Good morning, Utica - LA Kings Insider

Good morning Utica, and hello again, Calder Cup Final.

After a five hour drive from Southern New Hampshire that also included a lunch stop off Interstate 90 near Ludlow, Massachusetts, Dean Lombardi’s hometown, the team arrived in drizzly Utica shortly after 4:30 p.m. local time. It should be a bit warmer, sunnier and muggier today in upstate New York, as the lead photo shows. Also (partly obscured) in the lead photo: Utica Memorial Auditorium, the intimate home of the Comets.

Comets fever has swept through the city, and when walking around the downtown area, many business storefront windows offer slogans of support for the team, which relocated to the city in 2013. (Vancouver’s previous AHL affiliate was the Rosemont, Illinois-based Chicago Wolves). The Calder Cup was on a promotional tour around the city yesterday, and recent news articles depict the degree of local fandom.

Saving this clip for this particular post has been torture. Simpsons fans, you had to know this was coming:

I also indicated yesterday that I’d share a surprise this morning that began with the letter M (even though it was fairly apparent what the surprise would be, having revealed as much in the comments). It’s as if they knew the Insiders were coming:

IMG_5943

Old-timey Munter’s unit! Or, at least, some cooling unit that gives off the impression of a Munter’s. Either way, it’s enormous and practically right outside my hotel window.

The Monarchs are scheduled to take the ice at The Aud at 11:15 a.m. this morning. There’s plenty more to come on a game day in upstate New York as Manchester looks to take a three-games-to-none stranglehold on the series but will have to do so in a challenging road environment against the Western Conference’s top team. Stay tuned, Insiders.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
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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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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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