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: Clifford Strikes Twice, Toffoli Debuts In LA Kings’ 5-2 Win Over San Jose

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Features exclusive video of post-game interviews—footage that KingsVision did not get—with Jonathan Bernier and Tyler Toffoli.


LOS ANGELES — Kyle Clifford scored two goals, Jarret Stoll scored a goal and tallied an assist, Trevor Lewis contributed two assists, and Jonathan Bernier made twenty saves, including one on a penalty shot, to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a decisive 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center on March 16.

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Frozen Royalty Audio/Video: LA Kings Slip Past Blue Jackets, 2-1

LOS ANGELES — Kyle Clifford and Mike Richards scored goals, and Jonathan Bernier stopped twelve shots to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center on February 15.

After a scoreless first period, there was no scoring in the second period until Clifford finished off a two-on-break scoring an unassisted goal at the 18:40 mark.

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LA Kings Darryl Sutter Talks Helicopters, Prophecies After Wednesday Practice

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has been on the ice for more than his share of goals against this season, a fact that has not gone unnoticed.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Despite returning from their five-game Grammy road trip with a losing 2-3-0 record, the mood was rather upbeat in the Los Angeles Kings’ dressing room following practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, on February 13.

The reason? Even though they were just 1-1 in the final two games of that road trip, the Kings played their best hockey of the season, which could give them the badly-needed push needed to propel them into the Western Conference playoff race.

“I thought, in the Detroit game [on February 10, a 3-2 loss], we actually played better [than at St. Louis on February 11, a 4-1 win],” said veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi. “We deserved those two points. Sometimes, that doesn’t happen, but it was a huge step in the right direction for our group of guys, trying to play the right way, given our game, playing with some desperation, and some passion.”

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Los Angeles Kings’ Leading Scorer Is…Kyle Clifford?

Left wing Kyle Clifford is the Los Angeles Kings’
leading scorer, believe it or not.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After stumbling out of the gate with an 0-2-1 start, the Los Angeles Kings finally got into the win column with a 4-2 victory at Phoenix on January 26, a game in which more players seemed to be finding their legs and timing, both of which have been lacking after a seven-month lull due to the National Hockey League lockout.

Indeed, it has been painfully evident across the NHL that those players who played meaningful, competitive hockey during the lockout are playing at a higher level than those who did not. Those who played during the “lull” are generally sharper, they are playing the game at faster, quicker pace, their decision-making is quicker and better, and they are often in better condition.

Those who did not are playing catch-up, often in a big way.

One of those players who is playing catch-up said that things are improving.

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