During the early part of last season we had a series of articles where members of the LA Kings talked about things they had learned about their teammates. According to readers, some of the most popular answers were Dustin Brown trying to explain the subtle differences between nerd vs. geek and then-newcomer Mike Richards talking about Anze Kopitar..
Knowing that professional athletes can become creatures of habit – especially given their often structured schedule – we thought we’d go in a different direction this season and turn things a little more introspective.
Over the weekend we posted comments from Matt Greene, who shared that during the NHL lockout he learned he doesn’t have many of the skills needed to survive in the real world.
Now we check in with a few more guys…
“I’ve definitely learned some new things about myself,” Dustin Penner began. “I hadn’t been unemployed in a while. The last time there was a lockout I was able and fortunate enough to go play in the minors. This time, I got an appreciation for nightly news because I was running out of TV shows to watch. I also learned how to cook again because I didn’t do too much traveling. I just stayed in Newport Beach most of the time.”
Meanwhile, Rob Scuderi, already known as a stay-at-home defenseman, doubled down on the concept.
“I learned that I’m a better stay-at-home mom than I thought I could be,” joked the two-time Stanley Cup champion.
“I got to see a lot of my sons’ and daughters’ sporting events and stuff like that,” Scuderi continued. “I know it seems cliché and a lot of people get to do it, but with us playing on the weekends a lot I often miss that stuff. So, I got to be a little more active in my kids’ lives and my family’s lives. As much as I would rather have been playing I enjoyed getting to do that.”
The always humble Kyle Clifford had a little different take on the question, largely because he wasn’t ‘home’ during the lockout – but was playing for the Ontario Reign.
“I was reminded that you can’t take anything for granted,” said the 22-year old left wing. “It was fun playing in the East Coast league, but I definitely couldn’t wait to get back up here.”
Perhaps it was a good lesson for Clifford too. Through 11 games this season he has one goal and five assists – and has been one of the Kings’ most consistent forwards. Only two players, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter, have more than Clifford’s six points. That’s some rare company for the third-year pro.
What I’ve learned so far… by Alec Martinez – he calls out Trevor Lewis
What I’ve learned so far… by Simon Gagne – what it means to be a captain
What I’ve learned so far… by Dustin Brown – responds to Westgarth’s allegations
What I’ve learned so far… by Drew Doughty – on the ice and off the ice observations
What I’ve learned so far… by Kevin Westgarth – more good comedy from Westy
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