Friedman: Kings tell Kovalchuk he'll be out of the lineup for the "foreseeable future"; healthy scratch vs Minnesota - LA Kings Insider

Via Elliotte Friedman of Rogers Sportsnet:

So! There’s obviously some news here. Without provoking hysteria, I’ll try to provide whatever context I may. I hadn’t heart of anything fishy until about 3:00 this afternoon, when an interesting mention originating from Edmonton popped up. (It mentioned a buyout, which is not confirmed and I have not heard otherwise, and I retweeted it without reading it properly before undoing the retweet. Please excuse me for that.) There’s also a credible reporter, Igor Eronko, who mentions a KHL team by name. I definitely can’t confirm or deny those two things at this moment but will try to share what I hear as soon as I hear it and provide what context I may. I also have to commute to Staples Center on a Tuesday. The only real initial sense I’ve gotten from the team over the last hour is that what was shared above stands and that he’s basically a healthy scratch.

There were a few Eastern Conference teams last year that kicked the tires on Kovalchuk, who didn’t exactly shut down the idea of waiving his no-movement clause. From last year’s trade deadline:

Ilya Kovalchuk, on whether he would want to move to another team to win a Stanley Cup:
That’s, I have a three-year contract, so you know I think that Rob Blake is going to do what’s the best for the future of this team, so you know my job is just to go out there and play and we’ll see what happens.

Kovalchuk, on whether he’d waive his no-trade clause if the situation was to his liking:
I don’t know, like I said, you should ask Rob about that because I told him that I am going to do whatever is good for the team because you know, I signed here, we went here, my family, we love the city and everything. I think our fans were great to us, so I just want to go out there and play and we’ll see what happens.

Again! This is just important context, not an indication that you should be expecting a trade or some imminent transaction. I didn’t see Kovalchuk on the ice this morning and noted that in addition to Adrian Kempe and Kurtis MacDermid, they’d need to scratch another wing to insert Luff, who should probably slot alongside Nikolai Prokhorkin and opposite Kyle Clifford.

In 17 games this season, Kovalchuk, who has one year remaining on a contract that has a $6.25-million cap hit, has three goals, nine points and a minus-10 rating. More to come from DTLA.

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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.