KINGS SIGN AND RECALL CONNOR JAMES; PUT BELANGER ON IR
/ Los Angeles Kings
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent center Connor James and have recalled him from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, Kings President, Hockey Operations/General Manager Dave Taylor announced today. In addition, the Kings have placed center Eric Belanger on the injured reserve list (retroactive to December 30) due to a groin injury.
James, 23, has 22 points (9-13=22), 22 penalty minutes and a plus-10 rating in 33 games with the Monarchs this season. The Kings originally selected James, a 5-10, 170-pound native of Calgary, in the ninth-round (279th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He has not appeared in an NHL game and will wear jersey No. 56.
Belanger, 28, suffered the injury during the Kings-Phoenix Coyotes contest on December 27 at Glendale Arena. In 38 games with the Kings this season, the 6-0, 188-pound native of Sherbrooke, Quebec, has 24 points (11-13=24), 32 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating, with the 11 goals tied for fifth on the club. In 296 career regular season NHL contests, all with the Kings, Belanger has 137 points (57-80=137) and 139 penalty minutes.
The Kings (26-14-2, 54 points, first place in the Pacific Division) host Phoenix tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at STAPLES Center. The contest will air on FSN West, KSPN 710 AM and along the Kings Radio Network.