHL Draft Preview

LOS ANGELES — Whether it is defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts (Ontario Hockey League), center Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL), center Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League), or center Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) who winds up as the first overall selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, unless some way-out-of-left-field trade happens, the Los Angeles Kings will not be adding that player to the fold, or any of the top prospects, for that matter.

Indeed, that is the price of success. After winning the Stanley Cup on June 13, the Kings move all the way down to 29th in the first round of the thirty-team draft. The only reason they did not move to 30th is because of the sanctions handed down to the New Jersey Devils for salary cap circumvention when they signed forward Ilya Kovalchuk—the Devils will pick last in the first round instead of 11th.

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