2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final – Game Six

Offseason Report: Los Angeles Kings

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From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 Season

40-27-15, 95 points. Third in the Pacific Division, eighth in the Western Conference.

Defeated Vancouver (4-1) in the conference quarterfinals, St. Louis (4-0) in the semis, Phoenix (4-1) in the finals and New Jersey (4-2) in the Stanley Cup finals.

Additions

Andrew Bodnarchuk

Departures

Scott Parse (UFA, still unsigned)

2012 Draft

First round, 30th overall — LW Tanner Pearson (OHL Barrie)

Looking back

While it might not seem like L.A. did much this offseason, GM Dean Lombardi made a plethora of moves to retain last year’s Cup-winning team — including a major one for Jonathan Quick.

The Conn Smythe winner received a 10-year, $58 million extension in late June, putting the Kings in the unique position of having four players under contract through 2019 (Quick, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty.)

Lombardi didn’t stop spending with Quick. He was aggressive in retaining all of his key unrestricted and restricted free agents, inking deals with Dustin Penner (one year, $3.25 million), Dwight King (two years, $1.5 million), Jarret Stoll (three years, $9.3 million) and Colin Fraser (two years, $1.65 million).

As such, the Kings will head into 2012-13 with a near-identical squad. The most notable change came behind the bench, where ex-Blues head coach Davis Payne was named as Darryl Sutter’s assistant, replacing Jamie Kompon (who signed on in Chicago.)

Looking forward

The Quick signing was soon followed by reports that backup goalie Jonathan Bernier — the 11th overall pick in 2006 — expected to be shipped out of Los Angeles. The highly-touted ‘tender has high pedigree (Bernier was named the AHL’s top goalie in 2009-10) and could net Lombardi a nice asset in a trade, which has to be tantalizing given the Kings have nearly $8 million in available cap space.

Other than Bernier, the Kings’ focus will be on trying to successfully defend the Stanley Cup for the first time since Detroit won back-to-backs in 1997-98. Rarely do teams return almost their entire Cup-winning rosters — consider the last three:

— Boston lost Tomas Kaberle, Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi.

— Chicago lost Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg and Antti Niemi.

— Pittsburgh lost Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi, Miroslav Satan and Petr Sykora.

Have Your Say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of Los Angeles’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

WATCH LIVE: Blues at Sharks – Game 6

ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 23:  Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues, Brent Burns #88 of the San Jose Sharks, and Joe Thornton #19 argue with a referee during the second period in Game Five of the Western Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on May 23, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The San Jose Sharks can make franchise history on home ice tonight against the St. Louis Blues. Win, and the Sharks clinch their first ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Lose, and it’s back to St. Louis for a deciding Game 7 in the Western Conference Final.

You can catch tonight’s Game 6 on NBCSN (9 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Tarasenko needs to start ‘playing within the system’: Hitch

On the brink of elimination, Blues turn back to Elliott

The Blues could sure use a goal or two from Tarasenko

Stanley Cup Final to begin Monday

 

‘There’s still lots of room for growth’: Stars GM preaches patience with Nichushkin

Valeri Nichushkin
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Valeri Nichushkin has the tools — listed at six-foot-four-inches tall and 205 pounds with devastating speed. He has the skill.

However, now at the end of his entry-level contract, the 10th overall draft pick for the Dallas Stars in 2013 has endured the highs and lows associated with a young player trying to make his mark in the National Hockey League after a promising rookie campaign.

For starters, his sophomore 2014-15 season was essentially wiped out — he played only eight games for the Stars — by a hip injury that required surgery. He also didn’t get off to the greatest start this season, and coming back from surgery likely played a factor as to why, as he found his way into Lindy Ruff’s doghouse early on.

As a result, was made a healthy scratch.

His bottom line offensive numbers included nine goals and 29 points in 79 games played, and one assist in 10 playoff games for the Stars, as they were eliminated in the second round.

Still, he’s just 21 years old. When playing with top players like Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, he was able to get on a bit of a roll offensively.

Stars GM Jim Nill, speaking on SiriusXMNHL, referenced the difficulty for a young player coming back off surgery, but remains confident in Nichushkin.

“We’re happy with Val,” he said (at around the 5:30 mark).

“Came back this year, got off to a slow start because of that. We thought the last five games of the playoffs, he really started to look like himself. He started to dominate down low and in the corners.

“He is only 21. I know there’s still lots of room for growth, so we’re going to be patient with him. We think he’s a big part of our future.”

 

Coyotes hire new COO

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 09:  Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets on October 9, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Jets defeated the Coyotes 6-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes have hired Anaheim Ducks executive Ari Segal as chief operating officer.

The move was announced by the team on Wednesday.

Segal previously served as a special assistant to Anaheim CEO Michael Schulman and as president of business operations for the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in San Diego.

Segal helped with preparations for the new AHL club and recently worked with the NHL in the league’s broadcast media strategy group, evaluating league and team broadcast rights and distribution deals.

Segal previously worked as an associate in the sports practice at McKinsey & Company, a New York-based management consulting firm.

Related: The Coyotes are going in a ‘new direction,’ and that’s an understatement

Jackets re-sign Sedlak, AHL affiliate’s leading playoff scorer

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 20:  Lukas Sedlak #85 of the Columbus Blue Jackets waits for the pass during the game against the Winnipeg Jets on September 20, 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio.  The Blue Jackets defeated the Jets 5-1.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
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Columbus farmhand Lukas Sedlak, who currently sits tied atop AHL Lake Erie’s playoff scoring leaderboard, has signed a one-year, two-way deal, the Jackets announced on Wednesday.

Sedlak, 23, was a fifth-round pick in 2011 that’s spent the last three years in the American League. This season was by far his most successful — in addition to potting a career-best 14 goals, he’s become close to a point-a-game producer in the playoffs, with 11 through 12 games.

“Sedlak has been on a run for us with goal-scoring,” Lake Erie head coach Jared Bednar said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “He’s not a guy who does it for us every night. But he works so hard in all the other areas.”

Sedlak has yet to make his NHL debut, but could be in the mix for a recall next season.