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LA Kings’ Dean Lombardi Sent Simon Gagne Back To His Roots In Trade With Philadelphia Flyers

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Shortly after the media left the Los Angeles Kings dressing room following their off-ice workout/optional skate on February 26, those of us who cover the team had to go into scramble mode, shifting away from the usual after-practice news and feature story angles, to the Kings trading away an established star in the National Hockey League.

Indeed, left wing Simon Gagne, who signed with the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on July 2, 2011, was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he began his career in 1999, in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

If the Flyers make the playoffs this season, the Kings will get a third round pick in return. But if the Flyers fail to qualify for the post-season, the Kings will get a fourth round pick.

“Simon is an experienced veteran who will help us in a lot of areas,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “We are glad to have him back.”

Holmgren told the media during a conference call that due to some key injuries, he was looking to add some skill and depth up front. He also indicated that under normal circumstances, the Flyers would not be able to acquire Gagne due to salary cap considerations. However, with a couple of players on long-term injured reserve, they were able to make the deal.

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Frozen Royalty Video: Interviews After LA Kings Workout/Optional Skate, February 26, 2013

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As the small handful of writers covering the Los Angeles Kings were off to whereever they decided to go to transcribe the interviews they just completed at the team’s practice facility for their daily news and notes or feature stories, news that they had just traded left wing Simon Gagne back to the Philadelphia Flyers came down, bringing us all to a screeching halt, and a very abrupt shift in terms of the story we would all be covering.

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LA Kings: Lewis Stepping Up, Muzzin Seeks Consistency, Sutter Issues Another Challenge – VIDEO

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Outside of the first and second periods in Chicago on February 17, the Los Angeles Kings have started to put things together after a rough start to the abbreviated 2013 season.

Prior to February 10, the Kings were struggling badly, earning just a 3-4-2 record after nine games. But after that, they are 4-2-0, with a loss at Detroit, a game in which they arguably played their best hockey this season, and the aforementioned loss at Chicago, in which the Kings were missing in action until the third period, but almost came all the way back from a 3-0 deficit.

Head coach Darryl Sutter pointed out that his team’s progress has been a bit slow.

“I knew, coming [into the season], that opening [day, a 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center on January 19] wasn’t going to be about the game,” said Sutter. “It was going to be about the ceremony, and that held true. Then, we went to Colorado, and played pretty well, but made a couple of mistakes in the third period. That set the [tone] for where we are.”

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For The Los Angeles Kings, It All Comes Down To Getting Dirty

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — For those who may be wondering, the headline for this story does not mean what you might think. Rather, it has become a repeated, old refrain that has often been heard in the Los Angeles Kings’ dressing room in recent seasons.

Indeed, the Kings really do need to get dirty. More specifically, they are getting very few opportunities to score the “dirty goals” to this point in the abbreviated 2013 season. The result? A meager 2-2-2 start to the season.

A dearth of scoring chances from the prime scoring areas was most evident this season in the Kings’ last game on January 31, when they dropped a 2-1 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators at Staples Center.

“We had a lot of offensive zone time, but it was a lot of cycles,” said forward Jeff Carter. “We really didn’t get much off it.”

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