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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Lays Responsibility For Terry Murray’s Dismissal On Players’ Shoulders

As expected, the Los Angeles Kings have fired head coach Terry Murray (left), shown here with head athletic trainer Chris Kingsley (right).
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES — With his team failing to live up to lofty, but well-deserved expectations, Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi made the move that has been all but expected since late Sunday night.

On Monday, he fired head coach Terry Murray, and named assistant coach John Stevens as interim head coach.

Murray, 61, earned a 139-106-30 regular season record with the Kings after joining the team in 2008-09. He ranks third in franchise history in wins, fourth in games coached, and first in winning percentage (.560). He also reached the 100-win mark faster than any head coach in team history, and his 2009-10 and 2010-11 teams tied the franchise record for most wins in a season (46). Read more of this post

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Los Angeles Kings: Mike Richards Is Already Setting An Example For His New Teammates

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards met the local
media for the first time at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California, July 27, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — One of the newest members of the Los Angeles Kings, 26-year-old center Mike Richards, took some time out from home shopping here in the Los Angeles area to meet the local media, and to don his new team’s jersey for the first time.

Richards was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers, along with center prospect Rob Bordson, in exchange for right wing Wayne Simmonds, center prospect Brayden Schenn, and a second round pick in the 2012 draft. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Defenseman Prospect Jake Muzzin Likely To Be Waiting Awhile For His Turn

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Last season, defenseman prospect Jake Muzzin came out of nowhere to make the Los Angeles Kings’ 2010-11 opening night roster, despite having playing in just one regular season game and 13 playoff games at the American Hockey League level in 2009-10.

Defenseman prospect Jake Muzzin speaks to
the media during the Los Angeles Kings
2011 Development Camp at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

Prior to that, the 6-3, 213-pound native of Woodstock, Ontario was a standout with the Sault Ste. Marie (Soo) Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for four seasons, scoring 15 goals and adding 52 assists for 67 points in 64 games with 76 penalty minutes.

That was when he caught the eyes of the Kings scouts. The result: the Kings signed him as an unrestricted free agent on January 4, 2010, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Muzzin was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round (141st overall) in the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft, but had surgery to repair two herniated discs in 2005, and played sparingly in 2006-07—just 37 games.

Not wanting to take a risk on a young player who already had major back problems, the Penguins did not sign Muzzin to a contract, nor was he selected in the draft by another NHL team. Accordingly, he became an unrestricted free agent during the 2010 off-season. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Simon Gagne Hopes To Do A Lot More Than Look Good In Black

Long-time “Voice of the Kings,” Bob Miller (right) presented newly-acquired left wing Simon Gagne with his jersey number 12 during a media luncheon at the team’s offices in El Segundo, California.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After signing a two-year, $7 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings on July 2, 2011, veteran left wing Simon Gagne was in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Karine, looking for a new home for his family, which includes two-year-old son Matthew, and five-month old daughter Lily Ann. But he also took some time to stop by the Kings’ El Segundo offices at the Toyota Sports Center, where he met the local media.

“We’re here for two days, two and a half days,” said Gagne. “We’re not here on vacation. We’re definitely here to spend time looking for a place. We left the kids at home with my mom and her mom right now. We’re spending as much time as we can to find a place for our family.”

“Right now, we like what we see, we like the area a lot,” added Gagne. “We’re really excited about it. Hopefully today, we’ll find what we like, and get a little more time to look around.” Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Move Quickly To Plan B: Sign Left Wing Simon Gagne To 2-Year Deal

The Los Angeles Kings signed left wing Simon Gagne to a two-year deal on July 2, 2011.
Photo: National Hockey League

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi was not what one would consider to be truthful on June 26, when he said that the Kings would not be interested in pursuing the top players in the unrestricted free agent market.

“It’s safe to say that there’s a potential for a midrange move,” he insisted.

As it turned out, Lombardi hoodwinked the media into believing that. But once the July 1 signing frenzy began, it became obvious that his sights were set much, much higher.

Indeed, when the 9:00 AM Pacific time opening of the free agent frenzy began, Lombardi, Kings Governor and President/Chief Executive Officer of the Anschutz Entertainment Group Tim Leiweke, the Kings coaching staff, and others were already in Mississauga, Ontario, where they made a live, in-person presentation to the prize of the 2011 unrestricted free agent class, center Brad Richards, and his agent, Pat Morris, at the headquarters of Newport Sports Management. Read more of this post