Good morning, Vancouver - LA Kings Insider

Good morning, Vancouver, and good morning, Insiders.

Hey, we’re back in Canada! It has been over two months since our travels last brought us north of the border. This is a familiar trip. It’s the fourth consecutive year we’ve spent the late December punctuation to the holiday season in Western Canada and the second time in four seasons in which we’ll be spending New Year’s in Vancouver. (This gets strong LAKI approval.) We’re used to being away when the calendar changes over. We rang in the new year on a plane between Dallas and St. Louis in the 2013-14 season. The Kings had just lost, 3-2, to the Stars as part of what eventually became an 0-4-0 trip, and yes, there were about five or six seconds of celebration from the back of the plane, and then, it was back to whatever it was we were doing. For me, that was blogging. When the calendar flipped to 2016 two years ago, Los Angeles had just beaten Calgary to cap off a 4-0-0 trip, and the plane took off at roughly 11:55 p.m. I remember being low enough during our climb that we could see scattered fireworks being shot off by backyard pyro-techies; roughly 50 minutes later, we were at cruising altitude and had crossed back into the Pacific Time Zone, and it was 2015 once again. “It must be wonderful to ring in the new year over and over and over!”

It’s good to be in Canada during the World Junior Championships, where there is real interest in the tournament. In 2010, when both the United States and Canada made goaltending changes in the championship, the game was decided in an overtime in which Jack Campbell and Martin Jones were at opposite sides of the rink. John Carlson found a rare swath of action in which Jordan Eberle wasn’t scoring and beat Jones on a three-on-one rush to capture gold for the Americans. One of our Silvertips coaches, Jay Varady, was the video coach for the United States that tournament, and the next day he re-joined the team during a game-day lunch in Kelowna, where he walked into the small hotel ballroom wearing his gold medal to a standing ovation. He walked right to our captain, an Alaskan named Zack Dailey, and placed the gold medal around his neck. That gesture meant a lot to the Americans on our team, and to Dailey, who could hardly speak.

We woke up to some blue sky this morning but had to fly through some pea soup to touch down in Vancouver just before 4:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon.

That’s it for now, Insiders. Lots more to come on a busy game day against a divisional rival. Thank you, as always, for reading. Let’s talk soon.

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.
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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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