Good news, everyone! NHL.com is profiling all 31 NHL teams, and Monday, August 14 is L.A. Kings day. Huzzah!
“I wouldn’t have taken the job here if I didn’t think we could win,” John Stevens told Lisa Dillman. “This is not the same team that won two Cups. But there are an awful lot of pieces that are still here. Our challenge is to get some of our top guys and their games back to where they were.”
That’s from the banner article, 31 in 31: Inside Look at the LA Kings. Additional articles include this tidbit from Three Questions Facing the LA Kings Ahead of 2017-18 Season, under the query “How many starts will a healthy Jonathan Quick make?
“[Quick] has that sense about him that I’ve never seen in a goalie,” Stevens said. “He would never blame anybody but himself. He could get scored on a 3-on-0 and he would look inside himself and thought he could have done something more. I think that’s a great trait in a goalie, and it rubs off on his team and his teammates.”
There’s more from Dillman, a true Kings insider, on the club’s prospects. Speaking of which, here’s a blurb on top-ranked prospect Gabriel Vilardi: “The 17-year-old has drawn comparisons to Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone, someone with above-average hands who has the size (6-foot-3, 201 pounds) to get to the hard areas of the ice. Like Stone did, Vilardi needs to upgrade his skating. If he can do that, Vilardi projects as a top-six forward.”
KING OF KINGS. Dwight King signed a two-year contract with KHL-Yekaterinburg, where he’ll play alongside former Canuck behemoth Nikita Tryamkin and Slovenian national (and Jesenice native) Rok Ticar. Avtomobilist finished 11th in the 15-team Eastern Conference last season and did not qualify for the playoffs.