Pregame links: Richards, ESPN rankings, Kings Weekly - LA Kings Insider

Good evening from Staples Center. Some light pre-game reading:

-Well, maybe this doesn’t qualify as “light.” Following the settlement between the Kings and Mike Richards, Elliotte Friedman reported in today’s 30 Thoughts column that the topic may be addressed at December’s Board of Governor’s meeting.

Via Sportsnet:

Privately, other teams are screaming bloody murder and are threatening to make an issue about it at December’s Board of Governors’ meeting. But the NHL is not sympathetic. In a phone conversation, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly pointed out Article 50 of the CBA does have a mechanism for settlements.

“In our view, the Kings had a ‘Bona Fide’ opportunity to win this grievance,” Daly said. “In that case, they would have no cap hit at all. This way, there’s some penalty.”

You can dispute the merits of Daly’s argument, but when an arbitrator gets involved, all bets are off. All summer, I read how courts don’t like to overrule collective bargaining agreements between two parties. That didn’t stop the NFL from getting crushed by Tom Brady. So, who knows?

Richards hasn’t spoken yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he pushed for the settlement. No one had more to lose than he did. If the NHLPA loses, everyone who argues for him still gets paid. If the Kings lose, yes the cap takes a hit, but owner Philip Anschutz is still worth $11.6 Billion, according to Forbes.

Friedman also noted that the expected annual cap hit, beginning in 2020-21 and continuing through 2030-31, is roughly “$550,000 per season range on average,” and that Jordan Weal was “likely” part of a package in discussions with Calgary and Edmonton before conversations were halted at the draft. Of course, you already knew this because you’ve already read 30 Thoughts today.

-The Kings graded 10th in the NHL and 39th across all sports in ESPN’s Ultimate Standings. The fall was based on the criteria judging how “players act professionally on and off the field,”

Said ESPN:

It might take awhile to get to the top — in the pursuit of a Stanley Cup and in our Ultimate Standings — but it sure doesn’t take long to slide down the hill. Witness the Los Angeles Kings, who, after winning their second title in three years in 2014, ranked no worse than sixth in coaching, players, fan relations and title track last year en route to a No. 5 overall ranking. But after missing the playoffs this spring and in the midst of much off-ice upheaval, they dropped to 39th this time around.

The Ducks were ranked second in hockey basically because they are a good team and have inexpensive tickets.

-Kings Weekly debuts tonight! Among tonight’s topics: Chris Herren visits the Kings, LA Kings High School hockey league coverage, highlights and interviews from the Manchester Monarchs ring presentation, Black and White Episode 1, Drawing with Drew, and a special on the Kings’ physical testing.

A season preview:

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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.