Contract update

The Kings will most likely announce a new contract for Teddy Purcell soon. The fact that today is Friday could complicate the final stages of contract approval, etc. Talks with Jack Johnson’s agent have also been going well but seem to be headed toward a short-term deal, which would be interesting. I’m not sure if either of those will get finalized today.

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Kings schedule released

Here is the Kings’ 2009-10 schedule. All times are Pacific, and the TV and radio schedules will be announced later…



14 OCTOBER (6H-8A)

1 Sat. 3 PHOENIX 7:30 p.m.
2 Tue. 6 SAN JOSE 7:30 p.m.
3 Thu. 8 MINNESOTA 7:30 p.m.
4 Sat. 10 @ St. Louis 5:00 p.m.
5 Mon. 12 @ NY Islanders 11:00 a.m.
6 Wed. 14 @ NY Rangers 4:00 p.m.
7 Thu. 15 @ Detroit 4:30 p.m.
8 Sat. 17 @ Columbus 4:00 p.m.
9 Mon. 19 @ Dallas 5:30 p.m.
10 Thu. 22 DALLAS 7:30 p.m.
11 Sat. 24 @ Phoenix 6:00 p.m.
12 Sun. 25 COLUMBUS 6:00 p.m.
13 Wed. 28 @ San Jose 7:30 p.m.
14 Thu. 29 VANCOUVER 7:30 p.m.

15 Mon. 2 @ Phoenix 6:00 p.m.
16 Thu. 5 PITTSBURGH 7:30 p.m.
17 Sat. 7 NASHVILLE 1:00 p.m.
18 Mon. 9 @ Chicago 5:30 p.m.
19 Wed. 11 @ Carolina 4:00 p.m.
20 Fri. 13 @ Atlanta 4:30 p.m.
21 Sat. 14 @ Tampa Bay 4:30 p.m.
22 Mon. 16 @ Florida 4:30 p.m.
23 Wed. 18 PHILADELPHIA 7:30 p.m.
24 Sat. 21 CALGARY 1:00 p.m.
25 Wed. 25 @ Edmonton 6:30 p.m.
26 Thu. 26 @ Vancouver 7:00 p.m.
27 Sat. 28 CHICAGO 7:30 p.m.

28 Tue. 1 @ Anaheim 7:30 p.m.
29 Thu. 3 OTTAWA 7:30 p.m.
30 Sat. 5 ST. LOUIS 1:00 p.m.
31 Mon. 7 CALGARY 7:30 p.m.
32 Wed. 9 @ San Jose 7:30 p.m.
33 Thu. 10 PHOENIX 7:30 p.m.
34 Sat. 12 DALLAS 7:30 p.m.
35 Mon. 14 @ Vancouver 7:00 p.m.
36 Tue. 15 @ Edmonton 6:30 p.m.
37 Thu. 17 @ Calgary 6:30 p.m.
38 Sat. 26 @ Phoenix 5:00 p.m.
39 Mon. 28 MINNESOTA 7:30 p.m.
40 Wed. 30 @ Calgary 6:30 p.m.
41 Thu. 31 @ Minnesota 5:00 p.m.

13 JANUARY (8H-6A)
42 Sat. 2 WASHINGTON 1:00 p.m.
43 Mon. 4 @ San Jose 7:30 p.m.
44 Thu. 7 DETROIT 7:30 p.m.
45 Sat. 9 ST. LOUIS 7:30 p.m.
46 Mon. 11 SAN JOSE 7:30 p.m.
47 Thu. 14 ANAHEIM 7:30 p.m.
48 Sat. 16 BOSTON 1:00 p.m.
49 Tue. 19 SAN JOSE 7:30 p.m.
50 Thu. 21 BUFFALO 7:30 p.m.
51 Sat. 23 @ Detroit 4:00 p.m.
52 Tue. 26 @ Toronto 4:00 p.m.
53 Thu. 28 @ Columbus 4:00 p.m.
54 Sat. 30 @ Boston 4:00 p.m.
55 Sun. 31 @ New Jersey 2:00 p.m.

56 Tue. 2 NY RANGERS 7:30 p.m.
57 Thu. 4 ANAHEIM 7:30 p.m.
58 Sat. 6 DETROIT 1:00 p.m.
59 Mon. 8 @ Anaheim 7:00 p.m.
60 Thu. 11 EDMONTON 7:30 p.m.
61 Sat. 13 COLORADO 7:30 p.m.

15 MARCH (7H-8A)
62 Tue. 2 @ Dallas 5:30 p.m.
63 Thu. 4 @ Nashville 5:00 p.m.
64 Sat. 6 MONTREAL 7:00 p.m.
65 Mon. 8 COLUMBUS 7:30 p.m.
66 Wed. 10 @ Chicago 5:30 p.m.
67 Fri. 12 @ Dallas 5:30 p.m.
68 Sun. 14 NASHVILLE Noon
69 Thu. 18 CHICAGO 7:30 p.m.
70 Sat. 20 NY ISLANDERS 7:30 p.m.
71 Mon. 22 COLORADO 7:30 p.m.
72 Wed. 24 @ Colorado 6:00 p.m.
73 Thu. 25 @ St. Louis 5:00 p.m.
74 Sat. 27 DALLAS 7:30 p.m.
75 Mon. 29 @ Minnesota 6:00 p.m.
76 Tue. 30 @ Nashville 5:00 p.m.

6 APRIL (4H-2A)
77 Thu. 1 VANCOUVER 7:30 p.m.
78 Sat. 3 ANAHEIM 7:30 p.m.
79 Tue. 6 @ Anaheim 7:00 p.m.
80 Thu. 8 PHOENIX 7:30 p.m.
81 Sat. 10 EDMONTON 1:00 p.m.
82 Sun. 11 @ Colorado Noon

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Piskula signs one-year contract

Restricted free-agent defenseman Joe Piskula re-signed a one-year contract with the Kings today. Here’s the rest of the press release from the Kings…


Piskula, 25, recorded 12 points (0-12=12), 40 penalty minutes and a team-leading plus-11 rating in 67 regular season games with the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, last season. The 6-3, 212-pound native of Antigo, Wis., also skated in 55 regular season games with the Monarchs during the 2007-08 season, recording six points (0-6=6) and 57 penalty minutes, and he also played in all four postseason games with the Monarchs that same season, recording zero points and four penalty minutes.

Piskula, who signed with the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on March 21, 2007, made his Kings/NHL debut at Chicago on March 23, 2007. In five career NHL games with the Kings, he has zero points and six penalty minutes.

Prior to entering the pro ranks with the Kings at the end of the 2006-07 campaign, Piskula appeared in 38 games with the Wisconsin Badgers (NCAA) that same year, notching five points (1-4=5) and 34 penalty minutes. During his three-year stint with the Badgers, the blue-liner registered 22 points (3-19=22), 80 penalty minutes and a plus-36 rating in 112 career games.

Piskula, who was voted as the Badgers’ Otto Breitenbach Most Improved Player by his teammates in 2005-06, played for the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) prior to attending the University of Wisconsin. He was also a finalist for Wisconsin’s “Mr. Hockey” while skating for Antigo High School.

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Yesterday’s news today

For those who didn’t see yesterday, the Kings signed free-agent forward Brandon Segal to a two-year contract yesterday.

From the Kings’ press release…

Segal, 25, has spent the last six seasons in the American Hockey League playing with the Milwaukee Admirals, Portland Pirates and Norfolk Admirals. The 6-2, 210-pound native of North Delta, British Columbia collected an AHL career high in goals (26), assists (26) and points (52) with Norfolk last season and made his NHL debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 3, 2009. Segal was held off the scoreboard during his two games with the Lightning, had two shots on goal, clocked more than 27 minutes in ice time and averaged 17 shifts per game.

In 404 games in the AHL, Segal has registered 177 points (94-83=177) since he made his professional debut during the 2003-04 season. As a member of the Norfolk Admirals, he was named to the Canadian AHL All-Star Team for the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic in Worcester, Massachusetts. Segal was selected by the Nashville Predators in the fourth round (102nd overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

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Ask Jim Fox, 2009

I’m very happy and grateful to announce that Jim Fox, the Kings’ award-winning television analyst, has agreed to do a blog question-and-answer session for a third consecutive year. For the past two summers, Fox has been very gracious with his time, and very honest and forthcoming with his answers to fans’ questions about the Kings, the NHL general, and wine!

For those not familiar with the format in previous summers, please post your questions for Jim as comments on this blog item. I will take a cross-section of the questions and send them to Jim. I expect that I will send Jim the questions over the weekend, and he will answer them at his earliest convenience.

Ask away!

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A little break

The online editors at my paper always say that bloggers should let their readers know when they’re going to be away for a few days. Seems a bit self-important in my mind, but what do I know?

So for those who ask if I ever take vacation, the answer is yes, and it’s essentially for the next 12 days or so. It’s a good time to take a little time off, because things are slowing down after the draft and free agency. Of course, as I never tire of reminding Dean Lombardi, the Kings hired Terry Murray during the middle of my vacation last year…

So if any news should happen, I’ll be around, although it might not get posted instantly. I’m also trying to get a couple things together, including (hopefully) at least one reader Q&A with a Kings figure, so stay tuned for that.

As always, thank you so much for all your support and kind words. I’m not always able to answer every e-mail and message, but I assure you that the support is always much appreciated. Some stuffy newspaper editors (not mine, by the way) like to grumble about how people don’t care about hockey in L.A. It’s nice to prove them wrong, and the success here is entirely thanks to you. So…thanks.

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Kings in the clutch

Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal this week, which identified the top “clutch players” who switched teams this summer. “Clutch players” were identified by “how often they are on ice when the game is in a clutch situation (two minutes left in a one-goal or tied game).”

The Kings had two of the top five, in Rob Scuderi and Ryan Smyth.

NHL Teams Hunt for Talent in a Frenzied Bazaar

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Colten Teubert interview

Here’s the interview with Colten Teubert. If you’ve seen him play, you probably won’t be surprised to know that Teubert exudes confidence, in a good way. He’s easy to talk to, and a good quote, but it’s clear that he thinks he can play in the NHL.


Question: Can you talk about the contrast between last year, when you had just been drafted, and coming back here a year later?

TEUBERT: “Yeah, it’s a lot more comfortable. You can talk to the young guys and just say, `Hey, calm down,’ because I was in the exact same situation they’re in, just gripping the stick and being really nervous. But it’s just an opportunity and a chance to get better here at development camp. We’ve got a lot of coaches, so I just try to be a sponge and soak it all in.”

Question: The fans in L.A. kept track of you from afar this season. Can you talk a bit about what the season was like for you?

TEUBERT: “Well we weren’t very successful with my Regina Pats team, which sucked, but I did win a World Junior gold medal with Team Canada, which was an unbelievable experience, one I’ll never forget. Also I got called up to the Ontario Reign at the end of the year, which was awesome. I came in and played eight regular-season games and then we ended up losing Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs. That really sucked, but overall it was just a really good experience to play with guys that much older than you and just have a different perspective in coaching from Karl Taylor, who helped me out a lot. He’s here at development camp too. It just shows you that no matter what league you play in, you can improve. It was an unbelievable experience.”

Question: In those World Juniors, it seemed as though you were paired with Hickey quite a bit…

TEUBERT: “Me and Hickey were kind of like the shut-down crew, defensively. I didn’t play any power play, but I was a PK guy and had the shut-down pair with Thomas. It was nice to play with him. He highlights me as much as I highlight him. He’s a very good player and he was a great leader and he helped us win gold, for sure.”

Question: That seems to be an interesting pairing with you two. Obviously it’s different styles, different body types, but there seems to be something there…

TEUBERT: “Yeah, I think so. I think our off-ice relationship helps too. We’re pretty good friends, and that translates onto the ice. We look out for each other, and with his skill I can help out defensively and it’s very nice playing with him.”

Question: There’s obviously quite a bit of defensive talent in the pipeline here. What are your goals for training camp this year?

TEUBERT: “It’s an opportunity. I’m going to come into camp and do whatever it takes, just like every other guy. I think it’s going to be a very good battle. Like you said, there are lots of good defensive prospects, and that’s good. That’s a very positive thing for the Kings and I just look to the future and I hope that I can be a part of that.”

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Jonathan Bernier interview

Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday, as I’ve been trying to prepare to get out of town.

There are a couple of good interviews to be posted today. The first is with Jonathan Bernier, who is far too normal to be a NHL goalie. This kid is going to have to develop some personality quirks or weird habits if he wants to make it in the league… Seriously though, this interview gives some insight into what Bernier went through last season.


Question: This is now your third camp. Does the comfort level increase every time you come to one of these?

BERNIER: “Any time I can have some experience coming in, it’s a big advantage for me. I think the camp is really good, just to get in good shape for the last stretch of summer and get ready for September. So I’m just here to work hard and try to show what I can do. I’ll work hard in the practices and the games.”

Question: It’s no secret that there’s going to be a lot of goalie competition at training camp. Are you completely focused on earning a spot with the Kings?

BERNIER: “Yeah. I’m not coming here for vacation, for sure. I’m coming in because I want to make the team this year. Last year didn’t really go the way I wanted. I had the injury and there was nothing I could do about it. But this year, if I can have a healthy camp and be ready for it, I will show what I can do.”

Question: Do you feel you got the experience you needed, playing at the AHL level last year, to make the full-time jump to the NHL now?

BERNIER: “I really had it tough last year. In all my years of junior, and even before that, everything was really easy for me to get the net. Everything was going well, and then last year, to not get the chance to be here and to be down there, it was a big disappointment for me. It took me a couple weeks to get in the game, especially with the injury, and then when Jonathan Quick got called up, it was hard for me too. So I really had some ups and downs, but overall I think that if I look back in five years, it’s going to maybe end up being the best year for me, even if it was up and down. I had a really good end of the season, so that feels good, to finish on a good note.”

Question: What do you think it was that pulled you out of that, if anything in particular?

BERNIER: “I think what I learned is that when things don’t go your way, you have to go back to your base. Just do the little things in practice and work hard. I had a long talk with Ron Hextall and that’s what he told me. `Work hard in practice, and it won’t come right away, but your game is going to come.’ And that’s what happened at the end of the season. In the last two months, I was really happy about it. I worked hard in practice, even if I was not really happy. The thing is to not worry too much. When I got cut, I was so upset, but I’m still young. I’m 20, but I don’t really realize that though, because it’s my third camp, but I’ll get my chances, and when I get them, I just have to be prepared.”

Question: It’s going to be pretty competitive between you guys in camp. Do you talk about that at all?

BERNIER: “Not really. We all know what we need to do. When you’re focused and you don’t really worry about anybody else, then you’ll have the best chance to make it.”

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