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Team Reset

Kings maintain continuity with most of last season's roster intact

New coach, GM, promoted within organization, look to get to playoffs

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the Los Angeles Kings:

The major changes for the Los Angeles Kings came at the top of the organization, with Rob Blake and John Stevens replacing general manager Dean Lombardi and coach Darryl Sutter after the 2016-17 season.

Blake, promoted from assistant GM, and Stevens, who long was considered the coaching heir apparent to Sutter, give the Kings some organizational continuity, but at the same time, each has the ability to introduce some fresh ideas. The Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and in 2014 but have missed the playoffs in two of the past three seasons.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick was injured against the San Jose Sharks in the first period of the season opener and missed more than four months. The Kings finished with 86 points (39-35-8), eight points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

 

[RELATED: Complete Team Reset coverage]

 

Los Angeles hasn't made any major roster changes. The hope is center Anze Kopitar, in his second season as captain, can regain his scoring touch. He had 52 points (12 goals, 40 assists) in 76 games last season after he had 74 (25 goals, 49 assists) in 81 games in 2015-16. A re-energized Kopitar and a full season of Quick would go a long way in reversing last season's slide.

Here is how the Kings look today:

 

Key arrivals

Michael Cammalleri, F: Signed on July 1 to a one-year, $1 million contract, Cammalleri is a low-risk, high-reward investment that could prove useful for the Kings. The 35-year-old had 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 61 games with the New Jersey Devils last season. Cammalleri spent his first five seasons in the NHL with the Kings, and when healthy (he hasn't played at least 70 games since the 2008-09 season) he has the ability to score goals in bunches. If Cammalleri can find chemistry at left wing on a line with Kopitar, it would give the Kings greater scoring balance to support Jeff Carter's line. … Darcy Kuemper, G: The 27-year-old went 8-5-3 with a 3.13 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 18 games for the Minnesota Wild last season. He signed a one-year, $650,000 contract July 1. ... Christian Folin, D: The right-shot defenseman signed a one-year, $850,000 contract July 1 to add depth to the roster. He had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 51 games for the Wild last season.

Video: Michael Cammalleri on joining the Los Angeles Kings

 

Key departures

Brayden McNabb, D: Selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft on June 21, McNabb was limited to 49 games and four points (two goals, two assists) last season because of injuries. … Jarome Iginla, RW: Tied with Joe Sakic for 15th in NHL history in goals (625), Iginla is an unrestricted free agent. The 40-year-old was acquired in a trade from the Colorado Avalanche on March 1 and had nine points (six goals, three assists) in 19 games with the Kings. … Matt Greene, D: The Kings bought out the final season of his contract June 23 after injuries limited him to 29 games combined the past two seasons. When healthy, he was a key member of the Kings' leadership group during their two Stanley Cup championship runs. He had two points (one goal, one assist) in 26 games last season. … Ben Bishop, G: The 30-year-old was traded to the Dallas Stars on May 9. He was acquired in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26 and went 2-3-2 with a 2.49 GAA and .900 save percentage in seven games for the Kings.

Video: ARI@LAK: Bishop flashes the leather through traffic

 

On the cusp

Paul LaDue, D: A sixth-round pick (No. 181) in the 2012 NHL Draft, LaDue made his NHL debut last season and had eight assists in 22 games. The 24-year-old had 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 38 games for Ontario of the American Hockey League and should be in line for a role on the third defense pair. … Jonny Brodzinski, F: A fifth-round pick (No. 148) in the 2013 NHL Draft, Brodzinski had two assists in six NHL games and could push some veterans for playing time this season. The 24-year-old was tied for seventh in the AHL with 27 goals last season and was second on Ontario with 49 points in 59 games.

Video: LAK@EDM: LaDue's wrister puts Kings on board

 

What they still need

More scorers. The Cammalleri signing helped remedy some of the need for scoring (Los Angeles finished tied for 24th in the NHL with 199 goals last season), but the possibility that Marian Gaborik could have a longer than expected recovery from offseason knee surgery means Blake still may try to add more offense.

 

Pete Jensen's fantasy outlook

Kopitar is coming off his lowest point total in a full NHL season. Have the Kings done enough to ensure a bounce-back season for their captain? The signing of Cammalleri is a low-risk, high-reward move, but their backup plan could involve Gaborik or Dustin Brown at left wing on Kopitar's line. Kopitar potentially could play with right wing Tyler Toffoli, an injury bounce-back candidate, but Kopitar is ranked unusually low (No. 70 in NHL.com's overall ranking) because of the holes in the Kings' top six.

Video: LAK@CGY: Kopitar sweeps in Muzzin's dish across slot

 

Projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown -- Anze Kopitar -- Michael Cammalleri

Adrian Kempe -- Nick Shore -- Marian Gaborik

Kyle Clifford -- Nic Dowd -- Trevor Lewis

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Paul LaDue -- Christian Folin

Jonathan Quick

Darcy Kuemper

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