MayorsManor Live Radio with Justin Kemp, Ontario Reign President

Hockey in Southern California sure has come along way in the past 25 years. The area has gone from having one NHL franchise to two clubs – both of which have won the Stanley Cup – plus, a thriving minor league team.

The Ontario Reign, the LA Kings’ ECHL affiliate, are set to kick off their fifth season later tonight. Over the past four years they’ve been near the top of the league in attendance (including leading all teams in tickets sold last year) and have won two Pacific Division titles.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing though. As their team President Justin Kemp told us last summer, he’s been frustrated that the Kings haven’t assigned more prospects to his club. Although Jordan Nolan and Dwight King made stops in Ontario, they were brief. Most of their professional development before coming to the Kings took place in Manchester. The situation reached a boiling point last August when Kemp was exploring adding a second NHL affiliate – something the Kings appeared to be less than thrilled about.

Making matters worse, the Reign lost their coach just weeks before the season opener last year when he took another job elsewhere.  Kemp quickly scrambled to pull things together, eventually hiring Jason Christie as the head coach and adding former Kings assistant coach Mark Hardy in a supporting role.

The group went on to finish with a franchise-best 43-21-5-3 record and Kemp was eventually named the ECHL Executive of the Year.

Now, for the third season in a row, he joins us on MayorsManor to kick off the new campaign and provide a ‘state of the franchise’ type review of where things stand – offering a look back and turning an eye to the future as well.

Some of the topics we’ll touch on include:

– At least four NHL players have signed on to play in the ECHL during the lockout. Will Ontario follow suit?

– A review of Christie’s performance behind the bench

– A review of Hardy’s performance in his new role

– Selling hockey in Southern California

– The return of Kyle Kramer, who suffered a serious on-ice injury late last season

– What Nolan and King mean to the organization

– His ongoing relationship with the Kings

– Is adding a second affiliate still on the table?

– Ticket deals for local hockey fans wanting their fix during the lockout

All of that and much more, so let’s get started…

NOTE: If you’re on an ipad or iphone, click here to listen to today’s episode.

Please note that right after we finished recording this episode word came down that Kings’ goaltending prospect JF Berube – who spent last season with the Reign – had been reassigned from Manchester to Ontario.   In fact, he’s expected to be with the club in Stockton tonight. It’s actually a much better situation for Berube too, as he’ll get the bulk of starts in Ontario, rather than play sparingly for the Monarchs behind Martin Jones.

For more info on the Kings minor league affiliates, click here to check out a recent show we did with Manchester head coach Mark Morris. He’ll give you all the latest updates on more than a dozen of the Kings’ top prospects – including Tyler Toffoli, Brandon Kozun and Andrei Loktionov.

We’ll also be on hand to provide coverage of the Reign’s home opener tomorrow night. So, be sure to follow along on twitter or facebook for all the latest updates.

Recent Articles

July 2017: Update on LA Kings Salary Cap Situation and Roster Projection

Fresh on the heels of forward Nick Shore and the Kings agreeing to new one year contract, with an average annual value (AAV) of $925,000, we have updated our look at the team’s current salary cap situation.
2017-18 LA Kings Projected Opening Night Roster (with important notes at the end of the article)
 

Cammalleri
Kopitar
Brown

1,000,000
10,000,000
5,875,000

 
 
 

Pearson
Carter
Toffoli

3,750,000
5,272,727
4,550,000

 
 
 

Kempe
Dowd
Brodzinski

894,167
650,000
950,000

 
 
 

Clifford
Shore
Lewis

1,600,000
925,000
2,000,000

 
 
 

Nolan
Andreoff
 

950,000
677,500
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Muzzin
Doughty
 

4,000,000
7,000,000
 

 
 
 

Martinez
LaDue
 

4,000,000
1,500,000
 

 
 
 

Forbort
Gravel
 

650,000
950,000
 

 
 
 

Folin
 
 

850,000
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Quick
Kuemper
 

5,800,000
650,000
 

 
The above 23-man roster […]

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven’s Kings Updates – Thornton, Brown, Phaneuf, Bernier, Iginla, etc.

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined host Nick Alberga of Ice Cap to discuss a plethora of topics surrounding the LA Kings roster heading into free agency, including: Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Dustin Brown-for-Dion Phaneuf trade speculation, goaltender Jonathan Bernier, forward Jarome […]

Yannetti Evaluates Kings Selections from 2017 NHL Draft

Although the Los Angeles Kings have gone through significant upheaval in their management ranks over the past few months, the 2017 NHL Draft was largely business as usual. While GM Rob Blake was present at the draft table, the event was largely run by Mark Yannetti, Director of Amateur Scouting – just as it has […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Top Two Players Revealed

The wait is over; it's time to reveal the top two players on our 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings. Which player has earned the coveted No. 1 spot? As we finish off this multi-part series, we'll begin with a thank you … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

Comments

  1. Diana Ramirez says:

    We were told Cole is back….is she going to do the player interviews? We enjoyed the videos a lot.

    • John Hoven says:

      Cole Volmer is back as the in-arena host for sure. She’s likely doing the videos again too, won’t know for sure until tomorrow though (home opener). When I see her I’ll ask.

  2. Cole is the only reason I buy Reign tickets

Trackbacks

  1. […] For the third straight year, Ontario Reign President Justin Kemp stopped by the MayorsManor radio show this past week to give us a ‘State of the Franchise’ report. He talked about the performance of the team’s coaches, his ongoing relationship with the Kings’ front office, the possibility of more NHL players skating in the ECHL during the lockout and much more. Give it a listen here. […]

  2. […] Also, for the third straight year, Ontario Reign President Justin Kemp stopped by the MayorsManor radio show last week to give us a ‘State of the Franchise’ report. He talked about the performance of the team’s coaches, his ongoing relationship with the Kings’ front office, the possibility of more NHL players skating in the ECHL during the lockout and much more. Give it a listen here. […]