L.A. Kings Stadium Series jerseys on sale Dec. 16 at Team L.A. Store at Staples Center

Sometimes a headline really does say it all. No idea what they’re going to look like, but they won’t be the same as the silver and gray abominations the Kings wore during the Dodger Stadium game against the equally disheveled Ducks last January. If you want one, they’ll be on sale at a season-ticket holders event at the re-opening of the Team L.A. Store at Staples Center on Dec. 16. You also can buy one online at: http://teamlastore.com/ the same day. No word on price yet.

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Las Vegas odds-makers like the L.A. Kings a little bit less today than yesterday

Las Vegas bookmaker Bovada released updated odds to win the Stanley Cup and the Kings’ chances at a third championship took a very slight hit Wednesday. The Kings went to 11/1 from 10/1 and are listed sixth in the 30-team league. The Chicago Blackhawks remained the same at 15/2, the Pittsburgh Penguins went to 15/2 from 10/1. The Ducks went to 9/1 from 10/1, the St. Louis Blues went to 10/1 from 12/1 and the Boston Bruins joined the Kings in going from 10/1 to 11/1.

What does it all mean? Who knows? But it’s fun to talk about.

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So, how did L.A. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez play in his return to the lineup?

Alec Martinez (27) played for the first time after missing seven games after undergoing finger surgery.  (Photo by John McCoy Daily News)

Alec Martinez (27) played for the first time after missing seven games after undergoing finger surgery. (Photo by John McCoy Daily News)

 

Well, it depends. Here’s what Alec Martinez said to say after playing for the first time after sitting out for seven games because of finger surgery: “It felt good to be back playing again. It’s not too much fun being out. As for my game, I’m not too happy with it. I had to shake off a little bit of rust. I know I’ve got a better game in me next game. At the end of the day, we got the two points. That’s all I care about.”

Here’s what Kings coach Darryl Sutter said, bringing up Martinez’s name after reporters failed to do so after a 2-0 victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday at Staples Center: “Whenever guys come back from injuries, they have a lot of energy, and he and Robyn (Regehr, his defense partner Tuesday) were really good.”

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L.A. Kings coach Darryl Sutter’s postgame quote of the night

Kings coach Darryl Sutter had this to say about Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau, who died Tuesday at the age of 83: “I only knew him through business, but as a young boy I watched him. Jean Beliveau was a classy player and I remember him so well, how elegant he was on the ice. He was a great player who won a lot of championships, and he was a great captain.”

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L.A. Kings issue a statement accepting full responsibility for allowing Slava Voynov to practice

The Kings had this to say in a statement after the NHL fined them $100,000 for violating the terms of Slava Voynov’s indefinite suspension: “This was clearly a mistake on our part and we accept full responsibility. It is incumbent upon us to be more vigilant in managing this situation to ensure that Slava’s allowable training activities always remain separate from the team.”

 

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L.A. Kings fined $100,000 by NHL for violating the terms of Slava Voynov’s suspension

Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will be charged by the L.A. County District Attorney.

Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will be charged by the L.A. County District Attorney.

Slava Voynov joined his teammates for what the Kings called an “optional” morning skate Tuesday at their El Segundo training facility. The NHL promptly fined the Kings $100,000 for violating the terms of Voynov’s indefinite suspension for a domestic violence incident at his Redondo Beach home in October.

Here’s part of what the league said in an email announcing the fine:

“Voynov skated with teammates today during a Club practice. Such activity is in direct contravention of the terms of the suspension levied Oct. 20, which permit Mr. Voynov to use club facilities and work with team personnel but prohibit his participation in any team-related functions or activities.”

Hard to imagine what Voynov and the Kings were thinking. Voynov entered a not-guilty plea in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 15.

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L.A. Kings ranked eighth in Forbes.com list of NHL’s most valuable franchises

Winning two Stanley Cups in three seasons has its rewards. Well, that plus owning and operating a lucrative arena in downtown Los Angeles has Forbes.com ranking the Kings as the eighth-most valuable team in the NHL.The Kings’ estimated value of $580 million ranked well behind the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.3 billion), the New York Rangers ($1.1 billion) and the Montreal Canadiens ($1 billion), the first time three NHL teams have been valued at more than $1 billion.

The Kings were just behind the Philadelphia Flyers ($625 million) and just ahead of the Detroit Red Wings ($570 million). The San Jose Sharks ($425 million) and the Ducks ($365 million) ranked 14th and 18th, giving California three teams in the top 20. The Florida Panthers were 30th and last with a value of $190 million.

The Kings’ overall value grew by 29 percent from 2013, according to Forbes.

Here’s the link to the Forbes.com story: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2014/11/25/the-most-valuable-teams-in-the-nhl/

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Looking ahead to the Kings game Tuesday against the Nashville Predators

Here are a few things to watch when the Kings face the Predators in Nashville:

The Kings’ three-game trip continues with a stop in Nashville to play the rejuvenated Predators (13-5-2). The Kings are 11-6-4 overall, but only 1-4-3 away from the cavernous confines of Staples Center. They began their trip by falling behind the Dallas Stars by three goals en route to a 5-4 loss Saturday

Kings coach Darryl Sutter continues to overplay defenseman Drew Doughty, who was on the ice for a career-high 33 minutes, 7 seconds Saturday. Injuries and the indefinite suspension of Slava Voynov have left the Kings shorthanded on the blue line. Sutter would prefer to play Doughty less and has acknowledged the harm in overworking him.

The Kings received salary-cap relief from the NHL last week in the Voynov case, but haven’t exercised their flexibility to recall anyone from Manchester (N.H.) of the AHL. Alec Martinez has been skating, but it’s uncertain when he’ll be sound enough to play after he underwent finger surgery.

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Interesting L.A. Kings comments on the passing of former NHL coach Pat Quinn

The Kings issued some remarkably nice comments about former coach Pat Quinn, who died Sunday at 71. There’s no faulting their intentions, but Luc Robitaille, Jim Fox and Bob Miller had nothing but kind words for Quinn. It’s important to note that Quinn bailed on the Kings while coaching the team to sign a deal to become the Vancouver Canucks’ team president and general manager. The NHL suspended him from coaching the Kings or working for the Canucks for three years starting in 1987. It did little, in the end, to harm Quinn’s mighty reputation, but it was another black eye for the Kings. So it was more than a little surprising to read all the nice things about Quinn in prepared statements from Robitaille, Fox and Miller.

Said Robitaille: “He was a great man for the game of hockey and a person who commanded a lot of respect. He was my first NHL coach and he made quite an impression on me as I was breaking into the league and learning the game.”

 

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