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Perseverence Finally Pays Off For LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Andrew Campbell

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Includes audio interviews with Los Angeles Kings right wing Jordan Nolan, goaltender Martin Jones, head coach Darryl Sutter, and defenseman Andrew Campbell.


LA Kings defenseman prospect Andrew Campbell.
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — At the risk of raining on rookie defenseman Andrew Campbell’s parade, even he knows that he isn’t likely to be with the Los Angeles Kings for very long, especially if defenseman Drew Doughty’s suspected shoulder injury heals soon.

That said, the 6-4, 206-pound native of Caledonia, Ontario made his National Hockey League debut on April 5, in Vancouver, where the Kings lost, 2-1.

That’s an accomplishment that no one can take away or diminish. Nevertheless, some might think, “big deal! We always hear stories about a young player making his NHL debut, and they’re all pretty much the same.”

The difference here is that Campbell has toiled in the American Hockey League with the Manchester Monarchs since he was selected by the Kings in third round (74th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Indeed, Campbell has been stuck in the minors for nearly six years, an unusually long time for an NHL prospect, even for a stay-at-home defenseman who is the antithesis of the term, “flashy.”

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LA Kings Defenseman Alec Martinez Has Become A Difference-Maker

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Includes audio interviews with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez and Willie Mitchell.


LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (foreground) checks Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula.
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Often times, the hockey gods work in strange, mysterious ways, and for a long time, they were not smiling down upon Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez.

Whether it was one of a handful injuries, or falling out of favor with head coach Darryl Sutter, Martinez has been out of the lineup for some fairly lengthy stretches.

During the lockout-abbreviated 2013 season, the 6-1, 209-pound native of Rochester Hills, Michigan played in just 27 out of the Kings’ 48 games, scoring one goal and contributing four assists for five points, while sitting out seven regular games, from February 12 – March 4, 2013.

More importantly, Martinez was on the sidelines for most the 2013 playoffs, appearing in just seven of the Kings’ 18 playoff games (four games vs. St. Louis, two vs. San Jose, and one vs. Chicago).

This season was going much the same way for Martinez, who missed action from October 18 – November 12, 2013, sitting out seven games. He also sat out from December 29, 2013 – January 4, 2014, missing four games, and from January 12 – 16, watching one game in street clothes.

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LA Kings Anze Kopitar Deserves To Win 2013-14 Selke Trophy, But Don’t Hold Your Breath

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar (right) checks Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Pardy (left) behind the net
on March 29, 2014, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With less than two weeks left in the 2013-14 National Hockey League season, Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar is finally getting some well-deserved consideration for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s best defensive forward.

Indeed, such consideration is overdue by two or three years. In fact, yours truly has voted for Kopitar as a finalist for the Selke Trophy (voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association) in each of the last three seasons.

This year, unless something drastic happens before the end of the regular season, Kopitar will get my top vote for the Selke Trophy, as he has been the league’s best defensive forward this season.

But don’t just take my word for it.

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Marian Gaborik Has Been Just What The Doctor Ordered For The LA Kings


LA Kings left wing Marian Gaborik
(click above to view larger image)

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — When players move from one team to another, especially at the National Hockey League’s trade deadline, the adjustment that a player has to make, both on the ice and off, is never easy. But veteran left wing Marian Gaborik seems to have made the transition from his old team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, to the Los Angeles Kings, with remarkable ease.

Since he was acquired on March 5, 2014, Gaborik has played in twelve games, scoring three goals and contributing five assists for eight points, with a +1 plus/minus rating, and four penalty minutes.

On the season, he has nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points, with a +1 plus/minus rating and ten penalty minutes in 34 games.

More important is the fact that before Gaborik arrived, the Kings, who are 8-3-0 with him in their lineup, were scoring a measly 2.17 goals per game (GPG). But since he joined the team, they have scored 2.75 GPG, which would rank them 14th in the NHL in goal scoring, if that was their full season average (Kings are ranked 24th, averaging 2.41 goals per game for the season).

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