Last night, after the Kings mailed in a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche and sent thousands of disappointed fans into casinos and bars throughout Las Vegas, the team and dozens of staff boarded a private charter and headed off to Europe.
First stop will be Hamburg, Germany – where the Kings will play their final pre-season game on Tuesday against a local team (more on that in a few days). Although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, that game is also expected to mark the return of defenseman Drew Doughty to the line-up.
Around 6am last Friday morning, Doughty flew from Toronto to Los Angeles to sign his new 8-year contract. After a quick physical and then a 30-minute workout on the ice at the team’s training facility, I chatted with him as he sat in his stall in the locker room for the first time since April.
It was a spot that rookie Slava Voynov had temporarily moved into in his absence during training camp. Doughty said the squatter from Manchester had been relocated by the time he arrived.
“I feel bad now,” Doughty expressed. “It has been my locker for three years though, so I think I have a little bit of seniority to kick him out.”
Now, that flight last night wasn’t your typical shoe-horn ’em in, no room in the middle seat trip across the Atlantic. The Kings had plenty of amenities on the way over. Still, the flight left close to midnight and was scheduled to be around 11 hours.
Prior to leaving, who did Doughty think was going to be the most annoying person on the long ride over?
“Mitchie (Willie Mitchell) because a lot of us are going to want to be sleeping. He’s just going to want to give us lectures and talk a lot, not allow us to get that shut eye.”
I posed that same question – and a few closely related – to many of the other Kings and will be posting their answers in a special series of articles (and a podcast!) that’s coming up tomorrow.
For example – who will be the best dressed person on the trip?
Doughty went the safe route – “Jarret Stoll.”
And worst dressed?
Let’s just say, he wasn’t the only Kings player to call out Greene or Scuderi when asked a a few similar questions. You won’t want to miss the ‘trip to Europe’ content that will posted tomorrow.
[update: the latest MayorsManor podcast – featuring Europe related comments from Doughty, Greene, Mitchell, Stoll, Dustin Penner, Mike Richards, Ethan Moreau and more has been posted – click here to check it out now]
Audio interview with Mark Hardy – talks in-depth about Clifford, Doughty, time with Kings, etc.