LA Kings Recall Kevin GravelApr 3, 2016
The LA Kings have recalled defenseman Kevin Gravel from the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
The 24-year-old Gravel (born March 6, 1992) is a 6-4, 199-pound native of Kingsford, Mich. who appeared in four games during his first NHL call-up (Feb. 11- Feb. 26; 0-0=0), including his first NHL game, Feb. 11 at the NY Islanders.
Based on a brief conversation with hockey operations, the need for the call-up was spurred by several “bang ups” on defense. All defensemen traveled with the team, according to hockey operations, so there do not appear to be any serious issues. Rob Scuderi took his last shift of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Dallas with seven and a half minutes to play, according to the play by play log, though I was told there’s no major issue with Scuderi. In a more high profile incident, Brayden McNabb was high sticked by Radek Faksa and underwent several stitches to the right of his right eye in a frightening incident that went unpenalized in the third period.
With the “bang-ups,” there are now several options at Darryl Sutter’s disposal on defense, and Gravel will provide the team with one final look before the playoffs start and, barring any rash of injuries, he’ll be back with AHL-Ontario for their Calder Cup run. Jamie McBain is also an option, though he’s a right-shot defenseman who generates offense. If the need is for a defensive-minded left-shot defenseman, Gravel would almost certainly get the nod. Los Angeles opens a quick, two-game back-to-back road trip in Vancouver on Monday night before traveling to Calgary to face the Flames on Tuesday.
Selected in the fifth-round (148th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Gravel has appeared in 55 games this season with Ontario, posting 20 points (7-13=20), a plus-4 rating and 30 penalty minutes. In 118 career AHL games, he has registered 35 points (13-22=35), a plus-16 rating and 55 penalty minutes.