Saturday, August 27, 2011

Word Association w/ LA Kings legends Robitaille, Blake, Granato, Hrudey, etc.

Our word association segments have historically been one of the most popular features here on MayorsManor.

Given that our readership has more than quadrupled in size since some of the interviews below have taken place, we thought we'd re-publish for all of our new followers to read...and/or for our long-time supports to enjoy a second time.

In no particular order, here are links to seven of the most popular word association segments, featuring some of the most recognizable names to ever play for the Los Angeles Kings:

* Luc Robitaille - he talks Marcel Dionne, Steve Duchesne, Kelly Hrudey, Marty McSorley, Dustin Brown and more

* Rob Blake - perhaps the most controversial player in Kings' franchise history, he reacts to a list of names including Tony Granato, Alex Zhitnik, Darryl Sydor, Jimmy Carson, Wayne Gretzky and more

* Ian Laperriere - perhaps the most candid of all interviewees on this site, especially when talking about Sean Avery

Jonathan Bernier - LA's high-end goaltending prospects breaks it all down while discussing many of the Kings top prospects currently in Manchester

Andy Murray - the former Kings coach talks about players he coached and guys who were part of the opposition as well

* Kelly Hrudey - with a slight twist on things, he plays word association with the 15 teams from the NHL's Western Conference

* Tony Granato - a key piece of the Kings 1993 run to the Stanley Cup Finals, he talks about former teammates, including guys on the Kings and Sharks

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Dodgers' Tony Gwynn remembers LA Kings '93 playoff run

Last month Dodgers' first baseman James Loney and outfielder Matt Kemp stopped by MayorsManor to share a few thoughts on hockey.

As you may recall, Loney is eager to not only come out to Staples Center for a game, but he wants to suit up and take part in warm-ups. Meanwhile, the always laid-back Kemp indicated he was more the 'ceremonial first puck' type of guy.

Then, there's outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr. - perhaps a superfan in disguise...

Growing up, he says he spent summers in Long Beach with his grandparents. And although he never made it down to the old Forum for a game, that didn't stop him from cheering for the local hockey team.

"I was a huge Kings fan back when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993," Gwynn recently shared. "Back when they had Luc Robitaille and Wayne Gretzky, they had a bunch of good players. I remember watching the Vancouver series and when they won that series I was pumped up!"

Nearly 20 years later, is he still interested in the Kings?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sneak Peek - a look at goalie JF Berube's new mask design

If you're a loyal reader of MayorsManor, you know all about the man known as 'Hollywood.'

JF Berube was drafted by the Kings in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Since then, he's gone on to become one of the top goalies in the QMJHL.

Here are some details on his new mask.

As shown in the pictures below, the left side features LAX airport, the top of the mask has the Manchester Monarchs logo (with a slight modification, as the artist used the Kings crown on top of it) and the right side displays a lion above the Hollywood sign.

The mask is done in black, silver and white as those will be the Kings primary colors this season. He went with an overall jungle theme to honor Manchester's 'Welcome to the jungle' slogan.

We'll have some more pics later. For now, here's a teaser...


To read the most recent article on Berube, featuring comments from Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford, where we jokingly discuss the possibility of him needing a new nickname this season - click here.



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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Drew Doughty contract - poll results and NEW contest

Los Angeles Kings fans have spoken!

The results of our 'When will Drew Doughty re-sign with the Kings?' poll are now complete and only 3% of you think a deal will be reached by this weekend.

At the other end of the spectrum (read: extreme cynics), 7% say it won't happen until after the team returns from their season opening trip to Europe. Ouch.

Training camp is set to open on September 16 and about 10% predict it will happen some time during the following week.

Then, there's the majority - 68% of the voters have narrowed it down to a two week window - the larger portion of that group (40% of total voters) have the new contract being signed between September 12-16 and the other 28% think a deal gets done between September 4-11.

So, let's have some fun with this...

If you'd like to pick the EXACT day and win a free MayorsManor t-shirt, enter our all new contest by following these simple instructions:

Penner says Moreau adds more leadership to the LA Kings

If you're a free agent hockey player still looking for a job, here's a word to the wise - put your stats away for now and hold up a sign that says 'have letter, will travel.'

That is, if you have one.

LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi has been collecting former captains and assistants this summer - from Mike Richards and Simon Gagne, to his latest signee, Ethan Moreau.

Yes, he's another former Oiler - joining Dustin Penner, Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll among others.

However, Moreau is also the former captain in Edmonton, something Penner thinks shouldn't go unnoticed.

"He's captained a Canadian franchise, in a market that can be hard to play in," began Penner when we spoke by phone yesterday afternoon. "He's a great addition to our team and I think he's an important piece of the puzzle."

Although they were last in the same dressing room during the 2009-10 season, Penner said - "I've been in regular contact with him since the day we stopped playing together."

In fact, they've spoken several times over the last few weeks and Moreau sent Penner a text right after he caught wind he was going to be with the Kings.

VIDEO: Jeremy Roenick sidetracked, Wayne Gretzky bleeds

This video has been making the rounds lately, so you may have already seen it. However, it's worth posting for those who haven't seen it yet and for those who want to view it again. Simply put, it's Jeremy Roenick reenacting a classic scene from one of the greatest movies ever made.




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Monday, August 22, 2011

Kopitar training in one of Europe's most beautiful cities

Stand up and take a bow if you've even heard of Bled, Slovenia.

According to several travel sites, it's one of the most beautiful cities in Europe - perhaps the world.

The small town is nestled in the Julian Alps, with a castle high atop one of the mountains and a lake below, which features a small island in the center - where a little white church stands.

It's no wonder why Kings forward Anze Kopitar likes to go home every summer, Bled is just a few miles from where he lives.

This romantic, post card-like town is also where he and his brother Gasper are training this week.

Under the watchful eye of their father MatjaĆŸ, who is also head coach of the Slovenia national team, they've been preparing themselves for their return trips to America.

Mark Hardy talks getting help from coach Karl Taylor

Some time in the next few days, the Ontario Reign (ECHL) are expected to announce a new head coach.

As their team President, Justin Kemp, told MayorsManor last week, it could very well be former Los Angeles Kings defenseman and assistant coach Mark Hardy.

Later that same day, Hardy visited MayorsManor to talk about his desire to coach the team.

As a follow-up to those articles, here are some additional comments from Hardy - he talks going to Europe and somebody he's already reached out to for some help if he lands the job in Ontario...

- On the thought of coaching by himself in the ECHL, compared to having a larger staff in the NHL: "He (Justin) explained there's no assistant with you and that (if I got the job), I'd also be involved in player decisions and pretty much running everything. So, again, some of it would be a learning curve. But, it's hockey and I know hockey and I know players. I have a lot of people who I can contact. I've also talked with Karl Taylor (former Reign coach) and he said that he would be a big help to me - as far as recruiting players and sharing his knowledge of the league."

- On the nature of his relationship with Taylor over the last few seasons:

POLL: When will Drew Doughty re-sign with the LA Kings?

Last week, when I was interviewed on FAN 960 in Calgary, the topic they wanted to discuss most was the Drew Doughty contract situation (listen here).

With news of other Kings moves starting to die down a bit - i.e. trade for Mike Richards, signing of Simon Gagne, summer Development Camp, etc. - Doughty's contract negotiations have been moved to the front burner and will likely be discussed quite a bit until both parties reach an agreement.

In the interview last week, I gave my opinion on when I think a deal will be reached.

What do you think? Select from one of the options below...



Poll closes tomorrow night at 8pm PST.

UPDATE:  MayorsManor has a new contest posted - guess the correct date he signs and win a free t-shirt - details here

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