It's a pain going through it, of course, but Coach Andy Murray said the Kings' rash of injuries could be beneficial down the road.
"Right now, we're getting a real read on our players," he said. "A lot of players that have asked for more responsibility on our team in the past but maybe haven't had that opportunity are getting it now. They're helping shape our opinion of them long term too, as to what they can do for our team and our organization...."
At a dinner tonight in St. Paul, Minn., the Kings will meet with Bob Goodenow, executive director of the NHL Players Assn., to discuss issues pertaining to the collective bargaining agreement, which expires Sept. 15, 2004.... Bryan Smolinski skated for the first time since suffering a scratched cornea Dec. 26 but his vision is blurred and he might need surgery.... Alexander Frolov, who returned to the lineup Thursday after sitting out two games because of a deep cut on his right cheek, was sidelined again Saturday.... Rookie Chris Schmidt was sent back to the minors to clear a roster spot for Steve Heinze, who was activated after sitting out nine games because of a concussion.