Here’s some of what Florida Panthers defenseman Willie Mitchell said about playing at Staples Center for the first time since leaving as a free agent during the offseason, and for the first time since celebrating the Kings’ second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons:
“I’ll be honest, there were a lot of days that I hated (Kings coach) Darryl Sutter when I played for him, but he sure got the best out of his players and he sure knows how to motivate and coach the right way as far as positioning and stuff like that. He’s an excellent coach.
“I’ll be honest, (an in-game tribute on the scoreboard) was a little bit easier. I think just actually skating out for warmups the first time and you see the signs around. It’s, like, ‘This is real. I’m not playing here anymore.'”