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THE ROYAL MAILBAG (Oct. 31)

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
THE ROYAL MAILBAG: Will Oscar Moller stay with the Kings?


Friday, Oct. 31

This week's mailbag was full of questions on topics ranging from which junior eligible players will stay with the team, how was the shootout order determined vs. Detroit on Monday and where to find information on the history of the Kings franchise. Find out those answers and more in this week’s Royal Mailbag.

Are Oscar Moller, Wayne Simmonds and Drew Doughty going to stay with this Kings this season or be returned to Juniors. Why can’t they be sent to Manchester? I think I remember Lauri Tukonen playing in Manchester when he was young.
Robert R.


Pardon the pun, but there is “No Doughty About It,” Drew is going to stay with this club all season. He is logging loads of ice time and Head Coach Terry Murray admitted that he has no intention of returning him to Juniors in a recent interview. Besides, he has shown he can play at an elite level, his development will most likely be served best at the NHL level.

As far as Simmonds is concerned, he can be sent to Manchester if the team was so inclined as he is 20 years of age. Players less than 20 cannot be assigned to an NHL’s affiliate if they previously played for a Junior team in Canada. Here is a blog on the Thrashersprospectannex that really helps break it down,

"The NHL/CHL agreement states that a junior player signed by an NHL team must be returned to his junior team if he's not playing in the NHL. It's part of a deal that provides CHL money for players produced (sort of like the IIHF agreement between the NHL and European countries). The NHL agrees to send the teenagers back because CHL needs these players - its top players -- to make money. If the CHL didn't make money, they couldn't produce players. You scratch my back, I scratch yours."

However, if a prospect is below the age of 20 and had not played for a Junior team, as was the case with Lauri Tukonen, he can play for an NHL team’s affiliate. This is most often applied to European prospects. While Moller is a Eurpean player (Stockholm, Sweden), once he was drafted by a Canadian Hockey League team the CHL rules then applied to him.

But at practice today the Kings removed all doubt as it was announced that Moller will stick around with the club for the remainder of the season and play in his 10th game tomorrow…at center. Murray juggled the lines as the team skated today at practice like this (though there maybe some changes on defense should Tom Preissing get back into the lineup):

Moulson-Kopitar-Brown
Frolov-Moller-Calder
O'Sullivan-Handzus-Simmonds
Stoll-Boyle-Ivanans

Moulson will return to the top line, where he played the first five games of the season. Alexander Frolov will move up from the third line to the second line where Moller will center. Kyle Calder will move from left wing to right wing to accommodate the change. Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds will stay on the third line with Patrick O’Sullivan joining them. Brian Boyle will rejoin the lineup and center the fourth line with Jarret Stoll on left wing and Raitis Ivanans moving to the right side.

My name is Sean W. and I’m a Grade 6 student from Victoria BC. In school, our teacher just gave us a project to research the history of our favorite hockey team and I chose LA. I was wondering if your team could help me out with my project. Thank you very much for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
Sean W.


First of all, it sounds like you go to a really cool school, I wish I was given an assignment like that in the sixth grade. Well, a great resource for your project is available online at www.lakings.com/history. Though we are still working on it - collecting video, audio and photos etc.- it has just about anything you could ever imagine, with a complete listing of our all-time owners, GMs, trades, draft picks, a listing of all of our records, hat tricks shutouts and our Hall of Fame.

It also details our post season history, and if you are a stats guy, we have an up-to-date list of every goal, every assist, every point earned by every player in Kings history. And, one other little thing you might enjoy, our Today In Kings History section, which has a tidbit for every day on the calendar and what happened on that day in Kings history.

So check it out and good luck with your project!

Who is the artist of the pre-game song that is played at the Kings home games. It says "the power" a few times.
Gil S.

Well actually, the song is called "Devour" as opposed to "Power" and the band is called Shinedown. Here is a link to their Web site for more information on the band: www.shinedown.com

And if you want to check out their video, here it is on Youtube.

Can you please update the prospects' info? I just looked up one of the kids (Josh Meyers) and there are no stats for 2008-09. Same is true for many others.
Tom S.


Thanks for the email Tom. I think you are referring to each individual prospect bio page, here is Meyers.'

Each of those pages are automatically updated by pulling from the NHL database, meaning that should Meyers appear in an NHL game, his stats would be updated. But since he is not playing for an NHL club, the stats will not be updated until the end of the year.

But if you check out our Team Prospects page, we have a link to up-to-date stats for our prospects (updated every Tuesday)…and tune into LAKings.com on Tuesday as we select the prospect that had the best week. Here is our most recent prospect update where we highlighted: Jeff Zatkoff.

During the Kings 4-3 shoot out loss to Detroit on Monday, I was a little surprised to see Moller taking the second shot on the shootout over Frolov, Kopitar, O’Sullivan and Stoll. Why did Moller take the shot and not one of them?
Mark A


The short answer to your question is that Moller is a capable, skilled athlete and Murray thought that he would give the Kings the best chance at a win.

“Moller gets an opportunity in the shootout because he is a skill player,” Murray said after practice on Wednesday. “He has put some points up, he scored some goals and he has great hands and great vision.

“With the shootouts that we have run in practice and the skill drills that we run after practice, Moller has been one of the more skilled players around the net. He is a very confident guy and he had scored a goal earlier in the game. We hoped he could do another one in the shootout situation, but it did not work out, but he is as certainly deserving as anyone else.”

According to the numbers, Brown is one of the Kings best players on the shootout, entering the Detroit game 8-of-16, and took the first shot, missing however. Frolov is 7-of-15, Kopitar is 8-of-17 and O’Sullivan is 4-of-7 and any one of them would have been a fine choice as well. (All-Time Shootout Stats)

One other factor is that opposing netminders are unfamiliar with the Moller being that he is so young and in his first year in the league.

Who gets to pick the music in the Kings locker room?
Aaron B


At Toyota Sports Center, the official practice facility of the Kings, the radio station is typically tuned to 98.7 Star after practice. According to Assistant Equipment Manager Dana Bryson, Matt Green or O’Sullivan typically supply the music on their Ipods at STAPLES Center for home games.

Are we going to see much of Erik Ersberg in net at some point this year?
Amber T


Amber, thanks for the question, Ersberg will certainly see some action at some point this season, but for now, Jason LaBarbera will be the main man in net. Murray named LaBarbera as his starter early in camp and has been on record as saying that his No. 1 goaltender starts upwards of 60 games per year and LaBarbera, in the minors, has always had a reputation of being a work horse.

Through nine games this season, Barbs has started all nine, posting a 3-4-1 record, with a 3.01 GAA , one shutout and a .886 SV% in 479 minutes, becoming only the second Kings goalie to start the first nine games of the season since 1981-82, joining Felix Potvin, who started nine in a row (3-4-2) at the start of the 2001-02 campaign. Gerry Desjardins owns the Kings record, starting the first 23 games of the season in 1969-70.

Ersberg has appeared in relief of LaBarbera in two games, stopping 12-of-14 shots in posting an 0-1-0 record. So far with the way the schedule has been laid out, LaBarbera has been able to take the Lion’s share of the starts and he is expected to start in net tomorrow for the 10th time.

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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