Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin is considered questionable for tonight's season opener against the San Jose Sharks, according to Kings Assistant General Manager Rob Blake.
Muzzin's undisclosed upper-body injury occurred on the recently completed trip, Blake said via email on Wednesday afternoon. This will hasten the Kings' debut of youngster Brayden McNabb, apparently.
McNabb is poised to play against the Sharks and indicated to Curtis Zupke of NHL.com that he would be in the lineup for Muzzin, saying he was "fortunate enough to get a chance to play tonight." He took some rushes with defenseman Drew Doughty in the morning but there were rotations among the defensemen, just like there were in practice Tuesday.
The 23-year-old McNabb, acquired in a trade with Buffalo in March, has 37 games of NHL experience with the Sabres, 25 in the 2011-12 season and 12 last season.
Kings defenseman Alec Martinez didn't even hesitate when asked Wednesday morning how long he has been ready for the start of the NHL season.
"Since June 13," he said, drawing laughter.
Of course, June 13 was the night the Kings clinched the Stanley Cup with Martinez winning the game in double overtime against the New York Rangers. The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto asked for his stick from that game and Martinez said he regretfully turned down the request. But the Hall of Fame does have his gloves from that epic night.
There will be a celebration of the 2014 Cup win as the Stanley Cup banner is raised at Staples Center on Wednesday night. This time the Kings won't be on the ice nearly as long as they were for the first banner raising event.
They received their Stanley Cup rings in a private gathering earlier this week.
"It was nice for them to be able to spend personal time with Mr. [Phil] Anschutz," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said. "He is the owner and he does present the rings. It's nice to have him there. He doesn't like that big social setting … a nice quiet way that was special, for sure."