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Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Blue Line Corps May Be Their Greatest Asset

DOWN ON THE FARM: Between goaltending and their defensive corps, the Manchester Monarchs’ greatest strength will be on their side of the red line in the 2011-12 season.


Thomas Hickey is beginning to look like he might develop
into the defenseman the Los Angeles Kings were hoping
for when they selected him with the fourth overall pick
in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Manchester Monarchs, the primary minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, are 1-1 after their first two games of the 2011-12 season, allowing just three goals in those games. They return to action tonight against the Providence Bruins, the start of a three-games-in-three-nights road trip in which they will also face the Portland Pirates on October 15, and the Springfield Falcons on October 16.

Although no one in their right mind, would draw conclusions about a team based on just two games, especially so early in a season, the Monarchs figure to be one of the stingier teams in the American Hockey League.

Indeed, with goaltenders Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff expected to improve upon solid seasons in 2010-11, the rest is up to the skaters in front of them. Read more of this post

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More Than Just A Banana Peel Was Hurled At Philadelphia Flyers Forward Wayne Simmonds

Philadelphia Flyers right wing
Wayne Simmonds
Photo: National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — With National Hockey League training camps having started this week, this is a time when North American hockey fans in particular should be celebrating the fact that the 2011-12 NHL season is just two weeks away.

We should also be celebrating the extraordinary career of one of the all-time greats, center Mike Modano, who will officially announce his retirement at a press conference later today.

NHL fans could also be celebrating new interpretations of rules governing hits from behind and contact with the head, along with pioneering efforts by NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan, to educate players, coaches, general managers, and fans alike through the use of video to explain his decisions in supplementary discipline cases, such as in the recent hitting from behind incident involving Calgary Flames forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, and a separate incident involving Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley.

Read more of this post

LA Kings Head Coach Terry Murray Talks Prospects, Goaltending, And The Return Of The Trap

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: In Part 5, the final installment of a series based on an exclusive interview with Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray, he talks about the chances for the Kings’ young prospects, such as center Andrei Loktionov, to make the big club’s opening night roster. He also discusses the loss of some of the Kings’ prospects to European leagues, his team’s goaltenders, and he warns of the return of the neutral zone trap…or a variation thereof.


Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray (right) talks with (from left) Kyle Clifford, Willie Mitchell and Trevor Lewis during practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the addition of veteran forwards Simon Gagne and Mike Richards this summer, the Los Angeles Kings have upgraded the talent on their first and second lines. Add to that the signing of veteran left wing Ethan Moreau, who joins centers Jarret Stoll and Brad Richardson up front—the Kings have plenty of veteran talent on their forward lines.

Then you have Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis, Scott Parse, and heavyweight enforcer Kevin Westgarth—these forwards will likely fill out the remaining left and right wing spots on the third and fourth lines.

There is also a yet unknown factor…center Colin Fraser, who was acquired in the trade that sent left wing Ryan Smyth back home to the Edmonton Oilers on June 26 . Even though the Kings have filed a grievance with the National Hockey League, alleging that the Oilers misrepresented his condition at the time of the trade, it is unlikely that any remedy will result in Fraser being returned to the Oilers. As such, it appears that young prospects, such as center Andrei Loktionov, among others, are going to have a fierce battle ahead of them to get ice time, let alone a spot on the Kings’ 2011-12 opening night roster. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Mike Richards Is Already Setting An Example For His New Teammates

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards met the local
media for the first time at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California, July 27, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — One of the newest members of the Los Angeles Kings, 26-year-old center Mike Richards, took some time out from home shopping here in the Los Angeles area to meet the local media, and to don his new team’s jersey for the first time.

Richards was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers, along with center prospect Rob Bordson, in exchange for right wing Wayne Simmonds, center prospect Brayden Schenn, and a second round pick in the 2012 draft. Read more of this post

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