September 2, 2014 7:57 am

NHL.com’s 30 in 30 Kings preview

The Los Angeles Kings “might be the deepest team in the league,” according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, who identifies a collection of L.A. storylines while wrapping up the 30 in 30 series by previewing the club’s upcoming title defense. Getting more productive minutes out of Mike Richards is among the developments that will affect the level of success the Kings find this year, as noted in this video:

NHL.com writers Corey Masisak, Curtis Zupke and Adam Kimelman continue the preview, which comes after an off-season in which the biggest news emerged shortly after the confetti was cleaned up at the corner of Figueroa and Chick Hearn Court: extensions for Marian Gaborik and Matt Greene, and Willie Mitchell’s departure to South Florida. Sine then, the Everything Is OK Alarm has been blaring every three seconds. Other than RFA and depth signings, and the Stanley Cup’s travels, the 2014 off-season has been free of major breaking news in Los Angeles. The latest? Mark Hardy has left ECHL-Ontario after three seasons to join AHL-Chicago as an assistant coach.

Via Zupke: Kings’ summer goal was maintaining winning culture
“[Gaborik’s] cap number is certainly reasonable for a player his caliber,” Lombardi said. “It’s just a player you decide is going to fit in. You felt good that he was going to make the commitment to train the right way, as so many of these guys can do to extend their careers and perform at a high level. Look at Teemu Selanne’s career at the same age. You look at what he accomplished from 32 on to the end; it’s pretty remarkable. Marian is clearly one of those players that figured out it’s not about the fame and money. It’s about, ‘I like this winning stuff.'”

Via Zupke: Brown, Quick among Kings’ five questions
“[Brayden McNabb’s] worked his [butt] off, and with all the homework we’ve [done] on him, he’s got a shot,” Lombardi said. “And I think him being here in the playoffs makes him really hungry. His skating is the only issue. If we can get that tightened up, he’s a good player.”

Via Zupke: Kings need bounce-back season from Richards
“If you look at it and say, ‘If Michael gets back to just being an average Mike Richards,’ that would improve this team more than anything,” Lombardi said. “He gives us the best potential to be a better team than we were last year. It’s sitting right there. The team is most important. [But] I just can’t imagine him accepting second fiddle to some of his peers. That’s why I stuck with him in the end. I believe deep down that this guy has got too much.”

Via Masisak: Kings lineup likely will look similar to Cup team

Via Kimelman: Kings’ top 10 prospects feature Pearson, Zykov

Via Masisak (not Kings-centric): Top 14 centers can lead to Cup championship

 

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