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LA Kings Defenseman Willie Mitchell On Concussions: “I Get Into A Car Wreck Six Times A Night”

When it comes to concussions, Los Angeles Kings
defenseman Willie Mitchell speaks from experience.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — We’re not even at the halfway point of the 2011-12 National Hockey League season, but far too many players have already gone down due to concussions.

In no particular order, the NHL has lost stars like Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers, Milan Michalek of the Ottawa Senators, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, all to concussions.

Most notably, the league has also lost Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, who is expected to miss the rest of the season, and Pittsburgh Penguins superstar forward Sidney Crosby is out indefinitely after a recurrence of post-concussion syndrome. Read more of this post

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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: Simon Gagne Hopes To Do A Lot More Than Look Good In Black

Long-time “Voice of the Kings,” Bob Miller (right) presented newly-acquired left wing Simon Gagne with his jersey number 12 during a media luncheon at the team’s offices in El Segundo, California.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After signing a two-year, $7 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings on July 2, 2011, veteran left wing Simon Gagne was in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Karine, looking for a new home for his family, which includes two-year-old son Matthew, and five-month old daughter Lily Ann. But he also took some time to stop by the Kings’ El Segundo offices at the Toyota Sports Center, where he met the local media.

“We’re here for two days, two and a half days,” said Gagne. “We’re not here on vacation. We’re definitely here to spend time looking for a place. We left the kids at home with my mom and her mom right now. We’re spending as much time as we can to find a place for our family.”

“Right now, we like what we see, we like the area a lot,” added Gagne. “We’re really excited about it. Hopefully today, we’ll find what we like, and get a little more time to look around.” Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Move Quickly To Plan B: Sign Left Wing Simon Gagne To 2-Year Deal

The Los Angeles Kings signed left wing Simon Gagne to a two-year deal on July 2, 2011.
Photo: National Hockey League

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi was not what one would consider to be truthful on June 26, when he said that the Kings would not be interested in pursuing the top players in the unrestricted free agent market.

“It’s safe to say that there’s a potential for a midrange move,” he insisted.

As it turned out, Lombardi hoodwinked the media into believing that. But once the July 1 signing frenzy began, it became obvious that his sights were set much, much higher.

Indeed, when the 9:00 AM Pacific time opening of the free agent frenzy began, Lombardi, Kings Governor and President/Chief Executive Officer of the Anschutz Entertainment Group Tim Leiweke, the Kings coaching staff, and others were already in Mississauga, Ontario, where they made a live, in-person presentation to the prize of the 2011 unrestricted free agent class, center Brad Richards, and his agent, Pat Morris, at the headquarters of Newport Sports Management. Read more of this post

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