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Kings’ Mitchell making progress: Lombardi

Jun 9, 2013, 7:57 PM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game Two Getty Images

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.

 

  1. nightfireop - Jun 9, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    i wish all the very best for willie mitchell. he was such an important piece to our cup run in 2012, i would hate to see such a classy man like mitchell leave the league due to such injury; but he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. i’d LOVE to see him back, but if this injury spells the end of mitchell’s time, i’m happy that he left a stanley cup champion.

    :’)

  2. beaver15 - Jun 9, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    He’s a hard nosed player. If healthy, very strong clearing the net area

  3. kicksave1980 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    It will be a shame if a guy like Mitchell has to go out like this. By all accounts, he seems like a good guy. I know he gives tickets away on Twitter all the time, and he engages his fans when they talk to him there. Hate to see anyone have to leave their dream behind due to an injury, regardless of how old they are.

  4. Anoesis - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    A main reason the defense wasn’t quite as good this year as last.

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