The Los Angeles Kings struggled to create offense from anywhere but Anze Kopitar’s line in the first half of last season, mostly because of the absence of Jeff Carter as the team’s second line center. Carter played just 27 games for the Kings, but registered 13 goals and 22 points showing that even in his mid-thirties he’s still a very effective offensive player.
This time around they’re hoping for better results, and look healthier coming into training camp. Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times reports that Carter, Dustin Brown, Trevor Lewis and Jake Muzzin are all expected to be ready for training camp in a few weeks, despite dealing with some injuries this summer. If the Kings can squeeze out some of Ilya Kovalchuk’s previous performance and put a healthy Carter over the boards every few shifts, the team could have a much improved offense this season.
- The New Jersey Devils have hired Ryan Parent as an assistant coach for their AHL affiliate, bringing in the NHL veteran to join Mark Dennehy’s staff. Parent is a veteran of more than 100 NHL contests, and even suited up for 27 playoff contests with the Philadelphia Flyers between 2008-2010. Once a first-round pick by the Nashville Predators, he’ll be able to provide valuable insight to Devils prospects as they come through the system as well as helping to develop the defensemen already in Binghamton.
- The Arizona Coyotes will have a glut of options for the center position this season, as several newcomers have experience at the position. One of those players, Alex Galchenyuk, wants to prove to his doubters that he can handle the position and according to a conversation with Dave Vest of NHL.com, will be given that chance by head coach Rick Tocchet. Galchenyuk was drafted as a potential first line center by the Montreal Canadiens, but struggled to find much consistency at the position during his time there. After being swapped for Max Domi earlier this offseason, both he and the Coyotes have expressed a desire to see him return to the middle if possible. If he can handle the move back to the middle, the Coyotes find themselves deep at the position with Derek Stepan, Christian Dvorak and Brad Richardson already on the roster and Dylan Strome expected to compete for a full-time role this season.