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THE ROYAL MAILBAG (Nov. 19)

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
THE ROYAL MAILBAG: Why wasn’t Chris Pronger Suspended?


Monday, Nov. 19

This week's mailbag was full of questions on topics ranging from why wasn’t Chris Pronger suspended to why does Anze Kopitar wear No. 11? Find out those answers and more in this week’s Royal Mailbag. 

Is No. 41 (Raitis Ivanans) hurt or what? And what happened to Ryan Flinn ?
Pete S.

Raitis Ivanans is currently on injured reserve after taking a puck to the face on Nov. 2 at San Jose. He has been skating after the Kings practice to stay in shape and recently rejoined Kings practice with contact. Coach Crawford said he is out for Monday vs. Dallas, doubtful for Wednesday vs. Phoenix and probable for Saturday at San Jose.

The last time Kings fans saw Ryan Flinn was Nov. 27, 2005, when he sustained a severe head injury when his head struck the ice during a fight with Chicago defenseman Jim Vandermeer and was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

The 6-5, 235-pound left winger was called up from Manchester earlier in the week and had played in just one other game with the Kings that season and due to the injury, he missed all of the 2005-06 campaign.

He did sign, however, as a free agent with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL for the 2006-07 season and finished the campaign scoring 2-4=6 in 61 games with 166 PIMs, the most penalty minutes of his professional career (previous career high was 164, set in 2003-04 with Manchester).

This season, he is playing for the Springfield Falcons, also of the AHL, after signing as a free agent with the Edmonton Oilers on July 17 of this year. Springfield is the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.

I hope that the Kings were pushing for the suspension of Chris Pronger who was given an instigator at the end of the OT session last game. According to the NHL rule book, he should get suspended and the Ducks coach should be fined. I never heard anything about a suspension so i am confused.
Craig H.

Since many Kings fans were wondering about this topic, LAKings.com caught up with Jim Fox as he was watching practice on Friday and posed that question to him.

”It is an instigator situation, but with two different scenarios,” Fox said. “An instigator in the last five minutes, goes to Colin Campbell, the Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations for the NHL, for automatic review and you are guilty until proven innocent.

“Under the criteria, you have to ask was it an orchestrated, premeditated attempt to get retribution. For example, you are down 5-0 in the game and someone did something earlier in the game and the score doesn’t matter now so you go after someone. That was not to be the case in the Pronger situation.

“It met the criteria for instigation, meaning he left his normal position to engage someone and start the altercation, but it did not mean the criteria for the suspension to the player and the fine to the coach. He does, however now, have an instigator on his record and if he gets a second one, that means an automatic game misconduct.”

Is it hard for players like Kyle Calder, Ladislav Nagy, Brad Stuart, and Michal Handzus to adjust to the Kings when they have played for several teams in such a short period of time?
Jeremy D.

Defenseman Brad Stuart, who was traded to the Boston Bruins on Nov. 30, 2005 in the Joe Thornton trade and then was traded to the Calgary Flames at the Trade Deadline last season, has a little bit of experience in the subject and one we thought would be the perfect candidate to answer this question.

“I think in the first couple of weeks, you just get a feel for the guys and pick up their personalities,” Stuart said. “You have to get to know your way around the city too. On the ice, it takes a bit longer to get comfortable with the system and your teammates' tendancies. That does take a while.

“I am pretty comfortable here now. Being in training camp with the Kings this year helped a lot and going to Europe for a week was also beneficial, it was good for all of us new guys to get to know our teammates. We were forced to get to know each other quickly.”

Hi, whatever happened to former Kings' goalie Rick Knickle?
Dan H.

Rick Knickle appeared in 14 games as an injury replacement with the Kings in 1992-1994, posting a 7-6-0 mark with a 3.74 GAA and a .879 SV%. Amazingly, he was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the sixth round, 116th overall in 1979 and spent 13 seasons, playing for eight different IHL clubs, three AHL clubs and one EHL franchise before Kelly Hrudey was injured and the Kings called him up from the San Diego Gulls.

After that brief 14-game stint over two seasons, Knickle returned to the minors playing for four different IHL franchise before hanging up his skates in 1997 after playing 19 games with the Milwaukee Admirals.

Why does Anze Kopitar wear No. 11 after wearing No. 27 in Sweden and Slovenia?
Jason K.

LAKings.com asked Kopitar that question after practice last week.

“I wore No. 27 in Sweden, but when I got here they gave that to Scott Thornton,” Kopitar said. “I think they gave me No. 11 because I was the 11th pick.”

That is probably right, Kopitar was the 11th pick of the First Round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Where is Joe Ryan? I do not see him on any roster for the Kings, Monarchs or Royals. Is he with the Remparts? Please let me know.
Robert R.

Robert, thanks for the note. Joe Ryan took part in training camp for both the Kings and the Monarchs, but was finally returned to the QMJHL, where he plays for the Quebec Remparts.

This season, he leads his team in points amongst defensemen, with 12 points (1-11=12) in just 14 games. The 20-year old blueliner was the Kings second round pick, No. 48 overall, in 2006.

Thank you for all of your questions and comments. LAKings.com would like to answer as many questions from Los Angeles Kings fans as possible. E-mail your query to LAKings.com for possible inclusion in a future mailbag column. Letters can be addressed to any member of the organization and may be edited for brevity, length and/or content. Please include your name and location along with your question and email feedback@lakings.com.

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