Kings seek to repeat in lockout-shortened hockey season



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Saturday 19 January 2013

Last update 19 January 2013 12:30 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Kings, who have had ample time to recover from any Stanley Cup hangover, will launch the lockout shortened NHL season Saturday by raising their first championship banner.
Los Angeles will hand out their rings and raise the banner at Staples Center arena prior to their game against the Chicago Blackhawks, which is one of 13 contests to open the 2012-13 season.
The Kings are trying to become the first team to capture back-to-back titles since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998, and they hope to do it with a roster that is almost fully intact from last year.
“I know the two times I went to the finals with Pittsburgh,” said defenseman Rob Scuderi, who appeared in back-to-back finals with the Penguins. “(When you start the next season) you kind of feel like you never left.
“For us, with the extra rest and the fact that we bring back the same team, the same coaching staff and the same philosophies, hopefully that will be an advantage for us.” The four-month old lockout ended this month after the owners and players signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the major issues agreed on for their new collective bargaining agreement.
The deal salvaged a shortened season of 48 games per team.
The Kings won the league championship last year despite being the No. 8 playoff seed, but they will be hard pressed to repeat.
Los Angeles open against the Blackhawks without star center Anze Kopitar, who strained a knee playing in Sweden during the lockout. It also remains to be see how playoff MVP goalie Jonathan Quick reacts after undergoing off season back surgery.
American Quick literally carried the team on his back for much of last season, especially when the Kings had trouble scoring goals. Los Angeles managed to make it to the playoffs despite finishing 29th in league scoring.
The New Jersey Devils open defense of their Eastern Conference crown on Saturday on the road against the New York Islanders.
The Vancouver Canucks are among the favorites in the Western Conference. Cory Schneider has overtaken playoff disappointment Roberto Luongo as their No. 1 netminder. The Canucks are trying to trade Luongo in a deal that would certainly land them some solid players.
Both Philadelphia and Toronto are said to be interested in Luongo.
The Detroit Red Wings underwent some major offseason changes, losing veteran stalwarts Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom to retirement.
However, general manager Ken Holland has had great success grooming young players in the minor leagues.
The Minnesota Wild went on a spending spree after last season, shelling out $196 million to get all-star forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.
The move should improve their powerplay but Parise and Suter aren’t going to be able to turn the franchise around by themselves.
The Nashville Predators lost Suter to the Wild but they still have arguably the best defenseman in the league in Shea Weber. Pekka Rinne is a solid goaltender and locking up Weber with a $110 million contract for 14 years was a smart move and gives their defense a solid base to build from.
Other notable players that changed teams in the extended off season include Rick Nash moving from Columbus to the New York Rangers and Jaromir Jagr from Philadelphia to Dallas. Veteran Teemu Selanne returned to the Ducks for likely his final NHL season.
The backlash from disgruntled hockey fans hasn’t materialized to the extent that some anticipated. There have been surprisingly large crowds turning out just to watch teams train. The St. Louis Blues worked out in front of 5,700 fans last Sunday.
And tickets for the Kings sold-out opener were being offered for as high as $1,500 on StubHub for a seat in the lower section.
The season ends with 13 games on April 27 and the Stanley Cup playoffs will begin three days later.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Kingdom and Namibia have signed a protocol to establish diplomatic relations between them.According to SPA, the protocol was signed on Tuesday by Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Abdullah Al-Mouallimi and his...
JEDDAH: Official reports reveal nationalization levels of medical and health workers in the Kingdom remain low, with Saudi nationals making up only 21.7 percent of physicians, 31.8 percent of nurses, and 67.4 percent of ancillary staff.According to t...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) will begin receiving clearance applications for medicines and medical supplies, including drugs containing narcotic or psychotropic substances, for Haj missions or other government bodies on Saturday....
JEDDAH: Saudi importers of cattle said the Haj season this year will not see an increase in the price of livestock due to the stability of the local market and the available supply.There are also guarantees from exporting countries that required quan...
JEDDAH: At the upcoming elections the national identity card will be the only approved document used for identifying voters of both genders and allowing voters to exercise their electoral right, provided all statutory requirements are met.In a press...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakhil has spoken of a new education policy which emphasizes the importance of harmonizing admission policies in universities with the needs of the labor market.Al-Dakhil made these remarks during a meeting with un...
JEDDAH: Local bottled water consumption during the summer, Umrah and Haj seasons this year will increase by 10 percent.“This translates into an annual growth rate of between 4 percent and 5 percent,” Rashed Bin-Zouma, a water industry expert, was qu...
RIYADH: Four Saudi secondary students including a young woman from the Eastern Province have received prestigious medals at the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), which concluded in Azerbaijan last week.The winners of the four bronze medal...
JEDDAH: The UAE’s decision to lift fuel subsidies beginning in August has raised the possibility of other Gulf states following suit.Economists suggest a wide disparity of prices of gasoline in the Gulf countries will lead to more petrol smuggling op...
DAMMAM: The tourism industry in the Kingdom is witnessing great interest by authorities to develop the archaeological areas, promote their support services and create the best environment for tourism products, said businessman Abdul Mohsen Al-Hokair....
JEDDAH: The ongoing World Circus at north Obhur has brought smiles on the faces of orphans, with its show of acrobats featuring 20 performers and clowns.The orphans of Al-Rawdah district charitable organization said they found the circus entertaining...
RIYADH: The Nepalese ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Udayaraj Pandey, thanked the Kingdom on Thursday as he ends his four-year tour of duty in Saudi Arabia.Earlier in the day, he called on Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar to pay him a courtesy call a...
RIYADH: Movies produced by young and amateur Saudi filmmakers will be shown on Saudi Television starting in the middle of next week.“The films will be shown daily to encourage young Saudi filmmakers,” said Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Eid, senior broadcaster a...
RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday with the Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) and Taqnia Energy to launch the first standalone 50MW solar power station at Al-Aflaj.KACST also...
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdullah Al- Muallami unveiled a beautifully framed old kiswa (covering) of the door of the Holy Kaaba at one of the newly refurbished halls of the world body. The...

Stay Connected

Facebook