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2011-12 Year-In Review: Coaching Change, Three Rookies, Big Trade Help LA Kings Reach For The Stars

2011-12 YEAR-IN-REVIEW: The Los Angeles Kings were struggling mightily, even after Darryl Sutter took over as head coach just before Christmas. Although things improved marginally, it took the recall of three rookies from the minor leagues, and a big trade, to allow the Kings to play the brand of hockey that would allow them to reach for the stars.


Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter (left), shown here with
center Anze Kopitar (center) and forward Jeff Carter (right)
during a practice session on May 9, 2012.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — After starting the 2011-12 season with sky high expectations, the Los Angeles Kings were in disarray. They were not anywhere near as successful as they should have been heading into the holiday season, just barely keeping their heads above water with a 13-12-4 mark on December 10, 2011, 29 games into the season.

Although they were not that far off the division lead, or even from first place in the Western Conference yet, that record left the Kings much closer to the cellar of both Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Add Six Prospects During 2012 NHL Entry Draft

DRAFT COVERAGE: Even though they had the last pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Kings added six prospects to the fold this weekend. Also: news on veteran player signings, and an upcoming change to the coaching staff.


Logo Courtesy National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — Despite having the last pick in the first round of the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Kings were busier than expected this past weekend.

After winning the 2012 Stanley Cup, the Kings earned the “privilege” of selecting last in first round of the draft. In spite of that disadvantage, they managed to add six prospects to their system, and they reached agreements in principle with two of their veteran forwards who would become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Center Jarret Stoll will sign a three-year contract extension that will pay him an average of $3.25 million per season, while center Colin Fraser will sign a two-year deal that will pay him $825,000 per season. Read more of this post

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Speed, Consistency and Trust Comes From LA Kings’ Balance Throughout Lineup

Newly-acquired forward Jeff Carter’s presence has
had a positive, cascading effect throughout the
Los Angeles Kings’ lineup.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — For a rather fleeting couple of days, the Los Angeles Kings got to enjoy the view from above, looking down from first place in the Pacific Division, and third place in the Western Conference, at several teams below them in the standings, all vying for the handful of playoff spots still up for grabs.

But after a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins on March 24 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Kings’ six-game winning streak came to a grinding halt. Even worse, they fell from third in the West all the way down to eighth.

For the Kings, the good news is that they are just one point behind both the Dallas Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes for the division lead. But the bad news is that they are tied in points with ninth-place San Jose, and tenth place Colorado. Read more of this post

LA Kings Blue Liner Slava Voynov Shines Offensively, But Is Still Learning To Play In His Own End

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has shined
offensively, but is still developing his defensive game.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since he scored two goals, including the game-winner, in just his sixth National Hockey League game, a 5-2 victory for the Los Angeles Kings at Dallas on October 27, 2011, rookie defenseman Slava Voynov has shown that he is no longer just an NHL prospect. Rather, he has proven to be ready for the rigors of the NHL right now.

Voynov has since made the journey between the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (Kings’ primary minor league affiliate) and the Kings three times this season. But after the February 23 trade that sent defenseman Jack Johnson, along with a conditional first round draft pick, to the Columbus Blue Jackets, in exchange for forward Jeff Carter, Voynov figures to be in the NHL to stay, securing a spot on the Kings’ blue line. Read more of this post

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