Tag: Los Angeles Kings

2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

Three reasons the Rangers could be deadline players


1. Everybody’s already discussing it. Brough alluded to the Rangers’ interest in welcoming Mike Santorelli to the trade rumor mill, and over the weekend all the local rags — Post, Daily News and Record — had some variation of the same story, playing off this quote from head coach Alain Vigneault:

“If we can improve ourselves and become a better team, we’re gonna do that. We’re no different than any other team now. But so far, I’ve liked the way our team has progressed. I’ve liked how certain individuals have progressed.

“We’ve got a little bit of time here to sort things out, and that’s what we’re gonna do.”

The talk, primarily, is about strengthening New York’s center position, specifically the third-line role currently filled by rookie Kevin Hayes. Depth down the middle has been an issue for this club this season, especially after losing Brad Richards and Brian Boyle during the summer, though it’s fair to suggest the Rangers could be primed to do more than add a bottom-six center. Why? Because…

2. GM Glen Sather has a history of big deadline deals. Last year Slats co-orchestrated the Martin St. Louis-for-Ryan Callahan blockbuster, which continued in his string of significant moves; the year prior, he flipped Marian Gaborik to Columbus for a trio of players that included Derick Brassard, and also acquired Ryane Clowe from San Jose.

Sather also has a few assets to deal. Teams looking to acquire young defensemen might look the way of Brady Skjei or Dylan McIlrath (though it’s tough to gauge the latter’s market value, given he’s yet to establish himself at the NHL level.)

3. The Rangers are in go-for-it mode. The window is now, and it’s open. The reigning Eastern Conference champs are probably more aware than anyone that the east is up for grabs; last season, the Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Final despite heading into the playoffs as the “five” seed (Boston, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Montreal all finished with more points) and parity appears to be almost equal this season.

So, who are the Blueshirts going to target?

One would have to think Coyotes center Antoine Vermette is at the top of their wist list. He’d be an ideal addition down the middle and would have some chemistry with Brassard and Rick Nash, his former Blue Jackets teammates (from 2009-12). The Vermette bidding war is expected to be high, however, and the Rangers are at a disadvantage without a first-round pick at the ’15 Entry draft, sent to Tampa Bay in the St. Louis deal.

David Legwand could be another name to keep an eye on. The veteran center seems to have fallen out of favor with new Ottawa head coach Dave Cameron, and Sens GM Bryan Murray admitted Legwand could be on the move. At 34, Legwand has the veteran experience Vigneault likes; Vigneault would also be familiar with the ex-Predator from his coaching days in Vancouver (most notably the ’11 playoffs, when the Canucks ousted Nashville in Round 2.)

Report: Richards declined Kings’ invite to the White House

Calgary Flames v Los Angeles Kings

The L.A. Kings will visit the White House and be honored by the President of the United States on Monday for their 2014 Stanley Cup victory.

One player who won’t be there is Mike Richards.

The 29-year-old had three goals and 10 points last spring as the Kings captured their second Stanley Cup in three years.

Richards cleared waivers and was sent to the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs last week, but was invited by the Kings to join club in Washington.

The Monarchs don’t play again until Wednesday, but according to Jon Rosen, Richards declined the offer.

Richards had two shots on goal in his Monarchs debut as Manchester defeated the Portland Pirates 3-1 on Friday night.

Rask, Bruins complete January with impressive victory against Kings

Tuukka Rask

Tuukka Rask hasn’t been unbeatable of late, but he’s been close.

Following a 43-save performance against the New York Islanders on Thursday, the Boston Bruins goalie made 30 saves in a 3-1 victory over the L.A. Kings on Saturday, giving Rask seven victories in the month of January.

Brad Marchand had a pair of goals and seven shots on goal, and now has four points in his last five games.

The wins are important. That’s obvious. But Rask has recently shut the door on opposing shooters, allowing three goals in a game only twice in his last 11 starts this month. It’s a big reason why the Bruins were able to work their way out of previous struggles and back into a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Boston forward Loui Eriksson left the game late in the third period after taking a hard Robyn Regehr hit into the boards. It looked like Regehr’s right arm caught Eriksson near the back of the net.

According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, Boston’s coach Claude Julien didn’t have an update on Eriksson but said he might have a sore neck.

Mike Richards trying to make the best of being sent to the AHL

Mike Richards

Mike Richards made his debut for the Manchester Monarchs on Friday. No goals. No points. Two shots on goal. He then spoke about the events of this week, which saw him put on waivers and eventually sent down to the American Hockey League.

“It’s not easy. That’s for sure. But, at the end of the day, I’m a hockey player. I [did] what I was told in LA,” he told Mayors Manor.

“Whether it was third line, second line, fourth line, I do what I was told. I got told to come down here and play, so I do what I’m told. It’s what being a hockey player is all about.

“It is what it is. You play hockey. That’s what I’m here for is to play hockey. I liked LA, I liked the team, but I’m in this position now. I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason, from being drafted to Philly to being traded to LA. Everything happens for a reason. You just try to make the best out of whatever scenario you’re put in.”

The Kings placed the 29-year-old Richards on waivers on Monday. Not a single team claimed him, and he was then dispatched to Manchester.

With an annual cap hit of $5.75 million through to the 2019 season, Richards’ offensive numbers with the Kings this season have been way down, with five goals and 15 points in 47 games.

L.A.’s general manager Dean Lombardi called placing Richards on waivers a “tough decision” to make.

Goalie nods: Smith gets shot at revenge vs. Senators

Ottawa Senators v Arizona Coyotes

All the latest from the blue paint…

Smith seeks better showing against Ottawa

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith surrendered five goals on 33 shots on Jan. 10 against the Senators, but he’ll be back between the pipes tonight in Ottawa. Smith has started in every game since Devan Dubnyk was traded to Minnesota.

Smith has struggled mightily this season, posting a 3.41 GAA and .890 save percentage in 33 contests, but he held Toronto to a single goal on Thursday, so this is an opportunity for him to string a couple good games together.

Ottawa will counter with Robin Lehner.


Islanders at Red Wings: Chad Johnson vs. Petr Mrazek

Kings at Bruins: Jonathan Quick is the probable goaltender against Tuukka Rask.

Panthers at Devils: Roberto Luongo vs. Keith Kinkaid

Canes at Rangers: Neither goaltender is confirmed, but it will probably be Cam Ward facing Henrik Lundqvist.

Leafs at Flyers: James Reimer vs. Steve Mason

Stars at Jets: It’s believed that Kari Lehtonen will play against Michael Hutchinson.

Blue Jackets at Lightning: Curtis McElhinney and Ben Bishop are both considered probable.

Oilers at Flames: No word on who Edmonton will go with, but Calgary will send out Jonas Hiller.

Hawks at Sharks: Chicago will start Antti Raanta. San Jose’s starter remains a mystery, although odds are it will end up being Antti Niemi.