Kings’ Robyn Regehr nearing return but probably won’t play in Game 1

Robyn Regehr, Antoine Vermette
Robyn Regehr battles Phoenix’s Antoine Vermette, left, on the boards back in April.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said Wednesday morning that he was ready to return to the lineup after missing a month of action because of an injured knee.

“I think it just comes down to a coach’s decision — what they want to do with the lineup,” Regehr said hours before Game 1 between the Kings and the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center.

The physical defenseman was injured in Game 1 of the second round series against the Ducks via a hit from Ducks star Teemu Selanne. Regehr did not think it would come down to an issue of persuading the doctors to let him play Wednesday.

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” he said. “It’s matter of what kind of lineup [Kings Coach] Darryl [Sutter] wants to go with and I think it’ll probably be the same one we had last game. The guys played well and won a big Game 7 in Chicago.”


Said Sutter: “He’s getting closer. I probably wouldn’t play him tonight.”

It has been 10 years since Regehr and Sutter lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sutter coached the Calgary Flames and Regehr was a member of that squad. The defenseman was asked by a TV crew what he would do this time around.

“Win. It’s as simple as that,” Regehr said.

In fact, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards, then of the Lightning, prevented Regehr from winning the Cup. Now they are standing in his way again, with the New York Rangers this time.


“Yes, you’re right,” said Regehr, chuckling, when reminded of that during at Tuesday’s media session.

“Hopefully, it’ll be a different ending this time.”

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