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Sekera looking forward to new challenges with Kings

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com

LOS ANGELES -- Andrej Sekera already knows new Los Angeles Kings teammates Robyn Regehr and Marian Gaborik, having played with them on other NHL teams and in international competition, respectively. So he was able to get a good idea of what it's like coming to the two-time Stanley Cup champions by talking with them.

The message?

"Losing isn't an option here," Sekera said when he met the media Thursday at Staples Center. "It's great to be in an environment like that. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be fun, and it's going to be a challenge."

Sekera arrived Thursday morning and passed his physical but was held out of the game against the Ottawa Senators. The veteran defenseman will make his Kings debut Friday at the Anaheim Ducks in an important Pacific Division rivalry game.

The Kings acquired Sekera, 28, from the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday for defenseman prospect Ronald McKeown and a first-round pick in the either the 2015 or 2016 NHL Draft. To make room on the roster, defenseman Alec Martinez was placed on injured reserve with concussion symptoms, retroactive to Feb. 9.

Sekera is the latest pre-NHL Trade Deadline acquisition for the Kings, following center Jeff Carter, defenseman Regehr and left wing Gaborik. All three helped the Kings win the Cup, in 2012 and 2014, and the Kings hope Sekera will help them to another long spring as a puck-moving top-four defenseman.

Sekera averaged 22:46 of ice time with Carolina; that would place him third among Kings defensemen, except for the suspended Slava Voynov. His arrival should alleviate the workload of defenseman Drew Doughty, who leads the NHL in average ice time (29:27).

Sekera also has the added incentive of immediately transitioning to a Cup contender, one that was on an eight-game winning streak going into Thursday. He said that doesn't change his mindset.

"I know what I bring to the table," Sekera said. "I want to play a hard and simple game and just blend in and help this team win even more games. Hard work and [an] honest game."

Sekera was paired with Regehr on the Buffalo Sabres and played with Gaborik for Slovakia. He also knows Kings vice president, hockey operations and director of player personnel Michael Futa, who drafted Sekera for the Owen Sound of the Ontario Hockey League.

Gaborik said that he will likely have Sekera stay at his house, and Sekera joked that he's a low-maintenance roommate.

"I'm an easygoing guy," he said. "I don't need too much to be alive. Just a little bit of water and oxygen, bread and water."

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