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LA Kings Comeback “Kids:” Willie Mitchell and Jeff Schultz

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As we move into the seventh day of the Los Angeles Kings 2013 Training Camp, only four of the team’s defensemen are guaranteed to be in the opening night lineup in a few weeks.

Drew Doughty, Matt Greene, Robyn Regher, and Slava Voynov are locks to be patrolling the Kings blue line come opening night. That leaves three or four roster spots for players such as Keaton Ellerby, Alec Martinez, and Jake Muzzin to battle each other for.

Two players trying to make comebacks of sorts are also in the mix, including veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell, who is working his way back into shape after sitting out for more than a year due to two surgical procedures on his knee.

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LA Kings Defenseman Alec Martinez Is Not Concerned About Shaky Status

TRAINING CAMP COVERAGE: Story includes audio and video interviews from Day 2 of the Los Angeles Kings 2013 Training Camp.


Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Going into their 2013-14 training camp, it is no secret that the Los Angeles Kings are currently over the National Hockey League salary cap, and they have also exceeded the league-wide roster limit, primarily due to the fact that they have nine defensemen on their active roster.

Simple math should tell you that something’s got to give. But NHL teams have until the start of the regular season to get under the salary cap and down to the roster limit, and for the time being, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi is quite calm, despite the predicament.

“[We will] let it play out,” said Lombardi. “We’ll see. We’ll take too many. I’d rather be in this situation.”

“To me, defensemen are like good pitchers,” Lombardi added. “You can’t have enough of’em, so I’d rather deal with this problem than the other one, so we’ll see how it plays out, and part of that is Willie [Mitchell]’s health (he passed his physical examination, and has been cleared to play, but will likely have to play some catch up in terms of his physical conditioning].”

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi and Goalie Martin Jones Clear The Air On “Holdout”

TRAINING CAMP COVERAGE: Includes video interviews with Martin Jones, Mathieu Garon (pro tryout), Anze Kopitar, Matt Frattin, Jarret Stoll, and Darryl Sutter.


Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Martin Jones
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — All summer long, Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi (and Vice President/Hockey Operations and Legal Affairs Jeff Solomon) were kept busy trying to get all of their restricted free agents (RFA) signed to new contracts. But for an unusually long time, one of their RFA’s, one who has not played in the National Hockey League, remained unsigned, generating whispers that he was in the midst of a contract dispute, and could be a training camp holdout.

That young player was goaltender prospect Martin Jones, who was noticeably absent from the Kings’ 2013 Rookie Camp, generating even more concern that he was a holdout.

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi On Anze Kopitar: “I Don’t Worry About Him At All”

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Near the end of the abbreviated 2013 regular season, and extending into the playoffs, Los Angeles Kings star center Anze Kopitar was in the deep, dark depths of the longest scoring slump in his National Hockey League career, lasting 34 games, give or take a few.

In the playoffs, Kopitar scored just three goals and contributed only six assists for nine points in 18 games.

Although he was just fine in the defensive zone, gone from his game was that explosive first step, the strength on the puck, and the ability to protect it along the boards and in the corners.

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