Willie Mitchell and Mike Richards developing a bromance at camp

It may not be spring, but love is in the air.

Like the first day of school every fall, the opening of training camp for the LA Kings each September brings similar feelings and events with it.

You have the young kids, who are intimidated by the older guys – even though they’ll never admit it. You have the new faces – people who walk around all day feeling lost and just trying to find out where the bathrooms are. There’s also plenty of reunions – the ‘Hey, good to see you, how was your summer?’ crowd.

Then, you have the love connections.

It’s as if two people have suddenly found their long lost soul mates.

For longtime readers of MayorsManor, you may remember the Anze Kopitar-Ryan Smyth bromance of two years ago. Seeing them skate around the ice on opening day of training camp in 2009 was like watching a bumble bee chase around a bird in a cartoon or something. Both were giddy all day, hanging on each other’s every word and smiling the whole time.

Well, guess what – cupid may have struck again in El Segundo.

“I think it’s safe to say, we’ve hit it off pretty well so far,” Willie Mitchell said of recently acquired forward Mike Richards.

A bromance?

“Yeah, a little bit,” Mitchell continued. “I had no idea that he was into fishing as much as he is. So, when we had a little get away as a team recently (to Colorado), we spent a lot of time fishing there together, talking a lot about it. If Terry (Murray) ever gives us a day off, we’ll be organizing a fishing trip together, off the Channel Islands or out past Catalina. So, I’m looking forward to spending some time off the ice with him, for sure.”

Richards turned a bit red-faced and began laughing when I asked about the budding bromance.

“I told him we went up to Lake Cachuma last week (a few hours north of LA), not even thinking that anyone else on the team fished much. When I told him about it the next day he was all excited. I definitely want to go back, not only there but different lakes around here too. I love fishing because it’s something you can do when you get away from the rink. It seems like Willie and I have a lot in common, so it’s been fun,” Richards said, tailing off with more laughter.

So, it looks like they already have their first official date planned out.

While most new couples eventually head to Las Vegas or San Diego for a quick weekend getaway, Mitchell and Richards will be take on something a little more adventurous for one of their later outings - they’re heading to Europe in a few weeks.

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