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No Decision Yet on a Captain

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Coach Andy Murray is in no hurry to name a captain.

No King has worn the “C” on his jersey since Rob Blake, the team’s captain for 41/2 seasons, was traded in February to the Colorado Avalanche.

Last spring, the Kings ended the season with three alternates-Luc Robitaille, Kelly Buchberger and Mattias Norstrom-and that may continue.

“I don’t know if we’re going to have a captain or not,” Murray says.

“Traditionally, you do have a captain, but I don’t know if we have to have one.

“I didn’t mind the way it was at the end of last year with three pretty solid guys, and Matty and Bucky are back this year. And when Bucky got hurt [in the playoffs], we put an A on Ziggy [Palffy].”

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Murray says he might even alternate captains, perhaps game by game or month by month.

He will announce his decision, he says, during a dinner at club owner Philip Anschutz’s Colorado ranch, where the team will gather Sept. 30 before playing its exhibition finale Oct. 1 against the Avalanche.

If he’s looking for input before then, Bryan Smolinski might give it to him.

“I think the team needs a captain,” says the veteran center, who has been mentioned by Murray as a candidate. “We need one leader. I think the problem with having three A’s is, everybody wants to take the bull by the horns.

“But when you put that letter on one guy, everybody knows who to go to, everybody knows the chain of command. And I think you need it with this group of guys we have here, just because of all the leaders we have.”

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The roster was trimmed to 40 players Wednesday when the Kings reassigned forwards Kip Brennan and Brendan Brooks and defensemen Joe Corvo and Michael Publick to their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H.

Murray hopes to cut down to 28 players after exhibition games against the Sharks tonight at San Jose and Saturday night at Las Vegas.

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