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Kings Notebook (Oct. 30)

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
Trevor Lewis' demotion to Manchester increased the chances of Scott Parse staying in Los Angeles.

Randy Jones wasn't dreaming.

Well, actually, he might have been, but the news he awoke to on Thursday afternoon was real.

"I was taking a nap," Jones said, "when I woke up and I had a bunch of (text) messages. One of them that I looked at said, `You’ll love L.A. Congratulations, it’s a good fit for you,’ or something. So that’s pretty much how I found out. So I was like, 'OK, great!'"

Jones learned that he had been claimed off waivers by the Kings, from the Philadelphia Flyers. Jones was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Friday afternoon and the defenseman is expected to be on the ice when the Kings return to practice on Saturday.

Coach Terry Murray indicated that it might take time before Jones is comfortable enough with the Kings to get in the lineup, but Jones was immediately pleased with the move.

Jones did not make the Flyers out of training camp, and had appeared in six games with Adirondack of the AHL this season. Jones has appeared in 217 NHL games over parts of five seasons and is a 28-year-old left-shot defenseman.

Jones missed roughly half of last season with a hip injury, and coming into this season, his $2.75 million salary -- which the Kings will pay half of this season -- made him something of a liability on a Flyers team that has salary-cap issues.

"I guess when it first happened I felt a little (upset) at the situation," Jones said. "You almost want to put blame on someone or just get (mad) at certain individuals, but I came to realize that it’s now how I should be handling it. In reality, I should have played better, if you will. You have to play good enough so that they can’t get rid of you.

"So it was a tough situation, but you kind of have to make the most out of it. I went down and I was still playing great hockey in the American Hockey League. Obviously that’s not where I want to be. I want to play in the NHL. That was the bottom line, and I feel like I can help any team. So I’m really excited to get this opportunity."

Jones, who described himself as a "two-way defenseman, a puck-moving defenseman," already has some familiarity with his new team. Jones was a Philadelphia teammate of Kings forwards Michal Handzus and Justin Williams, and Murray, Dean Lombardi and Ron Hextall all worked for the Flyers when Jones played for them.

"So I am familiar with them and I have a great relationship with them," Jones said. "We always got along well here, and I always respected them when they were here."

The Kings on Friday assigned Trevor Lewis to Manchester of the AHL. Lewis, who made the Kings out of training camp as a rookie forward, had been a healthy scratch in eight of the Kings' 13 games, including each of the last four games.

Lewis had zero points in five games with the Kings this season, and had come under criticism from Murray for a lack of physical play. Lewis returns to Manchester, where he had 20 goals and 31 assists in 75 games last season.

Lewis' demotion increased the possibility that rookie forward Scott Parse will stay in the Kings' lineup when Justin Williams returns from his undisclosed lower-body injury.

Williams is expected to return to practice Saturday and could be in the lineup Monday when the Kings face Phoenix on the road.

Parse was essentially called up to take Williams' roster spot, and has impressed with three points in four games, including his first career NHL goal Thursday against Vancouver.

"They [Parse's line] had a couple of opportunities (against San Jose on Wednesday) and weren't able to finish," Murray said. "I'm glad he finally found the back of the net. In the games that he has played, he has done a good job. He's been smart, he has made plays, he's pretty responsible without the puck. It's good to see."

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