A good day to you, Insiders. It’s a Friday at the end of July, and a good portion of the hockey operations staff is away on vacation. In other words, we’re not expecting a 13-post afternoon here at LAKI HQ. Before sharing several links, here’s a stick tap to Kate Archer, who joined the Kings four years ago and did an excellent job in exuding professionalism – which doesn’t always come naturally for early 20-somethings (guilty!) – while working with Kings Vision and the team’s digital media department. Great work, Vlogger. You’ll be missed by many.
For what it’s worth, the LAKI quiet period will be between August 15-28. There will be sporadic posts and press releases shared on the site over that time, but that will be a (mostly) Twitter and Internet-free time for yrs truly, who learned from his poorly timed 2013 vacation and no longer schedules time off in mid/late-July. (See: Ron Hextall’s departure, Rob Blake’s hiring, Dustin Brown’s extension and the Daniel Carcillo trade.)
NEWS. Gann Matsuda shared an encouraging encapsulation of Bob Miller’s rehabilitation yesterday.
“I’d say [that I feel] 50 percent better [since April],” he added. “Going to the playoff game, I got pretty tired just being there, that first game, so we left at the start of the third period. I just thought, ‘we’d better go.’ That’s another thing: to listen to your body and if you’re tired, like Judy said, ‘we’re going to go. If you’re tired, just say the word and we’re outta here.’ Why try and push it? I got pretty tired that night and all I was doing was watching the game. But now, I’d say I’m much better. I don’t take a nap at all during the day now. Before that, I’d go to sleep two or three times a day. Now, I’m driving places and doing the things we want to do and not getting exhausted.”
“People have said that when this recovery period is over, you’re going to realize how much better you feel than before the surgery. I thought that I didn’t feel bad before the surgery. Everybody said that you’ll have more energy and everything else, so I’ll be interested to see if that happens after the nine months.”
Nine months would come in October, right around the time that the 2016-17 National Hockey League season begins. But will Miller be ready to return to work?
“I think I will be ready by the pre-season games in Las Vegas,” he said. “That’s the plan. I hope it works out that way. The doctors say, ‘you’re a new guy now. You’ve got plenty of years left.’ But who knows that for sure, right? There’s probably only one guy who knows that. I haven’t met him yet and I don’t want to anytime soon. But we’ll see what happens when the games get going.”
From what I’ve heard, it’s possible that Miller could scale back some of his work a touch this season. But as Matsuda notes, no firm decisions have been made yet, and such decisions will be made when Miller gets a firm sense of where exactly his body is at in several months. “That’s like an athlete coming back from an injury, thinking, ‘I think it’ll be OK, but I’m wondering how it’ll be,’ taking that first hit, or throwing that first pitch, something like that,” Miller told Frozen Royalty. “So we’ll see. I’m hoping it’ll be OK and I’ll be able to do those two pre-season games in Las Vegas. We’re going to televise both of those and take it from there.”
From Kings fans everywhere, all the best to your health, comfort and happiness, Bob. If you haven’t caught his presentation of a Kings jersey to Vin Scully, captured deftly by both FOX Sports West and SportsNet LA, click here.
BEAUTIFUL. This may be the most touching piece to come from The Players’ Tribune. On behalf of LAKI, here are our deepest condolences to Bobby Ryan and his family after the passing of his mother, which came shortly after the birth of his daughter. Dear Mom is a stirring letter to a profoundly impactful woman in Ryan’s life and reads as a noble obituary. Here’s a salute to Ryan, one of the most approachable and engaging players in the game today.
JAMES H. ELLERY AWARD. Here’s another stick tap, this time to Winnipeg-based Patrick Williams, who was named as the 2015-16 Ellery Award Winner for outstanding coverage of American League Hockey. Give him a follow for all things NHL, AHL, Jets and Moose.
ELSEWHERE: Bettman’s legalese on head injuries draws ire of medical community (Globe and Mail) | Did NHL teams suck fun out of 3-on-3 OT? (Ed: The Kings didn’t appear to.) (Puck Daddy) | Michael Grabner, Dave Bolland, Cam Ward could be leaving their teams for Las Vegas (ESPN.com) | The Kings Draft Trends Under Lombardi and Taylor (HockeyBuzz) | Justin Williams returns home to host hockey camp in Cobourg (Northumberland Today) | Developed by Surly Jacob (of Surly and Scribe fame), Who’s Got Game “is a real-time utility that tells you which venues are broadcasting the sports content you want to watch.” (iTunes Store) | More on Bernie Nicholls’ new sports-themed fantasy game, dubbed the “World’s First Sports Stock Market” (Yahoo! Finance) | Kings Night at Dodger Stadium is Friday, August 12 against Pittsburgh. Tickets are available to catch the game, take home a reversible scarf, and watch Tyler Toffoli, Brayden McNabb and Kyle Clifford throw out the first pitch. (Dodgers.com)
— ECHOES of HOPE (@OurEchoesofHope) July 29, 2016