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Former LA Kings Defensive Stalwart Mattias Norstrom Left The Game On His Own Terms

Former LA Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom (center), was honored by the Kings
during a pre-game ceremony on October 30, 2010, when the Kings hosted
the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — On a night in which the Los Angeles Kings handed the once-vaunted New Jersey Devils a 3-1 defeat, shutting down the mighty $100 million superstar Ilya Kovalchuk in the process, the Kings took time to pay tribute to their past, and to one of their own.

Former Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom was back in Los Angeles on October 30, and was honored by the team during a pre-game ceremony.

“It is fun, it’s great being back,” said Norstrom, who played in 780 regular season games with the Kings over eleven seasons after being acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers on March 14, 1996. “I haven’t been back here for two-and-a-half years. The last time I was back was with the [Dallas] Stars in the Spring of ’08.”

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Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Even With His Career In Jeopardy, Ian Laperriere’s Priorities Are Right On The Mark

LOS ANGELES — Prior to their game against the New Jersey Devils on October 30 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings honored former Kings defenseman and team captain Mattias Norstrom, who was a stalwart warrior on the Kings’ blue line for eleven seasons until he was traded to the Dallas Stars in a trade deadline deal on February 27, 2007.

Several of Norstrom’s former Kings teammates were present for the pre-game ceremony, including defensemen Rob Blake and Mathieu Schneider, forwards Derek Armstrong, Nelson Emerson, Glen Murray and Luc Robitaille, and goaltender Jamie Storr.

Another was forward Ian Laperriere, who was acquired by the Kings in the same deal with the New York Rangers that sent Norstrom to the Kings.

“[The ceremony was a] great thing for a great player, a great teammate,” said Laperriere, who was a fan favorite in Los Angeles and received a raucous ovation when he was introduced. “He’s been a friend for years. I’m just glad I was able to make it.”

Laperriere said that he played with very few players who could match Norstrom’s work ethic, dedication or intensity, and added that such players seem to be a dying breed. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Spoil Blackhawks “Circus Trip”

LOS ANGELES — Since the Los Angeles Kings moved to Staples Center in 1999, there have been several times when they were forced to go on very long road trips while their arena was being used for other events.

But if you think the Kings are the only National Hockey League team that often has to play second fiddle at their own arena, guess again.

During a matinee affair on Saturday, the Kings handed the Chicago Blackhawks a 5-2 defeat in front of an announced crowd of 16,147 fans at Staples Center.

The loss culminated a 3-2-1 road trip for the ’Hawks, who hit the road with a circus occupying the United Center, their home arena, for two weeks. Read more of this post

2008-09 Los Angeles Kings: Defense and Goaltending Will Be Key

SEASON PREVIEW: A comprehensive, detailed look at what might be for the 2008-09 Los Angeles Kings.

LOS ANGELES — Immediately upon being hired by the Los Angeles Kings as their new head coach on July 17, 2008, Terry Murray clearly stated that the top priority for his new team would be improving their defensive play, noting that the 2007-08 Kings gave up several boatloads of quality scoring chances and goals.

This new mandate could not have been made more clear on the first day of the Kings’ 2008-09 training camp. Indeed, when the players took to the ice for the first time, they saw five dots, a bit smaller than the face-off dots, painted on the ice in the slot, representing the “home plate” area Murray wants his players to focus on in terms of their defensive positioning.

Indeed, the Kings were atrocious in their own zone for the vast majority of the 2007-08 season and their goaltending was not much better. These two areas will certainly be keys to the success or failure of the 2008-09 Kings, who will have several young players, some of them rookies, in their lineup, raising serious doubt on the Kings’ ability to improve significantly upon their tied-for-last-place-in-the-league finish in 2007-08. Read more of this post

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