Jun 9, 2013, 7:57 PM EDT
It’s been almost a full year – Tuesday officially marks the anniversary – since Willie Mitchell last played a National Hockey League game.
On Sunday, not even 24 hours after the L.A. Kings were knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Chicago Blackhawks, general manager Dean Lombardi offered a brief update on Mitchell, who missed the entire 2013 season due to a knee injury suffered during the lockout.
As per Lisa Dillman of the L.A. Times, Lombardi said Mitchell is making progress, but it was the same progress he experienced before the setback that led to another knee operation earlier this spring.
As of the beginning of April, there was “legitimate concern” about Mitchell playing next season.
Mitchell turned 36 years of age in April, and is entering the final year of a two-year contract worth $7 million.
He’s played in 719 regular season games over the course of his career, which includes stops in New Jersey, Minnesota, Dallas, Vancouver and L.A.
Mitchell was also an integral part of the Kings blue line corps during last year’s Stanley Cup victory.
- PHT Extra: What happens if the Caps miss the playoffs? 0
- Wings can’t afford regulation loss to Jackets 6
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter 45
- NHL on NBCSN: Capitals fight to earn first win vs. Penguins in 26 months 10
- Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period 25
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 23
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 17
- Sens’ Ceci won’t return after Weber’s shot lacerates his ear (Update) 8
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 25
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 45
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (71)
- Report: Flyers table ‘substantial offer’ for Kesler, also inquiring about Edler (59)