Tag: LA Kings

Tyler Toffoli, Gabriel Landeskog, Brad Stuart

Signing Toffoli and Jones a ‘priority’ for Kings


Dean Lombardi touched on a number of topics during a conference call on Tuesday. Among the issues the LA Kings GM discussed was his team’s number of free agents.

Lombardi said getting restricted free agents Tyler Toffoli and Martin Jones under contract was a priority for the club.

Toffoli set career highs in goals (23) assists (26) and points (49) in 76 games this season. The 23-year-old had a $716,666 cap hit in 2014-15.

Jones appeared in 15 games for the Kings this season posting a 4-5-2 record to go along with a 2.25 G.A.A. and a .906 save percentage. The 25-year-old sees his two-year, $1.1 million deal expire this year.

“We’re working toward, is signing Toffoli and Jones. That’s been our priority,” said Lombardi. “You saw, during the season, we were fortunate to get (Jordan) Nolan done and (Kyle) Clifford done and (Alec) Martinez and (Jake) Muzzin and (Tanner) Pearson.

“We want to finish that off, with those seven or eight players that are not even in their prime yet, to keep them in the fold. That’s something that we’re actively pursuing.’’

The Kings are also working on a deal with pending unrestricted free agent Andrej Sekera. The 28-year-old split the 2014-15 season between the Carolina Hurricanes and Kings scoring three goals and 23 points in 73 games while averaging nearly 22 minutes a night in ice time.

“Sekera, the only thing I can say is, I think we have — which is not always easy to get — the parameters of a number,” said Lombardi. “Often times, it’s hard to get a number, to see if you can plug it in. So I think we have the range that it would take (to sign him). Now have we countered with an offer yet? No. That’s all I can say on that one.

“I can say that I don’t think the number is outrageous. I think he’d like to stay here, so by virtue of that, you work at it and he ends up in some of your schematics there.”

The Kings also have to make decisions on the likes of Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams among others. The club also has to decide on what to do with Mike Richards who spent time in the American Hockey League this season.

As Rich Hammond outlines in his piece, Lombardi has a complicated list of scenarios to determine who will be back for the 2015-16 season.

Kings to educate players on domestic violence and drug abuse

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Media Day

Following a season, which saw two players arrested in a seven-month span, the L.A. Kings have decided to address the team’s off-ice issues.

“I think both incidents generated a lot of discussion during the year. Clearly at the meetings and the debriefing at the end of the year, it was the number-one topic, before we even got to the hockey,” said Kings GM Dean Lombardi on Tuesday via a conference call. “The first thing you look at is, were there any signs that we should have been aware of, in both of these incidents? You look at yourself, as managers and coaches. I think we were very good in terms of communicating with our players and go out of our way to try to know them personally, as human beings.

“I think it’s one of the reasons we’ve always had that kind of family effect around there. But clearly we could do more.”

In October defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested for domestic assault.

Then in April, Jarret Stoll was arrested for drug possession in Las Vegas.

“We neglected to educate our players,” said Lombardi. “We spend time teaching them systems, nutrition and everything else, but we missed a big step here, in terms of ensuring that they understand right and wrong.

“That has to be reinforced, not only as a human being but as somebody who is a representative of your community.”

Lombardi announced that former NBA player Chris Herren would talk to the players about drug abuse.

The club is also in the process of setting up a domestic violence group that will talk to the team.

Lombardi confirmed that he had met with Stoll following his arrest.

“It’s safe to say, in all honesty, it was probably the most difficult meeting I’ve had in my career,” said Lombardi. “Probably one of the most gut-wrenching meetings I’ve ever had in my entire career, and I’ve had meetings with lots of players.”

The 32-year-old, who was a part of both Stanley Cup wins, is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Voynov’s trial is scheduled to begin on July 6.

Goalie Nods: Reimer appears headed for his first start

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer lays on the ice after getting beat on the game winning goal by Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron during overtime in Game 7 of their NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Boston, Monday, May 13, 2013. The Bruins won 5-4. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

News and notes from around the blue paint…

Reimer looking to bounce back

For those who don’t remember how things went down the stretch for the Leafs goaltender last season, it wasn’t pretty. With Jonathan Bernier sidelined due to a knee injury, James Reimer made five consecutive starts losing all five games in regulation. It was part of a stretch, which saw the leafs lose eight consecutive games in regulation causing them to miss the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons. The Leafs won in just two of Reimer’s final 14 appearances.  It won’t get any easier for Reimer tonight as it appears Henrik Lundqvist is set to make his second start of the season.


Winnipeg at Los Angeles: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Martin Jones

Gagne still awaiting a deal from the Bruins

Simon Gagne

As Tuesday’s 5pm eastern time deadline for teams to reduce their rosters to 23 men, and be cap compliant, fast approaches, Simon Gagne continues to wait for a contract from the Boston Bruins.

Gagne, 34, had a solid showing in camp and through the preseason reports CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty and though he doesn’t have a contract yet, it appears a deal isn’t far off.

Gagne who didn’t play in 2013-14, split the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season between the LA Kings and Philadelphia Flyers where he scored five goals and 16 points in 38 games.

The forward said he was motivated to get back into the game watching the Kings march to the Stanley Cup last spring.

“I missed the game last year, especially during the playoffs,” said Gagne. “I feel energized. I feel really good physically and mentally, so I’m ready for another (season). When I got the call from Boston, I thought it was the perfect scenario for myself, and for my family.”

Even after moving Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders, the Bruins only have $330,000 in cap space to work with as of Monday morning according to CapGeek.

Gagne isn’t deterred by the the Bruins cap situation.

“I had a little chat with (GM Peter Chiarelli)… we’ll see what happens over the next few days,” said Gagne. “I’ll be a part of the team, and I’ll stick around. It’s something where I’m ready to do whatever it takes to make the team. It’s good for them, and it’s good for me.

“I’m not going to another team. I’m here now and I want to be here now. I’m not going anywhere.”

For their part, Boston is happy with how Gagne has progressed through camp given he spent a year away from the game.

“My impressions are that he’s getting better. I think he’s skating better and he’s starting to get his hands back. He’s been away from the game – he’s skated for most of the year, but he’s been away from the game for the whole year,” said Chiarelli. “I spoke with him (Saturday) morning, and I made a proposal to him in the sense of, ‘Look Simon, I see you getting better, I want you to stick around and practice with the team.’

“He didn’t say yes or no, but I think he suggested he would want to stick around. He feels that he’s getting better. So that’s kind of a play-it-by-ear, day-by-day see how his legs feel, see how his hands feel, and just kind of see how it goes.”

Originally a first-round pick of the Flyers in 1998, Gagne has appeared in 799 NHL games with the Flyers, Lightning and Kings where he’s scored 288 goals and 597 points.

Boston is no stranger to giving older players contracts following camp invites. As Haggerty points out in his piece, the Bruins once signed Jay Pandolfo following a professional tryout.

“I didn’t play last year, so I’m happy to be here,” said Gagne. “If it takes a week or a couple of days, I will take the time and work hard in practice waiting for something to happen.”

The Bruins ironically open the season Wednesday against the Flyers.

Gagne could ultimately turn into a bottom six depth type player in Boston should he sign.

PHT Morning Skate: Leo Komarov shows off piano skills

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov is back in the NHL after spending last season with Dynamo in the KHL. Apparently he picked up some new off-ice skills while overseas. Komarov showed off his hands behind the piano this weekend. (via Petri Kontiola)

TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie explains the origins of corsi in his new book Hockey Confidential. (TSN)

Bruins’ beat writer Amalie Benjamin explored the handedness inside the Boston locker room over the weekend and offered up an insightful piece. Despite selling more left handed sticks in Canada and Europe, they sell more right handed sticks in the US. According to an industry expert, the split is somewhere from 60-65 percent left handed around the world, and 60-65 percent right handed in the US. (The Boston Globe)

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller is paying a little more attention to the voices of his new teammates so not to have a repeat performance of what happened after he was dealt from the Buffalo Sabres to the St. Louis Blues last season. (The Vancouver Sun)

As the LA Kings look to repeat as Stanley Cup champions in 2014-14, their biggest offseason acquisition is someone you will see or hear very little from. (The Hockey News)

New York Times reporter John Branch chronicles the downfall of enforcer Derek Boogaard in his new book Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard due out this week. (The Globe and Mail)