Life is starting to sound and feel a little more normal, at least in the hockey world. With word coming out of the NHL General Managers meeting this week that the league plans on starting the 2021-22 season on October 12 and training camps on September 22, activity beyond this year’s 56-game abbreviated campaign is beginning to take shape.
Hockey calendar is filling up:
July 21 – Expansion Draft
July 23/24 – NHL Entry Draft
July 28 – UFA Kickoff
Sept 22 – Training Camps Open
Oct 12 – 2021-22 Season Begjns
Two things missing in-between…
– Dev Camp dates (~7/28?)
– Rookie Faceoff (9/17 in AZ?)
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) April 21, 2021
Since posting the above tweet a few days ago, MayorsManor has been able to gather some additional intel regarding several LA Kings related items.
From what we’re hearing, the team is planning on playing a Black/White game on Sunday, September 26. Preferably, it will be held in Ontario at Toyota Arena – home of the Ontario Reign. Details still need to be finalized, and one of the key aspects of any such activity would most certainly center on how many fans would be allowed to attend. The team’s El Segundo training facility appears to be the backup plan, with Toyota Sports Performance Center having hosted many Black/White scrimmages in the past. Conversely, Ontario has hosted a Kings vs. Kings event twice previously, plus the Kings played a preseason game vs. the Sharks in the same building back in 2009. There was also a Kings-Ducks preseason game scheduled for Ontario in October 2012, as well. That game never took place due to an NHL lockout at the time.
In some additional 2021 preseason news, we’ve also learned the Kings will return to Salt Lake City for another exhibition game at Vivint Arena, home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. It was the Vancouver Canucks who served as the Kings opponent there in both 2018 and 2019. However, this year’s edition of the Salt Lake Shootout will feature a new opponent, with the Kings now scheduled to play the Vegas Golden Knights.
UPDATE – JUNE 15: The game will be played Thursday, September 30. Plus, this will no longer be marketed as the Salt Lake Shootout. Instead, as part of a new three-year agreement, the series will be called Frozen Fury and also played in 2022 and 2023.
As with previous editions of Frozen Fury, this will officially be listed as a Kings “home” game, even though it takes place at Vivint Arena.
Tickets for the 2021 edition of Frozen Fury will go on sale June 25 at vivintarena.com. The game is scheduled as a full-capacity event.
Current plans call for that game to be the only neutral-site game on the Kings 2021 preseason calendar.
Just before NHL training camps open, the league is expected to once again host a Rookie Faceoff tournament. Vegas hosted the inaugural event in 2018 to a rousing success – with the Golden Knights, Kings, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes, and Colorado Avalanche all participating. One year later, the Ducks hosted a second edition at their sprawling training facility in Irvine. Last year’s festivities were to be hosted by the Arizona Coyotes, yet didn’t happen for obvious reasons. We’re hearing they’re still next up to host this time around, with the weekend of September 17-19 set as the target dates.
UPDATE – JULY 26:
Have confirmed our earlier reports:
NHL Rookie Faceoff is headed to AZ desert, targeted for weekend of 9/18.
Pressure is on. Tournament showcase was a smashing success in Vegas and Anaheim.
Interesting tidbit – continue to hear Avs are on the fence.
AZ, LA, ANA, SJ, VGK and ? pic.twitter.com/GwRD3ICYib
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) July 27, 2021
Meanwhile, there are questions surrounding next year’s event.
As we first reported on Kings Of The Podcast two years ago, the plan was to have San Jose host this year and the Kings were to get the Rookie Faceoff in 2022. With last year wiped out, it appears everything could be shifted one year. This hasn’t been confirmed, though, as the Kings are very interested in keeping their spot for next season. Completion of San Jose’s new building could be the wild card in everything. A new 4,200 seat arena is currently under construction for the AHL’s Barracuda. It’s scheduled to be completed in May 2022, so that would appear to be plenty of time to host the Rookie Faceoff in September 2022. At some point, LA and San Jose will need to figure out who gets the event in 2022, with the other team most likely hosting in 2023.
Finally, no new information is available on dates for Dev Camp, which is typically held soon after the NHL Draft. When Nelson Emerson, Director of Player Personnel, stopped by Kings Of The Podcast last week, he did express a strong preference to hold the summer event and explained why it is so important to the development of prospects. You can hear the full interview — where he also talked about prospects Brock Faber, Andre Lee, and several players in AHL Ontario this season — using the link below.
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