The Long Beach Press Telegram is reporting that Aki Berg has agreed in principle to a one year contract with the Kings that could be signed as soon as today. Berg claims no hard feelings and says he is ready and eager to play for the Kings this season. This move is huge in easing the concerns of defensive depth. This also puts Berg back on track to the promising future he had two years ago.
Also, the Los Angeles Kings issued the following press release on the condition of prospect Eric Belanger. Belanger was diagnosed with a blood clot that could potentially keep him out for the season. As this article reads, the centerman’s season has been salvaged after all.
INGLEWOOD, CA. – Los Angeles Kings center Eric Belanger underwent successful surgery this morning for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that caused a blood clot to develop in his right arm, Kings Senior Vice President/General Manager Dave Taylor announced today.
Surgery was performed by Dr. Fred A. Weaver, chief of vascular surgery, USC University Hospital, to remove Belanger`s first rib on his right side. He will be followed over the next month by Dr. Weaver and Kings internist Dr. Michael Mellman. The timing for Belanger`s return to professional hockey will be determined by his response to surgery and rehabilitation over the next month.
Belanger, 22, played in 33 games last season with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, registering 26 points (8-18=26) and 10 penalty minutes. Originally selected by the Kings in the fourth round (96th overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, he is a native of Sherbrooke, Quebec.
The Kings are scheduled to open their 1999-2000 training camp on Sunday, Sept. 5, at Iceoplex in North Hills, the club`s final training camp in North Hills before their new training center opens in El Segundo.