The only thing more agonizing than waiting for the NHL and NHLPA to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement might be the wait for details on the upcoming season and the abbreviated training camp that will precede it. However, some points of interest and thoughts started to emerge after the Kings’ press conference last night.
– Camp is set to open this Sunday at TSC. [UPDATE: It now looks like some players are taking voluntary physicals in advance and there will be on-ice activity as early as Sunday morning - rather than waiting until Monday. We'll have a full schedule up in the next 24 hours.]
– There will be an open practice (and possibly a scrimmage) at Staples Center on Monday night. The event will be free to all Kings fans and more details on ticket availability are expected to be released shortly.
– GM Dean Lombardi on the number of players expected in camp – “I think we’re only going to go five lines and four D (pairs) at the most.” So, that’s 15 forwards and eight defenseman. Thus, the list looks like this:
Forwards – Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford, Colin Fraser, Simon Gagne. Dwight King, Anze Kopitar, Trevor Lewis, Jordan Nolan, Dustin Penner, Mike Richards, Brad Richardson, Jarret Stoll, Kevin Westgarth, Justin Williams
Defensemen – Drew Doughty, Davis Drewiske, Matt Greene, Alec Martinez, Rob Scuderi, Willie Mitchell, Slava Voynov and one extra player called (likely called up from Manchester – i.e. Andrew Campbell, Nick Deslauriers, Thomas Hickey or Jake Muzzin.
– More from Lombardi on the roster – “We’re over (the roster limit) right now…It’s not a fair statement to say it’s Jordan Nolan (that would be sent back). But, I do think it’s fair to say there will be an adjustment again.”
– In net, Jonaathan Quick and his injured back have been cleared to play. Lombardi doesn’t see a Jonathan Bernier trade as very likely though. See his full comments here.
– Coach Darryl Sutter and Lombardi talked about approaching next week less like a training camp and more like four or five practices to get ready for the first game on Saturday, January 19.
– Sutter on ‘special assistant’ Bernie Nicholls returning to help – “He’ll be around. I’m not sure when and how much and all that. I think he’s probably hunting somewhere now.” For what it’s worth, Nicholls has tweeted that he plans on being at camp.
– Lombardi on the availability of Willie Mitchell (injured knee) – “It’s going to be up to how things come along…It’s a little harder to put a timetable on it (compared to Anze Kopitar’s 2-3 weeks estimate)…He’s not skating right now.”
– The team’s practice jerseys will be sponsored by McDonald’s this year.
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