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Category: Marco Sturm

Brad Richardson to rejoin Kings' lineup, John Zeiler headed back to American Hockey League

Greetings from Chicago, where it’s cold but clear.

Neither the Blackhawks nor the Kings had a morning skate Sunday. The Kings had meetings at their downtown hotel and afterward coach Terry Murray said forward Brad Richardson will play against the Blackhawks and that John Zeiler will be returned to Manchester of the American Hockey League.

Richardson, who suffered an upper-body injury Dec. 9, must be activated off injured reserve before he can play. He had been skating on his own in El Segundo and arrived in Chicago on Saturday night.

Murray also said he’s not sure of his line combinations for Sunday’s game but might make Oscar Moller a healthy scratch. Odd, because Moller played pretty well the past two games, with a goal at St. Louis and two assists at Nashville. But maybe Murray’s looking for a physical game and figures Moller can’t handle it….or thinks Moller’s defensive game isn’t good enough.

Left wing Marco Sturm won’t play, and although Murray had said he hoped Sturm would play Tuesday at Colorado in the finale of this trip, that’s now not certain.

Jonathan Quick will start in goal, as scheduled.

Also, prospect Brayden Schenn was appointed an alternate captain for Team Canada at the upcoming world junior championships.

We’ll have more later at www.latimes.com/sports

-- Helene Elliott in Chicago

Kings' morning skate: Mitchell, Greene out; Richardson and Sturm could play soon

Greetings from Nashville, where it’s sunny but chilly -- about 35 degrees -- and music is pouring out of every honky-tonk on Broadway. Gotta love it here. Someone singing in one of these places at noon on a Saturday could be a Grammy award winner in a few years …

The Kings weren’t singing any sad songs Saturday. Actually, Coach Terry Murray had some good news after the morning skate at Bridgestone Arena.

Murray said forward Brad Richardson, who's been out since Dec. 9 because of an upper-body injury, has been cleared to return. He was scheduled to skate in El Segundo Saturday and meet the team Sunday in Chicago. He might play against the Blackhawks, but Tuesday’s game at Colorado seems more likely.

“As soon as he comes in we’ll have a talk,” Murray said of Richardson, who can play center or the wing and is valuable for his speed and energy. “If he doesn’t get in, we’ll get him in the next game.”

Murray also said left wing Marco Sturm might make his season and Kings debut Tuesday against the Avalanche and will leave it up to Sturm to determine when he’s ready.

“I think when a player’s going through that kind of an injury he’s the player that has to make that step,” Murray said. “It’s a hurdle and once he makes the decision to go then that’s a huge decision, and he’ll feel more comfortable after the first game.”

But the Kings won’t have defensemen Matt Greene (upper body) and Willie Mitchell (lower body) Saturday against the plucky Predators.

Facing the Predators without a full lineup would be a challenge -- Nashville has won five straight and is 8-0-2 in its last 10 -- but the Kings will also have to overcome the loss of two muscular players off their blue line.

“It is what it is in the game. You’re going to have them. You’ve got to move on,” Murray said of the injuries. “It’s an opportunity for some other guys and some young guys need to step up and grab a hold of it.”

One youngster who has capitalized on his chances is rugged left wing Kyle Clifford, who has moved up from the fourth line to the third alongside Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds. He played there a lot on Thursday and will stay there Saturday. He replaces Alexei Ponikarovsky, who moved into Murray’s doghouse during Thursday’s 6-4 loss at St. Louis and will be on the fourth line Saturday with Trevor Lewis and Kevin Westgarth.

Clifford has three points in his last four games and on Thursday exceeded 10 minutes ice time for only the fourth time this season.

“I’m starting to get my chances and making good on them I guess,” he said. “I’m just going to play my game and points are just an added bonus. It’s nice to get some but I’m just going to stick to my game: hard on the forecheck. I’m playing with two good players tonight.”

He also said he has begun feeling more comfortable since the beginning of the season and credited Handzus with accelerating his development.

“He’s like a second coach on the bench. He helps me and Simmer a lot,” Clifford said. “He’s been around the league a lot so any little details he tells us we need to improve on, or what we need to improve on in our forecheck or breakouts, he’ll be the first to correct us, which is great. It’s good to have a guy that smart on the line.”

We’ll have more later at Latimes.com/sports.

-- Helene Elliott in Nashville

 

Kings: Good things come to those who wait...

Sturm_400 After left wing Marco Sturm waited several weeks for the Kings to decide if they were comfortable enough with his injury history to accept him in a trade with the Boston Bruins and then had to pass two days of tests on his surgically repaired knees in Los Angeles, it seemed fitting that he encountered another delay after the trade was made official Tuesday.

Sturm’s patience was tested again when his flight to St. Louis to meet his new teammates was delayed. It all worked out in the end, as he arrived late Tuesday and practiced with the team Wednesday at the Scottrade Center.

“Finally made it,” he said cheerfully.

Coach Terry Murray said he’s targeting a Dec. 23 debut for Sturm, who has yet to play this season after undergoing surgery on his right ACL and MCL in May. Sturm joined the fourth-line pool and wore a red jersey in practice along with Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis, John Zeiler and Kevin Westgarth. Murray later said Clifford, Lewis and Westgarth will play Thursday against St. Louis.

Sturm participated in every drill and didn’t have to hold back. He said he has no knee pain but must work on his conditioning. He had been skating with the Bruins for the past few weeks.

“It was not easy. It was always up and down, but I knew eventually it’s going to get done,” Sturm said of his wait for the trade to go through. “I’m glad now everything is over and I can focus on hockey again.”

The German-born winger said knowing Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, who drafted him in 1996 when Lombardi was general manager of the San Jose Sharks, was a minor factor in waiving his no-trade clause and agreeing to join the Kings.

“That helps too,” he said, “but I saw this team a few times and it’s a pretty exciting team, a young team. I like the way they play. And I think personally it was probably the best fit for me.”

A few other notes:

Defenseman Rob Scuderi, who needed 25 stitches to close a cut on his lip after he was high-sticked by Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader on Monday, said he bruised a tooth but didn’t lose any. However, he said he probably won’t wear a mouthguard Thursday.

He also said he can’t chew solid foods until the ugly-looking cut heals. “I’m eating pretty much oatmeal every single meal,” he said. “It will take a couple days.”

He has no fear, though, that the cut will scare his young children when he returns home. “My son got stitches last week. He took a slap shot when the ball went off the wall and came back and smacked him in the mouth, so we had to take him to get stitches,” Scuderi said of his 4-year-old, Ryan. “When he was watching the game he said I was copying him.”

Injuries to Scuderi and Matt Greene — who turned out to be fine — meant Willie Mitchell played more than 27 minutes Monday in his first game since he fractured his left hand Nov. 6. He responded with a strong effort under tough circumstances.

“First period I didn’t feel very good at all. With the injuries it kind of forced you to get into the game,” he said. “In the first period I was really tentative and I wasn’t playing my game and injuries happen and then you start rolling.

“I felt really good, like I settled in. No time for thinking. You were just reacting. It worked out nice in that aspect.”

More on Sturm and the Kings’ plans for him later at www.latimes.com/sports

-- Helene Elliott, in St. Louis

 Photo: Marco Sturm. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

Kings' trade for Marco Sturm is official

The Kings’ acquisition of left wing Marco Sturm from Boston became final Tuesday after Sturm passed a battery of tests on his surgically repaired knees in Los Angeles.

The deal had been agreed to Saturday but was contingent on Sturm being physically able to play. The German-born winger, who has yet to play this season while recovering from surgery on his right knee, was due to catch a flight from Los Angeles to St. Louis Tuesday night and practice with his new teammates Wednesday at the Scottrade Center.

The Kings agreed to give up future considerations, which are likely to amount to merely picking up a prorated portion of the final season of his four-year, $14-million contract. Sturm, a seven-time 20-goal scorer, became a victim of the Bruins’ salary-cap squeeze and agreed to waive his no-trade clause to join the Kings. He will be reunited with Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, who was the Sharks’ general manager in 1996 and chose Sturm 21st overall in the entry draft.

“I feel great. It was a long two weeks for me. Everything was up in the air and back and forth a little bit,” he said in an audio clip furnished by the Kings.

“I’m really excited to be an L.A. King now. I’m just going to give my best and take it to the next level.”

Sturm is unlikely to crack the lineup for a little while. Coach Terry Murray said after Monday’s 5-0 victory at Detroit that he wanted to see Sturm for himself and would likely have Sturm practice and do extra work before getting him into a game.

Sturm is eager for the chance. “I know it’s going to be hard,” he said. “I’m just going to try and find my game back as soon as possible.”

More later at Latimes.com/sports.

-- Helene Elliott in St. Louis

 

Kings' trade for Sturm still on hold

Left wing Marco Sturm, acquired by the Kings from Boston in a trade that’s contingent on Sturm’s surgically repaired knees passing doctors’ scrutiny, underwent examinations Monday in Los Angeles but the deal was not made official.

A team spokesman said the Kings have until Tuesday afternoon to complete the medical evaluation. That could mean doctors found something Monday and want to be sure of what it is, or that they didn’t get to finish all their tests in one day and just need more time.

Sturm, a seven-time 20-goal scorer, is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL and torn MCL in his right knee. In December of 2008 he tore the ACL in his left knee. For a player whose effectiveness depends on speed, those injuries could be devastating.

Coach Terry Murray had said earlier Monday that Sturm would meet the team in St. Louis on Tuesday but that hinges on how quickly the Kings’ doctors can complete their tests—and if the results satisfy them.

More on the Kings later at www.latimes.com/sports

Helene Elliott, in Detroit
 

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