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Good News on the Willie Mitchell Front

July 31, 2013, 1:52 AM ET [14 Comments]
Jason Lewis
Los Angeles Kings Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
On a rather slow and uneventful set of days here in the hockey world in regards to news, the Kings got some news that I'm sure makes most cautiously optimistic:

Willie Mitchell seems to be making progress.

Senior writer for NHL.com Dan Rosen tweeted out the promising information on Tuesday. He also indicated that this information would be part of NHL.com's 30-in-30 series that they have been doing for several offseasons now.

As indicated the Kings will be up on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Mitchell did not play a single game for the Kings last season with a recurring knee injury. Despite being hopeful several times, the veteren continually ran into setbacks on his road to recovery.

However with almost a full year of rehab quickly approaching on the defenseman's knee, it seems more and more likely there will be another healthy body to toss into the mix in an already crowded Kings defensive corps.

Mitchell, one of the teams most valuable defenseman in the 2011-12 Stanley Cup winning season, was sorely missed by the young and somewhat inexperienced group. It wasn't the 24 points nor the plus-20 rating that the team missed, it was the cool and calm nature that Mitchell played with night in and night out.

Playing with rookie sensation Slava Voynov, Mitchell had a career best in points and his second best season in plus-minus rating in 2011-12.

What remains to be seen is how this will effect the depth chart shuffle. Only training camp and preseason will truly decide that.

Other news and notes

Through the Kings' team site, they have signed minor leaguers Andrew Bodnarchuk to a two-year deal, and Colin Miller to a three-year entry level contract.

Bodnarchuk, a 25-year-old defenseman signed as a free agent last offseason, quickly made an impression on the Monarchs. He served as one of the teams alternate captain last year and had an AHL career-high in points with 20.

Defenseman Colin Miller, 20, made humungous strides with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL last season. Miller doubled his point production from his 2011-12 where he had 28 points, and racked up 55 in 2012-13 as well as serving as the teams' captain.

More news to come hopefully on what has been a rather slow offseason thus far.

Don't forget to follow Jason on twitter @SirJDL
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