September 17 practice lines; what will the Kings do on the long flight? - LA Kings Insider

Good afternoon from LAX, where the Kings, their partners, assembled media and league representatives have boarded the charter to Shanghai. Our landing is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Monday, local time. (That’s 2:05 a.m. L.A. time.)

Before busing to LAX, the team practiced at Toyota Sports Center and were color coded as such:

Gray: Cammalleri-Kopitar-Brown
Purple: Pearson-Carter-Toffoli
White: Clifford-Shore-Lewis
Yellow: Andreoff-Kempe-Nolan
Red: Mersch-Dowd-Brodzinski

Defensive pairs were Forbort-Doughty, Muzzin-Martinez, Fantenberg-Folin and MacDermid-LaDue.

Coverage from China will be a mix of season preparation reporting complemented by the sights and sounds of such a unique experience as viewed by the players, coaches and those lucky to hang around (guilty!). There will be lots of photos. I’m hoping you’ll be able to follow along on both Twitter and Instagram (professional/personal); so bear with any delays or lapses in coverage and reporting, and for most stories to appear in the middle of the night, Los Angeles time.

We’ll be in Shanghai through Thursday night before flying to Beijing Friday morning and visiting the Great Wall. Game times are 7:30 p.m. in Shanghai on Thursday and 3:30 p.m. in Beijing on Saturday, which, because of the 15-hour time difference, equates to 4:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. L.A. time. Both games will be broadcast on NHL Network; neither game will be broadcast locally on KABC 790. (Friday’s preseason game at Anaheim will be broadcast by Nick Nickson and Joey Zakrzewski on KABC 790 and I Heart Radio. Tomorrow’s preseason game at Arizona has been canceled because of ice conditions at Gila River Arena and replaced by a 10:00 a.m. intrasquad scrimmage; more on this shortly.)

I spoke with the players about their plans for the 14-hour flight. Drew Doughty expects to sit next to Trevor Lewis, which should be convenient when the video game battles start. (Several players bought Nintendo Switch consoles for the flights.)

“We’ll all be Mario Karting it for a bit,” Doughty said. “I didn’t bring my Xbox. I was going to do that. Yeah, I’ll just sleep and play Nintendo and watch movies, I guess.”

Christian Folin, on the other hand, will probably get some podcast time in.

“There have been a couple crimes in Swedish history that I’m listening to right now,” the Gothenberg native said. “There’s a big [story] – kind of like Apple in Sweden, they sell a lot of computer stuff, and the manager’s son just got kidnapped, actually, and disappeared, so I’m going to listen to that one on the plane.”

(The son was found a month later, so there’s a good ending to the story.)

Meanwhile, it’s a new beginning for Folin, who signed a one-year contract over the off-season after three seasons in Minnesota. This trip, which will help team bonding and camaraderie in advance of the season, comes at a good time for the team’s new players.

“Yeah, it’s going to be great,” he said. “But at the same time, I’ve been here for two weeks now, and the guys here are really nice. It’s really easy to get into the group. They know each other from before, so it’s kind of been easy for me and Darcy [Kuemper] just to get in there and get to know ‘em. They’re really easy to deal with. It’s been so far, so good, but this trip is definitely going to help with that.”

The longest flight Folin has ever taken was just shy of 11 hours – the Amsterdam-to-Los Angeles leg he flew en route from Sweden in advance of training camp. For Nic Dowd, the longest flight he’d ever been on was a Minneapolis-to-Anchorage flight that many Midwest-based college hockey players took en route to play the University of Alaska or the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

“Hopefully I’ll sleep for half of it. Maybe watch one movie. I don’t know,” he said. “We have a nice little [sleeping] pod, probably. Hopefully good WiFi – who knows. Me and Muzz were saying we should’ve brought board games.”

He’s up to date on his favorite shows, but if there’s a chance to binge-watch some television, there’s a good chance he’ll check off a couple episodes of Fargo. He’ll also be keeping a journal chronicling his experience that can be accessed this week at NHL.com.

Earlier this week, John Stevens said that the flight will be “an opportunity for coaches to sit down with, whether D-pairs, lines, look at some things to keep them interactive.”

“They’re going to sleep for a little bit on the plane, but there’s a plan to get everybody up and keep them awake so we don’t get to China and be wide awake, because if we slept the whole trip – Matt Price has even put together a little dynamic warm-up or activity if the guys want to get up and move around the plane. That’s offered and available to them, if they want. There’s been a lot of planning and prep done to try and give the players every opportunity to feel good when they go over there and fully recover when they get back.”

And while the experience will be remembered long beyond the results of this current preseason, this is still a work trip, and the players will do what they need to do to get ready for the start of the season.

“I mean, it’s a good experience. I’ve done these types of things before,” said Dustin Brown, who has traveled to London, Hamburg, Stockholm and Berlin with the clubs between NHL Premiere events in 2007 and 2011. “Obviously this is [my] first time in this part of the world, so it’ll be different in a good way. You try to enjoy the experience and get what you need from it, because at the end of the day we’re playing two games over there that you’ve got to put the work in and get prepared for the real thing.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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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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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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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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