Catching up with Derek Armstrong - LA Kings Insider

85780879 (445x640)I recently spoke with Kings alum Derek Armstrong earlier today to prepare for a feature I’ll be working on next week. The story will detail his work with the CHL’s Denver Cutthroats and his transition into coaching and working in a front office while highlighting the relationships built from his playing career that have served him well in his executive duties.

Armstrong, now 41, was renowned for his work ethic and was a popular figure amongst his teammates and coaches during his six playing seasons with Los Angeles between 2002 and 2009. Though there were no playoff games amidst the 467 games he logged as a King, Islander, Senator, Ranger and Blue, he does appear to fully immerse himself in Kings playoff hockey, which he’ll watch while wearing his jersey.

I asked Armstrong about whether he could sense the construction of the team’s well regarded identity and psyche during his final years with the club, in which he played with Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and others who form the established and successful core.

“Dean Lombardi’s done an amazing job with that,” Armstrong said. “It was tough, bittersweet for me. I wished I was five years younger at that time, because I had been [in Los Angeles] a long time and put a lot of work in with those guys. But you’re proud of them. Stolly, Greenie came in, Williams came in, they all came in at the tail end of my career, and it was good to watch them gel as a unit. Obviously they’ve done a superb job. They’ve always been good teammates with each other. Even when I was there, they always got along in the dressing room. It’s like a big family, and that’s credit towards Dean Lombardi, who’s brought the right people in here. He’s been the masterpiece behind all this. But all the guys bought in. He’s had a system in place. It’s been trouble for people to play in a beach setting in a hockey atmosphere, but he brought the right people that can learn how to manage the beach life as well as being a professional hockey player. All those guys have done an incredible job. You tip your hats to them. But when I sit there and watch them raise the Cup, it’s a proud moment for me as well watching on the couch. I wear my Kings jersey and cheer them on. To see how far those guys have come and how hard they’ve worked, it’s a pretty cool feeling that I get to enjoy inside as well.”

For more on Armstrong, his Kings ties and his emerging career as a coach and as a hockey executive, check back to early next week.

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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.