Schenn, Loktionov, Lewis, Clifford and Muzzin make Kings' opening night roster
Forwards Brayden Schenn, Andrei Loktionov, Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis and defenseman Jake Muzzin will be on the Kings’ opening night roster though not all will be in the lineup when they face the Canucks Saturday at Vancouver.
Coach Terry Murray said Tuesday he hasn’t decided yet who will join Kevin Westgarth on the fourth line, and in practice he used various combinations.
“I’m going to have an opportunity to watch over the next few days,” Murray said. “It will probably come down to the day before to make the call on that.”
Left wing Scott Parse (groin) skated Tuesday but won’t be ready to start the season. Defenseman Matt Greene continues to progress in his recovery from shoulder surgery but will see the doctor again before changing his original timetable of being ready to return by the end of this month.
The five players who will stay got new numbers befitting their new status. Muzzin will wear 6, Schenn got 10, Loktionov will wear 12, Clifford will wear 13 and Lewis will wear 22.
Clifford and Schenn are 19. Each can play as many as nine NHL games before triggering the first year of his respective contract. If the Kings decide one or both can’t keep up with NHL play, each would have to go back to junior hockey and could not be sent to the AHL.
“It’s not really so much about Rich Clune. I thought his camp was pretty good,” Murray said. “He spent a great deal of time in the off-eason doing all the right things to get himself ready....It’s more about what Clifford showed in the training camp. He took a big step from last year at this time. It’s about what he did: his physical play, his grit, his fighting. He’s a young guy in a man’s body. He’s so powerful and I feel he has a very nice up-side to his game.”
Murray said Loktionov had a “great training camp. There’s a nice up-side to his game. I think it’s important that he has a sense that we appreciate what he has done throughout the training camp and tell him that he’s on the opening day roster.”
Loktionov was all smiles after practice.
“I’m so happy to be here,” he said, “and I just need to keep going and build on this and play my game.
“I want to play NHL because it was my dream when I was young and thinking about NHL.”
Clifford also called making the roster a dream come true. “It’s something I worked my whole life for,” he said. “It’s just the beginning so we have to keep trucking away and stay focused and make a career out of it now.”
Schenn said he’s not thinking ahead to whether he will stay with the Kings all season.
“I’m just excited to be here for now. I’ve got a lot of work to do to continue to stay here,” he said. “Just want to get better day by day. That’s my focus.”
The Kings practiced Tuesday in retro-looking Forum blue-and-gold helmets and gloves which they’ll wear Saturday at Vancouver. They’ll also wear full vintage gear in three home games this season, on dates to be announced soon. Jonathan Quick wore old-looking brown pads by Vaughn and Bernier wore pads with a Forum-blue-and-gold motif.
“A bit of a throwback there,” Quick said. “I thought Vaughn did a good job making up these pads here and I figured if you’re going to wear the jerseys you might as well go all-out.”
Also, the Kings signed Jordan Nolan, a seventh-round pick in the 2009 draft, to a three-year contract. He was recently assigned to Manchester.
More later at www.latimes.com/sports
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Andrei Loktionov. Credit:Jayne Oncea / U.S. Presswire