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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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2011 LA Kings Training Camp: Andrei Loktionov Clears The Air While Thomas Hickey, Tyler Toffoli Turn Heads

LA Kings center prospect Tyler Toffoli.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings have completed nine on-ice days of their 2011 Training Camp, and, with their third pre-season game coming up tonight against the Anaheim Ducks (6:30 PM PDT, Staples Center), two of their young prospects have already turned some heads.

Center prospect Tyler Toffoli, the Kings’ second round selection (47th overall) in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, has taken some big steps forward in his development over the past year, enough to win the scoring title in the Ontario Hockey League with 57 goals and 51 assists for 108 points in 68 regular season games with the Ottawa 67’s.

Although the 19-year-old native of Scarborough, Ontario got off to a bit of a slow start in the split-squad pre-season game at Phoenix on September 21, Toffoli was able to turn things up as the game went on. Read more of this post

LA Kings 2011 Training Camp: Netminder Jonathan Bernier Is Focused On His Game…And Nothing Else

TRAINING CAMP COVERAGE: On Day 2 of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Training Camp, backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier talked about what he is focusing on heading into the new season, head coach Terry Murray talked about defenseman prospect Thomas Hickey’s development taking big strides, and about Jack Johnson’s play in the defensive zone. Raw audio interviews included.


LA Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier is shown here during a drill at
the Kings’ 2011 Training Camp on September 17, 2011.
Photo: David Sheehan.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With defenseman Drew Doughty still unsigned and nowhere near Southern California, the big news out of Day 2 of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Training Camp was that veteran right wing Justin Williams was absent after being stricken by flu.

Day 2 of training camp was much the same as Day 1, with three groups of players going through two sessions of drills, followed by a tough conditioning skate.

While management, coaches, scouts and development staff watched intently, evaluating players, prospects and those in camp on tryout status, one area they do not have to pay as much attention to is in goal. Read more of this post

Making Do Without Doughty: Los Angeles Kings Open 2011 Training Camp

TRAINING CAMP COVERAGE: Frozen Royalty’s coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Training Camp begins with details on who might get ice time as a replacement for holdout defenseman Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar’s ankle and how it held up on the first day, more on Dustin Penner’s conditioning, and on Dustin Brown trying to build chemistry with new line mates. Includes 15 audio interviews from Day 1 of training camp.


LA Kings left wing Dustin Penner lost more weight during the 2011 off-season than originally believed.
Photo: David Sheehan.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings hit the ice for the first time during their 2011 Training Camp on Saturday, September 17, and, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, or vacationing in a desolate, primitive area, isolated from the hockey world, you know that defenseman Drew Doughty is in the midst of a contract dispute with the Kings, and is now a holdout.

Indeed, the 21-year-old defenseman was nowhere to be found when the Kings hit the ice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, their practice facility.

With no end in sight in the Doughty saga, the story was not just his absence, but who might fill his skate boots should he continue to holdout.

“The plans [for training camp] do not change at all,” said head coach Terry Murray. “We’re going to miss Doughty. I wish he was here to be a part of it. He’s a very important player, he’s a big part of the locker room, and a fun guy to be around. He’s a great player for us, but the plans do not change for the training camp. We have to get ready for the start of the year.” Read more of this post

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