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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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Are LA Kings Sending A Message To Kevin Gravel By Leaving Him Off China Trip?

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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EL SEGUNDO, CA — While the vast majority of his teammates from the 2016-17 Los Angeles Kings were heading to Los Angeles International Airport for their flight to China for pre-season games in Shanghai and Beijing against the Vancouver Canucks on September 21 and 23, respectively, young defenseman Kevin Gravel was skating with a squad comprised mostly of young prospects, many of whom are destined to return to their junior hockey teams in Canada, or for the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.

The fact that Gravel was left behind may or may not be significant. Nevertheless, the Kings are looking for more from the 25-year-old, 6-4, 212-pound native of Kingsford, Michigan, who was selected by the Kings in the fifth round (148th overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

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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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LA Kings Center Nic Dowd Seeks More Responsibility, Bigger Role

Los Angeles Kings center Nic Dowd (right), skating in on goaltender
Johathan Quick during a training camp drill.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings being set with Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter occupying their first and second line center positions, Nic Dowd is expected to remain in the third line center spot. But entering his second full season in the National Hockey League, he is looking for greater responsibility, a bigger role.

Both Dowd and his coaches are looking for improvement in key areas that will allow him to take on the added responsibility that he seeks.

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LA Kings’ New Head Coach Gets Analytical About His Team’s Offensive Woes

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (right) receives instruction from then-associate head coach John Stevens (left).
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — As it was when the Los Angeles Kings introduced Rob Blake as their new general manager, offense, or more accurately, the lack thereof, was the most discussed topic when the team introduced their new head coach, John Stevens, who had been an assistant coach under Terry Murray and associate head coach under Darryl Sutter.

Early in the press conference on April 24 where he was introduced to the local media, Stevens said something that has been plainly evident for a long time: that the Kings don’t get pucks or bodies to the middle of the ice or the front of the net anywhere enough.

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