As posted a bit earlier, even with the Kings in first place in the Western Conference, the majority of media questions up north now focus on the upcoming Olympic selections, particularly Canada’s on Dec. 30. Given that the Kings have so many players in contention for spots — Brown, Doughty, Frolov, Handzus, Ivanans, Johnson, Quick, Scuderi, Smyth — Terry Murray was asked if he was concerned that the pending selections would distract his players from focusing on their NHL duties.

MURRAY: “I’m trying to take that away from the players, looking too far ahead. We’re such a young group of guys, and I’m a little nervous that if you start looking down the road. If you’re in October, and you’re looking at what’s going to happen through the Olympics, `Am I going to be on the team?’ In saying that, I know guys, that’s on their mind. I think Dustin Brown has had that on his mind for a while. He’s been a little tense at times, coming off the ice, pressing and frustrated by not scoring. But I think it’s becoming more obvious that he’s going to be there. He’s relaxing, he’s playing better here in the last half-dozen games or so, but I’ve really tried to stay away from that big picture.

“I think, I hope, the players are at the point now where they know they just have to go out and play good for us, and let the cards fall where they may after that. Obviously the goal, for a lot of these guys, is to be on a team, and it’s a special honor to get there. But there’s also the priority of playing for the L.A. Kings and playing well, and I think it’s starting to set in that, `Hey, let’s not worry about that. If it happens, it’s great.”’

That said, asked whether he would make a case for Doughty making Canada’s roster, Murray gave a strong endorsement to his 20-year-old defenseman…

MURRAY: “I think that, the last Olympics, they missed on some players that would have been very big contributors to that team, speaking of the young guys that were just about there, on the bubble. They got to Toronto, in their first time skating before they went overseas and they saw…`Wow, we better reevaluate.’ They stuck with what they decided, before the tournament, and by the end they said, `Jeez, maybe…’ So I think Doughty is a player you can’t overlook. He’s composed. He’s been through the international experience. He’s not in awe of anything that’s going on out there, but (he’s) very respectful, and he would be a good contributor to Team Canada.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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