It’s good to be back on solid ground after a quiet weekend, Insiders. Thanks, as always, for the patience and understanding during the slow days of the off-season. Links to stories from around hockey and the Kings Interwebs are below.
ROYAL LINEAGE Forward Kris Newbury, who had 18 goals and 48 points in 68 games with AHL-Hershey last season, will join the Ontario Reign on a one-year AHL contract, hockey operations confirmed today (the signing was first reported by Dave Sottile). Newbury, 33, has 536 points and 1,710 penalty minutes in 730 career AHL games in addition to 75 games of NHL experience with the Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Rangers and Flyers.
PENN LIVE: Rugged C Kris Newbury leaving Hershey Bears for L.A. Kings’ new Ontario Reign AHL affiliate
MOBILE MONARCHY As had been confirmed to LA Kings Insider by hockey operations earlier this month, forward Sean Backman has signed with AHL-Ontario for the upcoming season. The skilled and rugged 5-foot-8 forward posted the best numbers of his career last season, totaling 44 points in 76 games before adding five goals, 17 points and a plus-nine rating during Manchester’s 19-game Calder Cup run. His father, Mike, played for the New York Rangers and was a member of the New Haven Nighthawks teams that Nick Nickson broadcasted, and his brother-in-law is Jonathan Quick. According to Chirps from Center Ice, Newbury was the 24th-ranked AHL free agent, and Backman was ranked 31st.
ONTARIO REIGN: Reign bring in Backman
WEAL’S WAY By now you’ve heard this ad nauseum: Jordan Weal is not 1,000 feet tall. Actually, he’s 5-foot-10. And, for a 5’10 guy, he’s actually pretty good along the boards and in weathering physical play. Gann Matsuda caught up with Weal and Assistant General Manager Rob Blake during development camp and shared some insight on the tenacity and disposition of one of the organization’s most coachable prospects.
FROZEN ROYALTY: LA Kings F Prospect Jordan Weal Has Risen To The Top Of The AHL
FROZEN ROYALTY (Part 2): Rob Blake On Jordan Weal: “There’s Not A Lot of Players Like That Around”
DEFENSIVE BATTLES Voynov’s unclear availability provides an asterisk towards any scenario, but who do you see claiming a depth spot on the Kings blue line? Jeff Schultz? Jamie McBain? Derek Forbort? Some combination of the two, perhaps? Jason Lewis uses advanced metrics to take a look at the competition. Also, mostly unrelated: Erik Cernak’s name is listed at the bottom of the article in a section that lists players who could make an impact on the blue line in the future. Though I named OHL-Erie as a potential landing point (the Otters drafted his major junior rights), it’s more likely that he’ll either play for AHL-Ontario (where he’d face an uphill battle as a teenager competing for a spot on a crowded blue line) or return to HC Kosice, the Slovak Extraliga team he’s won championships with in each of his last two seasons. Having spoken with hockey operations, because he already has experience playing against grown men, it’s less likely that he lands with Erie, where he’d regularly face 16-20 year olds.
HOCKEY BUZZ: Schultz, Forbort, or McBain?
DUCK DENIAL Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, an Angeleno who attended Harvard-Westlake, was cast in the original Mighty Ducks, he told Howard Stern last week. Because his parents highly emphasized his education over acting – as he told Stern and a nationwide audience – he turned down the part.
JEZEBEL: The Mighty Ducks Taught Jake Gyllenhaal the Meaning Of Pain
SPECIAL OLYMPICS You may have caught the link between the Kings and the Summer Olympics World Games, which are currently underway in Los Angeles. Other outlets have also covered the club hosting the Barbados and Macedonia delegations.
NHL.com: Kings host Special Olympics World Games athletes
LAKINGS.com: A Special Day
PUCK DADDY: Los Angeles Kings have special day with Special Olympians
NOT HOCKEY Around the time when the Kings and Sharks met in their first round playoff series, Ben Schlappig walked into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport without a destination in mind. “He hasn’t come down since,” Ben Wofford writes about a frequent flier who learned to travel everywhere, in first class, more or less for free.
It took Schlappig about a year to master the dozens of convoluted techniques, exploiting mistakes in ticketing algorithms and learning the ins and outs of the frequent-flyer programs airlines had created after deregulation in the late 1970s. The second leg of the game is credit cards — collecting and canceling as many as possible, and deploying a series of tricks to reap the reward points that bank-and-airline-card partnerships would virtually give away. As he delved deeper, Schlappig learned about a third level, a closely guarded practice called Manufacture Spend, where Hobbyists harness the power of the multitudes of credit cards in their pockets. Airline-affiliated credit cards award points for every dollar spent, so over the decades, Hobbyists manipulated the system by putting purchases on credit cards without ultimately spending anything at all. At its simplest, this included purchasing dollar coins from the U.S. Mint with a credit card and immediately using them to pay off the charge. Schlappig read one detailed post after another that insisted Manufacture Spend was the only true way to fly for free — like sliding a coin into a slot machine and yanking it back with clear string.
Don’t forget: FOX Sports West will debut a Kings Live summer special tomorrow at 8:30 p.m.