Gann Matsuda On Los Angeles Kings’ Fourth Line Already Taking Shape

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — As the Los Angeles Kings skate through the second week of their 2010 training camp, most of their opening night lineup appears to have already been set.

Indeed, there are no surprises regarding the 37 players still in camp after the first round of roster cuts came on September 24, with more on the way after their next pre-season game on September 28 when they host the Anaheim Ducks.

Still up for grabs are spots on the fourth line, although some favorites are already apparent.

Perhaps the strongest candidate to center that line is the 5-11, 192-pound Brad Richardson, who scored eleven goals and tallied 16 assists for 27 points in 81 regular season games with the Kings last season. He also contributed a goal and an assist in six playoff games.

The 25-year-old native of Belleville, Ontario played both center and left wing last season, his versatility making him that much more valuable.

“I feel comfortable in any position,” said Richardson. “Whereever I end up, left wing or center, that’s fine with me.”

“I’ll do whatever I can and whereever I fit in, that’s fine,” added Richardson. I’ll just try to be a good teammate, and, hopefully, work my way up.”

Another option is 6-0, 199-pound center prospect Trevor Lewis, who made the Kings roster out of training camp last season, but was their extra forward and was a healthy scratch most of the time, so much so that he was finally assigned to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (Kings’ primary minor league affiliate) on October 30, 2010.

The plan was for Lewis, 23, to get more ice time. But then there’s that old saying about the best laid plans…

“I started out up here and then got sent back down to Manchester, but I separated my shoulder and had to get shoulder surgery about five games in,” Lewis lamented. “That was tough. I was out for awhile. When I came back, it took a little bit to get my legs and timing back again. But, luckily, we went on a long playoff run and I started to get it back then.”

“I just think I didn’t get into enough games and they wanted me to play a little more,” Lewis added. “Unfortunately, I got hurt down there and didn’t get a chance to come back up. But, like I said, we went on a long playoff run and that was good for me.”

Lewis’ biggest challenge in terms of making it to the National Hockey League has been improving his play along the boards and in the corners…

To read the full story, click on: Los Angeles Kings’ Fourth Line Already Taking Shape.

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