Good morning, Winnipeg - LA Kings Insider

Western Canadian Spring Break 2014 kicks off with an early game tonight against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre, a building the Kings are still looking for their first win in, having lost in overtime in 2012 and in regulation in the second game of the season last October. It’s a bizarre starting time tonight – 6:00 p.m. – which should create a traffic snarl downtown. Lady Antebellum performed at the arena last night, which clogged downtown streets as the team bussed between the airport and the hotel, located at the famous intersection of Portage and Main. You can’t get any more Winnipeg than that; in the previous Good Morning, Winnipeg, I embedded a Neil Young and Randy Bachman song about this very intersection.

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I really like Neil Young! Randy Bachman, you’re a’ight. Instead of using the Highlighted Local Artist on the Crash Test Dummies, I went right back to Young, because Neil Young is so much cooler than the Crash Test Dummies. Here’s Cinnamon Girl being performed at Madison Square Garden.

Who would’ve thought that Winnipeg would have provided a variety of choices for the Highlighted Local Artists? Not this guy.

So, for something slightly more predictable – it is cold and snowy. The temperatures shouldn’t plummet for this trip, relatively speaking, but we should probably avoid making plans to visit our rustic cottage on Lake Winnipeg.

It was snowing yesterday as well. Descending into YWG, it became clear that we were basically flying over the crime scene from Fargo.

Because of the 6:00 start time this evening, the morning skate has been pushed up by an hour, to 10:30 a.m. I’ll chat with Marian Gaborik, who is expected to join his new team for the morning skate today. I’ll also begin to provide excerpts from yesterday’s conference call with Dean Lombardi, and will post the general game day what-have-you throughout the afternoon. More to come from wintry Winnipeg.

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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.