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Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Even With His Career In Jeopardy, Ian Laperriere’s Priorities Are Right On The Mark

LOS ANGELES — Prior to their game against the New Jersey Devils on October 30 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings honored former Kings defenseman and team captain Mattias Norstrom, who was a stalwart warrior on the Kings’ blue line for eleven seasons until he was traded to the Dallas Stars in a trade deadline deal on February 27, 2007.

Several of Norstrom’s former Kings teammates were present for the pre-game ceremony, including defensemen Rob Blake and Mathieu Schneider, forwards Derek Armstrong, Nelson Emerson, Glen Murray and Luc Robitaille, and goaltender Jamie Storr.

Another was forward Ian Laperriere, who was acquired by the Kings in the same deal with the New York Rangers that sent Norstrom to the Kings.

“[The ceremony was a] great thing for a great player, a great teammate,” said Laperriere, who was a fan favorite in Los Angeles and received a raucous ovation when he was introduced. “He’s been a friend for years. I’m just glad I was able to make it.”

Laperriere said that he played with very few players who could match Norstrom’s work ethic, dedication or intensity, and added that such players seem to be a dying breed. Read more of this post

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Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part Two

The following is part two of an updated story written for the Online Kingdom back on April 14, 2006, a few days after Los Angeles Kings left wing Luc Robitaille announced his retirement as a player. It is being re-published in honor of his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9, 2009. To read part one on FrozenRoyalty.net, click on Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part One.


Robitaille The Leader

I’ve always admired people who were gifted with the quality of leadership, and when leadership and raw athletic ability are found together in one person, it’s a rare combination to be sure. I think that one of the things that I appreciate most about Luc is that not only does he possess this combination, but that it is manifested in him in a unique way. Luc brings a contagious passion to the rink every day and to everything he does. I found that being around that kind of passion and desire made the game even more enjoyable for me and challenged me to give to my full capacity.
— Former Kings tough guy Stu Grimson
Read more of this post

Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part One

The following is an updated story written for the Online Kingdom back on April 14, 2006, a few days after Los Angeles Kings left wing Luc Robitaille announced his retirement as a player. It is being re-published in honor of Robitaille’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9, 2009. To read part two, click on Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part Two.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back on April 3, 1995, the night that all-time Los Angeles Kings great Dave Taylor had his jersey number 18 retired by the club, this reporter wrote that he was the King of Kings, earning that right above other all-time Kings’ greats such as Marcel Dionne, Rogie Vachon and Wayne Gretzky.

“No Kings’ player had ever measured up to Taylor when it came to heart, the desire to excel and win and the ability and willingness to go into the corners and sacrifice his body for his team,” I wrote. “No other Kings’ player has ever come close to Taylor as far as leadership—on the ice and off—is concerned, [and] no Kings’ player has ever matched his relentless work ethic, his dedication to his team, the game of hockey and his community.”

To be sure, Taylor had earned the right to wear the crown as the King of Kings, and was a great standard bearer for the organization, both on and off the ice. But on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, the day that Kings all-time great left wing Luc Robitaille announced at a press conference that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, Taylor immediately abdicated the crown because his reign is over. Robitaille now wears the crown as new Kings of Kings. Read more of this post

Scouting And Development Are Cornerstones To Dean Lombardi’s Efforts

INTERVIEW WITH DEAN LOMBARDI: In the fifth and final installment of this series based on an in-depth interview with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, we take a close look at two of the Kings’ 2008 draft picks along with their scouting and development infrastructure. We also get a bit of insight into what Lombardi thinks going into the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft beginning tonight in Montreal, the brain trust of the Los Angeles Kings, including President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, are going over their lists with the proverbial fine tooth comb, projecting who might be available when their turn, the fifth overall selection, comes around, along with what kind of trades might be out there for them to get in on.

But before Frozen Royalty looks ahead to the 2009 draft, let’s take a step back and look at a couple of 2008 Kings draft picks who were big surprises this past season, in more ways than one.

Indeed, defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov (photo at right, courtesy Manchester Monarchs), who was selected in the second round, 32nd overall, and center Andrei Loktionov, a fifth round pick, 123rd overall, were big surprises on a couple of levels. Read more of this post

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