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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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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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Frozen Royalty Video: LA Kings Edged In Shootout At Anaheim, 4-3

ANAHEIM, CA — Corey Perry scored a breakaway goal and another in the shootout to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings in front of a standing-room only crowd of 18,494 fans at Honda Center in Anaheim on April 7.

Ducks forwards Kyle Palmieri opened the scoring at 2:54 of the first period after Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr was unable to clear the zone along the left wing boards. Ducks forward Matt Beleskey got the puck to Palmieri, who skated past Kings left wing Jordan Nolan, who got caught flat-footed. Palmieri went in alone on Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who made the initial save. But the puck hit Palmieri’s skate, and bounced into the net.

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Is Cautiously Optimistic About Young Defensive Corps – VIDEO

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

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With injuries to stay-at-home defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell to start the abbreviated 2013 season—Greene played in just the first game of the season, while Mitchell has not seen action yet this year—things have certainly not gone according to the plan for the Los Angeles Kings.

“You’ve seen the way we had planned this,” said Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi. “If you look at last year, we had a stopper with a puck mover, and obviously, that’s what we lost in Greene and Mitchell.”

Indeed, last season, the Kings had Rob Scuderi paired with Drew Doughty, Mitchell with Slava Voynov, and Alec Martinez with Greene. As Lombardi described, each defensive pair had a stay-at-home guy and a puck mover.

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