Who is Tristan King, and what is he doing here?

I caught up with new Reign forward Tristan King after the morning skate today. King, who split last season between the AHL and the ECHL, had a goal and two assists last weekend in the Reign’s three-game series in Alaska. The Reign are his third ECHL team already this season, following stints in Idaho and Greenville. He’s on an NHL contract to the Dallas Stars, who signed him as a free agent last year.

Since it’s hard to pin down the narrative having never seen King play, here are my questions and his answers:

How did you wind up in Ontario?

I moved around a little bit to try and see what’s best. So
far I love it here. They’re giving me the opportunity I’ve been looking to get.
So far everything here has been amazing.

What do you like about it?

I think just the atmosphere here, it’s a winning team. It’s
always good to be a part of that. Obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted
this weekend, but coming here, everyone’s positive. The guys are really good
guys. Everything seems to be fitting.

Who did you skate with over the weekend?

We had guys out during that time, so we were all over the
place. I played a lot with [Brady] Calla, [Matt] Tassone, guys like that. I played with
Tassone last year [in Idaho and Texas], so we had chemistry. Looks like I’m playing
with Watter [J.D. Watt] and Clouder [Chris Cloud] tonight.

Have you played in this building before?

At the end of the year, I played here twice against Ontario
with Idaho. I was pretty shocked with how much they’ve turned it around because
obviously last year they didn’t have the season they wanted. This year it’s
completely different.

What was the plan for you at the beginning of the season?

The plan was to stay up in Texas [the Texas Stars, Dallas’ AHL affiliate]
and stay there, but obviously that didn’t work. So I went to Idaho, tried to
work my way back up. Things there were kind of, a little shaky from last year.
Stuff going on there that I really didn’t like it too much. Tried to get a new
fresh start for me. It was either here or Greenville. I went to Greenville and
I didn’t play. I sat four games in a row. That obviously wasn’t what I was
looking for. The coach here, (Jason) Christie, called my agent and said this
would be a good place for me, said that I’d get the opportunity. So far it’s
been awesome.

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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.