Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Peter Berg at ESPN,
My relationship with Wayne goes back to the 1990s when he invited me to play in his softball tournament in Brantford, Ontario. He wanted to get some actors in the game and I was a big hockey fan, having played it growing up in Chicago. I thought it would be a small game, but there were about 20,000 people there. First play of the game, I got a grounder at shortstop and threw out the runner and the crowd started booing me. Turns out it was Gordie Howe. I was humiliated. That began my personal relationship with Wayne.
continued and the video below is an expert of Kings Ransom which debuts on ESPN tonight at 8:00pm ET.
“There’s one thing you can control in your life, and that’s your work ethic. Sometimes you get tired or things like that. All these factors can come into play, but the things you can control are your mind and your work ethic. Sometimes you’re going to outwork teams and sometimes you’re going to get outworked. If you do more than your fair share, you’re going to give yourself an opportunity to win.”
-LA Kings forward Ryan Smyth. More from Ryan via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
No matter how Lombardi elects to paint it, there will be some pressure on the Kings to take the next step this year. Los Angeles finished 14th in the Western Conference last season 12 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. As bad as that sounds, this is a young hockey team and its core players are just learning what it takes to be successful at the NHL level and they have shown signs of improvement.
For the most part Lombardi has resisted the temptation of chasing a quick fix, preferring instead to construct his team slowly and purposefully through the draft. This summer, however, he made two noteworthy additions in bringing to town veteran winger Ryan Smyth and defenceman Rob Scuderi who helped Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup last season.
“Scuderi is perfect for Jack Johnston and Smyth is perfect for Anze Kopitar,” Lombardi reckons.
from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
I’ll never forget seeing Wayne Simmonds in his first development camp. He was running around, all speed and energy, but it seemed as though a strong breeze might blow him over. The major, obvious question about Simmonds was whether he would ever get enough bulk to fill out his 6-foot-2 frame and be big enough for opponents to take note of (and not push around).
Simmonds has become stronger and showed himself to be ready on the defensive end last season, and is he now ready to step forward offensively? He had nine goals last season, but tied for the team lead with five during this preseason. I have said previously that I believe Simmonds has 20-goal potential. I don’t know if he will get there, but I think there’s a chance. Here’s what Terry Murray said today about Simmonds’ development.
via Noah Love of the National Post,
Los Angeles Kings general manager hopes he can bring Gretzky back to the place where he left his biggest stamp.
Lombardi told Toronto radio station the FAN 590 on Tuesday that he would like the Great One to come back to the Kings in an advisory capacity.
While nothing has been finalized, Lombardi joked that Gretzky could be the team’s “minister of character.” L.A.‘s young squad will have star veteran leadership for the first time in years this season in Ryan Smyth.
from Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune,
(Rich) Hammond’s marching orders are to report as if he weren’t on the payroll, providing coverage for fans (and maybe absent reporters) with a style and authority a media relations staffer can’t match.
Although teams have had staff announcers, this sort of reporting arrangement might have seemed preposterous a decade ago. New technology and economic realities for the media business have made it plausible. Now the question is whether it can be credible.
If a success, one has to wonder whether other would-be newsmakers—in business, in entertainment, in government—someday will decide this is the way to get news out and remain in the public eye should traditional news organizations no longer dedicate resources the way they did before the revenue crunch.
“In this changing world as it relates to the landscape and consumption of sports news content, we are making an organizational commitment to give our fans one place to go—LAKings.com—to satisfy their appetite for Kings news and information,” Luc Robitaille, the team’s president of business operations, said in the announcement. “We feel this is a landmark step for us as Rich will have full editorial control.”
TORONTO (September 23, 2009) – Los Angeles Kings’ defenseman Sean O’Donnell has been suspended for the remainder of the Kings’ pre-season schedule and two regular season games as the result of a match penalty in a pre-season game against the New York Islanders, September 22, the National Hockey League announced today.
At 16:37 of the second period, O’Donnell was assessed a match penalty for delivering a cross check to Matt Martin of the Islanders.
Adrian Dater of All Things Avs catches up with former Colorado player Ryan Smyth.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings today announced the appointment of long-time Los Angeles Daily News hockey writer Rich Hammond as beat writer/columnist for LAKings.com, the club’s official website. Hammond, who will travel with the Kings full-time during the 2009-10 season, will begin providing exclusive content to LAKings.com on October 1.
“In this changing world as it relates to the landscape and consumption of sports news content, we are making an organizational commitment to give our fans one place to go – LAKings.com – to satisfy their appetite for Kings news and information ” said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille. “We feel this is a landmark step for us as Rich will have full editorial control in his new position. Kings fans deserve the best Kings coverage, and we’re excited that LAKings.com will be the new home for Rich’s insightful, objective and thorough reporting and analysis.”
Hammond will cover all Kings games and practices. He will also provide feature stories, commentaries, video stories and more on the Kings and on the NHL.
added 5:12pm, Rich explains the hiring and his position.
from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,
The Islanders came here hoping to be barreled over with support from a city supposedly desperate for its own NHL team. And how did the people of Kansas City react? With one huge, collective yawn.
The support for the preseason game against the Kings was so poor that every upper-deck section was blocked off by huge black curtains. You know, to block the many, many rows of empty seats.
Some threat, eh?
You know what this half-empty arena looked like? Any other Islanders home game.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org