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LA Kings 2012 First Round Pick Tanner Pearson Just Missed Being a 7th Round Pick In 2011

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Did you know that, if not for one, critical decision back in 2011, Los Angeles Kings rookie sensation Tanner Pearson could easily still be toiling away in the minor leagues, getting limited ice time (and limited development) on the third or fourth line with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, and that he, and the Kings, might not have won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship because of that? Indeed, that was very nearly the case. Part 1 of a two-part series.


LA Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, shown here celebrating the team’s 2014 Stanley Cup Championship with his family on the ice at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — During the Los Angeles Kings’ remarkable 26-game run through the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, culminating in their second Stanley Cup Championship in the last three seasons, rookie left wing Tanner Pearson seemed to come out of nowhere, scoring four goals and contributing eight assists for twelve points, while playing on a line with right wing Tyler Toffoli and center Jeff Carter to make up what became known as the “That 70’s Line.”

That line gave the Kings a whole new look up front, and, in particular, gave the Chicago Blackhawks fits during the 2014 Western Conference Final—they had no answer for them.

For his part, Pearson used speed that had not been seen from him prior to the post-season to get to loose pucks and set up his line mates time and time again. In the end, the result was becoming a Stanley Cup Champion at the age of 21, and in just his first season in the National Hockey League.

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Granting A Request and Getting Their Man Were Key Factors In LA Kings Trading Linden Vey To Vancouver

2014 LA KINGS DRAFT WRAP-UP: Confused about why the Los Angeles Kings traded away forward Linden Vey, one of their finest prospects? Here’s the answer…


LA Kings 2014 NHL Draft second round pick (50th overall)
defenseman Roland McKeown.

 

LOS ANGELES — A little over two weeks has passed since the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second time in the last three seasons and while the team, the entire organization, and their fans continue to celebrate, the hard part of winning a championship has already hit the Kings front office…

…keeping the team that just won hockey’s Holy Grail together.

Days earlier, the Kings confirmed that they will not be able to sign veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell to a new contract due to salary cap constraints and with the cap for the 2014-15 season coming in at $69 million, about $2 million less than what most expected, teams like the Kings, who were already very close to the cap ceiling, are facing even greater challenges in terms of keeping their rosters intact.

With just $3.66 million of available cap space, the Kings do not have much wiggle room at all, and that fact is now reverberating in the minds of players throughout their system whose contracts expire on June 30, not just that of President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and his front office staff.

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2014 First Round Draft Pick Adrian Kempe Fits LA Kings Like A Glove

LA Kings 2014 first round draft pick Adrian Kempe (center), shown here with Kings Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Mike Futa (left) and Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yanetti (right)
during the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia on June 27, 2014.

 

LOS ANGELES — If there was ever a first round pick in the National Hockey League draft that fit a team like the proverbial glove, forward Adrian Kempe is that player.

Kempe, 17, was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the first round (29th overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, which began on June 27.

The 2014 NHL Draft will conclude on June 28, with Rounds 2-7, beginning at 7:00 AM PDT (televised on the NHL Network).

But before the 29th pick came around, the Kings tried to trade up in the first round. Later, as prospects continued to come off the board, they also tried to trade down.

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Los Angeles Kings 2014 NHL Draft Preview

LOS ANGELES — Whether it is defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts (Ontario Hockey League), center Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL), center Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League), or center Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) who winds up as the first overall selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, unless some way-out-of-left-field trade happens, the Los Angeles Kings will not be adding that player to the fold, or any of the top prospects, for that matter.

Indeed, that is the price of success. After winning the Stanley Cup on June 13, the Kings move all the way down to 29th in the first round of the thirty-team draft. The only reason they did not move to 30th is because of the sanctions handed down to the New Jersey Devils for salary cap circumvention when they signed forward Ilya Kovalchuk—the Devils will pick last in the first round instead of 11th.

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