As the new season begins and Opening Night approaches for the LA Kings, we are eager and excited to see our team hit the ice!
Our offseason has been one of extensive preparation and strategy in an effort to continue the evolution of our team and to compete for yet another Stanley Cup Championship.
Last season, we returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but we weren't satisfied with the end result.
Still, we believe our core group continues to rank among the strongest in the NHL.
- Anze Kopitar won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the second time in his career as the NHL's top defensive forward and established career-highs in goals and points while being named a Finalist for the Hart Trophy
- Drew Doughty was once again a James Norris Trophy Finalist for the NHL's top defensemen and was named to the First All-Star Team for the second time in three years
- Jonathan Quick led our goaltending group in allowing the fewest goals in the NHL, earning the club's second ever William Jennings Trophy
- Jeff Carter missed a huge portion of the season due to injury, but we are confident he is ready to return to being one of the NHL's top centers
- Dustin Brown returned to form with a career-high 61 points - his injury in the preseason is unfortunate, however we expect him to come back soon and add to our scoring depth
- Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Clifford, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson round out this group with leadership and Stanley Cup-Championship experience
This offseason, our first priority was ensuring Doughty remained with the Kings and we were delighted to sign him to the largest contract in LA Kings history.
Additionally, as we learned in the playoffs, our scoring needs to improve. So, we quickly and aggressively pursued one of the top goal scorers in the world. We are excited to have brought in Ilya Kovalchuk to help enhance this area of our game. He chose to sign in Los Angeles because he shares our same vision and desire to contend immediately for the Stanley Cup.
Moreover, we know that Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafallo, Michael Amadio and Paul LaDue are ready to take the next step and move into significant roles with our team where they will be counted on to contribute each and every night.
Throughout our offseason, we've seen promising signs on the horizon with Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Daniel Brickley, Sheldon Rempal and Austin Wagner, each on the doorstep of spending time in Los Angeles. Eventually they will be moving into significant roles with our hockey club. These players, along with first-round picks Gabriel Vilardi and Rasmus Kupari, will add skill and speed to our lineup for years to come.
We believe we've assembled a team that is confident and capable of winning every time they step onto the ice, no matter the opponent.
We also make it a priority to ensure that our fans experience is filled with fun and interactive entertainment, ensuring that you will have a first-class experience each time you come to support the Kings at STAPLES Center.
This year we hope you recognize we have upgraded many of our in-arena amenities including audio, sound mixing, video production, lighting, atmosphere and our food and beverage selections. We hope you can see, feel and taste the difference.
Finally, we remain committed to improving our environment and being a positive contributor to the community of our great city of Los Angeles. We will continue to recognize our members of the military and first responders, and we will aggressively encourage your own support of the community with a goal of raising a record $3 million to help those in our city who are less fortunate or in need of resources to improve their lives and future.
Everything we do is with our fans in mind. We understand that the most important thing to you is that the Kings are competitive and push for the Stanley Cup.
I can't wait to see the puck drop on Opening Night, and I can't wait to see you all throughout the season to join us on this journey!
Go Kings Go!