Through the years we’ve occasionally turned the keys to MayorsManor over to a few of the LA Kings players and prospects, allowing them to pen an article for the site. Of course, none more famously perhaps than Dustin Penner’s open letter regarding Pancakegate.
When we noted there was an opening for a ‘MayorsManor correspondent’ in Manchester, due to the departure of Ray Kaunisto, Legein gladly volunteered for the job. A former second round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets (2007), the 5-foot-10 forward came to the Kings in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers in October 2011.
With an abundance of forwards in Manchester the past few months, Legein’s playing time has been cut back a little. But that didn’t stop him from keeping a journal for us during the team’s visit to Newfoundland for a two-game series last weekend…
St. John’s road trip, January 4-5, 2013
Road trip to St. John’s begins nice and early:
A tough morning so far with a 6:45 a.m. wake up call combined with sub-zero temperatures. I just picked up Hicks, Jonsey and DK (Kolomatis) on our way to the airport to catch our flight to ‘The Rock. A really classy move by the Monarchs to buy out the whole plane saving us a trip to Boston and also so we can assure there are no crying babies, although there are a few guys that would almost prefer a crying baby to being awake this early in the morning. There are a lot of exciting elements to this trip; the main one being we get to play a team other then Worcester or Portland; the other being a nice trip back to Canada to play in front of a sold out Mile One Centre. Preparing for cross check, talk soon!
Landed in St. John’s Thursday afternoon:
We have landed on The Rock. Everyone is pretty excited to be here. It is a great little place with lots of stuff to see and do. There are good local spots with live music and some good food. It’s nice for the Canadian guys to get to go to ‘The Keg’, a Canadian steakhouse chain that rivals the fanciest! It will most likely be a really quiet night with two games back-to-back, but I am sure there will be enough time to do some wandering. These road trips are a nice change in the repetitive schedules that become our lives. Now that we have gotten settled in the hotel, one of the toughest parts of road trips rears its ugly head, deciding who to eat dinner with. Now this sounds easy, just eat with everyone right? WRONG! Do you know how long a table of 20-plus 20-somethings takes to serve! The key is to find a solid 6-8 man group. Tonight, we have Slava, Kinger, Nolan, Muzzin, Kozun, JJ (Johnson), myself and of course my roommate, Dr. Lokti. Dinners like this are spent having a beer – or with this group “fine wines” – and sharing stories from different times of our lives, which is always interesting.
Waking up Friday morning means game day for most, but thanks to this lovely lockout and Los Angeles’ 20-foot deep talent pool, I will be watching the action tonight, but not before getting a ‘nice’ little skate in with the rest of the guys in my situation.
After a boring day, the game is finally over and so is our losing streak. We got out to a nice two goal lead thanks to top-shelf Toff (Toffoli). They made it very interesting at the end but thanks to a goal from Lokti in the third, the lead was just large enough. After the game, everyone headed back to the hotel for a lovely buffet style meal of lasagna. vegetables and beautiful roast beef. Then, it’s just quiet night in the room, but not before a mandatory trip to the gas station for some beef jerky and all dressed chips, a Canadian staple.
Last Day On The Rock
Saturday is much of the same. After a mid-morning meeting, it’s back to the hotel bar for a nice lunch with the rest of guys not playing. For lunch, we had a server named Ann. Now, I know her name would normally not mean anything to readers but I feel she deserves to be mentioned along with her staff because they were far and beyond the best staff of servers I have come across. Much like the rest of the people in St. John’s, they just seem to be a little bit nicer than the rest of the world.
Saturday’s game found us up early once again thanks to a goal from Wealer. Nice to see a kid who works his butt off every day get rewarded. After they tied the game, the strangest thing happened. The ‘white line’ (Toffoli, Pearson and Vey) scored, which they rarely ever do! [Editor’s note: Named for the color of jerseys they wear in practice.] They tied the game up and we found ourselves heading into overtime with a chance to steal four points on The Rock but more importantly four points guaranteed us Sunday and Monday off from practice. After some back and forth play, Meckler and Voynov broke out on a 2-1 with Meckler carrying the puck up the right side before sliding it to Slava for a one-timer and boom, see ya Tuesday! After packing up the gear and eating some pizza, it was on the bus to board the plane. Now, this plane we took may sound fancy to those familiar with the way the Kings and other NHL teams travel. Yet, that’s not the case in the wonderful world of the AHL. After a quick refuel in Halifax, it’s back to Manchester for a 4:00 a.m. arrival.
Well, that’s life on the road through the eyes of @legeeyfbaby. Hope you enjoyed reading and congratulations to everyone on the lockout ending! Now, let’s see the Kings defend that title!
Great stuff there from his notebook – including, Dr. Lokti. Who knew?!? When you get a chance, give Legein a follow on twitter and be sure to tell him what you think of his first piece for MayorsManor. We certainly appreciate his efforts.
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