Drew Doughty

After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’

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Almost a month has passed since Slava Voynov was arrested for domestic assault and suspended indefinitely by the NHL, and still the situation, which has been called “dysfunctional” by Kings GM Dean Lombardi, lacks clarity.

Will the Kings get Voynov back this season? Will they ever get him back?

At the very least, will they get some cap relief?

Yesterday, per the O.C. Register, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman struck a somewhat unsympathetic tone when he told reporters in Toronto, ”Every team has to manage its salary cap, right? It’s just the way it works. … The integrity of the game requires teams to comply with the salary cap.”

To which Lombardi responded, rather acerbically, “As this case makes clear, we must now do one and/or two things. We must build in a cushion in case one of our players is a bank robber, kleptomaniac, etc.

“The seemingly better alternative is, we have to do a better job of educating our players and, in particular, monitoring our players away from the rink. While monitoring them away from the rink may have the Orwellian connotation of `Big Brother’ oversight, that is the nature of the sports business in the cap era.”

You’ll forgive Lombardi’s impatience with the situation. The Kings are really missing Voynov’s minutes. On Saturday, Drew Doughty played a season-high 32:21 versus the Ducks, and that’s not something coach Darryl Sutter wants “over the long haul.”

Unfortunately…

“[Voynov’s] legal situation continues to be somewhat uncertain,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said yesterday, per the Canadian Press. “We’re kind of waiting to see if there are developments there, but there’s no certainty there will be before the beginning part of December. We’re kind of playing it day-by-day.”

More minutes for Doughty? Kings’ Martinez (finger) out one week

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After getting struck by a puck and undergoing pinky finger surgery, L.A. defenseman Alec Martinez will miss a week’s worth of action, Kings GM Dean Lombardi said (per LA Kings Insider).

Martinez, hurt during last Thursday’s loss to Dallas, sat out Saturday’s 3-2 OT win over Anaheim — a game in which Drew Doughty played a season-high 32:21, the most logged in a regular season game since drawing 33:25 in a 2-1 overtime loss at Edmonton on January 24, 2013.

It also marked the fifth time in the last six games Doughty’s eclipsed 30 minutes. Last week, Brough wrote about that heavy workload and how it concerned head coach Darryl Sutter.

“He has been playing a lot of minutes,” coach Darryl Sutter said of Doughty. “Do we like that? No. But that’s where we’re at. You know what? I look at that all the time, too. It’s too many minutes. He’s going to tell you he’s fine with it, but over the long haul, that’s too many.”

Martinez will be out for L.A.’s two games this week — tomorrow versus Florida, Thursday versus the ‘Canes — but could be back in action on Saturday against the Stars.

In the meantime, it’ll be interesting to see how Sutter utilizes the newly-signed Jamie McBain. McBain hasn’t been used much in his first three games as a King; after getting 11:47 TOI in his first outing against Anaheim, he’s seen his ice time drop to 10:04 (against the Stars) and 8:20 (in Saturday’s win over the Ducks).

In other news pertaining to the Kings’ defense, the NHL has yet to reach a salary cap agreement for suspended blueliner Slava Voynov. His $4.17M hit remains on the books.

Stoll’s OT winner leads Kings past Ducks

Jarret Stoll scored for the first time this season tipping a Justin Williams feed past Frederik Andersen giving the L.A. Kings a 3-2 win Saturday.

It was Stoll’s first goal since April 9.

“I needed that one,” Stoll told the L.A. Times. “I put a lot of pressure on myself to try to help out and contribute and try to make sure other parts of my game were there. It always feels nice to score a goal and especially to get two points out of it.”

Tyler Toffoli and Anze Kopitar scored in regulation. Jonathan Quick made 27 saves to improve to 8-3-4 on the season.

Defenseman Drew Doughty played a career-high 32:31 in the win.

Emerson Etem and Ryan Kesler scored for the Ducks. Kesler has three goals and an assist in his first two games in the battle between the two Southern California Clubs.

Andersen made 34 saves while seeing his record drop to 7-1-3 on the season.

Anaheim won the first game on Wednesday night 6-5 thanks to Kesler’s shootout winner.

“One’s a shootout game, one’s an overtime game, so it tells you how close they are,” Darryl Sutter said of the first two games between the clubs.

The third game of the season between Anaheim and L.A. goes Jan. 17.

Video: Allen hit in the head by Doughty shot

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen took a shot to the head from Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty early in the third period.

Luckily for Allen he had his head turned on the play and the shot hit him squarely in the helmet. Allen got up and to the bench under his own strength and remains in the game.

Martinez has finger surgery; Sutter doesn’t like all the minutes Doughty is playing

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Kings defenseman Alec Martinez had finger surgery this morning, no doubt a result of the injury he suffered blocking a shot during last night’s 2-0 loss to Dallas.

GM Dean Lombardi says it’s too early to know about a possible timeline for return, according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider.

On the bright side for the defending champs, veteran d-man Robyn Regehr may be back for tomorrow’s game against Anaheim. The 34-year-old has missed the last three contests with an undisclosed injury.

But expect once again to see Drew Doughty logging big minutes. He’s played at least 30 minutes in five of the last eight Kings’ games, as the team has been short d-men due to injuries and the suspension to Slava Voynov.

“He has been playing a lot of minutes,” coach Darryl Sutter said of Doughty. “Do we like that? No. But that’s where we’re at. You know what? I look at that all the time, too. It’s too many minutes. He’s going to tell you he’s fine with it, but over the long haul, that’s too many.”

Even knowing that, Sutter saw fit to play new d-man Jamie McBain just 10:04 against the Stars.

If you missed it last night, here’s the Martinez injury: