LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Kings will look to bounce back from their first non-playoff season since 2008 when they host the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center Wednesday night.
Following a fourth-place finish in the seven-team Pacific Division last season with a 40-27-15 record, the Kings have seen several changes to the team’s roster, including the departure of defenseman Slava Voynov after serving jail time for spousal abuse and being detained by federal immigration authorities.
The Kings also lost three players through free agency along with the retiring defenseman Robyn Regehr during the off-season.
The team did acquire left wing and three-time 20-goal scorer Milan Lucic in a June trade with the Boston Bruins.
A series of rule changes will also make their debut tonight, including reducing overtime to three skaters per team, which
is expected to have fewer games be decided by shootouts, and allowing teams to request a coach’s challenge to review situations where an off-side play may have led to a goal or in which the goaltender may have been interfered with.
Hall of Famer and now head of Business Operations for the Kings Luc Robitaille told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the team is determined to move forward after such a turbulent off-season.
“As an organization, we learned that it’s very important to teach [our players] to be good people off the ice, and they can make a difference in society,” Robitaille said. “It is a duty to make sure they understand they have an impact in the community.”
Wednesday’s game against the Sharks will be the 132nd consecutive home regular-season sellout and team-record 162nd consecutive sellout at Staples Center, including playoff games.
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