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Did You Know That The LA Kings Had To Trade For Their First Head Coach?

Former Los Angeles Kings head coach Red Kelly
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Until 2006, when Dean Lombardi took over as their President/General Manager, the Los Angeles Kings’ history of trades was characterized by very few good trades and a ton of really bad ones, with a considerable number bordering on tragic.

One might even think that their first trade belongs on the “bad” side of the ledger.

That trade came on June 8, 1967, just two days after the 1967 National Hockey League Expansion Draft. But the Kings weren’t trading for a player. Instead, they were going after their first head coach.

Leonard “Red” Kelly, a twenty-year NHL veteran who won the Stanley Cup eight times—four each with the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, became the Kings first coach. But that didn’t happen until after Maple Leafs general manager Punch Imlach exacted a price from the Kings.

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LA Kings: Dean Lombardi’s Plan For Dustin Brown Appears To Be Working

Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — Last June, when the Los Angeles Kings announced that center Anze Kopitar would replace winger Dustin Brown as captain, Brown was not happy about the change, even though he said that he respected the decision and fully supported Kopitar.

At the time, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi said that one of the reasons for the change was to help Brown get his game back after struggling since the team won the 2012 Stanley Cup Championship.

“The other part that’s critical, and like I told him, when you have a responsibility for 23 guys, he perfectly recognizes that for us to be successful, as a team, he has to get his game back to where he’s capable,” said Lombardi. “[Even though] he hasn’t produced at the level he’s certainly capable [of], I don’t think it’s been his effort. In a lot of cases, it’s that he tries so hard and is so critical of himself. He puts enormous pressure on himself.”

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Jeff Zatkoff: “I Haven’t Come Up With a Save When We Needed It and That’s the Bottom Line”

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, the 2016-17 season has been a bit of a nightmare.

With a 2-7-1 record, a 2.94 goals against average and a poor .881 save percentage in just twelve appearances, the 29-year-old native of Detroit, Michigan is fighting to get back on top of his game.

“It’s been a frustrating year,” he admitted. “If you look at it, I think I’ve had seven starts. I think most of my appearances have been in relief. I’m not making excuses, by any means. I haven’t won enough games.”

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LA Kings: Toffoli Update; Martinez On The Tough Road Ahead

LA Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the 2017 National Hockey League All-Star break behind them, the Los Angeles Kings, with the exception of all-stars Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty, who were given the day off, got back to work at practice on January 30.

Right wing Tyler Toffoli participated in the full practice, without restrictions. Missing was defenseman Matt Greene, who was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to January 20.

Although he said that he is “close” to returning, it appears unlikely that Toffoli will be available for the game at Arizona on January 31. The same goes for the game against Colorado on February 1 at Staples Center.

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Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty Looked Beyond Loss In 2017 NHL All-Star Championship Game

LOS ANGELES — Even though their Pacific Division team lost in the final game to the Metropolitan Division in the 2017 National Hockey League All-Star Game, played at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 29, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings were all smiles after the game, and for good reason.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Doughty. “The crowd was behind me and [Carter] the whole time, like they always are. To have the fans on our side felt pretty special and the NHL did a great job of putting on this event, both for the fans and the players.”

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