LA Kings D Prospect Paul LaDue Is Still Turning Heads With AHL Ontario Reign

LA Kings Defenseman prospect Paul LaDue (left), shown here during a
game against the Charlotte Checkers at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California on December 3, 2016.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — When Frozen Royalty last checked in with Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Paul LaDue, he was busy turning a lot of heads at their training camp last October. In fact, he made such a strong impression that there was a little talk about him making the Kings opening night roster straight out of the University of North Dakota.

But this time, where there was smoke, there was no fire. The Kings assigned LaDue to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League to start the 2016-17 season, and so far, the 24-year-old, 6-1, 186-pound native of Grand Forks, Michigan has played in 32 games, scoring four goals and adding twelve assists for 16 points, with a even plus/minus rating and 18 penalty minutes.

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Former Oilers and LA Kings Legend Jari Kurri: One of the Best of All-Time

Former Los Angeles Kings great Jari Kurri
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Denis Brodeur via Getty Images and Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Before arriving at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 14, former Los Angeles Kings superstar and Hall of Famer Jari Kurri wondered if Kings fans would remember him.

Although the applause when he was introduced at center ice prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets wasn’t exactly thunderous, it was apparent that he hasn’t been forgotten here in Los Angeles.

“I wasn’t sure that could happen because it was twenty years ago—the last time I was here,” he said. “It was a very nice, warm welcome.”

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Tomas Sandstrom: Arguably The Most Underrated Player In LA Kings History

Former LA Kings left wing Tomas Sandstrom
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings held their annual Tip-A-King fundraiser on January 7, and former Kings winger Tomas Sandstrom, who the team honored prior to their game against the Minnesota Wild hours earlier, had a booth to himself where he could greet fans. But he spent most of the evening with his wife, Helena, and that’s about it.

Kings broadcasters Bob Miller and Nick Nickson visited with him, as did the few Kings alumni who were present. But fans visiting his booth for autographs and photos were very, very few and even farther between.

“It’s been too long,” I said to him. “Almost 24 years since the 1993 Stanley Cup run.”

“Yeah, time flies,” he said.

“Not enough older Kings fans are here,” I replied. “The majority of the current ones apparently have no idea who you are.”  Read more of this post

LA Kings Are Showing Signs Of Shaken Confidence, Frustration, Tension

LA Kings Defenseman Drew Doughty
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — After an embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in front of a sell-out crowd of 19,230 fans at Staples Center on Thursday night, one has to wonder if the team unity and strength of character that the Los Angeles Kings have become so well known for since they won the Stanley Cup in 2012 has begun to fray.

Indeed, the frustration and tension seemed palpable as soon as the game ended.

As soon as the final horn sounded, Kings players skated to goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, as they usually do with whomever is in goal. But Zatkoff, who had been victimized by blatant turnovers and blown coverages by Kings skaters on all four Detroit goals, appeared to want to have nothing to do with that. In fact, he skated straight to the bench—quicker than usual—and into the dressing room, appearing to completely ignore his teammates.

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LA Kings Are Gambling On Reunification and Chemistry Against Divisional Rivals

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here during a recent practice at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
{click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On their recent seven-game road trip, the Los Angeles Kings earned a 3-2-2 record even though they had to shuffle their forward lines after both Dustin Brown and Tyler Toffoli suffered injuries, forcing them out of the lineup.

Brown returned for the final two games of the trip, but Toffoli remains out of the lineup and did not join the team on their Tuesday afternoon flight to Vancouver, where they will play on Wednesday night, followed by a game at Edmonton on Thursday.

Head coach Darryl Sutter said that Toffoli would not even be examined by doctors again “…for at least a week.” As a result, he has reunited center Anze Kopitar with Brown and Marian Gaborik on a forward line.

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