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Morning Skate: An Award, Surgery and a Recall

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Wayne Simmonds had surgery today.

VANCOUVER – Facing three games in four nights in Canada, the Kings took a proactive step Monday when they called up forward Corey Elkins from Manchester of the AHL on an emergency basis. Click here to see how Elkins fits in on the Kings current depth chart.

Elkins did not join the team in Vancouver, but is scheduled to be with the team in Edmonton on Tuesday and will be eligible to play.

When Wayne Simmonds got hurt last week, and the Kings determined that Ryan Smyth would not return until Dec. 26, the Kings were left without a spare, healthy forward. On a depleted Manchester team, Elkins was tied for the team lead with 19 points.

Elkins, 24, was signed to a one-year contract by the Kings in March as an unrestricted free agent after four collegiate seasons at Ohio State. In his senior season, the 6-foot-3, 216-pound Elkins led the Buckeyes in goals (18) and points (41).

Elkins is known as a big-bodied, strong defensive center. Elkins’ first game with the Kings would be his NHL debut...more

OLYMPIC FEVER | Kings All-Time Olympians
With the selection of Canada’s Olympic roster set to be announced in just over two weeks, the country’s media is abuzz with talk of which players will be selected.

So it was no surprise to see Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who is considered "on the bubble" for making Team Canada, surrounded by reporters after Monday’s morning skate, answering questions about his prospects for making the team.

Doughty, at age 20, would be the youngest defenseman on the Canadian roster, but asked by a local reporter to make the case for himself, Doughty said he isn’t too young.

"A lot of people look at experience, and it's obviously important to have that experience," Doughty said, "but I think that even though I'm young and don't have that experience, that I can still do the job. I won't be nervous or anything. I'm sure it will be a little nerve-racking, because it's in Vancouver, but as long as I get a few shifts in me, I think I'd be fine out there."

"I'm not really thinking about Team Canada too much. I just want to go out and play well. My main focus is just helping the Kings win, and keeping this roll going and staying on top of the conference."

That’s good news for Kings coach Terry Murray, who, asked about his players’ prospects for making the Olympics – the Kings have nine players in contention for spots on various rosters – expressed some concern about players’ focus being divided.

"I'm trying to take that away from the players, looking too far ahead," Murray said. "We're such a young group of guys, and I'm a little nervous that if you start looking down the road. If you're in October, and you're looking at what's going to happen through the Olympics, `Am I going to be on the team?'

"In saying that, I know guys, that's on their mind. I think Dustin Brown has had that on his mind for a while. He's been a little tense at times, coming off the ice, pressing and frustrated by not scoring. But I think it's becoming more obvious that he's going to be there. He's relaxing, he's playing better here in the last half-dozen games or so, but I've really tried to stay away from that big picture."

Team Canada will announce its roster on Dec. 30. Team USA will follow two days later.

SIMMONDS SURGERY
| Kings Injury
Simmonds was scheduled to undergo surgery early Monday afternoon in Los Angeles to clean up cartilage in his left knee.

The Kings expected, after the procedure, to be able to set a timetable for Simmonds’ return. As of early Monday afternoon, there was no immediate word on Simmonds’ status or the results of the procedure.

QUICK HONORED
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was selected as the No. 1 star of the week, by the NHL, for the week ending yesterday...more

In three games, all victories, Quick had a 1.58 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. He beat out Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin and Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov for the honor.

Quick has a chance to become the first goalie in franchise history to reach 20 wins before the team’s 40th game. Entering tonight, Quick has 19 wins in the Kings’ 33 games. Mario Lessard won 20 of the Kings’ first 40 games in 1980-81.
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