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Category: NHL draft in Los Angeles

Long Beach's Emerson Etem signs three-year deal with the Ducks

L4e0t6nc In less time than it used to take Emerson Etem to rollerblade and ride public transit from his Long Beach home to Venice for his summer hockey workouts he signed an entry-level contract with the Ducks.

The fleet right wing, chosen 29th overall by the Ducks in the 2010 NHL entry draft, agreed Thursday to a three-year deal that will pay him $900,000 a year in the NHL and $67,500 in the American Hockey League. Only two California-born and trained players have been selected in an earlier spot in the NHL draft: Jonathon Blum of Rancho Santa Margarita was chosen 23rd by Nashville in 2007 and Beau Bennett of Gardena was selected 20th by Pittsburgh last year.

Etem, who had 45 goals and 80 points for Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League last season, said it took only about an hour for him and his agent, Eustace King, to settle on terms with the Ducks.

“It was pretty crazy. I wasn’t really expecting it to happen this quick,” Etem said. “I’m pretty excited, pretty stoked.”

Continue reading »

Anaheim Ducks sign draft pick Cam Fowler

Last month at the NHL Entry Draft here in L.A., the Anaheim Ducks had the 12th overall pick and were thrilled that defenseman Cam Fowler was still available when it came their turn.

On Wednesday, the Ducks signed the 6-foot-1,190-pound Fowler to a three-year entry-level contract.

As The Times' Helene Elliott pointed out at the time of the draft, the Ducks were perilously thin on defense even before Scott Niedermayer retired. The 18-year-old Windsor, Ontario, Canada, native should be able to help that situation.

Fowler's numbers from last season show why he was ranked fifth among North American skaters. In 55 games with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, he had eight goals and 55 points, helping them win their second consecutive championship. One more noteworthy stat in the plus/minus category, he was a +38.

Fowler also won gold as a member of Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2009 IIHF U-18 World Championship, at which he was named the tournament’s top defenseman.

-- Debbie Goffa

Kings announce shortened Fan Fest, nothing on Kovalchuk

Despite the success last summer of the Kings' first Hockey Fest, a three-day event that included interactive games, panel discussions and autograph sessions with players and alumni, the Kings have cut this year's event to one day and have moved it from the LA Live complex downtown to their practice facility in El Segundo.

Kingslogo The second Hockey Fest will be held Sept. 11 at the Toyota Sports Center from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets went on sale today at a cost of $15 for season ticket holders, partial plan participants and group leaders and at $20 for the general public. The $20 tickets can be purchased at Only 2,000 tickets will be available for purchase.

It will again include question-and-answer and autograph sessions and will have team merchandise on sale, some of it discounted 40%, the Kings said in a news release.

But why shorten an event that seemed popular last year? Why not keep it the same or expand it?

Chris McGowan, the Kings' senior vice president of business operations and chief marketing officer, said it's a matter of balancing the number of off-season events so there aren't too many or too few. Having the NHL entry draft at Staples Center last month was a major undertaking for the Kings and a major event for fans, he said.

"With hosting the entry draft in June we felt it was best to have a one-day hockey fest this summer," he said. "Next season, Kings fans can look forward to us hosting a two-day fest that will fall on a Saturday and Sunday."

Since the event will take place on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Kings' charitable arm, the Kings Care Foundation, will host fundraising activities to benefit local organizations affected by the attacks.

The natural question is whether Ilya Kovalchuk will attend the Hockey Fest as a member of the Kings. If he has made a decision by then, of course.

There appears to be no major movement on that front. The Kings are still working on reaching an agreement with the free-agent left wing, several sources said, but Kovalchuk appears willing to continue to take his time. It's likely he's playing the Kings' last offer off against whatever the New Jersey Devils are willing to pay. Going home to Russia to play in the KHL seems a less likely option for him even though he might be able to get his magical $10 million per season there.

We'll keep you posted. 

--Helene Elliott

Question of the day: Who will win the All-Star game, and who will be the star? [Updated]

Reporters from around Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

Konerko_300 There are a couple things we know before the first pitch on Tuesday night -- with 34 players on each roster, there’s not going to be a tie, and if the National League wins, it will be an upset.

Few players remain in the NL who were around when it last won an All-Star game (1996, in Philadelphia). It has had chance after chance in recent years and couldn’t seal the deal, the most painful example of which came in the 15-inning game at Yankee Stadium two years ago. The last three have been one-run games, and the guess is the NL will come close again but lose.

Paul Konerko played a big role in rallying the AL to a victory at PNC Park in 2006 and is my pick to return to a starring role Tuesday.

Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun

Cabrera_200 Well, the first part of the question is a no-brainer. The American League always wins the All-Star game, for a variety of logical reasons. The league's DH-fueled power bias and the concentration of star power in the AL East are enough to give the AL a big edge every year, and this year that will dovetail nicely with the home-field advantage in Anaheim.

Picking the star of the game is a little more of a crap shoot, but let's try to inject some logic here too. The MVP is generally an offensive player and the game probably will be decided in the late innings, so I'm guessing it will come down to the most dynamic All-Star reserve. Ladies and gentlemen, your All-Star MVP for 2010 will be ... drum roll please ... Miguel Cabrera.

[Updated at 10:20 a.m.:

Andrew J. Roth, The Morning Call

Votto_200 In the Year of the Pitcher, the National League arms will be too much for the American League to handle -- and its 13-game winless drought will end.

Of the four no-hitters hurled this year, two are by members of the NL pitching staff: Roy Halladay of the Phillies and Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies. Throw in 40-year-old set-up maestro Arthur Rhodes of the Reds and shutdown closer Heath Bell of the Padres, and the AL will have a difficult time getting its bats heated up.

Meanwhile, the NL’s Joey Votto will show why he initially should have been named to the roster instead of being relegated to the second-chance fan vote. Look for the Reds’ slugger to play an important role late in the game and win the MVP.]

Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times

I think the American League has the better lineup, but I think the National League will finally end its 13-year winless streak in the All-Star Game for two reasons. One, they're due. No streak lasts forever in baseball, and the NL is bound to break through against the AL at some point. Two, I like the NL pitching staff a little more than the AL staff, and with the game starting in twilight conditions, at 5 p.m. PDT in Anaheim, great power pitchers with good movement will have an advantage over great hitters. With that in mind, I will go with NL starter Ubaldo Jimenez as the star of the game, because the Colorado ace will set the tone for what figures to be a low-scoring game that is dominated by pitching.

Photos: (top) White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko bats against the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire

(middle) Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers shows off his American League All-Star batting practice jersey on Sunday. Credit: Leon Halip / Getty Images

(bottom) Joey Votto hits a double against the Mets on July 5. Credit: Ray Stubblebine / Reuters

Saku Koivu says he chose Ducks over other teams' offers

Some Ducks notes while waiting through the Kings' silence on the state of their pursuit of Ilya Kovalchuk:

Ducks-logo Center Saku Koivu, who tested the free-agent market but decided to stay in Anaheim and agreed to a two-year, $5-million contract Thursday afternoon, said by phone from Finland Friday that he got "some" offers from other teams but nothing good enough to persuade him to move. He wouldn't identify the teams that had contacted him.

"The package and everything that Anaheim had to offer was by far the best," said Koivu, who struggled during the first half of the season but hit his stride later to finish with 19 goals and 52 points in 71 games.

"Financially, it wasn't the best offer, but for us, it was the best fit."

He also said he had spoken at least once a day during the last week or so with fellow Finn Teemu Selanne and said Selanne "was happy" to hear Koivu had re-signed with the Ducks. As for Selanne's NHL future, Koivu said he had little certainty but a lot of hope that Selanne, who turns 40 on Saturday, will return for at least one more season.

Koivu said that the Ducks' signing of another Finn, defenseman Toni Lydman, couldn't hurt. "I hope it has a positive effect and we'll see him back," Koivu said. "All I know is if we get Teemu back it's going to make the team stronger."

The Ducks' first-round picks in last weekend's NHL entry draft, Long Beach native Emerson Etem and promising defenseman Cam Fowler, are scheduled to participate in the team's prospect summer conditioning camp starting Monday at Anaheim Ice.

A total of 31 prospects are due to take part in on-ice and off-ice workouts. The three open scrimmages, to be held on Tuesday, Thursday and July 10 at 6 p.m., are open to the public.

Here's a list of the prospects scheduled to attend the conditioning camp:   

Player        Position    How Acquired

Bonino, Nick     C        From San Jose

Bordson, Rob    LW    Signed as free agent

Brittain, Josh     RW     2008 Entry Draft

Clark, Mat          D    2009  Entry Draft

Cousineau, Marco  G    2008 Entry Draft

Da Costa, Stephane   C   Free agent

Deschamps, Nicolas   C   2008 Entry Draft

Etem, Emerson     RW    2010 Entry Draft

Fowler, Cam D    2010 Entry Draft

Gardiner, Jake     D    2008 Entry Draft

Heed, Tim     D    2010 Entry Draft

Hegarty, Ryan D    2008 Entry Draft

Holland, Peter C    2009 Entry Draft

Lebler, Brian   RW  Signed as free agent

Lind, Kevin     D    2010 Entry Draft

Macenauer, Maxime   C    2007 Entry Draft

McCue, Matt     LW    Signed as free agent

McMillan, Brandon   C    2008 Entry Draft   

Mitera, Mark     D    2006 Entry Draft

Newton, Jake     D    Signed as free agent

Palmieri, Kyle    RW    2009 Entry Draft

Perlini, Brett     RW    2010 Entry Draft

Pielmeier, Timo   G    From San Jose

Schultz, Justin   D    2008 Entry Draft

Sexton, Dan     RW    Signed as free agent

Sharp, MacGregor    C    Signed as free agent

Smith-Pelly, Devante   RW    2010 Entry Draft

Stephens, Evan     D    Free agent

Vaive, Justin LW    2007 Entry Draft

Valentine, Scott    D    2009 Entry Draft

Wagner, Chris    RW    2010 Entry Draft

-- Helene Elliott


Kings still prime suitors for Ilya Kovalchuk

The Kings continue to be the front-runners to land two-time 50-goal scorer Ilya Kovalchuk providing he doesn't try to break the bank when the NHL's free agency period opens Thursday at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

Yes, the Kings have talked before about landing impact players and have fallen short. Sometimes woefully short.

But this time they have not only the money and salary cap space but a strong selling point in a young, on-the-rise team that Kovalchuk could lead to Stanley Cup contention for years to come. There are few teams that have the resources or cap space that the Kings do, and from what team governor Tim Leiweke said last week as well as what agents for other players are hearing and seeing as they observe the market, the Kings appear determined to use their money and cap space to acquire the game-breaker they haven't been able to develop themselves.

Kovalchuk, who turned 27 in April, is clearly the most talented player in a generally weak free-agent class. There should be a few decent defensemen available, and look for the Kings to pursue Paul Martin or Dan Hamuis if neither signs before free agency begins. 

But Kovalchuk is the big fish, a dynamic player with marquee value and 338 goals in 621 NHL games. He didn't have a good playoff series in the Devils' five-game loss to Philadelphia but Jacques Lemaire's restrictive system didn't allow him to capitalize on his talents.

Two potential problems lurk: Kovalchuk turned down offers from the Atlanta Thrashers of $101 million over 12 years and $70 million over seven years before they traded him to New Jersey in February, and the Kings might balk if he's looking for a double-digit annual salary. 

They also have to think about re-signing Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson and Wayne Simmonds, who can become restricted free agents after next season, and about keeping their young core intact. The salary cap has zoomed upward since it was adopted after the lockout, and there are enough teams for sale or publicly declaring that they're losing money to think that owners might push for more financial controls in the next collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA recently was extended through the 2011-12 season. After that, who knows?

The Kings' rebuilding process has gone well, but to get past one round of the playoffs and become a serious Cup challenger they need a scoring threat like Kovalchuk.

The next few days should be very interesting....

In the meantime, here are some details of the Kings' development camp, which starts Wednesday at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. Players the Kings chose in last weekend's NHL draft are scheduled to participate.


9 Oscar Moller C 5-10 186 Stockholm, Sweden 1-22-89 KINGS (NHL) 34 4 3 7 4, 
   Manchester (AHL) 43 15 18 33 20
37 Thomas Hickey D 6-0 190 Calgary, AB 2-8-89 Manchester (AHL) 19 1 5 6 12
42 Maxim Kitsyn LW 6-2 194 Novokuznetsk, Russia 12-24-91 Novokuznetsk (KHL) 21 1 1 2 12
47 Corey Elkins C 6-3 216 West Bloomfield, Mich. 2-23-85 KINGS (NHL) 3 1 0 1 0,
Manchester (AHL) 73 21 22 43 24
48 Ryan O’Connor D 5-11 185 Hamilton, Canada 1-12-92 Saginaw (OHL) 46 11 15 26 48,
Barrie (OHL) 19 2 10 12 17
49 Nic Deslauriers D 6-0 196 LaSalle, Canada 2-22-91 Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) 65 9 36 45 72
50 Bud Holloway LW 6-1 200 Wapella, Canada 3-1-88 Manchester (AHL) 75 19 28 47 26
51 Brandon Kozun RW 5-8 155 Los Angeles  3-8-90 Calgary (WHL) 65 32 75 107 50
52 Garrett Roe LW 5-8 162 Vienna, Va. 2-22-88 St. Cloud State (NCAA) 41 20 29 49 65
53 Matthew Konan D 6-3 182 Tustin   9-3-91 Medicine Hat (WHL) 65 5 15 20 117
54 Kevin Gravel D 6-4 185 Marquette, Mich. 3-6-92 Sioux City (USHL) 53 3 3 6 36
55 Brayden Schenn C 6-1 192 Saskatoon, Canada 8-22-91 KINGS (NHL) 1 0 0 0 0,
Brandon (WHL) 59 34 65 99 55
57 Linden Vey RW 6-0 189 Wakaw, Canada 7-17-91 Medicine Hat (WHL) 72 24 51 75 34
58 Andrew Crescenzi C 6-4 195 Thornhill, Canada  7-29-92 Kitchener (OHL) 68 8 4 12 42
59 Patrick Mullen D 6-0 181 Pittsburgh  5-6-86 Manchester (AHL) 44 4 6 10 16,
Ontario (ECHL) 1 0 0 0 0
60 Jordan Weal C 5-10 162 Saskatoon, Canada  4-15-92 Regina (WHL) 72 35 67 102 54
61 Trevor Lewis C 6-0 199 Salt Lake City  1-8-87 KINGS (NHL) 5 0 0 0 0,
Manchester (AHL) 23 5 2 7 6
62 Justin Azevedo C 5-7 180 West Lorne, ON 4-1-88 Manchester (AHL) 46 14 13 27 31
64 Kyle Clifford LW 6-2 208 Ayr, Canada  1-13-91 Barrie (OHL) 58 28 29 57 111
67 Samuel Groulx D 6-1 183 Gatineau, Canada  1-28-90 Victoriaville (QMJHL) 26 3 13 16 25,
Quebec (QMJHL) 40 11 16 27 44
68 Josh Turnbull C 5-10 172 Hayward, Wisc. 7-12-88 U. of Wisconsin (NCAA) 12 2 0 2 10
70 Michael Pelech F 6-3 203 Toronto  10-6-89 Ontario (ECHL) 72 10 25 35 133
71 Jordan Nolan C 6-3 215 St. Catharines, Canada  6-23-89 Ontario (ECHL) 3 1 1 2 4,
Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 49 23 25 48 88
72 Nic Dowd C 6-1 175 Huntsville, Ala. 5-27-90 Indiana (USHL) 46 16 23 39 48
73 Tyler Toffoli C 6-0 178 Toronto  4-24-92 Ottawa (OHL) 65 37 42 79 54
74 Dwight King LW 6-3 227 Meadowlake, Canada  7-5-89 Manchester (AHL) 52 10 16 26 42,
Ontario (ECHL) 20 4 5 9 9
76 Dylan King D 6-1 193 Thessalon, Canada  7-5-90 Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 68 2 8 10 172
77 Robbie Czarnik C 6-0 178 Detroit  1-25-90 Plymouth (OHL) 43 17 32 49 28,
U. of Michigan (NCAA) 12 3 3 6 4
78 Zach Harnden RW 6-2 205 Thunder Bay, Canada  9-23-89 Kingston (OHL) 65 24 36 60 75
79 Colten Teubert D 6-4 194 White Rock, Canada  3-8-90 Ontario (ECHL) 10 1 2 3 10,
Regina (WHL) 60 10 30 40 115
81 Andrew Campbell D 6-4 206 Caledonia, Canada 2-4-88 Manchester (AHL) 74 2 9 11 68
82 Ray Kaunisto F 6-4 185 Sault, Ste. Marie, Mich. 2-7-87 No. Michigan Univ. (NCAA) 40 18 14 32 78
83 David Kolomatis D 5-11 189 Livingston, N.J. 2-25-89 Manchester (AHL) 76 8 21 29 30
84 Derek Forbort D 6-5 198 Duluth, Minn. 3-4-92 USA U-18 (USHL) 26 4 10 14 26
85 Jake Muzzin D 6-2 216 Woodstock, Canada  2-21-89 Manchester (AHL) 1 0 1 1 0,
Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 64 15 52 67 76

35 Sean Bonar G 6-1 170 Delta, Canada  2-12-91 Penticton (BCHL) 16 1003 2.33 2 .927 10-6-0
39 Brandon Glover G 6-3 165 Victoria, Canada  8-21-92 Moose Jaw (WHL) 30 1466 3.40 0 .890 9-8-6
46 Garrett Zemlak G 6-1 195 Saskatoon, Canada  6-24-89 Charlotte (ECHL) 3 195 2.15 0 .929 2-0-1,
Prince Albert (WHL) 57 3277 3.11 4 .909 26-25-4
65 Martin Jones G 6-4 185 North Vancouver, Canada  1-10-90 Calgary (WHL) 48 2851 2.21 8 .919 36-11-1
75 J.F. Berube G 6-1 165 Repentigny, Canada  7-13-91 Manchester (AHL) 3 180 3.67 0 .855 2-1-0,
Montreal (QMJHL) 65 2393 3.03 1 .897 17-23-0

(Subject to change)


8-9 a.m. (Group A practice)
9:15-10:15 a.m. (Group A vs. Group B game)
10:30-11:30 a.m. (Group B practice)

8-9 a.m. (Group B practice)
9:15-10:15 a.m. (Group A vs. Group B game)
10:30-11:30 a.m. (Group A practice)

8-9 a.m. (Group A practice)
9:15-10:15 a.m. (Group A vs. Group B game)
10:30-11:30 a.m. (Group B practice)

-- Helene Elliott

Kings' second-round pick: Tyler Toffoli

With the 47th pick, the Kings chose center Tyler Toffoli from Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League, who had been ranked 16th by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau.

Toffoli had 37 goals and 79 points last season for the 67s. He’s 6 feet tall, 181 pounds and supposedly needs to improve his skating skills, though he has a good scoring touch.

Toffoli's drop to the second round continued a trend that began Friday, when a number of players expected to go in the top five, 10 or even 20 had to wait for their names to be called because an expected trend toward drafting defenseman didn't materialize.

More coming as we zip along.

-- Helene Elliott

Ducks' draft pick in Round 2: Devante Smith-Pelly

In the second round of the NHL entry draft, with the 42nd pick overall, the Ducks chose Devante Smith-Pelly, a 5-foot-11, 211-pound right wing from Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League.

He had 29 goals and 62 points in 60 games last season.

More later at

-- Helene Elliott 

NHL entry draft, Day 2

Seems like only a few hours ago that we were at Staples Center wrapping up the first round of the NHL's annual entry draft ... mainly because it was only a few hours ago.

The first round took nearly four hours Friday, giving more than a few kids some very long waits. The final six rounds Saturday should move more quickly.

Here's the draft order. The Kings traded their second-round pick, No. 59 overall, to Florida in the deal that allowed them to move up and take defenseman Derek Forbort.

Round 2

31. Edmonton
32. Boston (from TOR)
33. Florida
34. Columbus
35. Chicago (from NYI)
36. Florida (from TB-BOS)
37. Carolina
38. New Jersey (from ATL)
39. Minnesota
40. N.Y. Rangers
41. Dallas
42. Anaheim
43. Chicago (from CGY, optional)
44. St. Louis
45. Boston
46. Carolina (from OTT)
47. Colorado
48. Edmonton (from NSH)
49. Los Angeles
50. Florida (from PIT)
51. Detroit
52. Phoenix
53. Carolina (from BUF-SJ)
54. Chicago (from NJ-ATL)
55. Columbus (from VAN-BUF)
56. Minnesota (from WSH)
57. Phoenix (from MTL)
58. Chicago (from SJ-OTT-NYI)
59. Florida (from PHI-LA)
60. Chicago

Round 3

61. Edmonton
62. Toronto
63. Tampa Bay (from FLA-LA)
64. Calgary (from CBJ)
65. NY Islanders
66. Tampa Bay
67. Carolina
68. Buffalo (from ATL)
69. Minnesota
70. Los Angeles (from NYR)
71. Dallas
72. Tampa Bay (from ANA)
73. Calgary (optional to EDM)
74. St. Louis
75. Buffalo (from BOS)
76. Ottawa
77. Colorado
78. Nashville
79. Los Angeles
80. Pittsburgh
81. Detroit
82. NY Islanders (from PHX)
83. Buffalo
84. New Jersey
85. Carolina (from VAN)
86. Washington
87. Atlanta (from MTL)
88. San Jose
89. Philadelphia
90. Chicago

Round 4

91. Edmonton
92. Florida (from TOR)
93. Florida
94. Columbus
95. NY Islanders
96. Tampa Bay
97. Boston (from CAR)
98. Buffalo (from ATL)
99. Minnesota
100. NY Rangers
101. Atlanta (from DAL)
102. Columbus (from ANA)
103. Calgary
104. St. Louis
105. Carolina (from BOS-ANA)
106. Ottawa
107. Colorado
108. Calgary (from NSH)
109. Los Angeles
110. Pittsburgh
111. Detroit
112. Toronto (from PHX)
113. Montreal (from BUF-PHX)
114. New Jersey
115. Vancouver
116. Washington
117. Montreal
118. Tampa Bay (from SJ)
119. Philadelphia
120. Chicago

Round 5

121. Edmonton
122. Toronto
123. Florida
124. Columbus
125. N.Y. Islanders
126. Nashville (from TB)
127. San Jose (from CAR)
128. Atlanta
129. San Jose (from MIN)
130. N.Y. Rangers
131. Dallas
132. Anaheim
133. Calgary
134. St. Louis
135. Boston
136. San Jose (from OTT)
137. Colorado
138. Phoenix (from NSH-CAR)
139. Colorado (from LA)
140. Pittsburgh
141. Detroit
142. Washington (from PHX)
143. Buffalo
144. Toronto (from NJ)
145. Vancouver
146. Washington
147. Montreal
148. Los Angeles (from SJ)
149. Philadelphia
150. Atlanta (from CHI)

Round 6

151. Chicago (from EDM)
152. Pittsburgh (from TOR)
153. Florida
154. Columbus
155. N.Y. Islanders
156. Tampa Bay
157. Carolina
158. Atlanta
159. Minnesota
160. NY Islanders (from NYR)
161. Anaheim (from DAL)
162. Edmonton (from ANA)
163. Calgary
164. St. Louis
165. Boston
166. Edmonton (from OTT)
167. Carolina (from COL)
168. Nashville
169. Los Angeles
170. Pittsburgh
171. Detroit
172. Vancouver (from PHX)
173. Buffalo
174. New Jersey
175. Vancouver
176. Washington
177. Anaheim (from MTL-PIT)
178. Ottawa (from SJ-DAL)
179. Philadelphia
180. Chicago

Round 7

181. Edmonton
182. Toronto
183. Florida
184. Columbus
185. N.Y. Islanders
186. Tampa Bay
187. Carolina
188. San Jose (from ATL)
189. Minnesota
190. N.Y. Rangers
191. Chicago (from DAL)
192. Anaheim
193. Calgary
194. Nashville (from STL)
195. Boston
196. Ottawa
197. Colorado
198. Nashville
199. Los Angeles
200. Pittsburgh
201. Detroit
202. Toronto (from PHX)
203. Buffalo
204. New Jersey
205. Vancouver
206. Carolina (from WSH)
207. Montreal
208. Buffalo (from SJ)
209. Philadelphia
210. Chicago

-- Helene Elliott

Brunch with Tim Leiweke and Gary Bettman: Kings will be players

Tim Leiweke, governor of the Kings and chief executive officer of their parent company, AEG, told an audience at a draft day brunch Friday that while he’s proud of the five titles the Lakers have won since they became part of AEG’s empire, a Stanley Cup championship for the Kings would be a pinnacle.

Kingslogo “The foundation of AEG is the Kings and until we win the Stanley Cup our job is not done,” he said during a panel discussion in which he shared the stage with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Hall of Fame forward and Kings business executive Luc Robitaille, and Hockey Canada executive Bob Nicholson.

Toward that end, he said the Kings have a lot of salary cap room and that when the NHL’s free agency period begins Thursday, “if the right guy is there next week we’re going to fill a hole. ... The balance here is not to win once in a while.”

And, he said, he'd like to have “back-to-back parades” with the Lakers to celebrate their respective league titles. He also said the Lakers built their current team around two trades -- for Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol -- and that the Kings have similar franchise cornerstones in place now. “We could have added major free agents two years ago and it wouldn’t have mattered,” he said. “Now you look at our team and the job Dean [Lombardi, the general manager] has done and there’s a lot to get excited about.”

Leiweke can’t identify players the Kings might pursue until July 1, but with Patrick Marleau off the market the biggest name will be high-scoring winger Ilya Kovalchuk. If he’s reasonable and doesn’t try to break the bank, he could be their quarry — and he’d fit well on a team that’s weak on the wings.

With Kings broadcaster Bob Miller moderating the discussion, the chat was fairly lively and covered many subjects, including the NHL entry draft Friday and Saturday at Staples Center. Bettman said the league should have brought the draft here “many years ago,” to which Leiweke responded that Bettman would have the next five years “to make up for lost time.” 

Both Leiweke and Robitaille hinted they’d like to have the annual outdoor Winter Classic here — which isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds -- but Bettman was a killjoy there, saying he’d like to see how it’s possible to have ice when the temperature is 80 degrees.

Bettman answered some questions from an audience that included local business leaders and some of the Kings’ business partners, but he offered no news on any front. 

The league doesn’t favor relocation and isn’t considering expansion, but if that were to change there are “at least a couple of places in Canada that could support a team.” The decision on whether to allow NHL players to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics is still being studied and can’t be decided until it’s collectively bargained with the players’ association.

When asked for an update on the league’s TV rights deals with NBC, Versus and ESPN, he said, “Who?” pretending not to know what ESPN was. “It’s good to be on ESPN if you get the proper treatment you deserve,” he said.

He praised NBC’s storytelling capacity and said the NHL doesn’t have to “apologize” for Versus. But he added that broadcast negotiations will come up next year and he’s looking forward to those.
More later from the NHL draft

--Helene Elliott

Some free tickets for NHL draft still available

The NHL entry draft comes to Los Angeles for the first time on Friday and Saturday at Staples Center, and a limited number of free tickets are available online at the Kings website or in person at the Staples box office.

All tickets are general admission and valid for both days. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis; doors open at 2 p.m.

To guarantee seating, fans are encouraged to download and print their tickets.

The first round of the draft will be held Friday beginning at 4 p.m. Rounds 2 through 7 will be held on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.  The first round will be televised on Versus and rounds 2 through 7 on Saturday will be televised on the NHL Network.

The Kings, who are hosting the draft, will have nine selections. Their first pick will be the 19th selection of the draft. The Ducks have seven picks in the draft, including two first-round selections.

The Edmonton Oilers will have the first pick.

-- Debbie Goffa


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