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Los Angeles Kings 2007 Camp Underway

EL SEGUNDO — The Los Angeles Kings are starting their 2007 training camp a bit earlier than other National Hockey League teams, with the exception of their neighbors about 35 miles to the south.

Why? They start the season with two games against their Stanley Cup Champion neighbors, the Anaheim Ducks, in London, England on September 29 and 30, and before that, they will play two exhibition games in Salzburg, Austria on September 25 and 26.

As such, the Kings (and Ducks) were given a head start on the rest of the league, and on Monday, they opened their training camp at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. But the Kings will spend just nine days in Southern California before they leave town for their first road pre-season game at Colorado on September 19.

And even before that, they begin their pre-season schedule just three days into training camp at Anaheim on September 13.

With just three days before their first exhibition game, Kings head coach Marc Crawford and his staff have had to plan very carefully, and they wasted no time in drilling the systems the Kings will play this season into their players’ heads. Read more of this post

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Is Dodging Bullets

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has been dodging a lot of bullets lately.

Whether they are being fired by the media or by Kings fans, Lombardi has been taking heavy fire since June 22, the first day of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft, when he defied conventional wisdom by selecting defenseman Thomas Hickey with the fourth overall pick.

The selection of Hickey, who was not among the top ten prospects according to all the major scouting services, was widely panned by the media and fans alike.

And then on July 1, the first day that NHL teams could sign unrestricted free agents, Lombardi once again drew heavy criticism from fans for his failure to sign any of the attractive free agents that day, including forwards Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez. Read more of this post

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