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Frozen Royalty
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Forward prospect Jordan Weal was a prolific scorer in major junior hockey, but at 5-10, 162 pounds when he was selected by the +Los Angeles Kings in the third round of the 2010 +NHL Entry Draft, many doubted that he would ever make it to the NHL. Some even believed he wouldn't be able to withstand the physical play at the American Hockey League level.

So far, Weal has proven his doubters wrong, and his overall game is a far cry from what it was in 2010. But after three seasons in the AHL, is he ready for the bright lights of the NHL? How has his game improved? What is he focused on heading into the 2015-16 season? What do the Kings think of Weal and his game?

To find out, read on...
PROSPECT WATCH: Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Jordan Weal went from a player with loads of doubt on his shoulders due to his size to one who dominated at the American Hockey League level. But ...
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With Martin Jones now with the San Jose Sharks, the +Los Angeles Kings will have a new backup goaltender in the 2015-16 season, and after helping lead the Manchester Monarchs to the 2015 Calder Cup Championship in the American Hockey League, J.F. Berube will get a long, hard look for the position.

But is the fourth round pick in the 2009 +NHL Entry Draft ready for the NHL, or will he go back to the AHL to be the starting goaltender for the +Ontario Reign Pro Hockey LLC?

We won't have an answer to that question until training camp is well underway in September. But we can look at Berube's 2014-15 season, his strengths and weaknesses, how he has improved over the last couple of years, and hear about what he needs to continue to do to become an NHL player.

Check it all out at:
AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Also included are raw audio interviews with J.F. Berube and Los Angeles Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford. LOS ANGELES — On June 26, hours before the first round of the 2...
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Ten years ago, the +Los Angeles Kings held their first summer Development Camp, one in which there was a lot of skating and scrimmages—most everything they did was on the ice.

A large number of +NHL team's development camps are run in very similar fashion.

But now, the Kings' annual camp is much more low-key, and has as much off-ice instruction and training as there is on-ice work, and don't be surprised if there is no formal scrimmage during Development Camp now.

Why the change? What are the Kings doing differently? What are they teaching?

For some insight, check out:
EL SEGUNDO, CA — Years ago, the Los Angeles Kings ran their annual summer Development Camp for their young prospects as many National Hockey League clubs still do: focusing on the on-ice part...
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Surprise news today...instead of buying out the contract of veteran center Mike Richards, the +Los Angeles Kings terminated his contract, citing a "...material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract."

We don't know a lot of the details yet, including what Richards allegedly did, nor do we know what this means for Richards, other than the fact that he is now an unrestricted free agent. But we do know how this will impact the Kings' salary cap.

For what we know, check out:
LOS ANGELES — On June 29, the Los Angeles Kings terminated the contract of veteran center Mike Richards, citing a “material breach” of his contract. The team issued the following ...
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Here's a preview what the +Los Angeles Kings might do in the first round of the 2015 +NHL Draft, which begins late this afternoon in Sunrise. Florida.

This piece also looks at what the Kings' needs are, who's leaving, who might be coming up from the minors, along with who the Kings might select with the 13th overall selection in the first round.

Check it out at:
LOS ANGELES — In the 2012 National Hockey League Draft, the Kings had the final selection (30th overall). In 2014, they had the 29th overall pick, one ahead of the New Jersey Devils, who were...
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One year ago today on Frozen Royalty...

During the on-ice celebration immediately after the +Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship, Frozen Royalty got an exclusive interview with the Hall of Fame "Voice of the Kings," Bob Miller, who shared his thoughts about the Kings' second Stanley Cup win in three seasons, and about his own future...

You can read the story at:
2014 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP WRAP-UP: Part 6 of Frozen Royalty’s wrap-up of the Los Angeles Kings winning the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship and the ensuing celebration. LOS ANGELES — O...
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Ever since he was selected by the +Los Angeles Kings in the third round of the 2010 +NHL Draft, forward prospect Jordan Weal has had to carry the heavy load of doubt on his shoulders because of what was his scant, 5-10, 162-pound frame.

The skeptics had legitimate questions. After all, size and strength does matter, especially at the NHL level, and at his size, making it to the NHL, let alone surviving the minor leagues, would be an uphill climb.

But five years later, Weal has become a force at the American Hockey League level. He led the Manchester Monarchs to the 2015 Calder Cup Championship this past season, and he talked about that exclusively with Frozen Royalty...
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 Leadership skills are among the most valued of the intangibles that +NHL teams covet in hockey players. Such qualities often don't show up in a players' makeup for years. Maybe never. So when they become apparent in a young prospect who is working his way to the NHL, that's really something to stand up and take notice of.

The +Los Angeles Kings have two such players in their 2015 Development Camp, defenseman Zac Leslie and right wing Valentin Zykov, both of whom spoke with the media this week.

For more, including audio interviews...
AUDIO: Interviews with Los Angeles Kings prospects Zac Leslie and Valentin Zykov are included. EL SEGUNDO, CA — When most people who follow the National Hockey League look at a team’s p...
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Here's a wrap-up of today's developments in the Slava Voynov saga, along with what the +NHL and the +Los Angeles Kings should (or shouldn't, depending on how you look at it) do now...
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They say hockey is a business. But since Dean Lombardi took over as general manager of the +Los Angeles Kings in April 2006, he has helped build a team culture that stresses unity, family and loyalty, among other characteristics. That strong culture was a major factor in the Kings winning the 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup Championships.

Center Mike Richards played a key role in the Kings winning both of those championships. But his game has disappeared since the 2012 Cup run, and Lombardi could've bought out his contract last summer when his salary would've been completely removed from the Kings' salary cap. But out of loyalty to Richards, Lombardi chose not to.

That decision has now come back to haunt him, as Richards' salary cap hit after an impending contract buy out, although reduced, will remain on their cap for ten years.

Lombardi is now receiving fairly heavy incoming mortar fire, criticizing him for not buying out Richards last summer. But is this issue really that cut-and-dried?

Perhaps not...
  LOS ANGELES — On June 28, as expected, the Los Angeles Kings placed veteran center Mike Richards on unconditional waivers. Once he clears waivers, the Kings will buy out his contract. ...
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For many years now, the annual +NHL awards have been at least somewhat controversial, mostly because of perceived (or maybe not so perceived) bias towards those who play for teams based in the Eastern Time Zone and throughout much of Canada, at the expense of those who play for West Coast teams.

The 2015 NHL Awards did absolutely nothing to help the league avoid even more claims of bias, given the results in the voting for the Norris (+Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was a finalist) and Selke Trophies (Kings center Anze Kopitar was a finalist).

For some commentary and analysis and a possible solution, check out:
COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: With West Coast players being shut out at the National Hockey League awards once again, the league’s annual showcase of its best and brightest is just another reminder of...
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Also one year ago today on Frozen Royalty...

As part of a multi-story series covering the +Los Angeles Kings winning the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship and its aftermath, here's another "man on the street" story, looking at fan reaction during the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship Parade in Downtown Los Angeles. This time, the focus was on one couple that, in all likelihood, made the longest trek to Downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the Kings winning their second Stanley Cup Championship in three seasons.
2014 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP WRAP-UP: Part 5 of Frozen Royalty’s wrap-up of the Los Angeles Kings winning the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship and the ensuing celebration. LOS ANGELES — T...
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News And View On The Los Angeles Kings And The NHL By Gann Matsuda
Introduction
Frozen Royalty provides responsible journalism, and in-depth coverage of the Los Angeles Kings and the National Hockey League. Features news, commentary, analysis, feature stories and interviews with players, coaches...right on up to general managers and beyond.

Gann Matsuda has been writing about the Kings and the NHL since 1986, and has served as News Editor for kingshockey,com since 1995. He also covered the Kings for thehockeywriters.com during the 2010-11 season, and served as the Featured Columnist (something like a lead writer, I guess) covering the Kings for bleacherreport.com. He also covered the Kings and the NHL for hockeytalk.biz from late 2006 to February 2009.

In February 2009, Matsuda became a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.