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A Positive Story, A Poignant Reminder: Brooks Laich

Former Los Angeles Kings forward Brooks Laich
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On November 9, forward Brooks Laich earned his first point with the Los Angeles Kings.

Five days later, he would play his last game with them.

Being a healthy scratch four times after that, and with some player personnel changes forthcoming, the writing was on the wall for Laich, who was placed on waivers on November 24. He cleared waivers the next morning, and was, on paper, anyway, assigned to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.

The Kings gave Laich the option to play for the Reign, but he chose not to do so, with their blessing.

“I think that option was available,” said Kings head coach John Stevens. “I think in Brooks’ case, he wanted to try and continue to play in the National Hockey League. This is home for him, so I think it was kind of a win-win situation for him and for us, but I think he’s at the point in his career where I do think he has other things that he has a lot of interest in doing.”

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LA Kings D Jake Muzzin’s Got Something Good Cooking in The Early Going

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (right), shown here with forward
Trevor Lewis,during a recent practice session.
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Last season, a lot went wrong for the Los Angeles Kings, who failed to make the playoffs, resulting in President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter being relieved of their duties last April.

Defenseman Jake Muzzin certainly wasn’t alone among players who struggled last season—there was plenty of that to go around. But his struggles were among the most notable, and his -21 plus/minus rating, the worst on the team, didn’t help his cause.

Much has been made about his commitment this past summer to his strength and conditioning work, along with evaluating his poor season, and looking at what he needed to do, or not do, as the case may be, to improve for this season.

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Will Speed, Skating Continue to Block Michael Mersch’s Rise To The NHL?

Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch (foreground)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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EL SEGUNDO, CA — At 24 years of age and having played three full seasons in the Los Angeles Kings organization, left wing Michael Mersch could be at a crossroads, in terms of his future with the Kings.

Indeed, the 6-2, 213-pound native of Park Ridge, Illinois, who was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, is in a bit of a tenuous position due to the fact that if the Kings want to assign him to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, he must clear waivers. If another NHL team claims him, the Kings would lose him for nothing.

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LA Kings’ Dustin Brown Hopes Attitude Change Continues To Work For Him

Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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EL SEGUNDO, CA — In the 2011-12 season, the year the Los Angeles Kings won the first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history, forward Dustin Brown scored 22 goals and added 32 assists for 54 points in 82 games. To top it off, he tied center Anze Kopitar for the league lead in playoff goals and points with eight goals and twelve assists for 20 points—he also tied defenseman Drew Doughty and Kopitar for the league lead in playoff assists—helping lead the team to that first Stanley Cup win.

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Better Late Than Never For LA Kings RW Prospect Spencer Watson

Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Spencer Watson (right)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — A year delayed, Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Spencer Watson is on the verge of making his professional hockey debut this season.

The 21-year-old, 5-10, 178-pound native of London, Ontario was playing in what was supposed to be his final season with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League in 2015-16 when he suffered a wrist injury that required surgery.

“Last year was unfortunate because he needed last summer to get stronger in order to play in the American Hockey League [in 2016-17],” said Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa. “But with his injury—he had the surgery, so he really wasn’t able to train. By the time he was healed and healthy, it made no sense for us to start his pro career, so he ended going back to junior for [an over-age year], and he had a great playoff run with Mississauga. They went to the [Ontario Hockey League] finals.”

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