Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Bobbleheads Coming

Wayne Simmonds won't be standing alone on your bookshelf.

Fresh on the heels of the recent announcement that the Kings would be giving away Wayne the Train bobbleheads at the game vs. Edmonton on February 11th comes this...

Anze Kopitar can continue his budding bro-mance with Ryan Smyth on a whole new level, each will be getting their own bobblehead! (see pictures to the left)

That's right Kings fans, there will be two more bobblehead giveaways before the season is over.

Kopi bobbles will be available at the game versus the Nashville Predators on Sunday, March 14th.

Rhyno will complete the bobble-trick with a special giveaway on Thursday, April 1st vs. Vancouver. No foolin' - #94 can be yours for free.

Just an observation here - the Kings are sending five players to the Olympics in Vancouver. None of those guys are currently scheduled to get the bobble treatment this year. Interesting.

If you don't already have tickets, click here for more information. Go to the games!


Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 DRAFT: Prospects on TV today

The future is now...or least part of it is tonight.

Fire up the DVRs, at 7pm PST you'll have the rare chance to see Canadian Junior Hockey on TV in the southland. FoxSports Northwest, available on DirecTV channel 687, will be showing the WHL game between the Everett Silvertips and Chilliwack Bruins (Oscar Moller's old team).

Moller was selected 52nd overall by the Kings back at the 2008 NHL Draft.

Tonight's game will feature six players appearing on last week's Midterm Rankings released by the National Hockey League's Central Scouting Service. The list categorizes all top draft-eligible prospects by area (North America-Europe) and position (skater-goaltender) in advance of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft being held in Los Angeles this June.

NHL Central Scouting ranked players in this game:

Everett Silvertips
Goaltender Kent Simpson (#7 N. American goalie)
Skaters - Alex Theriau (#74) and Radko Gudas (#131)

Simpson is a 17 year old goaltender from Edmonton, Alberta who currently leads the WHL with a .922 save percentage. Theriau is a 6'2" defenseman from Duncan, British Columbia, also 17 years old. The eldest of the group, 19 year old defenseman Gudas, is from Prague, Czech Republic. He's on the smaller side, only 5'11", and represented his country at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships. Of interesting note, Gudas was invited to the LA Kings training camp back in September.

In an interview here, this is what he had to say about the experience:

"It was a pretty good experience. I was there in the summer in (Kings) development camp and they invited me to the rookie camp so I really enjoyed it. LA’s a great city and the training camp and rookie camp were pretty good...there were many things I learned. The hockey is different from Europe so I had to change my style for playing to another system and smaller ice."

Chilliwack Bruins
Forward Kevin Sundher (#92)
Defenseman Tyler Stahl (#96)
Forward Dylen McKinlay (#156)

Sundher is from Surrey, BC and currently stands 6' even. He'll be turning 19 on Monday. Rookie defenseman Stahl is 6'2" and originally from Drumheller, Alberta. He'll turn 19 on January 29th. McKinlay is another BC boy, hailing from Langley, BC.

For the full list of draft-eligible skaters and goaltenders ranked by the NHL's Central Scouting division click here.

The Mayor

100 NHL Goals for Dustin Brown

Somewhat lost in the middle of the Kings destruction of the Ducks last night was a milestone for Dustin Brown. At 12:43 of the second period he tipped in a shot from Frolov and Doughty, his 100th NHL goal.

That's quite an accomplishment for a guy that claims to have been a better lacrosse player than hockey player growing up.

However, he ended up playing Junior hockey in Canada after leaving his native New York. And he's found plenty of success ever since.

To celebrate his century mark in goals, let's take a look at 10 Tidbits on Brownie:
  • Was selected in the first round, #13 overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. For a team that has been criticized for decades about trading away their picks, it was an odd year for the Kings. They had three first round picks. Brown was the only one pan out.
  • The Guelph days - He wore #32 for his Junior team, the Storm. They also claim Dan Cloutier and Drew Doughty as former players. Brown left with 194 points (and 195 penalty minutes) in 174 games. He also left with quite a few awards - Scholastic Player of the Year all three years he was in Guelph, was voted the most popular player on the Storm in 2001-02 and was the Top Scorer in 2002-03.
  • Becoming a fixture on Team USA - played twice at the World Junior Championships ('02 and '03), totalling 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 14 games. Alexander Frolov's Russian team beat Canada for the gold in 2002, with Brown's US squad finishing fifth. Then in 2003, the US lost the Bronze Medal game to Finland. He's also played for Team USA four times at the World Championships that take place late in the Spring each year. Last April he was named captain of the team and they finished fourth in the standings. Next up, he'll play for Team USA again at the 2010 Olympics, where he'll return to wearing #32 and he'll be an assistant captain.
  • Regarding the NHL lockout in 2004 he said "It was a blessing in disguise for me. I loved my time in Manchester. I learned a ton about how to be a pro."
  • His wife also had a stellar hockey career before settling down with Dustin and becoming a full-time mom. (click here for an interview with her)
  • In baseball you would call him a five-tool player. Brownie has it all - the ability to score, play defense, dish out big hits...and he's even been known to drop the gloves when needed.
  • 2007-08 led the Kings in goals with 33.
  • 2008-09 was a monumental year for Brown. He was the first American born player ever chosen to captain the Kings, he played in his first NHL All Star Game and in December '08 he scored his first hat trick against St Louis. After the game against the Blues, the always humble Brown said "I felt like I'd been in a slump. I was getting chances, but the pucks weren't going in. So, I was just trying to keep it simple and putting pucks on the net. That's what we need as a team, throwing pucks at the net."
  • Was the youngest player in franchise history to be named captain.
  • He is currently under contract with the LA Kings through June, 2014. While it has never been officially confirmed, it is believed he has the LA Kings logo "tattooed on his ass" like GM Dean Lombardi has said he needs his players to have.

Congratulations on goal #100. Fans throughout Staples Center appreciate what you do on a nightly basis to help the Kings win and are proud to call you THE CAPTAIN.


note - part of the above article was originally published in Nov 2009 on Brownie's was updated for today's post


10 Free Agent Tidbits - notes on Frolov and Ponikarovsky, plus thoughts on Kariya

10 Tidbits on Alexander Frolov

10 Tidbits on Wayne Simmonds

10 Tidbits on Drew Doughty


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kings out-snookie the Ducks

Before the game even started we knew we had a situation.

The Anaheim Ducks were on their way to Staples Center, bringing with them a five game winning streak. Then, the Red Wings beat the Hurricanes today 3-1, which - temporarily - put the Kings 9th in the Western Conference. Both were just adding salt to an already open wound caused by LA's three game losing streak.

Among the 18,118 fans at the sold out game tonight in downtown were several of the cast members from MTV's new hit reality series Jersey Shore.

How appropriate. The house they all lived in during the taping featured a "friggin' duck phone" as some on the show have called it. It had a very annoying ring.

Not nearly as annoying as some of the cast members though. That said, their Jersey Shore life inspired plenty of comedic background to a great game for the Kings. It was an old fashioned beat down. Just like the brawls on Jersey Shore most weeks.

The Shore kids also like to "beat-up-the-beat" with their fist pumping dancing. On the ice the Kings were beating up the Ducks left and right. Not only with goals, but with their own fists. Wayne Simmonds led the Kings with 12 penalty minutes.

Michal Handzus continued his strong play of late, scoring his fifth goal in the 10 games since Christmas. It was the only goal of the first period. 1-0 Kings at intermission.

If the Ducks were trying to rattle the Kings in the second with their physical play, it back fired. Scott Parse netted his 8th of the year about 6 minutes in. Later in the period Dustin Brown scored his 100th NHL goal, putting the Kings up 3-0.

Then, the Kings finally scored a goal late in a period after giving up so many of them the last few weeks. Simmonds got credit for the goal, with an assist to Kopitar. It was Kopi's 23rd point in 22 career games vs. Anaheim. JWOW indeed.

Simmonds was on fire at this point, perhaps causing several of the Ducks to be thinking "chill out Freckles McGee.”

Given that LA was sporting a gelled up record of 17-0-0 when leading after two periods, Anaheim couldn't have been happy with the score at this point.

Wayne the Train was back for more fisticuffs in the third, taking on Sheldon Brookbank. More Jersey Shore flashbacks, this time the episode where JWOW said "She called Snookers fat & that like triggered me...I was gonna try to uppercut her, but at that point I had too many bouncers wrapped around me. I just wish for like 3 more seconds. I woulda done justice." Simmonds was like, EXACTLY!

DJ Pauly D once reminded his fellow cast mates "It only takes nine pounds of pressure to break a nose." Perhaps Raitis Ivanans watched that episode. He tried to test Pauly D's theory on Ryan Carter late in the third, bloodying him up in the process.

Although Simmonds may have liked that episode too, his favorite was probably the one where a housemate claimed "When we’re out on the battlefield, I’m like the first strike. It’s sorta like they send me out, first, like the Navy SEALs." Which left Wayne thinking 'me too'!

When Oscar Moller started getting in on the roughhousing in the third all I kept thinking about was Paulie D saying "Through the scuffle Snooks gets hit in the face, again. Poor girl… she needs to take some karate classes or somethin’. She needs self defense. Somebody’s got to teach her how to fight or duck." He didn't want Snookie fighting and the Kings probably didn't want the little Swede trying to channel his inner Marty McSorley either.

Although Kings coach Terry Murray has probably never watched Jersey Shore, he'd probably be a big fan of Mike aka the Situation. Murray is always preaching shot mentality. Here's the Situation on women - "There is definitely a numbers game when it comes to girls. Let's just say, ya know, ten girls have slipped you their number within that particular week. There is a possibility that, like, five or six may no answer. Somebody may pick up but they're busy, but probably on three or four they're probably coming over...As long as you keep calling there will be success in your numbers game, it's just like anything." Coach Murray agrees. About the numbers game. When it comes to scoring. Oh, never mind.

Snookie often talks about her love of pickles. Maybe she's a Sharks fan. Perhaps she needs to come to the game next Tuesday when San Jose is in town.

Either way, Kings win 4-0...FINALLY giving Jonathan Quick his first shutout of the year.

G.T.L. baby. Gym, Tanning, Laundry.

Better hurry though. Next game is Saturday afternoon vs. Boston.

The Mayor

note: if you haven't watched MTV's Jersey Shore, most of this post makes no sense to you...that's OK, it's like watching the show - when it's over, you're better off just erasing it from your brain and moving on...the Kings won convincingly, that's all you need to know.
David Walker of the Ontario Reign has been named Captain for the ECHL All Star Game.

Walker, a defenseman, will lead the National Conference against fellow captain J.C. Sawyer (Toledo Walleye) and the American Conference. He will also be joined by two Reign teammates in the game, forwards Greg Hogeboom and Peter Lenes.

The All Star game is scheduled for Wednesday January 20th at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, less than hour east of Staples Center. Other activities next week include a Skills Competition and Hall of Fame luncheon, where Luc Robitaille is scheduled to be the guest speaker.

For more information visit or call the Reign at (909) 941-7825.

If you don't go, be sure to watch the game on the NHL Network (DirecTV channel 215) or online at and

The Mayor

Previous Ontario Reign articles on
Focus on Defenseman Shawn Germain
Four Reign Players make the All Star Team
All Star Game Updates (Wed 1/13)

Tough Choice


Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center tonight vs. Kings. Tickets available at

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All-Star updates

One week from today the ECHL All-Star game comes to Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, less than hour east of Staples Center.

The game is being hosted by the Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings and AHL Manchester Monarchs.

For those unfamiliar with the ECHL, think of it this way - if the Monarchs are the Kings 'AAA' farm team, the Reign are their 'AA' equivalent.

Most of the top prospects go directly to the AHL in Manchester. However, several of the Monarchs players this year were in Ontario last season - guys like Bud Holloway, Geoff Walker and Jeff Zatkoff (who recently collected his eighth win of the season - in just 12 games - backing up Johnathan Bernier). Holloway, a 3rd round draft pick of the Kings in 2006, is currently second on the Monarchs in goals (10) and third in points (22).

Here are the latest updates on this year's ECHL All Star game to get you ready:

* Line-up Changes - Ontario had four players selected to play in the game - forwards Greg Hogeboom, Jon Rheault and Peter Lenes; along with defenseman David Walker. Yet, Rheault has been playing in Manchester recently, so Adam Miller of the Las Vegas Wranglers will replace him on the All Star roster. Miller leads the Wranglers with 21 assists and is tied for the team lead with 30 points in 34 games.

* Lunch with Luc - The ECHL All Star luncheon is scheduled for next week too. LA Kings President and Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille will be the guest speaker. Individual tickets and "super tickets" (which includes tickets to the luncheon, the skills competition, a fan fest and the actual All Star game) can be purchased at or by telephoning the Reign at (909) 941-7825.

Coach Neil Smith? - Former NY Rangers General Manager Neil Smith is now coaching in the ECHL. Smith, best known for being the NY boss who helped bring the Stanley Cup back to the Big Apple in 1994, owns the the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL. Last week Smith made a coaching change, putting himself behind the bench. He'll be in Ontario next week to do the video broadcast of the game, available on television via the NHL Network (DirecTV channel 215) and for free over the internet at and on

We'll have more on the ECHL All Star Game and the surrounding festivities leading up to next week. If you're schedule is free, you should check out the game in Ontario Wednesday night. It should be fun and you just never know who might end up in the NHL down the line.
The Mayor
Previous Ontario Reign articles on

Monday, January 11, 2010

MayorsManor presents the Frolov 500

Sounds more like a NASCAR race, doesn't it?

In fact, we're talking about Alexander Frolov playing in his 500th game for the LA Kings tonight vs. the San Jose Sharks.

The benchmark number puts him #17 all time for the Kings and it's a threshold that's been narrowly missed by many, including past fan favorites Marty McSorley (472) and Lubomir Visnovsky (499).

To help celebrate this accomplishment, here are 10 tidbits you might not know about Alexander Frolov.

* Two significant honors before joining the Kings: 2001-02 Rookie of the Year in the Russian Super League and a gold medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships (where he scored a goal for Russia in the final game and led the team with 6 goals and 8 points in 7 games).

* Was selected #20 in the first round of the 2000 NHL Draft. Other players taken in that same first round: ahead of him (Rick DiPietro, Dany Heatley, Marian Gaborik, Scott Hartnell and Brooks Orpik), after him (Brad Boyes, Steve Ott and current teammate Justin Williams).

* Has been durable for the Kings, averaging 76 games per year during his six full seasons in LA.

* A few high points with the Kings: First NHL goal on October 25, 2002 vs New York Rangers. First NHL hat trick on November 13, 2005 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets. Has led the team in goals three times - 2003-04 (24 Goals), 2006-07 (35 goals) and 2008-09 (32 goals).

* Played in the Russian Elite League before making his NHL debut with the Kings in 2002-03. Then returned to Russia during the NHL Lockout in 2004, playing 42 games with CSKA Moscow and 6 games with Moscow Dynamo.

* According to these are some of Fro's favorites: Shrek (movie), Andre Agassi (athlete) and Aerosmith (band).

* No fro-love from the mother country? Has significant international experience - playing for Team Russia in the 2002 WJC, 2004 World Cup, 2006 Olympics and three times at the World Championships ('03, '07 and '09). No matter...he was not asked to join Russia for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. A move that surprised many.

* Played in the 2003 NHL YoungStars game, the first Kings player to get the call. The game originated the year before as part of the All Star weekend in Los Angeles, where Team Barry Melrose defeated Team Jim Fox 13-7. MVP of the debut game was Ilya Kovalchuk of the Thrashers. Other participants in 2002 included Roberto Luongo, Pavel Datsyuk, Dany Heatley, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik and Brenden Morrow. Young Stars indeed.

* Lotto numbers - Frolov has worn a variety of jersey numbers throughout his hockey career. He tried #31 while with the Soviet Wings in 2000-01 and in 2001-02. Number 42 went for a test drive in '04 with Dynamo. Of course, he has been wearing #24 for the Kings and most years with Team Russia.

* Throughout his time here in LA he's been rumored to be traded to just about every team in the NHL. This is not at an all encompassing list, but he's been linked to Montreal, Atlanta, Buffalo, Vancouver, Edmonton, Chicago, New York, Colorado, Ottawa, Pittsburgh...just Google 'Frolov trade rumors' and you can read one hilarious story after another. Nothing's happened so far. At this point, it's 500 and counting in a Kings jersey.

The Mayor


10 Free Agent Tidbits - more notes on Frolov and Poni Boy, plus thoughts on Kariya

10 Tidbits on Wayne Simmonds

10 Tidbits on Dustin Brown

10 Tidbits on Drew Doughty


Terry Murray likes Seals, not Sharks

The 49ers have more championships and the Giants get way more press. There's the Raiders, who are...well, the Raiders. You can throw in the A's and the Warriors too. However, the only professional sports team in Northern California to have any kind of success the last few years has been the San Jose Sharks.

And while they might be the darlings of the greater Bay Area at the moment, life for hockey fans up there hasn't always been so pleasurable. Long before anybody was wearing their teal with pride, there was another hockey team in the dreaded land of wine and cheese (or is it whine and cheese?). That team put fans through nine losing seasons before skipping town.

Back in 1967, when the NHL was adding its Second Six, the TV contract at the time called for two teams in California. One went to Jack Kent Cooke in Los Angeles and the other to Barry Van Gerbig (singer Bing Crosby's godson).

Van Gerbig had assembled an ownership group the year before and purchased the San Fransisco Seals of the rival WHL. As a way to appeal to a larger audience he changed the name to the California Seals for the move to the NHL in '67. Like all things surrounding the Seals, that didn't last long. Just two months into their inaugural NHL season the name was changed to the Oakland Seals.

Chaos was always surrounding the team. They were nearly sold on multiple occasions in the first few years, never had a stable building arrangement and roster turnover was omnipresent - with only seven players returning for their second season.

Charlie Finley of the Oakland A's finally bought the team as they entered their third season. Soon after came another name change - now the California Golden Seals - and crazy marketing tactics, like green and gold skates.

The team was being run at the time by a guy named Bill Torrey, who later went on to become GM of the legendary New York Islanders of the '80s - winners of four straight Stanley Cups.

It was Torrey, who in the seventh round of the 1970 NHL Draft (#88 overall) selected Ottawa 67's defenseman Terry Murray. Yes, the same Terry Murray who now coaches Los Angeles.

Long before he was a King, he was a NoCal. Murray played in 90 games for the Seals over the course of three seasons in the early '70s. He was eventually signed by the Flyers as a free agent in 1975. His playing days were over by 1982.

Meanwhile, the Seals continued their tumultuous existence. Along the way they almost moved to Vancouver, Buffalo and Indianapolis. Murray wasn't the only future Kings coach to play for the Seals though, Tom Webster played seven games for California in 1971, before suffering a season ending back injury. Yet another connection to the Kings saw the Seals draft future Triple Crown winger Charlie Simmer in 1974. He debuted with the team the following season, scoring 21 points in 35 games.

Then things finally came to an end in 1976 when the Seals were relocated to Cleavland and renamed the Barons. In a move that should have surprised nobody, given the history of the Seals, the Barons failed as well and after two seasons were merged with the Minnesota North Stars.

Coincidentally, it was the Stars who almost became the Sharks. After experiencing financial trouble in Minnesota the team was considering moving West. The NHL wanted no part of that idea and a compromise was eventually reached. The then owners of the Stars, the Gund Brothers, sold their stake in the team to former Whalers owner Howard Baldwin. The Gund's were then awarded the expansion Sharks, who began play with the 1990-91 season.

A long and windy road that leads us to tonight.

The Kings are 47-47-14 all time versus the Sharks, including 3-0-1 this season. Considering the Kings are 0-2 on their current homestand...and have looked pretty flat overall...this is, you guessed it, another big game.

The Mayor