Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Los Angeles Kings Rumors, News & Upcoming Events

OK, OK, OK - I get it. You guys want some scoops, some gossip and some rumors.

Here you go, this is the latest happenings from inside the Los Angeles Kings organization (non-player related)...

* GRAB YOUR FLIP FLOPS - The Kings are working to put a pre-season game together next year with the Ducks. Seems normal enough right? Well, now ponder the game played on the beach (yes, on ice AT the beach). They're looking at a game in Santa Monica, Manhattan or Redondo. While there is some concern that the capacity will probably be limited to the 6-10k range (ala a pro volleyball event), this is seen as something unique enough that it could generate some hockey buzz in a media market that pretty much ignores the greatest game in town. Should be interesting. Look for more information in the months to come.

* HOCKEY FEST - Looks like they've already made the decision to make this an annual event. A lot of planning has gone into the inaugural one coming up in a few weeks and they're convinced this is a great way to kick off the season going forward. Several other teams around the league do similar events - most are only one day events, nearly all with more expensive tickets. Perhaps they've done their homework and they're prepared to outdo those teams. Good! Should be a nice treat for the fans. The whole thing sounds fun (and is getting better by the day with all of the info being made public). Looking forward to it. One more thing, next year's event will probably be held in the ball rooms of the new hotel at LA LIVE. So next year's event already has one up on this year - it comes with climate control!

* CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? - I for one love the conference calls the Kings have been doing recently with season ticket holders. Great guests, great format, easy to participate, etc. For all you bashers out there, stop ruining my hockey buzz. If you don't like the calls, if you don't like the breakfasts with Dean, just stop going. More importantly, stop bitching. OK, I'm back. Looks like the next call will be with more of the scouting staff and focused on the topic of scouting and player development. Guess I wasn't the only one who liked when Dean explained how the scouts are spread out throughout N.America and Europe on the last call. The positive feedback now has them preparing to dedicate an entire call focused on this side of the business. This is not to be confused with the recently announced "Growing Up Kings" event at Hockey Fest.

* JUNE 2010 - Were you bummed when the Kings cancelled their (what seemed like) annual draft party? Sure, the event a few years ago in Hollywood cost the team A LOT of money. However, there are ways to scale it back and still get a large group of us together to share in the experience of drafting for the future. In fact, one great suggestion floating around out there was to let the Kings Care foundation take over the event and charge a small admission fee ($5-10) to offset the cost. (note: more on Kings Care later). Well, this year it would have been tough to pull off, in part because so much time and effort was being put into Hockey Fest. So, here's the scoop for you...the Kings are actively working with the NHL to secure the bid to host the 2010 ENTRY DRAFT. If they can't pull it together in time for '10, 2011 is the fallback plan. Stay tuned.

* MAKE IT A DOUBLE - Looks like the early reports that the Royal Room would be closing along with Fox Sports Bar are wrong. In fact, according to people inside the Kings, the Royal Room is growing! Hopefully more people in there means shorter lines for me at the regular concession stands.

* ALL IN THE FAMILY - Be on the lookout for a bigger, stronger, more robust alumni presence going forward. Jim Fox and Ian "Hawk" Turnball are working on a new website and have been laying the groundwork for a stronger connection between current fans and former players. As Luc, Dean and others have often mentioned, history is very important. You'll start to see more alumni around and included in events in just a few weeks at Hockey Fest. Then, look for more involvement at Frozen Fury and other events this season. For example, want to have lunch with some former players, play some pick-up hockey or skate with the Kings alumni? It'll probably be possible in the very near future.

Finally, some trivia. Who is the only defenseman in NHL history to score 5 goals in a game? HINT: This guy also is the only Kings defenseman to score 4 goals in a game.

The Mayor

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