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Fraser excited to finally make Los Angeles debut

by Curtis Zupke
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Colin Fraser has been a Los Angeles King since June, but he has yet to slip a game jersey over his pads.

"Unless you count the three pictures I took in a practice just to include me in the program," said Fraser, "no, I haven't put it on yet."

That long wait will end Thursday night when the Kings insert Fraser and Trent Hunter into their lineup against the Vancouver Canucks.

Fraser is expected to play at fourth line center while Hunter will get a turn at third line wing following Scott Parse's placement on the injured list with a lower-body injury.

Fraser was officially activated Thursday to end a months-long saga that began when he played his last game March 29, for Edmonton, and suffered a broken foot that forced him to miss the final two weeks of the season.

He was traded to L.A., along with a seventh-round draft pick in 2012, in exchange for Ryan Smyth in June before it was learned that he needed surgery in July to repair the foot.

The Kings filed a grievance with the NHL that claimed the Oilers misled them on the severity of the injury. The grievance will be heard later this month.

Meanwhile, Fraser has been practicing with the team for weeks.

"It's been a long time since I played last," said Fraser, a member of Chicago's 2010 Stanley Cup team.

"I've been champing at the bit for a little bit here. With getting in shape, learning the systems … hopefully I'll be ready to go. To get a chance is very exciting.

"I think I'll just be antsy a little bit. I think getting that first shift out of the way just to get the excitement to come down a little bit."

Kings coach Terry Murray wasn't concerned about integrating two new players. He saw Fraser play when both were in Philadelphia's organization.

"A player has to get started at some time," Murray said. "You could wait and just practice and get to another game, I suppose. But it happens to be Vancouver, who he would have played against many times coming from Chicago … I don't think with his kind of a game I'm overly concerned with the high-end skill level. I'm looking at a very intense player that's going to play a great game, go to the net and get on the forecheck.

"I know he's been a bit of a caged animal here looking forward to getting the opportunity."
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