We know you’re busy, so let’s help catch you up on some of the Kings news, notes, and nonsense that perhaps was missed over the past few days. Using our popular 10 Tidbits format, here’s all the latest info you need to know, not only about LA, but the hockey world as a whole:
1. Fantasy Hockey
Byfield, Byfield, Byfield. That’s all people have been talking about of late; and deservedly so. However, it’s not just QB who is driving numbers. Per Natural Stat Trick, the line of Byfield, Anze Kopitar, and Adrian Kempe have been a dominant group. Since being put together nearly one year ago — New Year’s Eve 2022, to be exact — that trio has outscored their opponents 47-16.
2. Yeah, That’s Going to be a Problem
From the, ‘Who Does That?’ Department:
For those that missed it, here's the play at the end of Preds vs Lightning where Austin Watson drills Jeremy Lauzon with a slap shot for no reason.
HC Andrew Brunette said there was "no place in the game" for this afterwards. pic.twitter.com/4Vq7R8Pksf
— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) December 8, 2023
Not to be outdone, here’s one from the ‘What Was he Thinking?’ Department down the hall:
At an early ECHL game kids, a chicken nugget was thrown on the ice. Kirill Tyutyayev shot it back into the crowd and was assessed a 10-minute misconduct 😳
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) December 6, 2023
3. More From the Hockey-Sphere
Last week, we were talking about the 2024 NHL Draft coming to the Sphere in Las Vegas. Well, there’s a little more news that’s somewhat connected to the giant dome in Sin City. That building is already using a recycled cup program, and now Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles is preparing to try one of their own.
Word is, at the pair of Depeche Mode concerts next weekend, the AEG-owned building will test drive re-useable cups in a pilot program with r.World, the same company servicing the Sphere. If the initiative is eventually implemented, it would further add to management’s goal of becoming more environmentally friendly. Even though they currently recycle, around 15,000 cups are currently used at events. Expect to hear more about this in the near future.
4. If the Shoe Fits
Mayor’s Manor editor John Hoven has long bemoaned coach Mike Stothers terrible choice in footwear. A noted lover of Crocs — something they’ve discussed on Kings Of The Podcast several times — hopefully the #MakerOfMen doesn’t tap into the funky shoe brand’s latest creation. They somehow have managed to top their already hideous fashion entry by combining Birkenstocks and Crocs into some sort of a footy Frankenstein. If somebody dares to get Stutts a pair for Christmas, hopefully he opts for the Grimace edition. Because if you’re going for puke-tastic, go all the way.
5. Almost Time to Rep Your Country
Dustin Brown being inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame earlier this week has us once again thinking about international hockey. Brown admitted to still thinking about the gold medal game in 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics. It’s the one that got away, and a game USA should have won.
A true best-on-best of NHL-level players is at least two years away, as we’re inching closer to a possible agreement for guys to participate at the 2026 Winter Olympics. In something of a precursor, though, the NHL is finalizing plans to hold 4-team, in-season international tournament in 2025. Think of it as a mini-World Cup that will replace the typical mid-season All Star Game. The event will feature USA, Canada, Sweden, and Finland. Yes, that will leave players like Anze Kopitar and Kevin Fiala on the sidelines. However, something is still better than nothing. Be thankful, people.
6. The World is Watching
We say it every year around this time: Perhaps the best hockey played each season happens at the World Junior Championship. Before you know it, Dec. 26th will be here and the two-week festivities will officially be underway in Sweden. Yes, all the games can be seen on NHL Network again. Just don’t expect to see very many Kings prospects this time around.
Now for some more uplifting World Juniors news…
LA Kings prospects Otto Salin (FIN 🇫🇮) and Jakub Dvorak (CZE 🇨🇿) are both expected to represent their home country at the upcoming tournament… And both are expected to wear letters, with Salin as the likely captain for Finland.
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) November 28, 2023
Defensemen Otto Salin (2022) and Jakub Dvorak (2023) will be the only players in the tournament with Kings connections. That said, keep in mind that there will be a bunch of prospects in the tournament who haven’t been drafted yet, but are expected to hear their names called next June. Thus, there could be a future King (or even two) in the tournament.
7. Whoa, Nellie!
Unfortunately, it appears Stephen Nelson will not be calling those WJC games for NHL Network. Last season, the ultra-talented play-by-play man was wisely scooped up by the Dodgers. After splitting time between the NHL and MLB Networks for a few years, he has now turned his attention to baseball full-time (although we hear he’s still available to fill in if needed; hint, hint, LA Kings PR).
Come to think of it, maybe the Dodgers have been playing 4D chess this whole time. They signed Nelson to a three-year contract last off-season. That would have been a full year in advance of their current pursuit of Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani. Perhaps they’re using Nelson, who is half Japanese, to help lure the reigning American League MVP up the 5 freeway to Chavez Ravine.
Man, those baseball GMs are always thinking 17 steps ahead.
We’ll work to get Nelson back on Kings Of The Podcast. He’s become a popular guest the past few years, thanks in part to his intelligent and witty sports takes.
8. Why Don’t You Just Go Home? That’s Your Home!
While Happy Gilmore may have loved the Bruins, Adam Sandler recently sported a Colorado Eagles jersey instead. The comedian was in Loveland, CO last week to kick off his comedy tour and several of the Avalanche players were in attendance.
9. The Kids Are Alright
Ryan Conmy continues to have a rather impressive freshman season at the University of New Hampshire. A late-round selection by the Kings at last summer’s NHL Draft, the 19-year-old winger has already racked up 15 points (6G, 9A) in 12 games. As MM prospect reporter David Hofreiter recently noted, he’s not only leading the Wildcats in scoring, but he’s also contributing in all facets, including playing on the penalty kill.
10. And Finally…
Boy have times changed. A few decades ago, it was all about the home winning streak.
On December 8, 1992, the @LAKings established a franchise record with a 13-game undefeated streak on home ice after a 5-5 tie against the Montreal Canadiens. The #LAKings had a 12-0-1 record at home from October 10 to December 8.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/eU1nzO1Jn2
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) December 8, 2023
Now, road winning streaks are fine and all. Yet, when will people start talking about the chrome dome streak?
Going back to last season, the Kings have won six straight games when wearing their alternate jersey kit. They’ll be wearing them again in both games this weekend against the Islanders and Rangers too.
If you missed our previous Tidbits article, it’s linked below for your reference.
Lead photo via Daniel Stopani
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