Los Angeles Kings season preview

Updated: October 3, 2005, 12:15 PM ET
ESPN.com

THE BOTTOM LINE

The Kings are among the quietest teams in terms of blowing their own horn, but they sure can trumpet some big changes.

Offense: They picked up star forward Jeremy Roenick in a trade with Philadelphia. They signed scorer Pavol Demitra away from St. Louis, and that's two-thirds of a new No. 1 line. They have a new second line in veteran Luc Robitaille, Craig Conroy and Valeri Bure and a fistful of good young players, including Alexander Frolov and Dustin Brown. There's a nice mix of veteran talent and scoring ability.

Defense: A relatively weak 20th in 2003-04, there's hope in kid talents Tim Gleason and Denis Grebeshkov, who appear NHL ready. They join Lubomir Visnovsky, who is already a rising star as a puck mover. It will need time to jell, but there is talent there.

Goaltending: Having given up on the wildly inconsistent Roman Cechmanek, the Kings obtained Mathieu Garon, the former backup from Montreal, who appears NHL ready. He's big and has a good glove hand, but hasn't been an NHL No. 1 yet.



WHERE THEY'LL FINISH
8th YES … Good coaching, some veteran scorers and playmakers and a better lineup than the one that missed the playoffs by the closest of margins the last two seasons.
BUT … Garon takes on a lot of responsibility. If he's not ready, the Kings don't have a veteran netminder in reserve.

PLAYER TO WATCH
Mike Cammalleri is a wing prospect with the reputation of a scorer (second in the AHL last year), but he'll need to prove it in this league.

HEY, COACH!
Andy Murray is a highly regarded coach whose teams have been hampered by budget constraints and injuries in recent seasons, but he always gets the most from his charges.



FACEOFFS
BEST OFFSEASON MOVE --> NEW FACES
Moving out the chronically injured Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh, freeing cap room for Jeremy Roenick (left), Pavol Demitra and others.

WORST OFFSEASON MOVE --> EXPORTS
Losing highly regarded Yanick Lehoux to Russia in a bidding war. He was a scoring sensation in juniors and appeared NHL ready.

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Comings & Goings
Key Acquisitions:
C Pavol Demitra; G Jason Labarbera; C Jeremy Roenick; D Marty Wilford; RW Valeri Bure; D Brad Fast; D Richard Seeley.

Key Departures:
C Jozef Stumpel; C Martin Straka; RW Zigmund Palffy; C Jason Allison; RW Anson Carter; D Joe Rullier; D Bryan Muir; C Scott Barney.

When we last saw them …
Luc Robitaille, LW
Robitaille posted 22 goals and 29 assists in 80 games in 2003-04.
Roman Cechmanek, G
Cechmanek, who split duties with Cristobal Huet in 2003-04, struggled to a 18-21-6 record and 2.51 GAA.
Quoteables
It is uncalled for. It is ridiculous -- one of the reasons our game isn't as good as it once was.
Jeremy Roenick on a hit he took from Phoenix's Denis Gauthier during the preseason