No more test pattern, and Kopitar’s team is revealed.

As you probably know by now, Anze Kopitar is in Raleigh, North Carolina, a newly-minted (and not lastly-drafted) member of Team Nicklas Lidstrom. I am sitting on a couch in Ontario, California, blogging about hockey and listening to jazz. Unlike Anze, I find myself in this position quite often.

When the Los Angeles Newspaper Group handed me the keys to this blog a couple days ago, I spent at least 24 hours trying to think of a clever analogy for the situation. Rich Hammond turned this space into one of the most popular NHL blogs in the world, then it sat dormant for about a year and a half – from the beginning of the 2009-10 season to the 2011 All-Star break – then it was given to me. Maybe if Jay Leno handed the “Tonight Show” to Conan O’Brien, but instead of giving it to Conan right away, NBC showed a test pattern every night from 11:30 to 12:30 for a year and a half, then turned it over to Conan …

Anyway, it’s because of the unique nature of this transition that I didn’t want to write two paragraphs about Anze Kopitar getting picked in the 15th round by Nick Lidstrom, and calling that the “first blog entry.” I only get to write the first entry once and, if it was two grafs on Kopitar, I would be afraid of waking up to 100 comments calling for LANG to go back to the test pattern.

The truth is, in terms of quantity, I’m not going to be restore this blog into what Rich made it. Unlike Rich, I cover three teams (I also pen blogs about the Anaheim Ducks and Ontario Reign). I think I tried the quantity-over-quality approach on my blogs during training camp two years ago, and drove myself nuts. Realistically, you can expect this space to be a source for the most important breaking news as soon as I can get it (which is usually pretty quickly), qualitative analysis on the big stuff (for example, when Jason Bailey sued the Ducks three days ago) and, most importantly, a forum to express yourself. Same rules as Rich.

The news for now is that Kopitar is in Raleigh. He’ll be participating in the “SuperSkills” competition from 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow (televised on Versus) and the game on Sunday at 1 p.m. (also on Versus). Here are the rosters for both teams. If you missed the draft tonight, you may have missed the most interesting part of All-Star weekend, but we’ll see if Kopitar has any tricks up his sleeve.

Questions or comments, fire away.

And thanks in advance for coming back (again).

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.