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KINGS FYI

First day is missing O'Sullivan

September 20, 2008|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

The Kings officially got their latest rebuilding project underway Friday, minus one of their most important pieces.

As expected, Patrick O'Sullivan was a no-show on the first day of training camp at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. The 23-year-old left wing became a restricted free agent last week, and General Manager Dean Lombardi continues to work on a deal with O'Sullivan's agent, Pat Morris.

Morris is reportedly seeking a short-term contract, while the Kings are offering a multi-year deal.

"We're not interested in going with a stopgap," Lombardi said of a one-year deal. "Sully needs to go through progression . . . He has to go to another level and I'm not even certain 12 months is enough time."

O'Sullivan moved into a starting role last season, producing 22 goals and 31 assists in 82 games, finishing fourth on the team in goals and points.

"He's a big part of this team and they need to get something done," linemate Dustin Brown said.

Even though O'Sullivan has played just one full season in the NHL, he would bring some needed experience to the Kings.

"Having him back is one more guy who has a full season in the NHL," said the team's leading scorer last season, Anze Kopitar, who turned 21 last month. "We don't have a lot of experience."

Fight club

Seven minutes into a late-morning scrimmage, left wing Richard Clune and defenseman Drew Bagnall dropped their gloves and threw punches in the middle of the ice, a rarity during training camp. Some veterans were impressed.

"People are going to try and prove themselves," Brown said. "If that's something they can bring to the team, they need to show that."

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dan.arritt@latimes.com

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