2011-12 Year-In-Review: Doughty Holdout, Failure To Execute In Offensive Zone Almost Sunk LA Kings Early

2011-12 YEAR-IN-REVIEW: A turnaround of sorts in the Los Angeles Kings front office set the stage for them to win the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise. But there was a big, black cloud floating over their heads all summer long. Second installment in a series…


LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, shown here speaking to the media on September 30, 2011, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, after signing an eight-year contract.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net]

LOS ANGELES — After a very productive 2011 off-season, highlighted by the acquisition of center Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers in a blockbuster deal on June 23, 2011, sending right wing Wayne Simmonds, center Brayden Schenn, and a second round pick in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft the other way (the Flyers traded the pick to the Dallas Stars), the Los Angeles Kings seemed to be set up to finally become a contender, not only for the top spot in the Pacific Division, but also for first place in the Western Conference.

But there was one big problem hanging over their heads from the end of the 2010-11 season…defenseman Drew Doughty was not yet signed to a new contract, and with him looking for a huge payday, the two sides were far, far apart on reaching an agreement.

As most feared, neither side budged during the summer, and Doughty became a contract holdout. An agreement was not reached until September 30, 2011, when Doughty made his first appearance on practice ice—he missed virtually all of the Kings’ training camp.

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Los Angeles To The Hockey World: Here’s 250,000 Reasons Why This Is A Hockey Town – In Photos

Fans packed The Original Pantry Cafe, at the corner of 9th and Figueroa Streets in Downtown Los Angeles, prior to the
start of the victory parade honoring the 2012 Stanley Cup
Champion Los Angeles Kings.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — On June 14, Los Angeles, more specifically, Los Angeles area hockey fans, proved the critics wrong.

Indeed, those who claim that Los Angeles is not a hockey town were blown off the ice 250,000 times over, maybe more than that, by the fans who packed the parade route and the rally inside Staples Center, celebrating the Los Angeles Kings winning the 2012 Stanley Cup, the first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history.

In a story published this morning, Kings fans, young and old, recent fans to those who have been there from Day One back in 1967, shared their feelings and experiences about what it meant to see their team win it all…finally.

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2012 Stanley Cup Final – Game 6: Scoring First Goal Will Be Crucial For Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles Kings left wing Simon Gagne spoke to the media
at the team’s practice facility on June 12, 2012.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The bad news for the Los Angeles Kings is that their 3-0 lead in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final over the New Jersey Devils has shrunk to 3-2, after losses in Games 4 and 5. Just as bad is the fact that no team that has led in the Stanley Cup Final by a 3-0 margin has won the series in six games.

Game 6 is scheduled for tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles (5:00 PM PDT, NBC).

Almost as bad for the Kings is the fact that teams that have led in the Stanley Cup Final by a 3-0 margin, are just 1-1, in a seven-game series.

The Devils’ strength late in a playoff series is also a factor in the series now. Indeed, with their win in Game 5 on June 9, the Devils are now 10-1 in Games 4-7 during this year’s playoffs, compared to their 4-8 record in Games 1-3. Read more of this post

2012 Stanley Cup Final: Los Angeles Kings Need To Settle Down, Play Their Game

Logo courtesy National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — After missing out on a chance to close out the New Jersey Devils in Game 4 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final on June 6 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings are back in Newark, New Jersey, preparing for Game 5 tonight (5:00 PM PDT, NBC), in front of a hostile crowd at the Prudential Center.

The Kings lead the series, 3-1, and would win the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise with a victory.

The Devils played their best game of the series in Game 4, while the Kings were a bit too relaxed.

“We didn’t have our best game tonight, and they did,” defenseman Matt Greene said after Game 4. “They played well. We knew they were going to come out hard, and they did. We have to be tighter in the defensive zone, and tighter in our game if we want to win.” Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Need Early-Season Version Of Mike Richards To Return

Center Mike Richards has struggled since returning from a concussion on December 22, 2011. The Los Angeles Kings desperately need him to regain his early-season form.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With an assist on Dustin Penner’s goal at 17:46 of the second period, giving the Los Angeles Kings their final margin of victory in a 3-1 win at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, center Mike Richards ended an eight-game point scoring drought.

Richards’ performance in this game may have been his best since returning to the lineup after missing eight games due to a concussion that he suffered on December 1, 2011, when the Kings handed the visiting Florida Panthers a 2-1 defeat.

But since returning on December 22 (a 3-2 shootout win against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center in Los Angeles), Richards has been a mere shell of his former self. Read more of this post

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