Kings center Anze Kopitar named Team Europe captain for World Cup of Hockey

Kings center Anze Kopitar was named Tuesday as Team Europe’s captain for the World Cup of Hockey, which begins Sept. 17 in Toronto. Kopitar, of Slovenia, was joined in the team’s leadership group by alternate captains Zdeno Chara of Slovakia and the Boston Bruins and Mark Streit of Switzerland and the Philadelphia Flyers. Chara and Streit are defensemen.

Kopitar was named the Kings’ captain in June, replacing Dustin Brown in a shakeup in the wake of last season’s first-round playoff exit at the hands of the San Jose Sharks and their failure to make the postseason in 2015. The 29-year-old Kopitar won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward and was honored with the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play this past season.

 

 

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World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament TV schedule

Here is the TV schedule for the World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament games:

Thursday: North America vs. Europe (Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik), 5 p.m., ESPN2

Friday: Canada (Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin) vs. USA, (Jonathan Quick) 4 p m., ESPNU

Sept. 13: Finland vs. USA, 4 p.m., ESPN

Sept. 14: Canada vs. Russia, 4:30 p.m., ESPN2

The eight-team tournament begins Sept. 17 in Toronto.

 

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Read the Kings statement on Slava Voynov’s no-contest plea

Here’s what the Kings said in a news release about defenseman Slava Voynov’s no-contest plea Thursday on misdemeanor domestic violence that will result in 90 days in jail plus three years probation:

“We believe the legal system has effectively resolved this matter and the punishment is fair and just. Any act of domestic violence is unacceptable. As an organization, the prevention of domestic violence and the education of our players and employees is of paramount importance. We will continue to actively develop and implement a strategy to deliver this message. We remain steadfast in our support of the National Hockey League as they now begin their own investigative process. Until that is complete we will withhold further comment.”

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L.A. Kings’ Slava Voynov pleads no contest to misdemeanor, will serve 90 days in jail

Kings defenseman Slava Voynov entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Torrance and will serve 90 days in jail plus three years probation. He waived his right to a trial in accepting the deal with the District Attorney.

Voynov’s trial on felony domestic violence was to begin next week.

District Attorney Frank Dunnick told the court that a conviction means Voynov would be deported from the United States. Voynov’s defense team objected and Judge Taylor says that it’s a matter for immigration to determine.

In addition, Voynov must complete a 52-week domestic violence course, perform eight hours of community service and pay fines totally roughly $700.

Check back for updates.

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Justin Williams on leaving the Kings for the Caps: This was the best fit for me

Justin Williams signed a two-season, $6.5-million contract with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, leaving the Kings behind after helping them to two Stanley Cup championships and earning one of the great nicknames in NHL history. Here’s some of what he had to say during a conference call Thursday:

“Obviously, we enjoyed it (playing with the Kings). Except for my first year when I got traded in the middle of it we made the playoffs every time except for last year. We enjoyed a pretty good stretch. Two Stanley Cups and a trip to the Western Conference finals.

“Things got derailed this year with appearances and things beyond individuals’ control. There are going to be changes in L.A. because of that. Everyone’s looking to get better. I spent … the best seasons I had were in Los Angeles year in and year out. The team and individual success was great there. I made a lot of friends.

“It’s a business. It’s about winning, but now it’s time for me to move on. I spoke to L.A. yesterday. There’s this thing now called the salary cap. I’m going to move on, but I’m going to remember my time there. … I don’t think that’s fair (to talk about other offers). There were offers out there I pondered. … This is the best fit for me. Listen, I’m going to play as long as I can. My head is upset we didn’t make the playoffs, but my body is saying, ‘Thank you.’”

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Justin Williams, the Kings’ Mr. Game 7, signs a two-year, $6.5-million deal with Capitals

Unrestricted free agent Justin Williams signed a two-season, $6.5-million contract Wednesday and jumped to the Washington Capitals from the Kings. The departure of the man known as Mr. Game 7 because of his heroics during the Kings’ march to the Stanley Cup in 2014 was not unexpected. The Kings did create some salary-cap flexibility by terminating the contract of Mike Richards on Monday, but in the end Richards decided to move elsewhere late on the first day of free agency.

Williams, 33, scored 41 points in 81 games last season with the Kings.

The Capitals are 3-6 in Game 7s since 2008.

The Kings were 3-0 in Game 7s in 2014, all on the road.

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Kings sign backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth to one-year, $1.25-million deal

The Kings needed a backup goaltender after trading Martin Jones to the Boston Bruins in the deal that brought Milan Lucic to Los Angeles. So, the Kings signed Jhonas Enroth to a one-season, $1.25-million contract Wednesday. Enroth played 50 games last season, including 37 with the Buffalo Sabres. He also played for the Dallas Stars. Overall, he was 18-26-2 in 2014-15. He’s not likely to play anywhere near that much as Jonathan Quick’s backup with the Kings next season.

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Defenseman Andrej Sekera signs a really big deal with Edmonton Oilers

Andrej Sekera, a defenseman the Kings acquired at the trade deadline from the Carolina Hurricanes for a first-round draft pick next year and a prospect, signed a six-season, $33-million contract with the Edmonton Oilers on the first day of free agency. Sekera’s tenure with the Kings lasted all of 16 games, and he scored one goal and four points. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in a March 30 game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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Report: Incident at Canadian border led to Kings’ decision to terminate Richards’ contract

ESPN.com reported Tuesday that Mike Richard’s contract was terminated Monday by the Kings because of an off-ice incident earlier in June, possibly at the Canadian border. The website said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were investigating, but no charges were filed. The RCMP had no further comment.

Here’s a link to the story: http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nhl/story/_/id/13173411/royal-canadian-mounted-police-investigation-involves-mike-richards-source

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Kings VP/hockey operations Mike Futa provides Mike Richards background on radio show

Michael Futa, the Kings’ vice president of hockey operations and their director of player personnel, offered some background on Mike Richards during an interview before the team terminated the forward’s contract Monday. Here’s some of what Futa said of Richards on a Toronto radio station earlier in the day:

“That’s a tough one. Obviously, what makes (Kings general manager) Dean Lombardi special is relationships with the players and his loyalty. Obviously, coming off the Cup year (in 2014) and having a very small window there, as Dean said it was probably the most difficult incorrect decision he’s made and it’s cost us.”

Futa referred to deciding against buying out Richards last summer.

Futa then continued, “(Lombardi) flew into Kenora (Richards’ offseason home in Ontario) and looked Mike in the eye and felt he was comfortable that we were going to have him buy in a little bit better and things just didn’t work out (last season). Everything you said about Mike Richards in his career, sure, he’s been well-decorated for his incredible past. You know what? He’s the one who’s got to look into the mirror with regard to his decision.

“We clearly … (he was a) huge part of our Stanley Cup championships and we wish him well.”

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