Opening weekend of Major League Baseball, the Final Four, WrestleMania, a Kings game, the Stars-Ducks game and the list goes on – it was a busy sports weekend for some of you.
So, here are the top ten Kings-related stories you need to know about or may have missed…
* Defenseman Willie Mitchell has been selected as the Kings’ nominee for the 2011 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy – awarded annually to the player who best exhibits perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey (press release). A Kings player has won the award three times previously, Butch Goring 1978, Bob Bourne 1988 and Dave Taylor 1991.
* If you want to relive the Mike Ribeiro Hit On Michal Handzus from Saturday’s Stars-Kings game, video is available here.
* Jonathan Bernier‘s stellar 4-0-1 record in the month of March, including two shutouts, weren’t enough to win him Player of the Month honors. Fans instead voted Dustin Brown the winner for the second time this season. See the full results for March and list of all winners this season at this link.
* The Kopitar brothers were both guests on MayorsManor last week. First, younger brother Gasper stopped by to talk about his career, several Kings prospects and his dreams of making it to the NHL (article here). Then, Anze spoke out on his brother and how he’s helped him with his career (read it here).
* Kings Assistant GM Ron Hextall‘s son Brett plays at the University of North Dakota. In an interview on NHL radio last week, Hextall said he plans on being in Minnesota this Sunday to see his son and the Fighting Sioux take on Michigan in the NCAA Frozen Four semi-finals. The Kings 2010 first draft pick, Derek Forbort, will also be in the game – he’s a freshman defenseman for UND (check it out his recent visit to MM here).
* This Thursday many former Kings players – including Jim Fox, Mark Hardy, Marty McSorley, Daryl Evans and Glen Murray – will be playing in a charity poker tournament at San Manuel Casino. It’s only $25 to join in and the night will have a Kings vs. Ducks theme. More information is available here.
* Both Kings prospects in the QMJHL advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Goalie JF Berube had two shutouts in a four-game sweep for the Montreal Juniors (his recent MM interview is here). Defenseman Nic Deslauriers and the Gatineau Olympiques took their series four games to one (his interview is here). Both teams will resume action this coming Friday.
* Last week you may have read the ‘Forget Brayden Schenn, What About Tyler Toffoli?‘ article. Here’s an update - Schenn’s Saskatoon Blades closed out their first round playoff series with a 2-1 OT win last night. So, he’ll still be tied up for a while. As noted, Toffoli’s Ottawa 67′s were upset in the first round. He’s currently negotiating a deal with the Kings and is expected to join Manchester this week. (links to Toffoli and Schenn‘s recent visits to MM)
* Speaking of Manchester, they split there two games over the weekend and are now just one point behind division leader Portland. They have three games left and their leading goal scorer, Bud Holloway, made his debut on MayorsManor last week (link) – talking about his teammates, pranks and the upcoming AHL playoffs.
For some bonus material, here’s a look ahead to later this week with two items on the Phoenix Coyotes…
* On Wednesday, the Kings will play host to the Coyotes, who still don’t where they’ll be playing home games next season. (To what should be the surprise of no one), last week Eric Belanger told reporters he hopes the team relocates to Quebec City if they end up moving. Shocking.
* Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski, out since mid-February with fractured orbital bones, is expected to play in the game on Wednesday, per a report on the Coyotes website.
And now you’re caught up.