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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2011-12 Los Angeles Kings Year-In-Review: Front Office Turnaround Set Stanley Cup Run In Motion

2011-12 YEAR-IN-REVIEW: The Los Angeles Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup. What is there to review or evaluate? Plenty. To start things off, here’s a look at how a “front office turnaround” set their run to the Stanley Cup in motion.


Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings blew right through the Vancouver Canucks, the St. Louis Blues, and the Phoenix Coyotes, before the New Jersey Devils gave them a bit more to handle in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. Nevertheless, the Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup, the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise.

Given that they reached the pinnacle of achievement this season, what is there to review or evaluate?

Although some might think that is a waste of time, no Stanley Cup Championship team can rest on its laurels during the off-season and expect the same level of success. As players, coaches and general managers often say, improvement is always needed, and the Kings are no exception to that axiom.

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From Murray To Sutter: What’s Changed For The Los Angeles Kings?

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter (right), shown here with defenseman Drew Doughty (left), during a recent practice session.
(click to view a larger image).
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings set to face their Pacific Division rival, the Phoenix Coyotes, in the 2012 Western Conference Finals—just the second time in the Kings’ 44-year history that they have reached the conference finals—many are still shaking their heads, blown away at the dominance the Kings have displayed in dispatching the Vancouver Canucks in five games, followed by a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the second round.

The Kings have accomplished all that by getting solid contributions from throughout their lineup, as 15 players have scored goals in the post-season, and their top players have outplayed their counterparts by a wide margin.

As much as the focus has been on the stellar performances of right wing Dustin Brown, center Anze Kopitar, and goaltender Jonathan Quick, Darryl Sutter has had a tremendous impact Read more of this post

Credit Goes To Dean Lombardi, Darryl Sutter For Los Angeles Kings Coming From Behind To Make Playoffs

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter (right)
talks things over with center Jarret Stoll
during a recent practice.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — As the National Hockey League enters its final day of the 2011-12 regular season, the playoff teams in the Western and Eastern Conferences have been determined. But even on the last day, there is still something to play for in both conferences, as the winners of the Southeast and Pacific Divisions have yet to be decided, as of this writing.

The Washington Capitals, currently second in the Southeast, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, could win their division, and could switch places in the conference standings with the current division leader, the Florida Panthers.

In the West, the Phoenix Coyotes moved into the top spot in the Pacific Division after blowing out the St. Louis Blues on April 6, 4-1, in St. Louis.

The Los Angeles Kings could still wrest the Pacific Division crown from the Coyotes, but the scenarios are a bit complicated… Read more of this post

No Time To Waste For Los Angeles Kings To Solve Offensive Zone Problems

What impact has newly-acquired forward Jeff Carter had
on the Los Angeles Kings’ offensive attack in his
first three games with the team?
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With 18 games remaining in the Los Angeles Kings’ 2011-12 season, the numbers are certainly not their friend.

Last season, the eighth place Chicago Blackhawks earned the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 97 points, and if you look at that as a benchmark of sorts for this season, it doesn’t take much to figure out that the Kings are in deep, deep trouble in terms of earning an invitation to the National Hockey League’s post-season party.

Although it does not appear that it will take 97 points this season, as the teams ranked from sixth to 13th in the conference have been up and down in recent games, for argument’s sake, if they all continue at their current pace, the Phoenix Coyotes would finish atop the Pacific Division with 96 points, which would rank them third in the Western Conference.

The Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings are likely to battle it out for the conference championship, with the St. Louis Blues right behind them, possibly sneaking into the top spot in the conference. In any case, those three teams would take the first, second and fourth spots in the West. Read more of this post

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