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Kings' Bernier, Hickey, Westgarth headed to Manchester; Schenn goes back to junior team

September 28, 2009 |  4:09 pm

The Kings made four roster moves today in preparation for their opener Saturday against Phoenix at Staples Center, and despite all the talk about a competition in goal, the No. 1 and No. 2 spots ended up belonging to the goalies who were penciled into those slots before training camp began.

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Jonathan Bernier was assigned to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League, giving the backup job to Erik Ersberg behind No. 1 netminder Jonathan Quick.

Also headed to the Manchester are defenseman Thomas Hickey and tough right wing Kevin Westgarth. Center Brayden Schenn, their first-round pick in June, was returned to his junior team, Brandon of the Western Hockey League, to get the playing time he needs to continue his already impressive development. 

The goaltending move obviously benefits Ersberg, while the beneficiaries on defense are Alec Martinez and Davis Drewiske. Martinez, however, is likely to stay only through the remainder of Sean O'Donnell's suspension, which covered the last three exhibition games and the first two games of the season.

Sending Westgarth down means that Raitis Ivanans gets to be the resident enforcer, at least until Richard Clune (pulled groin) is fit to fight again.

The cuts left the Kings with seven defensemen, 14 forwards (including Peter Harrold, who can play defense but played exclusively up front during training camp) and two goaltenders.  

The team didn't practice today and will return to the ice Tuesday at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.


--  Helene Elliott 

Photo: Jonathan Bernier. Credit: Chris Carlson / AP.

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