Shortly after yesterday’s links story was posted to the site, word came from Manchester that Gasper Kopitar had signed a one-year contract with the ECHL’s Monarchs. For those needing a refresher, Ontario and Manchester flip-flopped affiliation rungs so that the Reign will participate in the AHL and the Monarchs in the ECHL in the coming season.
The Monarchs also signed Matt White, Troy Power and Dennis Brown, all of whom are Southern Californians. White and Brown were members of the Reign last season, with White serving as a top-line scorer in each of the last two seasons. These are the first signings by Manchester as an ECHL club.
Gasper Kopitar, Anze’s younger brother by five years, had been placed on Manchester’s protected list in June. He’s coming off a pair of productive seasons in Ontario that saw him net 19 goals and 45 points in 73 total games. His first foray into the professional game was a memorable 42-game, 14-point stint alongside his brother Anze with Mora IK of Sweden’s Allsvenskan that overlapped the NHL’s 2012 lockout.
While on assignment in Europe with FOX Sports in the fall of 2012, I spent four days with Mora IK to report on the brothers’ experience playing alongside each other. Part of the final project included a video interview with the two. You may notice that the team was fully in support of Movember and men’s health issues at the time.
For those who have asked, Gasper Kopitar is under contract to Manchester, not Los Angeles. The Monarchs will open up their first season in the ECHL with a game against the Brampton Beast on October 17.