Training camp, Day One

Just got back in the office after the first day of training camp. Good to see everyone on the ice, with the exceptions of Patrick O’Sullivan and Justin Azevedo, who are, respectively, unsigned and out with a broken wrist.

Very high energy this morning, as the camp was split in two. Half of the players practiced while the other half played a scrimmage game, then they flipped places. Terry Murray’s plan to use both ice rinks in El Segundo prevented him from watching everyone at once but allowed the Kings to accomplish more, it seems.

There didn’t seem to be any real rhyme or reason to the way the players were split up, other than that the groups seemed to be equally split between veterans and rookies.

The most attention came courtesy of a fight, during the second scrimmage, between Richard Clune and Drew Bagnall. Not much of a fight, in terms of punches thrown, but Clune apparently is developing a reputation as a Sean Avery-type scrapper.

Lots and lots of defensive-mind drills today. Not surprisingly, the more veteran players impressed. Anze Kopitar looked strong and Jack Johnson has visibly put on weight (in a strength way, not a fat way). Jason LaBarbera is notably trimmer and talked about how he dropped weight and got stronger this summer.

I have lots of quotes to transcribe, which I will get to throughout the afternoon and night, so stay tuned. I’ll be glad to answer any questions anyone might have as well.

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  • Tim

    Man, I feel like a kid on Xmas eve, I can’t wait! Thanks Rich!

  • Anonymous

    Finally some action!

  • Bob Bobson

    I second Tim’s comment. Everyday has been like Christmas since I found this blog.

    Rich, what do you think about the “grinder” guys that Dean has brought in like Clune, Cliche or Richardson ? Are any of them going to fulfill a tough guy role so we will not always rely on Ivanans ?

  • Anze

    Good to hear Kopi looked strong. After throwing down 3 and a half bills for my Kopitar authentic jersey, he better tear it up this year.

  • Dan

    Thanks for the info Rich. What exactly do you mean by a Sean Avery type scrapper?

  • PaulCat1969

    Rich, you are amazing. Been looking forward to this day for a long time and I can’t wait to read the quotes coming later.

    I have to ask about what, if anything, you have heard on Schnieder and what you think the distance is between O’Sullivan and Lombardi. Are we taking 3 million vs. 4 million or years of the deal?

    Also, what were your opinions based on what you saw of some of the players looking to make the squad, i.e. Moeller, Simmonds, etc.

  • Mario Lessard

    Hi Rich, Now that hockey is FINALLY here, I want to THANK YOU SO MUCH for the coverage all during the off season. You made all of our summers that much better, and your commitment to this blog and getting is information is so appreciated. I look forward to reading the blog (hourly) and think this season is going to be exciting regardless of the grim prognostications. Who knows, maybe all these young guys will surprise us! I too am curious too, to hear your opinions of who makes the team (other than the Manchester guys who are virtually penciled in). While I have not been to the games, from what I could see on the internet feed, Simmonds looks awesome (perhaps the most impressive of all), as does Doughty. I’m hoping Moller sticks, if even just for the first nine games. I doubt he will, but love the guy’s energy. Anyway. Thanks again RIch! Your dedicated follower, Mario.

  • CiscoC

    You Rock Rich!

  • Paul

    The NHL has released a “season preview” that details all the teams. There’s 3 pages on the Kings, starting on page 85 of the document. You can find it on the main nhl.com website.

  • Harry

    Rich,
    Can you please clarify –

    Patrick O’Sullivan and Justin Azevedo, who are, respectively, unsigned and out with a broken wrist-????

    Do you mean that both players are OUT with a broken wrist?

    And did you get any update regarding Sully? Why he is out of town? Did he go because he knew how his contract situation is, and he was aware that he won’t be attending camp??

    Thank you for your time, and patience, with us KINGS FANS!

  • Crash Davis

    Mentioned in a previous post to keep your eyes on Clune, who we traded Tukonen for. Gritty, drives to the net, hard nosed. Watch for him either now or in the near future. Better he turns into a Lappy rather than an Avery. Lappy will always help you with aggressiveness and come to your aid – a true teammate; Avery will hurt your team with needless penalties and, in the end, it’s really all about him.

  • jet

    What were the appox. head counts today, media and public? thx

  • Todd

    LOS ANGELES Rich Hammond
    The Kings, who used seven goalies last season, will run out of options and consider asking Rogie Vachon to get his leather pads out of the attic.

    http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/17938-Wacky-predictions-for-the-0809-season.html

    Rich you are too funny, next your going to tell me that Rob “Blueline” Stauber and Rick Knickle will back him up?

    Hey thanks for the update…

  • Micah

    I liked this one too:

    “EDMONTON Rob Tychkowski
    Leafs win the Stanley Cup. Hey, thats about as wacky as predictions get.”

  • joe

    Why not wait to see justin azevedo in game situation or on the ice before making negative comments about the kid.this kid is amazing on the ice.

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