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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 Losing Scuderi, Richardson Shouldn’t Come As A Surprise

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENCY – DAY 1: After bidding farewell to Rob Scuderi and Brad Richardson, the Los Angeles Kings welcomed defenseman Jeff Schultz to the team, signing him to a one-year deal on Day 1 of unrestricted free agency.

LA Kings newly-acquired
defenseman Jeff Schultz
Photo courtesy National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — Day 1 of the feeding frenzy in the National Hockey League, otherwise known as unrestricted free agency, ended with what turned out to be a rather expected result for the Los Angeles Kings, who lost veteran, stay-at-home defenseman Rob Scuderi, after he signed a four-year contract valued at $13.5 million with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the end, family was the deciding factor for the two-time Stanley Cup winner, who will play his second stint with the Penguins, the team he won his first Stanley Cup with in 2009.

“Both [the Kings and the Penguins] have the ability to play deep into the spring,” Scuderi told the media during a conference call. “But Pittsburgh is much closer geographically to where I am from, and I thought at my age, I wasn’t going to get this opportunity again to pull the trigger on something like this.”

Scuderi is a native of Syosset, New York, and has many relatives who reside in New York.

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Development Of Muzzin, Toffoli Offer Even More Of A Silver Lining For LA Kings

LA Kings rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although the Los Angeles Kings came up short in defending their 2012 Stanley Cup Championship, there is a bright side, a silver lining, as reported in this space on June 17.

Another aspect of that silver lining is the development of two rookies, defenseman Jake Muzzin, and right wing Tyler Toffoli.

Both started the 2012-13 season with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate. But when the National Hockey League’s lockout-shortened season began in mid-January, Muzzin found himself on the big club’s roster to stay, helping fill the void left by the loss of veteran left-shot defenseman Willie Mitchell, who began the season as a non-roster player due to off-season knee surgery, and eventually, was lost for the entire season.

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Unless Dean Lombardi’s Middle Name Is “Houdini,” 2013-14 LA Kings Will Look At Least A Bit Different

LA Kings defenseman Slava Voynov is expected
to receive a pretty hefty raise in a
new contract this summer.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After the Los Angeles Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup Championship, President/General Manager Dean Lombardi made good on his promise to bring back all of his players back for the 2013 National Hockey League season, giving them a solid chance to defend their championship.

One year later, the Kings advanced as far as the Western Conference Final, but only to be stopped in their tracks by the Chicago Blackhawks. But now, Lombardi is faced with that same challenge of trying to keep his team intact.

But can he? A huge obstacle in his path is the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which calls for a $64.3 million salary cap in 2013-14, considerably lower than the current $70.2 million.

“It’s unfortunate, the way this Collective Bargaining Agreement worked for us,” Lombardi lamented. “One of the by-products of going slowly was to be able to build this thing, and keep it together. We were clearly on that path, with $6 million in cap space this year, and we brought the whole team back.”

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