Opening night is finally here.
With the 2023-24 season ready to go, it’s been a whirlwind of roster transactions for Kings GM Blake and coach Todd McLellan.
Much of the strategy, reasoning, and timing behind those moves was explained here:
However, the Viktor Arvidsson lower body injury is causing a snag in things. If he isn’t available to play in Wednesday, the Kings are essentially left with two choices:
– Recall Kaliyev (so he can begin his suspension), and play the game with only 11 forwards
– Leave Kaliyev in the AHL and use their last open roster spot to recall a forward (replacing Arvidsson in the lineup)
We’re expecting them to go with option number one, which will also allow LA to use an Emergency Recall for a player on Saturday. That was explained here.
Given the Kings cap situation, there isn’t room to call up Jordan Spence just yet. As a result, McLellan will be forced to play two left shots on his third defensive pair, Toby Bjornfot and Andreas Englund.
Up front, fast-rising prospect Alex Laferriere will make his NHL debut on right wing. Originally selected in the fourth round of the 2020 Draft, the New Jersey native has shown remarkable maturity, consistency, and tenacity since turning pro last March. During his two years at Harvard, Laferriere was a point-per-game player and put up 21 goals in 34 games last season.
One minor note when looking ahead to Saturday’s game: the player used for an Emergency Recall must Have a salary cap hit of $875k or less (league minimum salary plus $100k). This rules out Alex Turcotte, as he has an AAV of $894k. The most likely candidate would be Jaret Anderson-Dolan ($775k). Other candidates in that price range include Akil Thomas, Martin Chromiak, and Sammy Helenius.
Kings Projected Lineup vs. Avalanche
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Fiala – Dubois – Laferriere
Moore – Danault – Grundstrom
Lizotte – Lewis
Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Björnfot – Englund
Likely scratches: Arvidsson (injured), Kaliyev (suspended)
Key Game Info
Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm PST and will be televised by TNT.
For those live in attendance, the LA Kings Booster Club will offer their popular ‘Puck for a Buck’ contest — featuring Anze Kopitar for this game. Just $1 could win you an autographed puck from an NHL star. Visit their table outside sections 318-319 on the upper concourse for more information.
Across the Ice
Colorado will look similar to this for tonight’s game vs. LA:
Drouin – MacKinnon – Rantanen
Lehkonen – Johansen – Nichushkin
Wood – Colton – Tatar
MacDermid – Olofsson – O’Connor
Toews – Makar
Girard – Byram
Manson – Johnson
On This Day in Kings History
Tonight, the @LAKings will open their 56th season at home versus the Avalanche. The #LAKings will play in their 4,337th regular season game, and have an all-time record of 75-63-13 against Colorado in 151 meetings.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/KBepDZcL1u
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) October 11, 2023
Lineup graphic via ALo Images
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