In the spirt of Flashback Friday, we’re taking a trip back to Christmas Week 2019. We invited former Kings prospect Roman Vopat to join us on Kings Of The Podcast and he did not disappoint. For those unfamiliar with his plight, Vopat was originally drafted by St. Louis but later ended up as part of a five-player package the Blues sent to the LA Kings in exchange for Wayne Gretzky.
Along with a myriad of other topics discussed during the interview, that was the key conversation piece and Vopat provided some rather fascinating insight into that portion of his life on and off the ice.
Here’s a small sample of what was shared…
Vopat on the overall experience of getting the news he’d been traded to Los Angeles – “Well, I was in juniors back then. When I got sent down from St. Louis, I got sent to Moose Jaw [WHL] where I began my junior career. Curtis Brown and Ryan Smyth got traded from Moose Jaw to Prince Albert, so I was in PA at the time. I recall, quite frankly, like it was happening last night. Sam McMaster [LA Kings GM] called me and I thought it was a joke that Curtis Brown was playing on me. So, I hung up the phone. Five minutes later, I get a phone call again and it was Sam McMaster again. He said, “You just hung up on me,” and I said “Oh my God!” I thought, you know, I knew right away I probably got traded or something. Once he mentioned I got traded for Wayne Gretzky, I thought it was a joke. But, I never really saw it coming, that I could be part, a piece, of a trade for the greatest player of all-time. It was just really, surreal. [I thought,] I guess I’m gonna go to camp and prove that LA made the right choice by the move and that’s what my concentration was on that offseason.”
Some of the other items discussed during the show:
– More from Vopat on the trade, the Flyers, his disdain for the game, etc.
– Personal memories of Gretzky’s final roadtrip with the Kings
– Jersey Numerology and some weird notes on No. 12
Listen to the show for free using the audio player below or check us out on all the major podcast platforms, including: Audioboom, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Apple Podcast, Tune In, Radio.com, and many more.