Sorry for the lack of updates in recent days. I had been scrambling in the last couple days to prepare for vacation and neglected to mention that I’d be gone for a while. I still have those interviews to put up, with I will as soon as possible. Over the next 10 days or so, I’m still keeping track of what’s going on with the Kings, but the day-to-day updates will be limited, as they were this time last year, for those who remember. Any news that takes place will still be fully reported here.
From what I understand, the coaching search is making some strong progress and there should be some news fairly soon. The list is quickly getting narrowed.
To be honest though, I’m not really thinking about any of that today. Anyone who has visited the Daily News website today has probably seen that my colleague Matt McHale passed away today at age 50. Matt was my predecessor on the Kings beat, as well as me predecessor as deputy sports editor, but he had health issues for a number of years. It’s impossible to put into words what Matt meant to my career. He was a friend and a mentor. He guided me through so many stories and through some tough times when I questioned whether I should find another line of work. He was patient, generous and such a tremendous writer. When Matt wrote a long feature, I would read every word. The subject didn’t matter, because Matt would make it compelling. I think he took pride in helping young writers, and I will forever owe him a debt of gratitude.
So thanks for indulging me on that. I’ve have another post in a couple minutes talking about a feature that readers can participate in this week. I hope you enjoy…
Just got a great review of today’s development camp action from a reader by the name of Sky Felix. Some good insight, for sure. I watched most of the sessions this morning although got distracted by trying to talk to some players and coaches. For a while, all of the staff rink-side headed out to check out what was going on at the roller rink…which was women’s roller derby.
Anyway, a few players have stood out to me. A couple of them fall in the category of, “They might have a chance this year, but we’ll see what happens in training camp.” They, not surprisingly, would be Jonathan Bernier, Drew Doughty, Oscar Moller and Colten Teubert. Other names that stayed in my mind were Geordie Wudrick and, based on the limited time I got to see them today, David Meckler and Wayne Simmonds. Perhaps I focused more on the kids drafted this year because this was my first look at them.
I have interviews with Bernier, Doughty, Teubert and Bill Ranford ready to be transcribed, so I’ll do that ASAP. For now, you can check out one fan’s in-depth analysis of today’s sessions…
You could probably count this as another “almost” for the Kings this summer. The Kings recently talked to Mattias Norstrom about ending his newly announced retirement and returning for one year. Norstrom respectfully declined, and the subject of money never even came up. Norstrom told the Kings he was happy with the way his career ended — with Dallas’ playoff run — and was prepared to move forward with his life. The Kings came away disappointed but impressed by Norstrom’s honesty. So the search for a defenseman continues…
Late in the afternoon session, Viatcheslav Voinov, the Kings’ second-round pick, hit the ice. He didn’t participate in drills really, but his mere presence on the ice had to ease some minds. I’m told that both Voinov and draft pick Andrei Loktionov have gotten out of their Russian contracts and will not be impacted by the transfer agreement. Players such as Voinov and Loktionov had the right to escape their three-year contracts by giving 30-day notice, which they did. Apparently, it’s been a rough go for these guys, as they’ve faced all sorts of threats and challenges from Russian officials. But they should be free to sign with the Kings. Loktionov has not arrived at camp — and probably won’t make it — because of visa problems.
Bryan Cameron, who has been sick, was only on site but did not skate.
To clear up two questions…I’m not aware of any change in tomorrow’s camp schedule, and I was told that Monday’s scrimmage will be available on lakings.com in an archived form for those who can’t watch it live.
I’ll be heading out for the afternoon session today to grab some more interviews, hopefully with guys such as Colten Teubert and Jonathan Bernier. Also, good news for out-of-town fans. The camp scrimmage, held Monday at 3 p.m., will be webcast on lakings.com, with Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans doing commentary.
I talked with Thomas Hickey the other day, after he got done doing some passing drills on the roller-hockey rink. Hickey is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his ankle and won’t be on the ice for another two weeks but expects to be 100 percent for the start of training camp. Hickey, 19, played through the injury late last season for Seattle of the Western Hockey League, where he was team captain. Hickey totaled 11 goals and 34 assists in 63 games. He’s a defenseman, the Kings’ first-round pick last year. Here’s the interview…
The other day at the development camp, I got a chance to talk to Geordie Wudrick, who was the Kings’ third-round pick last month. There might not be a more engaging, enthusiastic kid in the whole camp, which is really fun to see. Wudrick, 18, totaled 20 goals and 24 assists in 66 games with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League last season. Here’s the interview…
Here’s how I spent my day…
In short, AEG executives have talked with several parties, including the ownership group of the Boston Celtics, about buying a minority share of the hockey franchise.