Just as the NHL lockout was coming to an end and hockey fans were beginning to look ahead to brighter days, Kings fans received a bit of bad news this weekend. Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar suffered a minor knee injury on Saturday while playing for Mora IK of Sweden's second highest league, Kings GM Dean Lombardi confirmed.
"Got tangled up in the corner and it felt funny," Kopitar told Hugosson. "Precautionary reasons to step off. Taking this seriously."
The injury could put the star forward out for up to 3 weeks, likely sidelining him for the start of the lockout-shortened season. Kopitar is arguably the most important piece to the Kings' puzzle. The 25-year-old led the team last season with 76 points (25 goals, 51 assists), and has recorded at least 60 points in each of his first six seasons in the NHL.
Kopitar signed to play with Mora IK back in September, days after the lockout officially began on Sep. 16. He had nine goals and 20 assists in 27 games with the Swedish club.
With owners and players reportedly coming to a tentative agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Kings will finally begin their Stanley Cup title defense sometime within the next two weeks. Once the lockout is officially ratified by both sides, the Detroit News reports that the league will announce either a 50-game schedule beginning on Jan. 15, or a 48-game schedule beginning on Jan. 19.
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