Stevens on Phaneuf and Thompson in practice, bouncing back from Carolina - LA Kings Insider

On trying to integrate Dion Phaneuf and Nate Thompson into practice:
I think the guys that have been in the league long enough are pretty familiar with both of them. Nothing’s really changed in that sense. Nate’s been a really good faceoff guy, plays the game hard, is a good penalty killer, really good on the forecheck, got him in here last night, got a chance to skate this morning and Dion just plays in all situations, big guy, good personality and has a real identity to his game. We’re not sure exactly how it fits in. Time will tell, but certainly excited to have both of them on board here.

On maybe not having Phaneuf in the lineup because of immigration issues:
It doesn’t really change our back-end because we didn’t move anybody off the back-end. We’ve had guys here that have done a pretty good job for us all along so we have depth at that position right now. If he’s not able to play then we have seven healthy guys to move in. We have guys that can play both sides, so it gives us lots of options.

On Kevin Gravel’s improvement:
I think (Kevin’s) game has come along. I think with any young player you want to see real consistency in his game. I think his game is in a much better place now than it was at the start of the year and I think with Paul LaDue, I think it’s the same thing. So we’ve given ourselves flexibility. They’re two a little bit different players but both guys can play on the power play and both guys are good puck movers, both guys defend pretty well. I think (Kevin’s) game has come along and he needs to keep trending in that direction.

On players going back and forth between the NHL and minors and the confidence they carry:
I think it’s a huge help. If you look at the history of the players in our organization going all the way back to (Muzzin) and (Martinez) and Voynov on the back-end and then you have Tyler and Tanner who have gone back-and-forth, every time they went to the minors and came back, they were better players. They had big minutes in key situations down there. When you go down with the right attitude you go down there and try to be the best player and those kids have done that and now when they come back it seems like every time they come back they’re just a step better, a little more confident, not as hesitant. That comes with experience, that comes with growing as a pro and I think the development of those guys going back and forth to the minors only helps their ability to be good players here.

On if the team is ready to bounce back after losing 7-3 at Carolina on Tuesday
I think the group handled yesterday the right way. I think nobody was happy with the way we played in Carolina and knew we need to play a lot better. So we got back to work yesterday. I thought the group’s attitude was really good and we have a tough opponent in front of us in Pittsburgh that’s playing well, especially at home here, so this group has had an ability all year, whether it’s in-game or game-to-game to bounce back and we expect a good game out of this group tonight.

Lead photo via Len Redkoles/NHLI 

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.