Vincent Lecavalier Fitting In Better Than Expected With LA Kings

LA Kings center Vincent Lecavalier
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When the Los Angeles Kings acquired veteran center Vincent Lecavalier, no one expected him to do much more than provide some solid bottom six minutes, and perhaps most notably, win some key face-offs.

But in 34 games with the Kings since they acquired him on January 6 from the Philadelphia Flyers, along with defenseman Luke Schenn, in exchange for center prospect Jordan Weal and a third round pick in the 2016 National Hockey League Draft, Lecavalier has exceeded most expectations with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points, with a +6 plus/minus rating and a 52.4 percent face-off winning percentage.

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LA Kings Are Starting To Look Unstoppable

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

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After they melted the ice with a 10-4-0 record in December, the Los Angeles Kings cooled off significantly in January and February, earning a 13-10-2 record over those two months—6-5-1 in January and 7-5-1 in February.

Although the Kings weren’t playing badly, their play during those two months was considerably less consistent in those two months, as their play was up and down in all three zones.

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Rob Scuderi: “It Was A Breath Of Fresh Air” To Return To LA Kings

LA Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Before finalizing the trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on February 26 for veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi, in exchange for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi took the unusual step of speaking with a player prior to trading for him.

“We got permission from Chicago to talk to [Scuderi], and one thing good about it is he knows what [Kings head coach Darryl Sutter] expects, and I talked to him about the team now. The other thing, too, was about moving his family. It was critical that—one of the reasons I think he left was because his wife wanted to be closer to his family. [I told him], ‘I don’t want you coming out here if your wife’s staying back east,’ and she was all excited. And the guy—he commands a lot of respect in that room, and like I said, for giving up what we have to pay him, as well as fitting in, it’s almost like, ‘well, it makes too much sense.’”

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Kevin Gravel Is Moving Up The LA Kings Depth Chart Fast

LA Kings defenseman prospect Kevin Gravel
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — One thing that has been virtually automatic with Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter is that he is a negative feedback kind of guy when it comes to talking about young players.

Indeed, Sutter chooses to tear them down rather than sing their praises, as his way of motivating them. In fact, he has stuck to this method of motivating his young charges so much that when he does say anything even remotely positive about a young player, it comes as a shock.

As such, when Sutter recently offered praise of defenseman prospect Kevin Gravel, who was recalled from the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign on February 11, without hesitation, shock and astonishment ensued.

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Dishes On The Trade Deadline

LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi speaking to the media during the on-ice celebration after the Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — The 2016 National Hockey League trade deadline has come and gone, and perhaps a bit surprisingly, outside of a minor league trade in which they acquired forward Brett Sutter from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward prospect Scott Sabourin, the Los Angeles Kings remained on the sidelines on deadline day, February 29.

“We were pretty much done yesterday,” Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi said during a media conference call. “Once we got the defenseman, the only other thing we were looking at was obviously, with [left wing Marian] Gaborik out, looking for the experienced player who can play in your top six. I talked to a lot of people today, but I didn’t anticipate anything, and it didn’t surprise me.”

As Lombardi alluded to, he had already been quite busy, acquiring veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi on February 26 and forward Kris Versteeg on February 28. Those trades were preceded by the acquisitions of center Vincent Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn on January 6.

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