Good afternoon from the media bus, which is headed back to the team hotel from Rexall Place. As expected, the Kings made no further moves after trading for Andrej Sekera last week. I’ll have some quotes up from Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams – two players bound for unrestricted free agency – later today, but to reiterate, neither player was dangled by the Kings, nor was either player expected to be traded today.
“You always expect to be part of a team that you’re on, and this was no different than any trade deadline,” Williams said.
Like any team, Los Angeles was listening to all offers, and had they been completely blown away by something, they’d have made an additional move. But that didn’t happen, so the team will continue its playoff push with the same personnel as it did in the beginning of the day. I’ll have some Darryl Sutter musings on the deadline later today and am hoping to get some time with hockey operations to discuss how the morning and early afternoon progressed.
The Kings practiced at Rexall Place earlier today. All players were present and accounted for. Grouped by color-coded jerseys, the Kings were aligned thusly:
-As for defensive pairings, we mostly saw a reprisal of the pairs that were used as Sunday’s game evolved. Robyn Regehr skated with Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin skated with Matt Greene and Brayden McNabb skated with Andrej Sekera. Because of the odd number of defensemen, there was mixing and matching, and all defensemen appeared to take turns with multiple partners. This is a standard reminder that we’re likely to get a more accurate read on lines and pairings at morning skates rather than practices, should the full team take the ice again.
-The Edmonton Oil Kings were packing up for a late afternoon bus ride to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, where they’ll play the Raiders tomorrow. (Unrelated: I always found it bizarre that there were nicknames borrowed from the AFC West in the Raiders, the Spokane Chiefs and the Swift Current Broncos). The defending Memorial Cup champs are weathering the cyclical nature of junior hockey quite well and enjoy a seven-point cushion on the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I hadn’t said anything WHL-related in a long, long time.
-More to come on a busy day around the league. Sutter’s quotes will follow shortly.