Los Angeles Kings Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake has a long and cumbersome road in front of him. The Kings must transform their high-priced roster of aging stars into a squad capable of competing at the highest level. From new coaching to rebuilding the pipeline of young prospects, NBC Sports’ Scott Billeck covered handful of questions Blake must address.
Billeck opened with the suggestion that potential bounce-back seasons from veteran players in contract years could net valuable trade assets near the deadline.
Blake’s ace up his sleeve, if he has one, is several should-be motivated players entering contract years. The likes of Tyler Toffoli, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Clifford and Derek Forbort will be looking for new deals (and likely not in L.A.)
Ideally, Blake and Co. would be promoting these folks so they can ship them out at the trade deadline for assets.
After covering the goalie situation, Billeck shifts his attention to incoming coach Todd McLellan.
He enters a situation where the team had the second-fewest goals-for, fourth-most goals against and special teams that were hardly memorable. And he’s been given a cast of players, many of which are on the back nine of their careers.
A tall order, indeed.
McLellan should be focused on the young blood in the team while using the veterans he has to mentor them. He also needs to showcase the team’s pending unrestricted free agents to receive as much value as the team can get at the trade deadline.
You can read the full article from Billeck at NBC Sports Pro Hockey Talk.
Not Quite Yet
Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin isn’t ready to entertain the idea of retirement. The high-scoring skater is approaching age 34 and the end of his current contract with the Capitals. Regardless of those factors, Ovechkin told explained to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti that he isn’t ready to discuss retirement.
“We will talk about that after two years,” the Capitals captain told NHL.com on Thursday in a telephone interview from Beijing, where he was wrapping up a trip as an NHL ambassador promoting the growth of the game in China.
“I have two more years to play under my contract,” Ovechkin said in a news conference hosted by TASS. “Let us wait and see whether I will continue my career as everything depends on the health.”
You can read the full story from Gulitti at NHL.com.
Pictures from Pickwick
After a summer full of renovations, LA Kings Pickwick Ice Center is open for business. On Thursday, pictures from the facility appeared on social media.
You can read more about the changes made to the rink by clicking here.