Kings Links: The Lineup Shuffle, Defensive Options, and Minor League Updates

Plus, a new look on the power play, the return of Anze Kopitar, and some interesting developments in the Pacific Division.

So the Kings' first game didn't quite go according to plan... it happens. One game does not define a season, right? Nevertheless, the Kings have a lot of changes to make after Game 1. To the links!

Los Angeles Kings

Jim Fox gives us the line combinations from today's practice. Simon Gagne is the odd man out... my decision to pick him at the end of the Jewels from the Crown fantasy draft is looking like a bad one.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href="">#LAKings</a> lines in morning skate 23-11-14/25-10-77/74-28-22/13-24-71//7-8/27-26/44-6</p>&mdash; Jim Fox (@JimFox19) <a href="">January 22, 2013</a></blockquote>
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The forward lines look a lot more familiar, don't they? Anze Kopitar will return tonight against Colorado. Quotes here. [LA Times]

Yeah, the forwards look good, but we've been discussing how the Kings need to shore up their weakened blue line after Matt Greene's injury. Andrew Bodnarchuk has already been called up as a new 6/7 D. Now, allow the Edmonton Journal and The Fourth Period to contribute to the conversation.

Also, take a look at what the Buffalo Sabres (who have a glut of defensemen) might have to offer via The Buffalo News. (Note that TJ Brennan and Mike Weber have been healthy scratches for the Sabres thus far, while Adam Pardy cleared waivers last Friday and is playing for the Rochester Americans.)

Yesterday's (still anonymous) LA Kings Insider report featured an interview with Bernie Nicholls. [LA Kings Insider]

Manchester Monarchs

The Manchester Monarchs had a productive weekend, defeating the Worcester Sharks, Providence Bruins, and Portland Pirates on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Who says back-to-backs are difficult? The Monarchs moved up to fifth in the Eastern Conference.

In conjunction with the Kings' Stanley Cup festivities, the Monarchs took the opportunity to highlight the 14 Kings who played in Manchester on their way to becoming Cup champs. [Manchester Monarchs]

Tyler Toffoli has made the AHL All-Star Team. Vote for him to start on the AHL's Facebook page. [LA Kings]

Ontario Reign

The Ontario Reign are even hotter, riding a five-game winning streak after yesterday's 2-1 win over the Bakersfield Condors. Colton Yellow Horn scored the game-winner in overtime, his 32nd goal of the season. [Bakersfield Californian]

By the way, Yellow Horn leads the ECHL in goals and points. Yet somehow, he was not chosen for the ECHL All-Star Game because the game attempts to showcase the players with the best chance of playing in the NHL. How about throwing a bone to the guy who leads the league in scoring and scored the ECHL goal of the year? [Loveland Reporter-Herald]

Pacific Division

Scott Gomez to the Sharks? It's not a done deal, but we might be close. [Fear the Fin]

Jamie Benn is one of the "Big 3" players yet to sign a contract (along with Ryan O'Reilly and PK Subban); however, a new long-term contract with the Stars could be on the horizon. [Defending Big D]



<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>RUMOR: According to @<a href="">nesn</a>, we're moving (e2) <a href="" title=""></a></p>&mdash; LA Kings (@LAKings) <a href="">January 22, 2013</a></blockquote>
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