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New Kings Frattin, Scrivens get first look at L.A.

Monday, 06.24.2013 / 6:33 PM
Curtis Zupke  - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Frattin and Ben Scrivens arrived here Monday but they won't be staying long enough for some amusing, fish-out-of-water moments to unfold for two Alberta boys dropped into L.A.

Each will head home for the summer before they rejoin their new team, the Los Angeles Kings. Neither is very familiar with the area, and neither knows any of the Kings well, including coach and Alberta native Darryl Sutter. Scrivens' wife is from Camarillo, Calif., north of L.A., and he cautioned that "I'm a little bit familiar, but I definitely wouldn't call myself a local by any stretch."

Kings fans certainly want to know more about Frattin and Scrivens, who represent the return the Kings received in the Sunday trade that sent backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Frattin, a forward; Scrivens, a goaltender; and a second-round draft pick in 2014 or 2015.

Frattin, 25, is probably more in the spotlight given he will receive more playing time -- and, more important, an opportunity to address the lack of scoring on the Kings' left side. Frattin scored seven goals, including three game-winners, in 25 games this season. That's more than the six goals Kings left wings Dustin Penner and Dwight King scored in a combined total of 80 games played.

Frattin, who has 15 goals and 28 points in 82 NHL games, is open to playing wherever he's asked.

"I played a few games with Toronto on the left side, and I'm definitely comfortable over there," Frattin said Monday during a conference call. "My stronger side is my right side. But I'm just going to come into camp and just try to earn a spot. That's what everybody's going to be doing."

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi tried to acquire Frattin two years ago and apparently wasn't dissuaded by the major knee injury he suffered during the 2012 American Hockey League playoffs. Frattin had surgery on the knee last summer and said 40 percent of the meniscus was later taken out after he retore the knee this season.

The 6-foot, 200-pound player seems to fit Lombardi's mold of a two-way forward, with more of an upside on scoring.

"This is an unfinished product, but universally, our staff, we really tracked this kid," Lombardi said Sunday. "There's a lot to work with here if we can keep him on track."

Frattin said he wasn't aware that Lombardi was after him, but it obviously didn't hurt his ego.

"That's definitely exciting knowing that the team that just traded for you definitely wanted you for the past couple of years," he said. "[I'm] definitely excited for an opportunity, and wherever they kind slot me in, that's where I'm going to try to play my best.

Scrivens' role is more defined: He's going to get limited playing time unless starter Jonathan Quick, whose 10-year contract extension kicks in next season, gets hurt. Scrivens will be under some scrutiny as Bernier's replacement, however unfair that might be.

An accomplished goalie in the AHL, Scrivens, 26, has played in 32 NHL games. He knows his role to serve as the backup to last spring's Conn Smythe Trophy winner, and that it figures to mean a lot more watching than playing.

"That's the problem no matter where you go," Scrivens said. "Everybody wants to be the guy. Everybody wants to be the No. 1. Obviously I'm still a young guy in the League, and for me to come in behind Quickie and learn as much as I can from him and work with [goaltending coach] Billy Ranford, it's a great opportunity but also a great challenge. That was my role in Toronto by the end of the year -- [I] was trying to push James [Reimer] for ice time and for starts.

"I really don't see it as too much of a change coming to L.A. You've got to earn every minute you're on the ice. But saying that, the better you play, the more chances you get. Hopefully I can provide a good counterpunch when Quickie needs a break and hopefully I can force the coaching staff into a difficult decision in how often they want to play me because I'm playing well. That's all you can do and that's all I'm going to focus on."

Frattin and Scrivens will need to be re-signed after next season. Each sounded like he was ready to be Kings long term.

"I'm sure we're going to find some spots we like and really start to form some roots early on," Scrivens said. "We're both really excited to be in L.A. and be part of the organization here."

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