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L.A. Kings bring back two fan favorites

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On Friday, Aug 2, the Los Angeles Kings made two important announcements.

1) Kyle Clifford is staying put - Many Kings fans had been holding their collective breath regarding the fate of Kyle Clifford, the team's last remaining unsigned restricted free agent. Clifford was a part of the 2012 Stanley Cup championship team, and has been a fan favorite. When the team acquired Dan Carcillo from the Chicago Blackhawks on July 16, it fueled much speculation that Clifford would not be returning. The fans may now exhale.

The team announced that Clifford has agreed to a new two-year deal.

The hard-nosed forward appeared in all 48 games for the Kings this past season, recording 14 points (7-7=14) and 51 penalty minutes. Clifford also played in 14 postseason games, recording two points (both assists) and eight penalty minutes.

In 205 career NHL regular season games (all with the Kings), the 6-2, 209-pound native of Ayr, Ontario has recorded 40 points (19-21=40) and 315 penalty minutes. He’s also played in 23 career playoff games with the Kings, posting seven points (3-4=7) and 17 penalty minutes.

Clifford was originally selected by the Kings in second round (35th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

It will be nice to see No. 13 back in a Kings uniform.

2) The return of Hockey Fest - The popular event was not held last year due to the expiring CBA, which meant that unfortunately, Kings fans had to miss another chance to celebrate the Kings' 2012 Stanley Cup championship.

Here are the details for LA Kings Hockey Fest ’13, presented by Pizza Hut -

The Kings festival celebrating the game of hockey, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8 at STAPLES Center.

The event will serve as the official start to the 2013-14 NHL season and it will feature Kings’ players, coaches, management and alumni interacting with fans through both special Q&A’s and autograph sessions.

Other scheduled highlights will include Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and staff addressing the crowd, a kids’ press conference with players (a fan favorite), an open skate at STAPLES Center and the unveiling of the 2013-14 Kings Ice Crew calendar.

“Hockey Fest is back and we as an organization can’t wait to celebrate our team and this great game with our loyal and passionate fans,” said Kings' President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille. “We’re excited about our team and the new season and can’t wait to get started. This will once again be a must see event for anyone who loves the Kings and the sport of hockey.”

Pricing for an all-day pass for LA Kings Hockey Fest ’13 is $20 for Kings Season Ticket Members and Partial Plan Holders, and $25 for the general public.

To purchase tickets in advance, go to LAKings.com/hockeyfest or call 1-888-KINGS-LA.

Visit LAKings.com/hockeyfest in the coming weeks for more event information.

* Having attended this event in prior years, I highly recommend it. A great opportunity to mix and mingle with other Kings fans, and many opportunities to meet the players. It is definitely worth attending.

Also, don't forget Jim Fox's third annual Sunset sip, to be held on Sep 6 in Long Beach, CA.

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