Friday, July 16, 2010

Future Fridays - Interview w/ Brandon Glover

In yesterday's Thursday Throwback article we spoke with former Kings goaltender Robb Stauber about the team's run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993.

Today we go the other direction, eyeing the future.  In fact, this kid hadn't even celebrated his first birthday back when Blueline and Hrudey were dueling it out between the pipes at the Forum.

Brandon Glover is a 17 year-old netminder standing 6'3".  He played last season with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL (one of Dean Lombardi's favorite leagues), where he saw action against several of the Kings top prospects - like Martin Jones, Jordan Weal and Brandon Kuzon to name a few.

After not being selected at the NHL Draft a few weeks ago, he was invited to the Kings Developmental Camp held in El Segundo.  In the interview below Brandon talks about coming to camp, the influence of Bill Ranford, some of his teammates, the best prank he's pulled, college hockey vs. junior hockey, the Olympics and what the future may hold for him.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Throwback Thursdays - An Interview w/ Robb Stauber

For an organization that five years ago had zero credibility when it came to developing goaltenders, the Kings have made quite the turn around under the direction of GM Dean Lombardi and Assistant GM Ron Hextall.

Today, goaltending is a strength...with names like Quick, Bernier, Zatkoff, Jones and Berube set to man the nets next season for the Kings and their various affiliates.

However, the Kings had a shot at something similar at least once before.  Case in point, in 1986 the team drafted Robb Stauber out of high school.  Before arriving in LA he had a stellar college hockey career at the University of Minnesota - becoming the first goalie to ever win the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA's player of the year (and he did it as a sophomore!). His teams also made it to the Frozen Four three straight years.

Then, after Robb spent a few more seasons developing in the minors, he began battling Kelly Hrudey for the starting job during the 1992-93 campaign, winning 15 games in 31 regular season appearances.

While Hrudey is fondly remembered as being the man during the Kings run to the Stanley Cup Finals that same year, he had plenty of praise for Stauber and his role on the team when I interviewed him last year - saying things like "Robb had played so strong he deserved the action he was getting too." 

Specifically, on Stauber's performance in the opening round of the '93 playoffs versus Calgary, Hrudey added "We were down 2-1 in the series. Robb (came in and) played in game four and we won 2-1 to even the series. Barry (Melrose) stuck with Robb in games five and six...He won the series."

Just one year later, the Kings drafted Jamie Storr 7th overall at the 1994 NHL Draft - after he won a gold medal for Team Canada at the '94 World Junior Championships.  He backed it up with another gold medal at the '95 WJC.  Goaltending should have been set for years to come.

What happened?  What went wrong?

We first posted an interview with Robb back in April, where he helped preview this year's NCAA Frozen Four Championship game and talked about his days playing college hockey.

This time around, we're talking more about his time with the Kings - from first joining the team to the multiple goalie controversies of '93, coach Barry Melrose, life in the minor leagues, Rogie Vachon, Jonathan Quick, Jamie Storr, Dominik Hasek, being known as "Blueline" and the real reason why he was traded...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits... the interviews

Looking are 10 of the most popular interviews from this past season, where The Mayor touches base with a variety of people around the world of hockey for their perspective...

Luc Robitaille - The King of Kings stopped by MayorsManor a few days before his Hall of Fame induction...topics include Barry Melrose, Wayne Gretzky, Bruce McNall, the Stanley Cup, having a trophy named after him, why he signed with the Red Wings, Gary Bettman, hockey memorabilia, etc. To read 20 Questions with #20 click here.

Mike Modano - As the all-time leading goal scorer among American born players, he is a true hockey legend. The Mayor and the former Dallas Stars captain spoke about winning the Stanley Cup, the team's move from Minnesota, not playing in the All Star game, almost signing with the Boston Bruins, being dissed by the Predators, getting knocked out by Mark Messier and lots more - click here to read the full interview.

Andy Murray - He went from being a virtual unknown to the most successful coach in Kings history. After three trips to the playoffs and with the team above .500, despite being riddled with injuries, he was let go with just a handful of games remaining in the 2005-06 season. In his MayorsManor interview we talk getting hired and fired by the Kings and all things in between, plus his sons, his favorite players, the Kings player he'd most like to have on his NHL team and tons more. Click here to read.

Rob Blake - Love him or hate him, he's a big part of Kings history.  The Mayor gets Rob's thoughts on being drafted by the Kings, going to the Finals in '93, the trade, resigning the Kings captaincy, coming back to LA and so much more. Click here to read it now.

Kelly Hrudey - The man forever linked with the Kings trip to the '93 Stanley Cup finals chatted with The Mayor about the playoffs, his relationship with Dean Lombardi, teams that gave the Kings fits back then, being drafted by the Islanders, his first training camp in New York, underrated players and Robb Stauber stealing his job - click here to read the full interview.

Ethan Moreau - A first round draft pick in 1994, he discussed his time with the Blackhawks, the trade that brought him to Edmonton, the pressure of being the Oilers captain, going to the Stanley Cup finals in 2006, Chris Pronger, the firing of Craig MacTavish and yes, we even talk about his semi-nude photo shoot for ESPN - click here to read the full interview.

John Buccigross - ESPN's guru of hockey talks with The Mayor and gives his take on all the teams in the Western Conference, the greatest hockey game he ever saw, his favorite arena, changes he'd make to the game if he was the NHL Commissioner and other quirky puck related tidbits - click here to read the full interview.

Colten Teubert - A first round draft pick from the 2008 draft, Mr. Nasty just finished up a stellar junior career.  He also helped lead Team Canada at the World Junior Championships and played for the Kings ECHL minor league affiliate in Ontario.  In his interview with The Mayor he talks about being drafted, being a prospect and his dreams of playing in Los Angeles.  Click here to read Tuesdays with Teubert.

Gary Shuchuk - Prior to playing for the Kings in the early 90's this hard working grinder led Wisconsin in scoring and won the NCAA hockey championship.  Two years later he won the AHL's Calder Cup.  He stopped by Mayors Manor prior to the 2010 Frozen Four to talk about his time in college hockey - which included playing with Tony Granato, Curtis Joseph and Mike Richter to name a few. Read it here.

Others of note:
Bob Miller - legendary Kings announcer stops by for a preview of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs

2010 NHL Draft - several prospects stopped by MayorsManor in the week leading up to the draft in Los Angeles, including Cam Fowler (1st round pick of the Anaheim Ducks)

Agents to the stars - Kyle Dubas of Uptown Sports (reps several top prospects in the Kings organization) and Scott Norton (reps Dustin Brown)

Want more?

Coming up in the next few weeks - several players with ties to the U.S. hockey program...Bobby Ryan (Anaheim Ducks and Team USA Olympian), Stephen Johns (World Jr team and recent draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks) and Nick Bjugstad (World Jr team and 1st round pick of the Florida Panthers).

Now if we could just get that guy from Slap Shot...

The Mayor


Monday, July 12, 2010

Exclusive Contest: Win gift bag full of DLO-23 items

Later this evening LA Kings captain Dustin Brown will officially launch DLO-23, his new line of hockey equipment and apparel.

To kick off this exciting new adventure Platinum Events will be hosting a an exclusive, VIP party in conjunction with Norton Sports Management and Combat Sports.  Couldn't get on the guest list?  No worries, you can still WIN one of the gift bags they'll be giving away.

In this exclusive MayorsManor contest we're giving away one DLO-23 gift bag full of some of the new items - like a tshirt, a hat...even an autographed puck from Dustin himself!

Combat Sports is known for being "For Players, By Players..." so the partnership with Dustin should be a natural one.  Through their new, multi-year agreement, Combat will produce Dustin's new line of "DLO-23" products and he'll be using their composite One Piece Stick in all NHL regular season and playoff games.

"We are extremely proud to have an athlete like Dustin join our growing team, and it was important that we found a player who exemplified all of the qualities of a great player including skill, toughness and leadership. Dustin is one of the NHL’s great young players who also has a strong conviction for charity work which is in line with Combat’s interest in the grassroots approach and we look forward to working with him for many years to come as his career progresses" said Steven Sutherland, President of Combat Sports. "Dustin’s outstanding track record speaks for itself and we are excited for what the future holds for both Dustin and Combat."

DLO himself added "I'm very excited for my future with Combat Sports, and proud of the fact that, like myself, my sticks will be made in North America. I am confident that Combat Sports, the LA Kings and myself are in for brighter and better things in the future."

As for the nickname, DLO was given to him by teammates while playing junior hockey with the Guelph Storm.

To win the exclusive DLO-23 gift bag, simply send an email to - limit of one entry per person.  Please put "gift bag" in the subject line and include your full name and location in the body of the email.  This information will not be sold or traded.  It will be used for contest purposes only.  Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

All entries must be received by 5pm PST Thursday, July 15th, 2010.

Good Luck!

The Mayor


* Tuesday's Tidbits - 10 most popular, when The Mayor interviews Luc, Blake, Hrudey, Modano, Teubert and others.

* The 12 Days of Kovy-mas - where things stand with Ilya Kovalchuk

* Development Camp 2010 wrap-up - notes on 2010 draft picks Forbort, Weal, Toffoli and others


The 12 Days of Kovy-mas

Media outlets across the nation were running their annual "Christmas in July" headlines on and around the July 1st opening of free agency.

However, comparing the last 12 days here in LA to Christmas would bring back horrible memories of that year you just knew you were getting a bike...only to end up with a cheap knock-off of the cool G.I. Joe your friends all got the year before.

In a town known to move at the speed of light, patience is not something that most Angelenos posses...yet alone, even understand.

A few months ago the Kings made the playoffs for the first time since Andy Murray was still coaching here and Ziggy Palffy played forward.  No matter, their brief post season appearance was enough to push expectations for next year to almost unattainable levels.  Fans want to win...and they want to win now.  Nearly as much...they want a superstar.

Bruce McNall, former owner of the Kings, knew that in the late 80s when he traded for Wayne Gretzky.  He talks about it in his book Fun While it Lasted, saying "Los Angeles is not the kind of town where a workmanlike performance gets you very far.  You've got to have glitz, glamour and superstars..."