Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 Tidbits for a Tuesday

There isn't a lot of hockey news right now in Los Angeles...however, from various points around the globe there are several stories brewing with connections to the Kings:

* Ryan Smyth was injured at the Hockey World Championships taking place over in Germany.  He was thought to have rolled his ankle at practice on Sunday.  Then, an MRI reveled the situation was much worse - a fractured left ankle.  He's headed back to LA tomorrow and is expected to be fully healed before camp opens in September.  TSN has the full story here.

* Team USA - captained by the Kings Jack Johnson - is in deep trouble in the same tournament.  They lost in front of 77,000 fans in the opening game on Friday.  They followed that up with a second overtime loss yesterday, this time to Denmark (by the same score of 2-1).  On the loss to Denmark - a team that didn't even qualify to play in the recent Olympics - Johnson summed it up best "It's inexcusable.”  The American squad will now face Finland on Wednesday.  With a win they can avoid being pushed into the regulation round.  Not exactly the fate you would have forecasted for the team prior to the tournament.

* Help appeared to be on the way for Team USA when they reached out to goalie Jimmy Howard immediately after the Red Wings were eliminated from the NHL playoffs over the weekend.  Unfortunately, he declined the offer due to nagging injuries he wanted to heal up.  While Howard would have been a nice addition, offense seems to the big problem right now.  They've scored just a single goal in each of their first two games!

* According to an article here in The Hockey News, the Kings may be for sale soon.  Per the author, AEG is tired of losing money.  The speculation is interesting to say the least.  A few years ago it seemed much more likely they would be thinking in this direction.  However, given the money they've pumped into the team in recent years - and given Tim Leiweke's passion for the team - it seems a little bit of a stretch at this point.  Not saying it won't be possible in say 5-8 years.  Just seems a bit premature right now...  Yet, keep one thing in mind - Leiweke has been talking lately about building a football stadium in downtown.  If AEG is to be involved in the ownership of a team - rather than just a landlord - that could force a sale of the Kings, due to NFL rules that forbid ownership of other sports teams.  Stay tuned.

* The Dodgers and Kings will continue their cross marketing efforts on Friday, July 9th.  There will be a special section dedicated to Kings fans, that includes a free t-shirt (pictured above) with the purchase of a ticket.  For info click here.  It's a game versus the Cubs, so if the Dodgers can get their pitching figured out, it should be a good game.

* Nino-mania continues to run wild!  Nino Niederreiter - the Swiss teenage phenom - was just added to Team Switzerland at the World Championships.  The full story is available if you click here.  For those unfamiliar, Nino is expected to be a top 10 selection at the upcoming NHL Draft in Los Angeles.

* Speaking of the draft, if you haven't marked your calendars yet, circle the dates now - June 25th and 26th.

* Home ice advantage seems to be a thing of the past in the NHL playoffs.  Entering Monday's games, the home team had a 35-33 advantage in the first two rounds of games.  The advantage didn't change after last night either - Montreal won at home and Philadelphia won on the road.

* Junior hockey playoff update:  The four-team Memorial Cup tournament begins on Friday.  Several Kings prospects will be featured - including last year's #1 pick, Brayden Schenn.  The NHL Network can get you ready for things...they'll be showing the 2008 Memorial Cup Championship Game on Wednesday at 3:30pm PST (a game that features Kings prospect Justin Azevedo playing for Kitchener)...and then the 2009 Championship Game will be shown Thursday in the same time slot (that game features Kings prospect Andrei Loktionov).  Finally, on Friday they'll have a 2010 Memorial Cup Preview Show on at 4pm PST, just prior to the live showing of Schenn and the host Brandon Wheat Kings taking on the Windsor Spitfires.

* The NHL Network is also showing a special on Luc Robitaille later tonight.  The show is called Off the Ice and it will air at 6pm PST.

The Mayor

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