Getting To Know: Jim Thomson

Jim Thomson (http://www.jimthomsonsdreams.com/)

Status: NHL right wing from 1986-1993 with Hartford, Washington, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Ottawa.

DOB: December 30, 1965 In: Edmonton, Alberta

First Hockey Memory: “I borrowed a pair of skates. I grew up in a mobile house park, Westview Village in Winterburn, Alberta. I was six years old and one of my friends lent me his dad’s skates. They were too big but I skated around and couldn’t stop. I fell in love with it.” Read more

Jake Muzzin another piece of the Kings exercise in dynasty building

Ken Campbell
Jake Muzzin (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

If you like what you’ve seen from the Los Angeles Kings, get ready for a lot more of the same. For a long, long time. That’s because their core players keep coming up and GM keeps knocking them down, and all of them on long-term, cap-friendly deals.

The Kings, in fact, are building themselves some kind of empire. And as anyone knows, all empires need foot soldiers, which is why Lombardi was eager to get defenseman Jake Muzzin’s name on a five-year contract extension worth $20 million. It’s a great contract for the Kings – who get a No. 3-4 defenseman for an average of $4 million – and further proof that the Kings are now a desired destination for players who are willing to take far less money in exchange for the chance to have a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup every year. If you take into account the fact that Muzzin’s cap hit for this season is just $1 million, the Kings have him for the next six seasons for $21 million, an average of $3.5 million.

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25 years ago today, Wayne Gretzky broke the all-time scoring mark in astounding fashion

Casey Ippolito
waynegretzkygordiehowe

The Los Angeles Kings slaughtered the Edmonton Oilers 6-1 last night. Today’s Kings are a powerhouse, while today’s Oilers are a punchline. In 1989, both were model franchises. Almost entirely because of Wayne Gretzky. And today marks the anniversary of No. 99 setting his greatest record of all.

A quarter century ago, Gretzky broke the NHL’s all-time career points record, then held by his idol, Gordie Howe.

Howe had amassed his total of 1,850 thanks to consistency, and more so, longevity. Howe played 1,767 games across five decades, outlasting his peers and retiring at 52. Read more

Los Angeles was playing chess, Edmonton was playing checkers

Ryan Kennedy
Taylor Hall and Jarret Stoll  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Darryl Belfry is a skills coach who works with elite NHLers such as Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane and John Tavares. So when he breaks down game tape, the analysis is pretty sound. And if you needed any more evidence of how big a gulf exists between the Los Angeles Kings and the Edmonton Oilers after a 6-1 thrashing, just watch Belfry’s assessment of a Kings breakout from Tuesday night:

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The Hot List: Banned in Minnesota, thriving in Vancouver

Vancouver's Alec Baer  (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

With NCAA hockey officially in full swing, there is action aplenty to watch for in the prospect world. Boston University’s Jack Eichel and Erie’s Connor McDavid already seem to have a fantastic game of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better going on, but who else should you be watching this season? Here are some of the other names making noise right now.

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Mike Milbury says fighting should go, so we should keep it

Boston's Bobby Robins (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mike Milbury has made a career out of being controversial, from beating a fan with his own shoe during his playing days, to lamenting about the “pansification” of hockey as a broadcaster. And in between, he traded some of the best players in the NHL away from his New York Islanders as GM of the franchise. (cough)

Last night, Milbury remarked on NBC’s broadcast of the Bruins-Flyers game that it was time for fighting to go. “It’s over” was a particularly clear remark on the matter, as he and fellow analyst Keith Jones cited the style of play these days and concussions.

And look, that’s a great corporate line to spew. But I like my hockey with a touch of mayhem and if a man with Milbury’s track record is coming down on one side of an issue, I have no problem going the other way.

No doubt there is evidence that the straight-up enforcer is going through an identity crisis right now; Paul Bissonnette couldn’t find work, nor could Kevin Westgarth or George Parros. But to say fighting should go altogether? We’re not there yet (and I hope we never will be).

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Watch the Kings raise their championship banner

Adam Proteau
KINGSlogo (via sportslogos.net)

The Los Angeles Kings kicked off the defense of their 2013-14 Stanley Cup championship Wednesday the way champions before them did – with the raising of a banner to the rafters of their rink.

As their fans looked on in awe, Kings players gathered on the ice prior to their showdown with San Jose to hoist the Cup champions banner to the top of Staples Center. Read more

Can this guy make the Los Angeles Kings even better?

Ronnie Shuker
MPrice-HeadShot

You won’t recognize the name Matt Price, and the Los Angeles Kings are just fine with that.

Despite being hockey’s Hollywood team, the Kings are less glitz ’n’ glamor cool and more blood ’n’ guts tough. And as their new strength and conditioning coach, Price brings the same no nonsense, no excuses attitude that’s been L.A.’s M.O. under GM Dean Lombardi and coach Darryl Sutter.

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