The time of the Kings’ Dec. 26 game at Phoenix has been moved back by one hour, to 6 p.m. Pacific time. That probably doesn’t mean much to those of you in Los Angeles, but there’s an interesting backstory as to why the change was made. The game was originally scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Arizona time, which would have forced the Kings into an 8:30 a.m. morning skate in Arizona. Why is THAT a problem? Because NHL teams cannot travel on Christmas Day. So the Kings would have been looking at a crack-of-dawn flight on Dec. 26 if they wanted to skate in Arizona in the morning.
It’s a rule that hopefully will be changed soon, Kings director of team operations Marshall Dickerson said. Visiting teams have ice time at 11:30 a.m. for 7:30 p.m. games, but for 6 p.m. starts, visiting teams get ice at 8:30 a.m. It really makes no sense to have the morning-skate time get moved three hours when the game time is only different by one hour. But that’s the NHL for you.