With the acquisition of Ben Bishop and Jarome Iginla, and with the return of Jonathan Quick and the passing of the trade deadline, does this provide additional focus for a team gearing up for the stretch run?

“Stretch run started in October,” Quick said. “You know, this league’s so tight. We know that coming in to training camp. Tomorrow’s game is no more important than games four months ago. So they’re all important. The only difference is everything’s kind of settling a little bit and you know where everybody is and you know who you’ve got to catch and you know who is trying to catch you. But at the end of the day, every time you play it’s two points.”

And in the attempt to claim two points on every game night – the Kings have 19 remaining, starting with a seven-game home stand that opens Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs – they’ll do so with a future Hall of Famer added to the roster, and a strong defensive player and two-time Stanley Cup winner subtracted from it. Hello, Iginla, a 619-goal scorer, and good bye, King, the first player to be traded by Los Angeles after having won a pair of Stanley Cups with the franchise.

After an optional practice in which Quick took part but Anze Kopitar did not, the two members of the team’s leadership committee spoke about the impact of gaining Iginla while losing King.

Anze Kopitar, on Jarome Iginla being acquired by LA:
Yeah, I mean, obviously another veteran guy that’s going to come in to this locker room and help us out with the leadership and just his presence. We all know what his resume is so hopefully he can help us out in all the departments and I’m sure he’s been in battles or stretches like this where he was battling for the playoffs and all that so I guess just his experience coming in will help us.

Kopitar, on anything that sticks out about Iginla’s game:
He plays hard. I mean, I think one of the biggest keys is, too, he’s played for Darryl, too. So he knows what Darryl’s all about and vice versa. But he’s got a good shot. I mean, every time we play him you’ve got to respect his shot. His one-timer on the power play is something that, for sure we’re going to try to utilize as much as we can and just go from there.

Kopitar, on the team’s position going forward:
Well I think we’re in, you know, obviously not the greatest spot but we’re in the mix and that’s what you want to be this time of year. Obviously you want to be safe and focusing on the season but we’ve been in this position before so it’s going to come down right down to the wire and we’re going to play hard and see what happens.

Kopitar, on Dwight King headed to Montreal:
Yeah, I mean, every time a guy leaves the team it’s hard. Obviously with Kinger we’ve been through some tough times but some really, really good times so what can you really do. At the end of the day it is some sort of a business so I’m sure he’s going to pack his stuff today and leave for Montreal and can’t really do anything but wish him all the best.

Kopitar, on whether he’s surprised at all by the way this season has gone:
No I don’t, I’m really not that surprised. It always comes down to the wire. I think more so in the West than it is in the East so, you know, like I said, we’ve been down this road before so we’re kind of used to it.

Kopitar, on whether he notices “shades of himself” in any players around the NHL:
I just don’t really pay attention to all of that so once we’re out on the ice I really just want to focus on my game. But yeah, I don’t think there’s any secret to it nowadays in the NHL. The centermen usually have to be a good 200-foot players and produce and we have a lot of them in the league and there’s definitely some young guys coming up, too, that are establishing themselves in that department so like I said, it’s a lot.

Jonathan Quick, on Dwight King being traded to Montreal:
You never want to see anybody go. Especially somebody that’s been around for those two seasons in particular. You know, you kind of think back to when he first got called up. Him and Noles came in there a little more than halfway through the year and provided something that the team really needed and both were really important in both Cup runs. At the end of the day though, it’s the nature of the business. You hate to see somebody go but you know, you just hope for the best for them.

Quick, on whether it’s any easier because King’s contract was up at the end of the year:
No, it’s no easier. Great teammate. Great player. Someone that’s meant a lot to the organization over the last five, six years, so no matter how they leave – free agency, trade, whatever – you don’t want to see anybody go.

Quick, on whether it’s hard to put aside the emotional aspect when a teammate is traded:
It’s tough. You get used to it, though, just because it happens every year. You know, even high school, college, you’ve got guys you’re good buddies with and they graduate or they leave and then coming up in the minor leagues and everything, so it’s something you get used to.

Quick, on acquiring Jarome Iginla:
I mean, he brings 1,500 games of experience and however many countless playoff games he’s played. A guy that’s, you don’t play that long if you don’t love the game so I’m sure he’s going to come in here excited to play and be part of trying to make the playoffs and go farther.

Quick, on what a veteran presence like Iginla adds to the dressing room:
I mean, it’s something that you can never have enough of, right? You look, like, we’ve got a lot of guys that have obviously, we’re fortunate enough to be on the Cup winning teams but we’ve got a lot of young guys and guys with not so much playoff experience and things like that. SO you get a guy like that, Vinny comes in last year and Iggy’s coming tomorrow so it’s just another guy in the locker room that has a ton of experience in those type of situations. You know, last month of the season, hopefully two months after the regular season’s over so you know, like I said, you can never have enough of that in your locker room.

Quick, on what he likes about the Kings:

You just look around the locker room. That’s the best part. You just have a great group of players. It’s fun coming in, practicing, competing every day with them and yeah. Work seems a little less like work, you know? It’s a fun environment to be a part of and guys love to compete and guys love to win so you don’t want to let them down. Every time you step in there and you’re playing, you’re trying to win for them.

Harry How / Getty Images

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.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

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

Bio

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.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS