Good morning, Vancouver - LA Kings Insider

Good morning, Vancouver, and good morning, Insiders.

Vancouver! The finest big city in North America. Whether or not you agree likely hinges on your view of precipitation, but as a former Seattle resident who didn’t mind the cold, dark winters or having to adjust his windshield wiper speed 93 times on the way to work, there’s no place finer. And better yet! It’s a beautiful, if brisk, early fall day without a cloud to be seen.

We’ll give Schedulor a pass for sending us to Vancouver only on the back-end of back-to-backs this season, because the greater council of Hockey Gods congregated us here for the NHL Draft over three days around the summer solstice. Usually, after the first night of the NHL Draft, it’s around midnight and I yawn and return to my hotel room to edit and post another story before an early wake-up call. On June 21, it was still light outside well over an hour after having left Rogers Arena. I miss those mid-June Mariners games when dusk can extend into the eighth inning, and the 2019 Draft served up a wisp of what makes summertime Pacific Northwest livin’ so wonderful. And I ate at Lin’s (twice) and Japadog, clearly preparing for a season in which our compacted trips to Vancouver will make such culinary excursions difficult. Perhaps Skip the Dishes can deliver Miku to the Rogers Arena press box.

Now something controversial: I’m really looking forward to the Canucks’ home opener. It’s been some time – probably four-plus years – since there’s been some real jazz around town about the Canucks. (I assume there’s “jazz” right now; I haven’t left my hotel room yet.) But Vancouver is not just my dark horse playoff team; my on-a-limb preseason prediction was that they’re the third-place Pacific team and facing Calgary in the first round. That they’re now spending and trading picks for assets to complement the likes of Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat represents their emergence from a rebuild, even if some of those moves were questioned, such as the payment and term on Tyler Myers’ five-year, $30-million deal. But I remember driving up from the Everett Silvertips offices for Game 1 in 2010 and getting goosebumps while feeling like the Kings were facing all of Canada when Where the Streets Have No Name blared during the pre-game hype. Some six, seven years later, there were noticeably empty seats when these West Coast rivals met up north. The Vancouver fan base by and large is well-read and intelligent, maybe even caustic and fatalist, and the team over the last several years didn’t provide the greatest hammer and nail to chip away at Murphy’s Law. But now? This is a team with expectations, and even though you’ll get a fanatic crowd at any team’s home opener, I’m really interested to see what the building will be like amidst such factors, because it’s been years since we’ve really experienced a fired-up Rogers Arena during a game between these long-time West Coast rivals.

No morning skate today, gang. Waking up with the Kings will follow, as will a 4:15 p.m. NHL Network hit. Let’s talk soon, Insiders, and thank you for reading.

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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.