With the Los Angeles Kings annual end to their preseason schedule having already been announced, Frozen Fury XVII in Las Vegas on October 3, MayorsManor can now confirm the second game on the team’s 2015-16 exhibition calendar. This one will actually be an Arizona Coyotes “home” game, although the teams won’t be played at Gila River Arena in Glendale (Phoenix), but rather in Bakersfield on Monday, September 21.
For fans following the hockey landscape closely over the last year, this is certainly an interesting situation, as the Coyotes will host the Kings in an arena home to an Oilers affiliate. True, the Bakersfield market has been where Edmonton’s ECHL affiliate has played the past few seasons, and will transition into their AHL club over the summer. However, the Oilers preseason games are largely being played in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver next season; thus leaving an opening for the Rabobank Arena to do something rather unique.
While the Coyotes will be traveling to Bakersfield for the first time, this won’t be the Kings maiden voyage to Kern County. They skated in preseason games there in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2003 vs. the Canucks, Ducks, and Sharks. It’s also where Kyle Clifford scored his first goal while playing in the ECHL during the 2012 NHL lockout.
Later today, the Kings will be announcing their full 2015-16 preseason schedule, which is expected to include two games at Staples Center, plus a game in Anaheim against the Ducks. They will also play the Avalanche in Colorado on September 27.
[UPDATE: L.A.’s full preseason schedule – Sept. 21 vs Arizona (in Bakersfield), Sept. 22 vs. Arizona (at Staples Center), Sept. 25 vs. Anaheim (at Honda Center), Sept. 27 vs. Colorado (in Denver), Sept. 29 vs. Anaheim (at Staples Center), and Oct. 3 vs. Colorado (in Las Vegas).]
Rookie Camp will begin on September 11, followed by the organization’s main Training Camp getting underway September 18 with on-ice activities. As we reported several months ago, the Kings will not be playing a preseason game in Ontario this year (the new home of their AHL affiliate). However, in an interview we did with team President Luc Robitaille several months ago, quite a few other ideas were being kicked around at the time.
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