Los Angeles Kings Defense: Willie Mitchell Has To Prove Himself

Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Defenseman Willie Mitchell of the Los Angeles Kings posted a video of himself getting a little stick time on the ice. This was despite rumors of his progress being delayed significantly. He directed the tweet at all of the “doubters” in the same week that Robyn Regher underwent elbow surgery after signing a 2-year extension with the team.

With the Kings’ season over, speculation over trades and free agents has begun. They include everyone from Slovenian star Anze Kopitar, arguably the best defensive player on the team, and every free agent. After a season where they were significantly tested by injuries to Matt Greene and Mitchell, the Kings have been seeking stability on defense.

Positive notes from the season were the rookie performance of Jake Muzzin on the blue line and Jonathan Quick between the pipes,  both performing miracles like saints. The two players will continue to grow and improve. Muzzin was able to excel when many had doubts.

Drew Doughty had another impressive year. The combined salary of Doughty and Mitchell is close to costing the team $15 million. Greene is not exactly cheap either, and Slava Voynov is ready to get paid after his streak of game winning goals in the playoffs. Voynov was the player that stepped up as a rookie last season. He made it possible for the Kings’ GM, Dean Lombardi, to trade away elite defenseman Jack Johnson for eventual playoff hero, Jeff Carter

The Kings do not have to worry about having a Stanley Cup hangover this year. The CBA agreement should be a non-issue for a few seasons. Quick’s back surgery after the playoffs last year meant that he and Mitchell were huge concerns going into preseason. After Greene got hurt within a few games of opening night, the team had to scramble to fill the gaps. Despite any trials, the Kings are still one of the deepest teams on defense. Expect another elite level season from them.

Isaak Koenka is a writer for RantSports.com.

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