Kings recall Mike Richards from AHL for critical road trip

Jared Clinton
Mike Richards (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings are bringing Mike Richards back to the NHL. The team announced Sunday afternoon they have recalled Richards from the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs.

Richards’ trip back to the big league coincides with Kings ensuing road trip, which comes at the most important part of Los Angeles’ season. With 11 games remaining on the Kings’ schedule and Los Angeles trailing Calgary by two points for third place in the Pacific Division with a game in hand, Richards call back to the NHL could signal a desperation move by the Kings to find some sort of spark to get the team over the hump and into the playoffs. The Kings also sit two points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Read more

Suspend him or not: Kings’ Toffoli boards Canucks’ Burrows

Jared Clinton
Tyler Toffoli

For the first time in his young career, Tyler Toffoli may be getting a call from the Department of Player Safety.

During Saturday afternoon’s game between the Kings and Canucks, Toffoli sent Vancouver Canucks winger Alex Burrows head first into the boards with a crosscheck to the back. Burrows stayed down on the ice for several moments before being helped from the ice.

You can see the play, which resulted in a five-minute major and a game misconduct for Toffoli, below: Read more

Five backup goaltenders who could find starting jobs next season

Cam-Talbot

In Wednesday’s win over the New York Rangers, Chicago backup netminder Scott Darling showed exactly why the Blackhawks inked him to a two-year extension. And, with the win, he made the backup goaltending job in Chicago that much more interesting.

With the shutout – the first of Darling’s professional career – it adds more credence to the belief that Antti Raanta’s time might be up as Corey Crawford’s backup. But the move from starting AHL netminder to NHL second-stringer, which Darling made, is a common one. Next season, however, could see the rise of more than a few backup goaltenders to first-string duty.

Here are the five goaltenders you can most expect to challenge for a starting gig: Read more

Los Angeles Kings create their own luck at the draft

Ryan Kennedy
Nick Shore (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

I have learned not to doubt the Los Angeles Kings.

A few years back, I was at an Oshawa Generals game and a fan asked me if Andy Andreoff had any shot at getting drafted. Considering that Andreoff had already been passed over twice, I told him that anything was possible, but privately, Andreoff hadn’t really been on my radar.

Sure enough, the Kings picked up the gritty left winger in the third round that summer (the 2011 draft) and Andreoff has already played 13 games for the squad this season.

This past summer, I was standing with another reporter at the draft in Philadelphia, marvelling at the bizarre order in which the Kings were picking – taking certain kids way earlier than expected, leaving higher-rated kids to the end. But I’m not going to second-guess GM Dean Lombardi and his crew, which is headed by Mike Futa, VP of hockey operations and director of player personnel, and director of amateur scouting Mark Yanetti because they clearly know what they’re doing.

Read more

Why No. 1 playoff seeds deserve all games at home in Round 1

Ronnie Shuker
460996762-PredsKings

The Nashville Predators have been one of the NHL’s biggest surprises this season, right alongside the New York Islanders. They’ve led the Central Division most of the way and have been going back-and-forth with the Anaheim Ducks for first in the Western Conference.

For all their hard work, however, the Predators could conceivably end up as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and face the Los Angeles Kings as the No. 8 seed.

That’s right, in the NHL, the reward for finishing first in your conference could be the right to play the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round.

Would anyone be surprised if the Kings “upset” the Predators in a seven-game series?

Read more

Skate right into summer with these hot hockey sandals

The Hockey News
20140417_130902_resized_4-SummerSkates

From sewing skate laces on old flip-flops in the basement to filling an order for the St. Louis Blues, it’s been a crazy couple years for Myles Doak, Kevin Hennessy and the SummerSkates team.

The brainchild of Doak, the sandals featuring a hockey-lace band are an idea he had as a teenager. In 2011, he received a deal when he appeared on the hit TV show Dragon’s Den. Two years later, Hennessy joined the team the company took off.

Read more

‘Draft, schmaft’ lives again as picks, prospects sacrificed at deadline

Keith Yandle (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Since the calendar turned to 2015, the Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired four players – David Perron, Daniel Winnik, Ben Lovejoy and Ian Cole. And they’ve shipped out Simon Despres, Robert Bortozzo and Rob Klinkhammer and four draft picks – first- and fourth-rounders in 2015 and second- and seventh-rounders in 2016.

And they might lose in the first round of the playoffs.

The team they would play in the first round of the playoffs if the regular season were to end today would be the New York Rangers. They’ve added Keith Yandle, Karl Klingberg, James Sheppard, Chris Summers and a fourth-round pick in 2015. And they’ve surrendered Lee Stempniak, Anthony Duclair, John Moore, a first-round pick in 2016 and a second-rounder in 2015. Read more

THN Trade Deadline preview: Pacific Division

Jeff Petry (Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

The Anaheim Ducks may be running away with the division title, but it’s the recent surge by the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings that is the story right now. Following eight straight wins, Los Angeles has gone from the outside looking in to nipping at the heels of the Vancouver Canucks for second place in the Pacific.

And if the wild-card race wasn’t tight enough in the Western Conference with the play of the Minnesota and Winnipeg in the Central, San Jose and Calgary only a breath back of the Wild for the final wild-card berth.

At the bottom of the table sits Edmonton, set for yet another year of building for the future, and Arizona, shedding weight in favor of a youth movement in hopes the team can become a consistent contender in the near future. Both squads have players that are ready to move, and it could end up being they are dealt within the division. Read more