It was a busy day at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. The Kings practiced, followed by the St. Louis Blues, followed by the group of recent Kings call-ups. That group was scheduled to include Simon Gagne, and as you might have read in previous comments (with some great pictures and video as well), Gagne did indeed get on the ice. In North America, no less. Even should Gagne remain symptom-free, though, he would need several weeks of practice before he got anywhere near game shape. Still, good for him for giving it a go, and it is a surprise, given that Dean Lombardi all but declared Gagne finished a few weeks ago.
As for the Blues, Alex Pietrangelo skated today, after he missed Monday’s Game 2. After practice, coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters that if Pietrangelo “feels OK tomorrow and wants to give it a go, we’ll let him go.’’ The Blues, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, had another new-look first line, with David Backes centering Andy McDonald and Matt D’Agostini. Veteran center Jason Arnott did not practice.
Finally, a couple look-ahead notes. There are apparently only about 15-20 suite tickets remaining for Sunday’s Game 4 at Staples Center, so don’t wait if you’re interested. Click here for more information. (The price, and price increase, is set by the Kings. You’re welcome to buy them, or ignore this offer entirely.) As for a few months down the road, the Kings have announced a new five-year partnership with MGM Grand and the Colorado Avalanche for the annual “Frozen Fury’’ game. Next season’s game is scheduled for Sept. 29. Of course, that presumes there is labor peace in the NHL, and no work stoppage. The Kings are not scheduled to play a preseason game in Kansas City, but have scheduled a game in Ontario — California, not Canada — as well as potentially a home preseason game against the New York Rangers.