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LA Kings Goalie Prospect J.F. Berube Pushed Hard To Take The Next Step

Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Jean-Francois Berube, shown here during the team’s 2013 Rookie Camp.
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Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — After completing an up-and-down—literally—2012-13 season, Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Jean-Francois Berube set his sights on taking the next step in his development—earning a spot on the roster of the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate.

But after being unable to firmly establish himself as the number one goalie with the Kings’ ECHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, over the prior two seasons, and especially with him not getting as much ice time last season as he did the previous year after spending several weeks with the Monarchs in a backup role, there were questions in the minds of the Kings’ brain trust about what the better move would be for Berube: do they get him more ice time by sending him back to Ontario for a third season, or do they have him play in a backup role at the AHL level with the Monarchs?

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Leiweke Out, Beckerman In: How Is Change At The Top of AEG Impacting The LA Kings?

Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty about how the change at top of the Anschutz Entertainment Group has impacted the team.
Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images
and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — On March 14, 2013, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the international real estate, retail, and entertainment conglomerate that owns the Los Angeles Kings, dropped a bombshell when they announced that they were no longer up for sale.

But what many considered to be a bombshell with an even greater payload was a part of that same announcement: that Tim Leiweke, the President and Chief Executive Officer of AEG since 1996, would be, “…leaving the company by mutual agreement.”

That Leiweke left AEG amicably is highly unlikely, but that is for another story. In any event, prior to his departure, he had been the front man, the face, the pitch man—he was AEG, as far as so many were concerned, especially since Philip Anschutz has been extremely reclusive while at the top of his AEG empire.

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Tanner Pearson Is An Early Standout At LA Kings 2013 Training Camp

Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Tanner Pearson
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Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Last April, as the Los Angeles Kings were preparing for another deep run into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi took a few moments to look into the future, specifically, at one of his up-and-coming charges, 21-year-old left wing Tanner Pearson, who was selected by the Kings in the first round (30th overall) in the 2012 National Hockey League Draft.

“The kid we got has really done well, so we actually lucked out there,” said Lombardi. “To get Pearson with the 30th pick, he’s got a good chance.”

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

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell
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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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