Mitchell: `I want a Cup' - LA Kings Insider

Of course, most of the attention over the past two days has been focused on Jeff Carter’s trade to the Kings, but the team also made a significant move yesterday when Willie Mitchell signed a two-year, $7-million contract extension. The Kings’ most veteran defenseman will stick around, and today Mitchell talked about his decision to stay with the Kings and not test the free-agent market this summer.

MITCHELL: “It’s nice to be here for an extended period of time. I like our team. We have underachieved as a group, there’s no doubt, but I like our team. When you get older, you want to stay somewhere where you think you’ve got a shot at winning. The nucleus of the team is a really, really good group, good players, and that’s a big reason why I re-signed here. I think it’s a group that’s capable of winning. Like I said, once you play a little bit, that becomes first and foremost for you, as far as being where you can have a shot at winning. I’m just looking forward to doing the same kinds of things. Obviously with a new acquisition, hopefully we can score some more goals and head into the playoffs on a hot streak, work our way in to get there.’’

Question: Did you decide you didn’t want to test the free-agency market this summer?

MITCHELL: “You’re only human, you think about that a little bit, but I’ve enjoyed my time here, enjoyed my teammates, enjoyed the team. I think it’s a team that’s got a really good nucleus, that’s got a shot at winning in the next couple years. When you play a little while, that becomes first and foremost, just having a shot at the Stanley Cup. You can go that (free-agency) route, but it’s very unpredictable where you could end up. For me, I’ve played a little while and it’s all about winning. I want a Cup. I don’t have that. A couple guys around here do, and I hear the stories, I hear everything. I’ve been to the conference finals, but that’s what drives me and that’s what motivates me, on the — I wouldn’t say latter half — but the later stages of my career. That’s what I want to accomplish, and I think we’ve got some good people around here and we can get that accomplished.

“We’ve just got to win some games down the stretch here and get into the playoffs. Obviously we’re fighting with a bunch of teams, but I’ll bet you if you polled any of the top teams, if we snuck in around eighth or seventh — or even still challenging San Jose — I don’t think teams want to play us (in the first round). So we’re just looking to focus on the game here against Chicago, a team that’s obviously one of the better teams in the league. They’ve had their ups and downs this year, but we need a big win tonight and get rolling to where we should be, in the top eight. We’ve got to work for it, though, but I feel confident we’re going to do that down the stretch.’’

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


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.