Palm trees and ice? - LA Kings Insider

Earlier this week the Los Angeles Times reported that there have been discussions between the Los Angeles Kings and the National Hockey League over hosting a future outdoor game in the city, perhaps as an additional Winter Classic event. The Fourth Period also wrote in February of the possibility of Los Angeles hosting an outdoor NHL game.

Outdoor games in warmer climates have been held before; an exhibition game between the Kings and New York Rangers was held on a temporary rink in a parking lot adjacent to Caesar’s Palace in 1991 and held up considerably well. Mexico also defeated Bulgaria in the 2011 Division III World Junior Championships on an outdoor rink set up on the Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square.

While the images of a palm tree-silhouetted sunset amidst Chavez Ravine’s rolling hills would make Dodger Stadium seem like an ideal home for a Southern California-hosted outdoor game, the iconic Los Angeles Coliseum, which hosted an announced 115,300 fans for a Dodgers-Red Sox exhibition in 2008, could be another serious option.

The league is committed to hosting a Detroit Red Wings – Toronto Maple Leafs Winter Classic in 2014 at Michigan Stadium, keeping in line with the northeast and Midwest geographical footprint of NHL-hosted outdoor games in the United States. Edmonton (November, 2003) and Calgary (February, 2011) have also hosted Heritage Classic outdoor games, both featuring the Montreal Canadiens as the visiting team.

The only outdoor game to have been hosted in the Pacific Time Zone was a Western Hockey League game between the Spokane Chiefs and Kootenay Ice. The game was played in front of 7,075 fans at Spokane’s Avista Stadium, the home of the short season Single-A Spokane Indians of the Northwest League.

I spoke with the Los Angeles Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille in San Jose on Thursday about the possibility of the Kings hosting an outdoor game.

Robitaille on Los Angeles hosting an NHL outdoor game:
“I’m a big believer in bringing an outdoor game into L.A. I played in 1991 in Vegas. 85 degrees, and we had pretty good ice. So I’m a believer in it. So it’s certainly something that I think would be great for our franchise. I know our fans would support it. I know L.A. would support it, and so if the league needs anything from us, we will do whatever it takes. We would love to have an outdoor game.”

Robitaille, on whether the league wants to have an outdoor game in Los Angeles:
“I think the league’s exploring different options. They’re looking at different ways, and they’re trying to explore the outdoor experience. They understand, too, I think, that the systems are a little bit better now. They’re looking at different ways.”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.