Good morning, Buffalo - LA Kings Insider

Good morning, Buffalo, and good morning, Insiders.

This is likely our last stay at the current team hotel in Buffalo as the Pegula family’s HarborCenter project adjacent to the First Niagara Center nears completion. A “mixed-use hockey and entertainment complex,” the first six floors of the of the facility are open. There are two NHL-sized rinks on the sixth floor – one houses the Canisius College hockey team, and one allows for public skating before every Sabres home game – as well as a Sabres-themed Tim Horton’s that in good detail honors the late Hall of Famer.

Speaking of Tim Horton’s, two Saskatonians were arrested yesterday “after a dispute over diced onions on a breakfast sandwich” led to one of the customers throwing a live snake through the drive through window and into the restaurant.

While we’re on the subject of breakfast, there’s an unmistakable smell of freshly baked cereal that wafts through downtown Buffalo due to the close proximity of a sprawling General Mills cereal and flour plant. It’s a very good smell. When I broadcast minor league baseball, a Mariners farm team based in Clinton, Iowa fed into our High-A club, and players who joined our team after promotions were overjoyed to escape a city where the smell was fouled by a corn processing plant and a Purina dog food plant (referenced in this excellent report). There are no such complaints of Buffalo, which smells like Saturday mornings.

After a lousy stretch of weather (Dallas-rain, Nashville-rain, St. Paul-snow, Los Angeles-rain, Glendale-rain and Los Angeles-comfortable!), we’re not complaining about our environment to start this trip. There’s no snow on the ground downtown, and today’s temperature should top out at 41 degrees before cooling off later in the day. We may see some light snow when we depart for Ottawa after the game.

There was a great approach into Western New York yesterday, though WordPress is keeping me from being able to embed it properly. Click here for the Instagram.

That’s the Niagara River, which separates Canada from the United States. The faint city near the top of the photo is Niagara Falls, which straddles the border. The right side of the photo is Grand Island (part of the United States); the small island near top-right is Navy Island, which is a part of Canada.

The landing:

The Kings are scheduled to hit the ice at 11:30 a.m. local time, though we’ll be at the rink well before then to get some perspective from the Sabres’ room. There’s lots more to come on a busy Tuesday. As always, thank you for reading and starting your day with LAKI.


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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.