Newcomers Ethan Moreau, left, and Simon Gagne celebrate a goal during a… (Joern Pollex / Bongarts…)
Acquiring Mike Richards gave the Kings two scoring centers and great credibility. Signing Simon Gagne should remedy their scoring problems, though they might need another scoring winger later. Drew Doughty played only one exhibition game after signing an eight-year, $56-million contract, leaving his fitness in question. If he and the Kings get a good start this team can make noise in the West. Expectations for them are high but justified.
12, Simon Gagne, left wing
10, Mike Richards, center
23, Dustin Brown, right wing
Gagne and Richards played together in Philadelphia. A lot of varied and good elements here.
25, Dustin Penner, left wing
11, Anze Kopitar, center
14, Justin Williams, right wing
Kopitar and Williams look fine after surgery. Penner will miss sit out the opener because of a lower-body injury.*
15, Brad Richardson, left wing
28, Jarret Stoll, center
47, Trent Hunter, right wing
Stoll is among the NHL's top faceoff men. Hunter earned a contract after coming to camp on a tryout. Richardson brings energy.
13, Kyle Clifford, left wing
22, Trevor Lewis, center
17, Ethan Moreau, right wing
Clifford is rugged but can play. Lewis is steady. Moreau brings experience.
*Tentative reshuffled lines: Gagne-Kopitar-Williams; Richardson-Richards-Brown; Scott Parse-Stoll-Hunter; Clifford-Lewis Moreau
Projected defense pairs
33, Willie Mitchell
8, Drew Doughty
A balanced duo, with Mitchell providing muscle and Doughty taking chances offensively.
3, Jack Johnson
7, Rob Scuderi
Another balanced pair. But Johnson must improve on last season's minus-21 rating.
27, Alec Martinez
2, Matt Greene
Greene is fearless, Martinez has mobility, scoring potential.
32, Jonathan Quick
(2.24 goals-against average, .918 save percentage) Ranked sixth in the NHL in GAA and shutouts (six).
45, Jonathan Bernier
(2.48, .913) Should push Quick in the best possible way.
Also worth noting
Spares: The reserves are enforcer Kevin Westgarth, Scott (unfulfilled promise) Parse and defenseman Davis Drewiske. Defenseman Jake Muzzin is on injured reserve. Colin Fraser is on the non-roster list, a designation for players who did not pass a training camp physical.
Special teams: The Kings' power play ranked 21st in the NHL last season at 16.1% and must become less predictable and more potent. Gagne and Richards should replace the team-leading nine power-play goals scored by Ryan Smyth, who requested a trade to Edmonton. The penalty killing, fourth in the NHL at 85.5% efficiency, figures to be solid again.
Who's new: Left wings Simon Gagne and Ethan Moreau, centers Mike Richards and Colin Fraser, right wing Trent Hunter.
Who's gone: Center Michal Handzus, left wings Ryan Smyth and Alexei Ponikarovsky, right wing Wayne Simmonds, defenseman Peter Harrold.