Good morning, San Jose - LA Kings Insider

Good morning, Silicon Valley, good morning, Insiders, and good morning, 2016-17 NHL season.

It’s always a refreshing time of the year in any sport when you can open the sports section (or, err, click on a standings tab) and see a blank, empty canvas. On equal footing are the Broncos and Browns, the Cubs and Cardinals, the Warriors and Wizards, the Stars and Senators. A journey with unforeseen breaks, accelerations, leaps and stumbles will be traveled, perhaps deftly, maybe ungainly, over the upcoming seven-plus months.

My mom bought me my first Calvin and Hobbes book when I was in seventh grade, and by ninth grade, when Bill Watterson decided to end his wonderful strip, I hadn’t yet matured enough to appreciate how perfect and applicable his final piece of art was. At the time I was upset that it didn’t end with some sort of resolution, or, even better, a climactic Spaceman Spiff battle. Now, some 20 years later, “a day full of possibilities” is a semi-regular part of my lexicon. It fits within the empty slate, “let’s go exploring,” change-of-seasons themes found in Calvin and Hobbes and may through a bit of a stretch be related to the refreshing of a brand new season in team sports.

CALVIN

I’m pretty sure Watterson does not appreciate the unlicensed use of his work, but, hey, I still own like 10 of his books, so let’s call it a wash and move on. (Thank you for everything, Bill.)

The Kings arrived in San Jose shortly before 4:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and deplaned under picture perfect skies. Because of the new plane configuration this year, I’ll be spending a bit more time towards the rear of the aircraft, and not up front near the staff and coaches. Hence, here’s a view of the starboard wing and downtown San Jose, and not of the arena and leafy suburbs.

Enjoy the season opener, Insiders; after a banner raising ceremony, the Kings will have a stiff test in front of them against a familiar rival that tends to open regular seasons with gusto. Two points are on the line, and en route to the final play, and the final moments of this marathon season, LA Kings Insider will keep you informed with all pertinent information and occasional commentary. Enjoy your day, Insiders, and good morning.

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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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