Welcome to Manchester Monarchs Insider - LA Kings Insider

After deciding to undertake Manchester Monarchs Insider, I’ve been faced with one repeated question from my bosses, from my colleagues in the press box, and from a friend or two.


There’s a combination of reasons, the most important being “Because it would be fun!” But, unfortunately, the Kings don’t pay for their beat writer to fly across the country to take part in 50/50 drawings and eat press box popcorn. More importantly, there’s the desire to get a firsthand sense of the club’s developmental process, to continue to build relationships with the team’s hockey operations and coaches Mark Morris and Freddy Meyer, and to watch the players I’ve seen in developmental camp and training camp utilize their instruction in game settings. Underneath that, there’s also the desire to continue to provide unique content during a weekend when the Los Angeles Kings won’t be playing, but 27 National Hockey League teams will be.

There has also been this sentimentalized depiction of the city affectionately known as “Manch,” where current Kings lived together and shared life experiences in their transformation into becoming professionals out of their junior and college hockey bubbles. “You’re going to Manch!?” Jake Muzzin yelled out in the dressing room last week when I told him of my plans, and it almost feels misleading to not capitalize every word and add three exclamation points, given his projected excitement.

Though I’ve never visited, I do get the feeling that Manchester seems like the perfect medium-sized hockey city where there exists a bond between the players, the front office, and the fans in an area where hockey occupies a wider slice of sports space than it does in California. It’s not San Antonio or Charlotte, where there exist countless indoor and outdoor opportunities through all 12 months of the year and the hockey team is clearly the second tenant in its own cavernous building. And Manchester is not Bridgeport or Providence, I-95 corridor cities that make up the prolonged string of eastern seaboard urbanization. I’ve had friends play in Norfolk, where they lived three blocks from the beach in a relaxed mid-sized southern city, and in Glens Falls, a place that can resemble wintry small-town Americana.

I can’t speak to whether Manchester is the most appropriate American Hockey League-sized market, but judging from the team’s fandom, the endearing nostalgia that it conjures up in those who have played there and retain close ties with the staff, it does seem like the perfect setting to host this project.

The Monarchs play host to the Providence Bruins on Saturday at 7:00 ET and the Albany Devils at 3:00 ET on Sunday. Coverage, beginning with Good morning, Manchester, will continue tomorrow morning.

Welcome to Manchester Monarchs Insider.

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

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


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.

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.