Good morning, Tampa - LA Kings Insider

Good morning, Gulf Coast, and good morning, Insiders.

Good morning from the SoHo district of charming and leafy Hyde Park, Tampa. Yes, Tampa has a SoHo! This does not depict “South of Houston,” as it does in New York, or the trendy part of London, but rather South of Howard, a neighborhood southeast of downtown Tampa in which there are a number of bars, restaurants, patios and nightlife destinations. I heard on the bus last night that there’s less humidity and generally more pleasant weather on the Gulf Coast side of Florida than there is in say, Sweatbox Gardens, a fictional suburb of Miami, and after deplaning at 10:00 p.m., I’d have to say that I’d agree with the very limited sample size. We’ve always had comfortable stays here, and a city that affords you the ability to sit comfortably outside on a waterfront deck in February and watch the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl gets high marks.

We’re also located a literal stone’s throw away from Bern’s Steak House, perhaps the most famous steak house on the circuit and maybe the Southeast’s most acclaimed restaurant. Bern’s is incredible for the encompassing experience – the wine cellar includes “6,800 different selections with more than half a million bottles,” and they’ll give you a tour of it if you ask. (It’s pretty incredible.) There’s also a private dessert room upstairs. It’s great, it’s unique. I don’t really eat steak these days, but if we’re talking about the best slabs of meat in or within close proximity of team hotels, I’m still leaning towards the St. Paul Grill.

I’ll ask forgiveness from LAKI Vegetarians – sorry, Mrs. Insider – but what’s your favorite steak in Los Angeles? I’ve only eaten at Dan Tana’s once in the last, I don’t know, 10 years, but their Dabney Coleman is famous and high up on that list. (Agree, @puck73?) Eating at Capo in Santa Monica requires taking a second mortgage out on your house, so we only eat there once every two or three years or so, and only for anniversaries, but their New York strip is incredible. Pacific Dining Car goes the Ruth’s Chris route and adds some truffle butter to the top of the steak. Can’t go wrong there. (My arteries just shivered.) Any favorites, Insiders?

The Kings are scheduled to practice at 1:00 this afternoon, for those of you who are ready to brave a bright new day in the 2018-19 season. There’s a lot to talk about, Insiders. Let’s saddle up and talk soon.

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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.