For my final Manchester Monarchs Insider post, here’s a link to the LAKings.com story I wrote about the weekend I spent with the Kings’ AHL affiliate. From conversations with Mark Morris in his office, to discussions I had with players and members of the team’s staff and the special teams meeting I joined, there were any number of directions I could have taken with this story. I decided to use as much as was possible, and in a mostly chronological account of the weekend, I strung 2,836 words together about the team’s personality, its quest for a Calder Cup, and the players who have developed under head coach Mark Morris. It’s a somewhat long read that I hope you’ll enjoy.

Asked to name particular players that have left an impact on him, Morris at first takes a diplomatic response before the names begin to flow.

Peter Harrold is the first name spoken. Then, Teddy Purcell, Matt Moulson and Tim Jackman are similarly referenced as “character guys.”

Brian Boyle. Rich Clune. Thomas Hickey.

“That’s the natural reaction of most American Hockey League players – finding your niche with your team,” Morris says. The name Marc-Andre Cliche, who captained the Monarchs from 2010-13 and scored his first NHL goal with the Colorado Avalanche the week before, brought a smile to Morris face. Dwight King and Jordan Nolan’s names were also recalled.

“The closest thing we have to a King or Nolan right now is Nic Deslauriers,” Morris said.

“I haven’t seen him lose too many fights.”

LAKings.com: Weekend in Manch

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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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