Odds and ends: Armstrong, LaBarbera, radio appearance - LA Kings Insider

Good afternoon, Insiders. Some news and stories of note from the shallow depths of July, 2016:

TALKIN’ PROSPECTS. I joined Guy Flaming and Dean Millard on The Pipeline Show last night to reflect on development camp and share a few impressions of those coming through Los Angeles’ system. It’s an Edmonton show, and there’s some good Western-centric conversation on players such as Kale Clague and Austin Wagner.

ARMY HOMECOMING. A hearty welcome-home to Derek Armstrong, who has rejoined the Kings as the team’s Director, Hockey Programming & Curriculum. His position ties in with Hockey Development and the club’s youth hockey alliances, so after 385 games with Los Angeles and 477 games in an NHL uniform, he’ll be among those looking to grow the game both locally and beyond. He recently traveled to Shanghai with fellow alum Brandon Convery to lead a youth camp that featured impressive Kings branding inside of a largely untapped market that appears to be growing.

That Armstrong rejoined the organization shouldn’t come as a major shock, given his close ties to former teammates and the infectious energy that carries over from his playing days. Two off-seasons ago, I wrote about his transition into his post-playing career and his relationship with Luc Robitaille and the Kings.

LABARBERA MOVES ON Stick taps to Jason LaBarbera, who has retired from his playing career and has been hired as the Calgary Hitmen’s new goaltending coach. LaBarbera, who appeared in 187 NHL games with the Rangers, Kings, Canucks, Coyotes, Oilers and Ducks from 2000-15, appeared in 93 games with the Kings last decade and ranks 13th in club history – between Mathieu Garon and Byron Dafoe – with 4,849 minutes logged.

Via Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald:

The 36-year-old Burnaby, B.C., native made it clear that he has what it takes and, added to his extensive professional resume, he could take his talents overseas like many hockey players do in the twilight of their hockey careers.

But, following two springtime hip surgeries and a winter in the American Hockey League with the Philadelphia Flyers organization (which included a call-up but zero National Hockey League games), he decided that perhaps it was time.

Then, a goaltending coach job came up with the Calgary Hitmen.

“Just the thought of recovering (from surgery), finding another job, moving my family or, doing what we’ve done in the past few years — me leaving and them staying,” LaBarbera was saying. “It wasn’t really an option. We’d done it for two years and I just can’t do it again.

“I could still play if I wanted to. I’m sure there’s lots of places and Europe that would take me. But, at the same time, I didn’t want to uproot my family.”

LaBarbera and his wife Kodette (known best for her fundraising efforts in support of autism and her appearance on the reality series Hockey Wives) and their two children Ryder and Easton have called Calgary home for the past 13 years. It’s their off-season base.

Kodette LaBarbera has also spearheaded a fundraising campaign to benefit the families of those affected by the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy. For more on her and Jason’s love and care of their son, Ryder, click here. To donate to Autism Speaks, click here.

DA BEAUTY LEAGUE. Yes, this is a thing. The – err, excuse me, Da – Beauty League. On Tuesdays and Thursdays through the second week of August, teams comprised mostly of NHL, AHL and NCAA players at Braemar Arena in suburban Edina, Minn. will compete for the John Scott Cup, as Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes. Rosters are available here; if you’re in the area – Minnesota being an easy drive from anywhere – there are three games a night. Admission is $5, while “kids shorter than the picture of Dustin Byfuglien are allowed in for free,” as noted by Russo. L.A. alum Mark Parrish coaches Aspire, while Zach Trotman plays for Alex Goligoski-captained Velocity Hockey, Davis Drewiske wears the colors of Walser Automotive, and University of Minnesota-based defensive prospect Steve Johnson plays for RBC. Rosters are populated heavily by Minnesota-based players.

THIS HAPPENED. Tyler Toffoli, who has remained in Southern California for the second straight off-season, snapped some pucks at Nick Cannon at the 2016 Kids’ Choice Sports Awards. Video, courtesy of Nickelodeon, is here.

SUNSET SIP. Jim Fox’s annual fundraiser for The Guidance Center that doubles as a celebration for wine returns to the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach on Saturday, September 10. Follow the link below for more details and to purchase tickets.

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.