Kings captain Dustin Brown, goaltender Jonathan Quick and unsigned free agent forward Trevor Lewis were invited Monday to attend the United States Olympic team orientation camp Aug. 26-27 in Arlington, Va. Brown and Quick were no-brainers for the selection committee and should be key members of Team USA’s roster for the Sochi Olympics.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty and forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards are going camping with Team Canada. They have been invited to an Olympic orientation camp Aug. 25-28 in Calgary. Doughty and Richards were among 15 players who represented Canada for the 2010 Vancouver Games, winning gold. Team Canada sent out 47 invitations. Steve Yzerman, a former Detroit Red Wings great, is the executive director the Olympic team. Mike Babcock, the Red Wings’ coach, was named Monday as the Canadian coach.
It’s hardly a surprise to any fan who’s watched Kings defenseman Slava Voynov the last two seasons, but the Russians named the 23-year-old to their preliminary Olympic team roster Monday. Voynov is joined by Pavel Datsyuk Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malking, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Semin just to name a few. The 35-man roster has been invited to a training camp Aug. 23-24 in Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Olympics. Voynov has 45 points (14 goals, 31 assists) in 102 NHL games in two seasons with the Kings.
Free agent forward Jordan Nolan avoided an arbitration hearing next month when he agreed to a new two-season, $1.4-million contract with the Kings on Friday. The website capgeek.com first reported the deal. Nolan had six points (two goals, four assists) in 44 games during the lockout-shortened 48-game season in 2012-13. His signing leaves free agent forward Trevor Lewis as the last of four Kings originally on the list of players who filed for arbitration. Lewis can avoid a hearing by signing with the team before his Aug. 2 hearing in Toronto. The Kings have roughly $1.5 million of salary cap space available to sign players for next season.
The NHL announced its re-alignment some time ago. Friday the league announced the new names for the four new divisions. They are the Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic. Personally, I would have gone with the Gretzky, Howe, Orr and Grimson divisions to honor the greats. Anyway, here’s the breakdown on the new alignment:
The new schedule is here! The new schedule is here! The Kings open the 2013-14 season Oct. 3 against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul, Minn. Then they play the Winnipeg Jets the next night in Winnipeg before returning home for their Staples Center opener Oct. 7 against the New York Rangers. Hey, wasn’t that supposed to be last season’s opener? What happened there, anyway? Oh yeah, the lockout happened.
As expected, the NHL and the players union reached an agreement with the IIHF on Friday morning to send players to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The NHL will take a break from Feb. 9 to Feb. 26. The Olympic tournament will be held Feb. 12-23.
The Kings and team captain Dustin Brown agreed Thursday on an eight-season contract extension that will pay him
an average of $5.75 million a total of $47 million and keep him in uniform through 2021-22. He has played all of his nine NHL seasons with the Kings and has been the team’s captain since Oct. 8, 2008.
Rob Blake, who excelled as a Kings defenseman during his playing days, was named the club’s new assistant general manager Thursday morning. He replaces Ron Hextall, who left earlier in the week to become the assistant GM with the Philadelphia Flyers, his old club. Blake spent the last three seasons in the NHL’s player safety department.
“First off, it’s very difficult to lose a person like ‘Hexy,’ who was an integral part of this whole process,” Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said of losing Hextall to the Flyers during a video interview with radio analyst Daryl Evans. “You can’t say enough about how much he helped this franchise.
“That said, I think we’re very fortunate to have a person like Rob Blake available to us. I’m so impressed the way he dived into his job with the league, not only in the perspective in staying current with the game but the amount of work and diligence he was willing to put into this endeavor, which was very impressive.
“That’s the bottom line in the job he’s stepping into with us. There’s an incredible amount to learn. Certainly, being a player of his stature is a huge asset. But it’s still going to come down to how much work you put into it. What he did with the league, I’m really looking forward to seeing that kind of energy.”
Blake, 43, played 14 of his 20 NHL seasons with the Kings and recorded 777 points (240 goals, 537 assists) in 1,270 career games. He also played with the Colorado Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks. He was the Kings’ team captain for six seasons. He helped the Kings reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1993 and was a member of the Avalanche’s Cup championship team in 2001. He retired after the 2009-10 season.
Dustin Penner signed a one-season, $2-million contract with the Ducks on Tuesday. Asked for his assessment of his time with the Kings, he said during a conference call: “I wish I could’ve contributed more, frequently and consistently on a personal level. I had a great time with L.A. Made a lot of great relationships that will span my lifetime. Winning a Cup in a city that hadn’t won one in 45 years, doesn’t get better than that.”