Home, sweet home for Smyth - LA Kings Insider

Tomorrow night’s game will be another “homecoming” game for Ryan Smyth. Playing in Edmonton is big for Smyth, because he spent parts of 12 seasons with the Oilers. Playing in Calgary is special because Smyth’s hometown of Banff, Alberta, is only about 90 minutes west of Calgary. At this point, a “homecoming” game is nothing new for Smyth, who turns 35 this month, but it can be an issue for coaches, particularly when teams play in Toronto, because so many teams — the Kings included — have Ontario natives on their roster. Detroit is a big deal for the Kings, for players such as Matt Greene, Jack Johnson and Alec Martinez, as is New York for Rob Scuderi, Dustin Brown and Connecticut native Jonathan Quick. After practice today, Murray talked about the positives and negatives of playing close to home. Murray was an NHL defenseman who grew up in Shawville, Quebec. Ottawa is the closest big city, but it didn’t have an NHL team when Murray played. Montreal, several hours away, is as close as Murray got.

MURRAY: “It’s a special feeling. You’re excited, you’re energized, the adrenaline is pumping and you’re really excited about the game and playing. You want to play well for your family and your friends, and it’s just a special game for you, any time you come back and play in those kinds of situations. With Ryan coming back to Edmonton and Calgary, he’s a popular guy. He’s had great success in Canada and he’s got 1,000 games under his belt in the league. There’s always going to be friends and family that cheer for him, and he wants to play well. He’s a very proud guy, and he wants to have a great game and perform for those people.

“I don’t think it would be (a distraction for Smyth) any more, but certainly early in your career it’s a big distraction. Absolutely. I remember, when I was coaching in Washington, we traded for Sylvain Cote from the Hartford Whalers. Going into Quebec City, Montreal, I would have a meeting with him, because he was a very energetic guy. He was a good player, but any time you get back into those two cities to play, now he starts to play out of character. He tried to put on the one-man show and, as a result, bad things happen the other way. So I always had a meeting with him. `You know where you’re going, lots of family, lots of friends coming, you’re buying tickets, you’re going out to dinner the night before. But the most important thing is to play your game and stay focused.’ And that was early in his career. As you go through it, as a veteran player, you just figure that part out.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.