February 9 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

There was a lot to discuss when the Kings practiced at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville on Saturday morning – the arrival of Keaton Ellerby, Anze Kopitar’s country of Slovenia qualifying for the 2014 Winter Olympics, and a vastly different set of lines and defensive pairings.

On whether he’s seen a lot of Keaton Ellerby:
“I haven’t. I’ve seen him in junior hockey and know his family. I’ve seen him in Kamloops. I’ve seen him in the Super Series a few years ago. Other than that, it’s basically film…We don’t see him. Quite honestly, I probably haven’t coached against Keaton – you’d have to check – but maybe a couple of times. My brother Dog (Duane Sutter) was familiar with him because he was in Florida when they drafted him. So he was with Keaton probably as an 18, 19, 20, 21 – four or five years. He’d know more, quite honest, about Keaton than I would. He’s a big kid. He can skate. Good skills. We can use him.”

On Ellerby’s development:
“They’re no different than any other high pick. If you look at that year‘s draft, quite honest…I’m thinking of the kids out west that were picked high. Kyle Turris, Brandon Sutter, Keaton Ellerby, Thomas Hickey – I’m just thinking of kids that I knew from out west. You know what? First round doesn’t mean that you’re an NHL player. I think that year in Chicago we (as Calgary) took Backlund. I think Jersey took Zajac…It’s a lot of pressure for a first round kid that’s picked in the top whatever he was. It takes time. It’s very simple. Who cares what happened or didn’t happen. He’s probably right about where most of these guys should be in terms of coming in. I’m just trying to think our team – other than Scuderi – do the rest of them in age groups and see where they are. Just do that breakdown…A boy like Marty is just starting to come on. Slava, even though it’s his third or fourth year, he’s just starting to come on. Two or three of them you don’t know quite sure where they’re at. They’re kids.”

On what “intrigues” him about Ellerby:
“He’s trying to improve. [There are] three or four guys here that haven’t played many NHL games or had much success while they’re doing it. Trying to improve. That’s what intrigues me the most. Trying to get better.”

On whether a change of scenery will benefit Ellerby:
“Very few players play one place their whole careers. Very few, especially defensemen. As I said, he’s big and can skate and he’s got character and we’ve seen times where he can play with an edge, so if he can do that, that overall is improvement. If he can develop consistency with any of them or all of them, then we’ll be a little better for it.”

On bringing back the King-Nolan-Richards line that was together for parts of last season:
“Quite honest, it changes quite a bit. I’m not really isolated on Mike Richards and Dwight King and Jordan Nolan. I think our top players – the guys that get all the credit for what they’ve done, but we’re nine games in, and to me that’s more significant than anything that happened last year. There’s some self-evaluation to be done. It’s not necessarily to do with King and Nolan.”

On whether that self-evaluation is taking place:
“Oh yes. I trust our guys in that way, but we need our top guys to be a hell of a lot better players. That’s clear. That’s not me. That’s clear. If you think about your top offensive guys, what they’re on for, for and against, and what [their] zone time [is], and the way you break things down, you need a lot more from them.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

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


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.

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.