Good morning, Edmonton - LA Kings Insider

Good morning, Edmonton, and good morning, Insiders.

Finally, finally, FINALLY, game one. I applaud your patience, Kings fans. The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a playoff spot last night.

We’re back in Edmonton. Edmonton would seem to be a fitting place to start a hockey season, though the word on the street (i.e. page 164 of the media guide) is that this is only the third time the club has ever opened a season in Alberta. But a hop over the border and then across the Rockies is ideal at this time of year, and there’s something to be said about getting started in Canada. For as much noise and energy as there is inside Staples Center, and even though there’s tremendous excitement among the fanbase at the start of any year, the LA Kings, in October, are also contending for attention with the Dodgers’ annual playoff escapades, two good NFL teams, USC football and year-round Laker coverage. To open the season in Edmonton, where Connor McDavid’s arrival aligned with the under-construction Ice District to positively affect the local economy, and where the Oilers are interwoven with the city’s identity, there’s a real, honest spotlight on an L.A. team that lurked in the shadows for much of the off-season. That continues in Calgary and in Vancouver, adding some loose, nostalgic and applicable tie-ins to the halcyon 1980’s standard.

Those Forum-Blue-and-Gold Smythe Division teams didn’t regularly finish as high as some other teams in the division, but there was a growing arsenal of dynamic young talent, and the hockey was compelling to the point where teams that regularly finished in fourth place command an oversized share of nostalgia and appreciation among those who lived through the era. Do You Want It Done Right, Or Do You Want It Done Fast? Those Kings teams weren’t championship-caliber teams, but they were high-scoring, fists-flying, compelling teams, and you could see with the youth and the direction of the game, and with a transcendent superstar in the division, that the team and the sport had embarked on a positive direction.

And so here we are. It’s the final Calvin and Hobbes strip, though there’s much less snow in Edmonton in October. Still, everything familiar has disappeared. The world looks brand new. Let’s go exploring.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


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.