After jumping ahead an hour and touching down in Southeastern Michigan at a quarter past one last night, the the team buses pulled into our downtown Detroit hotel at two in the morning after deliberately navigating Interstate 94 during a light snowstorm. After unseasonably warm temperatures early in the season – balmy and stormy in St. Paul to start the season, and warm enough in New York that dining outside in a sweater was a comfortable option – the last several extended trips have been quite cold, which comes as no surprise. It’s January. Most of the country is very cold in January.

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In the distance of the above photo is the Ambassador Bridge, which is the more arterial route of the two gateways between Wayne County and Ontario. Along with the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, the bridge is one of two border crossings in which travelers head south to enter Canada.

I’ve read comments on this blog and on Twitter, and I get the sense that many Kings fans haven’t warmed up to the city of Detroit.

I’m well aware of the challenges Detroit faces. I’m also aware of Steven Soderbergh’s 1998 adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s book Out of Sight, in which George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez rendezvous at a bar atop the Renaissance Center, high above the flickering lights of the Motor City and protected from falling crystals of snow. This is a beautiful scene:

The Kings will practice at 2:00 p.m. local time at Joe Louis Arena. Waking up with the Kings will be posted within the next 90 minutes or so, followed by several practice reports. As today is the 20th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, I’ll also share some recollections by former Kings and those affiliated with the team. Lots more to come…

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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

Bio

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.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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

Bio

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.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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

Bio

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.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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

Bio

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.

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