Good morning, Raleigh - LA Kings Insider

Good morning, Raleigh, and good morning, Insiders.

Nothing to see from this hotel room. The end of the trip – as well as the road portion of the 2018-19 schedule – is in view. After our flight home, there are a pair of Arizona-Anaheim jaunts and a Western Canada three-in-four, and then the cold, dark void of space. (There are, of course, 12 home games remaining.)

I am thrilled to be in Raleigh. Rather, I’m thrilled to be headed back to PNC Arena. I missed this trip a year ago and therefore missed the best press meal in the entire National Hockey League. There’s very good pulled pork served in the press dining room, replete with an array of sauces. I love barbecue – dearly – but am not learned enough of various regional influences to speak authoritatively on the differences between Texas, Memphis and Kansas City barbecue or the barbecue of the Carolinas, but I do know the signature sauces from this area lean more heavily on vinegar. And they’re absolutely delicious. I’ve been eating healthier recently, so I’m not going to double-fist and head across the upscale outdoor mall to The Cue Shack for lunch. It’s recommended by Josh Cooper, who eats much healthier than I do, but I am going to save my appetite for tonight’s game. Rarely do I say that about press meals, but I’ve been looking forward to tonight’s game throughout this trip.

And, because I know you’ve been dying for this information, the best press meals across the league are:

1) Carolina
2) Chicago
3) Edmonton (new rink)
4) Tampa Bay
5) Vancouver
Honorable Mention: Buffalo, Minnesota, Columbus, Dallas, Pittsburgh

Back to barbecue. Any favorite regional dishes? What are the best L.A. spots? Is Bludso’s that good? Weigh in downstairs.

There’s no morning skate today, Insiders. Austin Wagner will be my pre-game guest on LA Kings Live. Commissioner Gary Bettman will join our FOX Sports West broadcast. Justin Williams will be mic’d up. There’s a great show coming later today, gang. Let’s 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.