In 2017-18, the Los Angeles Kings finished with 98 points, were a playoff team and had both a Norris Trophy and Hart Trophy finalist (and Selke winner) on their roster. Dustin Brown had found his edge again and recorded a 60-point season, while Jonathan Quick took home the Jennings Trophy as the goaltender for the team with the lowest goals against average in the NHL. Then, it all came crashing down. The club finished 30th in the NHL in 2018-19, fired their coach and traded away several assets. Things looked grim.
As Todd McLellan comes in to try and turn the team around, he spoke with Mark Spector of Sportsnet and was clear that it won’t be a quick process. The Kings aren’t expecting to be back competing for the Stanley Cup next season, and are just “at the beginning of the process.” The question now becomes what happens with the other veteran assets on Los Angeles, as names like Brown, Quick, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter aren’t getting any younger. If “it’s not going to be an overnight thing” as McLellan says, where does that leave the aging stars?
- The Charlotte Checkers will be without two key defenders for their next game, as both Trevor Carrick and Bobby Sanguinetti have been given suspensions. While Sanguinetti will serve just a single game for a check to the head, Carrick is out for three games after leaving the bench to join an on-ice altercation. The Checkers are tied 1-1 in their first-round series against the Providence Bruins, and will need to find a way to win without two of their veteran blue liners.
- Patric Hornqvist will suit up for Sweden at the upcoming IIHF World Championship, continuing his season after a disappointing exit with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hornqvist joins a squad that needed some help up front, and could very well find himself skating beside rookie sensation Elias Pettersson. The 32-year old winger won a gold medal with Sweden last year, scoring two goals in five games. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that teammate Marcus Pettersson will be an alternate for the Swedish squad.