Rich Hammond is writing about training camp... Philip Anschutz is having some of the players over for dinner... and one of the Los Angeles Kings star players is nowhere closer to being part of the team. That means the regular season is just around the corner!!!
Is this the closest Drew Doughty will get to playing with the Kings this year?
Sweet A's hat, Drew.
With the acquisition of Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Ethan Moreau there are a lot of expectations for the Los Angeles Kings to be a major force in the Western Conference this season. Now, we here at The Royal Half have been Kings fans long enough to know how disappointing expectations can be for your favorite hockey team... so we are approaching the 2011-2012 NHL season with grounded feet and a reasonable head. So that's why Indiana Matt decided to create the 1st ever TRH Frozen Fury T-Shirt!
See... no pressure, boys! Just go out and win every single fucking game! Check out the rest of The Royal Half T-Shirts here!
I'll have a full tribute to Pavol Demitra up later today... but I wanted to get this out there in case anyone wanted to share their favorite Pavol memories in the comments. Demitra, along with all the players and coaches on the Russian plane that crashed today, will be sorely missed.
With salaries and operating expenses on the rise all across the NHL, several franchises have been looking for unique ways to cut spending on a daily basis. This past Wednesday, the Los Angeles Kings figured out a new way to trim their budget... by making their employees paint the ice at Staples Center.
"You heard me Bailey... as soon as you are done with me, take care of my boy Ethan over there."
"While that was going on, Bailey, the Kings’ mascot, planted three pennies at center ice for good luck. Luc Robitaille, the Kings’ president of business operations, said one was an 1893 penny to commemorate the year the Stanley Cup was donated by Lord Stanley of Preston. Robitaille said the second penny was placed by Bailey and had personal meaning to the costumed mascot.
“I talked to Bailey’s handler, because Bailey doesn’t talk,” Robitaille said. “And I heard they were putting in a 1993 penny. I asked why and they said that’s the year we went to the finals, and I said, ‘That doesn’t make sense. We lost. We’ve got to put something that means something to us that we’ve won.’ So he put something that was personal to him that was meaningful about a championship, and I did too.”
What was Robitaille’s choice? A penny from 2002, the year he won the Cup with the Detroit Red Wings."
So the Kings were going to put a constant reminder from one of the franchises biggest failures directly into the ice? Well thank god Luc Robitaille put a stop to that. But his alternative was to instead feature a good luck charm from the franchise that has steadily beaten the Los Angeles Kings over the last decade?
This is scientifically proven to be the last time the Kings beat the Red Wings.
Since the Kings were fully ready to immortalize their past failures directly into the Staples Center ice... myself and Indiana Matt got to thinking... (well, I got to thinking, Indiana Matt got to photoshoppin')... why shouldn't the Kings highlight other awful disasters in their 43 year history as part of the home ice design?
Marty McSorley's Stick.
I mean the Kings were already prepared to put a penny from 1993 under the faceoff dot... so why not go full force with it and feature the entire illegally curved blade that cost the Kings Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals?
Ron Grahame's Hockey Card.
Every modern day LA Kings fan remembers Ron Grahame and his impressive 23-32-7 record over 3 seasons as the team's backup goaltender. But what they don't remember is that Grahame was acquired from the Boston Bruins for the Kings 1st round pick in the 1979 Draft. Who did the Bruins choose with that pick? Some dork named Raymond. (Sorry, that should have read: "Some Bourque named Raymond.)
Dan Cloutier's Goalie Pads.
I mean, if you are indeed going to pay tribute to awful moments in the franchise's history... how can you not bury under the ice the one thing that never worked? Dan Cloutier's goalie pads. Besides... with all of Cloutier's injuries it would be good to keep him iced.
April 19th, 2011's Game 3 6-5 OT loss to the San Jose Sharks.
I'm in no way suggesting that the Kings should bury Corey Perry beneath the Staples Center ice because they could have selected the reigning NHL MVP with the 26th or 27th pick in the 2003 NHL Draft. (The Kings selected Brian Boyle and Jeff Tambellini instead.) No, I'm suggesting that they bury Corey Perry in Center Ice because that way the Kings won't have to play against him next season.
So there are 5 alternative ways for the Los Angeles Kings to curse their upcoming season with a little more pizzazz than simply placing a coin that commemorates a Stanley Cup Final loss in the ice. If the Kings really wanted to win they should have one of the members of that 1993 team plant a coin in center ice... that seemed to work out a little bit better. But it seems that the Kings have made their choice for the 2011-2012 NHL Season and the ice is painted and ready to go.
The most amazing part of this video is how many people paid money to see a LA Sparks game.
The great guys over at Life in Hockeywood invited me onto their The Hockeywood Insider podcast for a little chat about the upcoming Los Angeles Kings season... the loss of the color purple... and my place as the Ken Burns of The Great Kings Blog War of '11.
It was a lot of fun so take a listen... and no... I don't have a horrible lisp even though it sounds like I do. I can prove that by my past radio experience. You can download the podcast if you subscribe to The Hockeywood Insider on iTunes here or listen to it over at Life in Hockeywood here. Or if that isn't good enough for you, I've embedded it below.
Well... international in the sense that Canada is actually not part of America in some way, shape or form.
Edmonton Journal professional blogger, David Staples, decided to do a story on this particular picture of Dustin Penner and even included a quote in the headline from the girl who tweeted it. In this day and age of internet information... it was fascinating to watch a real professional in action. Take a look at how Staples came to write this important story via his Twitter feed. (Read from bottom to top for full effect.)
I don't like the way that "moobs" telestrator is looking at me.
I mean... get real, David Staples. Dustin Penner is almost 29 years old. What... is he supposed to keep in top-notch shape until his 40's? No one can do that!
Oh hey Nik Lidstrom... didn't see ya there.
If David Staples is going to take the time to sit down and write a story for the Edmonton Journal about a fan-tweeted photo of a player that has notoriously struggled with weight during his career... I'm just surprised that Staples didn't see the other photos that were tweeted of Penner the last few days.
Like the one from @Number1Trainer that showed Penner as he was working out in a South Bay gym...
We took last week off for a little vacation here at the Pundays Playoffs, where we are holding a Stanley Cup style playoff format to determine the best NHL.com pun headline of the 2010-2011 season. But rest assured, this week... we are back to our normal situation.
I have the feeling that this Sidney Crosby concussion situation is going to be anything but normal. Also, there is nothing normal about that thing on his lip.
When we last checked in on the Pundays Playoffs, there were 8 NHL.com Pun Headlines battling it out to advance to their respective Conference Finals. And with nearly 300 votes being tallied, we sure had a blast determining the winners!
But with only 4 Pun Headlines left in the voting, 2 for each conference, now is the time for these Pun Headlines to really step up their game and prove that they aren't chokers. There is only one word to describe the Pundays Playoffs Conference Finals!
Totally forgot to post it here but earlier this week the Hell On Ice blog asked for my thoughts on the upcoming Los Angeles Kings season. If you like awful posthumous Michael Jackson songs and have an unhealthy obsession with late 1990's MTV animated tv shows... then this is the season preview for you! Check out the article here.
We are less than a month from the start of NHL Training Camps and I thought I'd take the time to talk about one of the biggest battles heading in the Los Angeles Kings pre-season. No, I'm not talking about who is going to be the 3rd line right winger for the Kings or if Terry Murray will finally be able to solve his Power Play woes... no, I'm talking about a real one-on-one battle for the coveted roster spot of smartest Los Angeles Kings Blog!
There is no deal in principle... there is no handshake agreement... there are no verbal confirmations... it's 100%, absolutely signed, sealed and delivered!!!
THE ROYAL HALF IS GOING TO EUROPE!!!
That's right! In early October I'll be watching my favorite Los Angeles based professional ice hockey team start its season in beautiful downtown.... Europe! I mean, it's the same great game but just in a different country.... how different can it really be?
The players look exactly the same.
The fans are just like us... but with more body odor!
And the people in the arena are on their cell phones all the time!
An artists rendering of me and Mike Richards sightseeing.
So if Drew Doughty re-signs, I'll be able to see him play in the land of wonderful German pastries. I really hope he gets his contract worked out so we can enjoy a Berliner Pfannkuchen together!
Mmm... European donuts!! Ryan Smyth isn't on the team anymore, Drew! You can eat all you want!!!
Now, I've been to some hockey games in some amazing places but I'm really excited to check it out in Sweden and Germany. Maybe I'll even convince Peter Forsberg to give it one more try and play on the Kings 3rd line. It should be an amazing trip but I have a feeling a lot of it will be like this.
Besides, nothing ever good comes out of starting a season in Europe, right? Right? RIGHT?!?!
2008-2009 Pittsburgh played Ottawa in Sweden (Penguins win cup) 2009-2010 Chicago played Florida in Helsinki (Hawks win cup) 2010-2011 Boston played Phoenix in Prague (Bruins win cup)
Well, the fans of pun-filled NHL.com headlines have spoken! We had nearly 1000 votes in the 1st round of the Pundays Playoffs, where the best NHL.com Pun Headlines from the 2010-2011 season go head to head until a winner is declared. And just like in the NHL... a Washington Capital isn't making it out of the 1st round!
Try again next season, Ovi.
Now we head into exciting Conference Semifinals action, as the final 8 Pundays are seeded into head to head battle. Who will survive this round and make it into the Conference Finals? Once again, you... the fan of awful pun headlines... gets to decide with your vote!