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Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Departures Create Opportunities

DOWN ON THE FARM: Frozen Royalty begins its expanded coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ prospects with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League this season with a feature on new opportunities for some after the departure of several Kings prospects for what they apparently perceived to be greener pastures in Europe.


Center Andrei Loktionov, a skilled forward who was a fifth round selection by the Los Angeles Kings in 2008, is expected to be an offensive leader for the Manchester Monarchs this season.
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Barely noticed here in the Los Angeles area, where hockey fans were primarily focused on the Los Angeles Kings opening their 2011-12 season with two games in Europe, their prospects down on the farm were also getting their new season underway.

In similar fashion to the Kings, who split their two games in Europe, the first, a 3-2 overtime win over the New York Rangers in Stockholm, Sweden on Friday, and a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, split their first two games of their 2011-12 American Hockey League season.

An unexpected challenge facing the Monarchs this year is the loss of forwards Corey Elkins, Bud Holloway, and Oscar Moller, who opted to play in Europe this season. Read more of this post

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2010-11 Los Angeles Kings Year-In-Review: Evaluating The Forwards

2010-11 YEAR IN REVIEW: Part 1 of a series.


Anze Kopitar (right) and Justin Williams (left) led the way among Los Angeles Kings’ forwards this season.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings suffered an earlier than desired exit from the 2010-11 season, when they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks, who won the series 4-2.

To be sure, another first round exit from the post-season party was not what the Kings had in mind this year, as expectations, both their own and just about everyone else’s, was for them to at least advance to the second round.

Although they faced extenuating circumstances that affected their ability to enjoy post-season success, namely, the loss of leading scorer and top defensive forward Anze Kopitar to a devastating ankle injury in late March, the Kings showed that if they had the discipline to adhere to their system and structure, they could have won that series, advancing to the Western Conference Semi Finals. Given that, it doesn’t matter how you slice it. The fact remains that the Kings did not meet expectations for the 2010-11 season. Read more of this post

LA Kings Appear To Have Just One Spot Left To Fill On Blue Line

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Following the 2009-10 season, the Los Angeles Kings lost defensemen Sean O’Donnell, Randy Jones and later in the summer, Matt Greene.

While O’Donnell and Jones signed with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, respectively, Greene underwent shoulder surgery is expected to miss the first month of the 2010-11 season, at least.

That left the Kings undermanned on the blue line, but, even with Greene out of the lineup, the Kings defenseman corps looks to be better than last year’s model.

That improvement began with the loss of Jones—addition by subtraction. It continued with the Kings’ acquisition of veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell, who was signed to a two-year unrestricted free agent contract worth $3.5 million per year on August 25, 2010. Read more of this post

LA Kings Sign Left Wing Prospect Kyle Clifford, Make Third Round Of Roster Cuts

Kyle Clifford (right) and LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings/NHL

Kyle Clifford (right) and LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Photo courtesy LA Kings/NHL

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On September 22, the Los Angeles Kings signed left wing prospect Kyle Clifford to a contract and made their third set of training camp roster cuts.

Four players were assigned to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate):

Drew Bagnall, defenseman
Gabe Gauthier, center
Brandon Segal, right wing
John Zeiler, right wing

The Kings are down to 31 players on their 2009 Training Camp roster. Read more of this post

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