Frozen Royalty: One Spot Left To Fill On Blue Line
Gann Matsuda continues his coverage from training camp. Check out the latest on defense. Things are definitely shaping up.
EL SEGUNDO, CA — Following the 2009-10 season, the Los Angeles Kings lost defensemen Sean O’Donnell, Randy Jones and later in the summer, Matt Greene.
While O’Donnell and Jones signed with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, respectively, Greene underwent shoulder surgery is expected to miss the first month of the 2010-11 season, at least.
That left the Kings undermanned on the blue line, but, even with Greene out of the lineup, the Kings defenseman corps looks to be better than last year’s model.
That improvement began with the loss of Jones—addition by subtraction. It continued with the Kings’ acquisition of veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell, who was signed to a two-year unrestricted free agent contract worth $3.5 million per year on August 25, 2010.
The 32-year-old native of Port McNeill, British Columbia is a tough, physical, stay-at-home defenseman who is an upgrade over the aging O’Donnell.
“Anytime you can add a player of the caliber of a Willie Mitchell, it’s a good thing for your team,” said defenseman Davis Drewiske, who appears to have a spot on the third defensive pair all but secured. “He’s going to be great to have around. He’s a guy I look forward to playing with and learning from.”
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