Hockey Fest 2009: Part I - Breaking Misconceptions

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This weekend the Los Angeles Kings held the first annual Hockey Fest at LA Live, which is another shindig in order to help build excitement for the 09-10 season. I must admit I held some skepticism about what the event would end up accomplishing, and I guess we won't really know the success of it until the Kings hit the ice and actually start winning some games. It's hard to build hype around a team that consistently gives so little in return.

I wasn't planning on attending Hockey Fest was was pleasantly surprised and flattered to have been offered media access for this event. I graciously accepted and entered into uncharted territory. All-in-all it was a very relaxed Blue Room with no real stress present at any point. I will admit my heart was pumping a bit of adrenaline when I lobbed my first question at Teddy Purcell asking him what he's done this summer to ensure his spot on the roster. His answer? Just what you'd expect a professional athlete to say; hard work, get stronger, stay focused.

Even though it was very cool to be a part of the ask-and-answer sessions, no one reinvented the wheel today. That being said, there was some very good insight by all the alumni in attendance with a few statements here and there that caught my attention.

Ray Ferraro put it best by saying the fans in the event tent are "cautiously optimistic." The fans have been burned by their beloved team for the past 41 years and now is really not the time to state with confidence that they're going to make the playoffs. I don't know anyone who is currently that confident with this young roster. Of course, the fans shouldn't be chastising the team before they can prove cohesiveness as a roster with consistent chemistry, especially with the new players in the room. There are realistic expectations for all the players that everyone has to be aware of with the best stated expectation by Ferraro (and one that I wholly agreed with) that fans shouldn't be expecting Ryan Smyth to be a 40-goal scorer. Instead he should be a lock for 27 goals next season. I think that's a very reasonable number and can stand behind that, but that doesn't mean I think he's worth his $6.25 million cap hit.

The most notable:

  • Ray Ferraro stated that all of the Kings teams since its inception have never lost their commitment to win, but it was the ability to win has been absent. Cold hard truth.
  • Marcel Dionne said during the Triple Crown Line session that back in his time the players controlled the game whereas today the game is controlled by the coaches. This idea was so matter-of-factly stated that I was very impressed by the simplicity and reality of that insight. Having a system placed upon players is now so normalized that no one gives it another thought, but having it verbalized for the audience today was something I really appreciated.
  • I asked Ferraro about what his thoughts were concerning the hype machine that is college-stud Jack Johnson. His response was that Jack is still trying to find himself as an NHL player and that Drew Doughty's presence shouldn't be considered a threat. Bottom line: Jack needs to make that jump this season.
There were a lot of great things to see on the second day of Hockey Fest. The first was seeing the Kids Press Conference in the morning with Anze Kopitar, Matt Greene, Wayne Simmonds, and Teddy Purcell. The kids were asking some solid questions while the players cracked each other up.
  • Ego buster: "In April where did you play golf?"
  • The question that brought the house down: "Anze, do you still live with your parents?

Stay tuned for another recap from Sunday's event tomorrow night.


Questionnaire for CapsChick!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Since the doldrums of summer are still upon us die hard hockey fans, we thirst for anything we can get our lustful hands on that is hockey related. This being the case, CapsChick from A View From The Cheap Seats has sent out a questionnaire to various bloggers, myself included. I have humbly answered as many questions as I could seeing as how there were a ton! But I hope you hop on over there and read my (hopefully) insightful answers. I'm the first Pacific Division blogger who's been posted, which is always exciting and flattering.

So thanks to CapsChick for inviting me in this fun exercise and to the readers for taking the time to read!


Versus Frustrates Me

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Last year the NHL on Versus decided to shut the Kings out from any type of national coverage, and once again, they decided to keep it as minimal as possible for this So Cal team. Hey, I love minimalism and everything, but only for my living spaces and furniture within. When it comes to hockey, I want more Kings exposure during more hours of the day.

For the 09-10 season, Versus decided showing one game involving the Kings was enough, but it's blatantly obvious as to why this game was chosen. If it's not obvious, then you need to open your eyes or just have me spell it out for you. This one Kings game was chosen because it was against the Chicago Blackhawks rather than any sort of potential the Kings merit.

Seriously, folks; what Kings game is going to get the most national draw possible? A game against a team that has been put through the hype ringer and drawn as thinly as possible. Yes, people can easily just get the Center Ice package to watch all things Kings, but my point here is not that. It's the fact that this team is, once again, attempting to get out of the usually damp and dusty cellar but are being stunted by a league that views this team as the red-headed step child. I really don't think giving them some national coverage it's that difficult. Why can't Versus just show a hockey double header every night of the season? I really don't think that channel is making its money through bull riding. Ultimate fighting, yes; bull riding, no.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.34

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's that time of the summer when there just isn't anything to get excited over. To combat this "sheer excitement," Marie and I got together to record something semi-interesting about the Kings. There have been some movement and additions by Dean Lombardi, but nothing too earth shattering.

We discuss the trades and signings as well as who the Kings picked in the 2009 NHL Draft. Marie isn’t as confident as I am that the Kings will make the playoffs, but there is always a chance the Kings can actually pull something out of their behinds. Of course, everyone looks forward to Frozen Fury coming to you this year on September 26. Also, you will be able to hear Marie’s exciting Chicago story, which blows Patrick Kane’s out of the water!

We welcome any and all feedback! Please direct any questions, comments, or thoughts to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


Overtime Episode 9 - This Week In Hockey

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Enough about Patrick Kane; on to more exciting stuff. The guys at KingsCast have put out a new Overtime Episode for Kings fans. There's talk of trade fodder for those who love them and an invitation to meet them at Frozen Fury in Las Vegas.

The date is September 26th at the MGM Grand for those of you still curiously not in the know. The Kings will be, once again, facing off against the Colorado Avalanche. Two season ago, the Kings won in the shootout; last season the Aves won in the shootout. What will this year hold?!


Tipping Is Normal

Monday, August 10, 2009

I really can't feel any sympathy for someone who takes this kind of mugshot. I'm not seeing any remorse here or "Oops, I really eff-ed this one up."



Announcement: Officially On Board!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So I am officially a part of KingsCast! I'm sure everyone who comes here is already intimate with Keith Korneluk and Chris Kaliszewski, the two huge Kings fans who simultaneously love and hate the team at all hours of the day. It took a bit of time for the boys over there to realize they needed some estrogen injected into their musings, but they have wised up and I will be joining their duo. I will still be posting analysis and game recaps here, so please don't abandon the site! I've appreciated everyone coming here and hope that continues indefinitely. Thanks much!

KingsCast: The Podcast for L.A. Kings fans by L.A. Kings Fans is already established as THE place to be for intelligent and thoughtful analysis of the team and its inner workings of the organization as a multi-million dollar business. We offer a slew of podcasts, videos, and tweets and can easily be reached through a number of ways (see below).

We're entering another "fun-filled" season of watching the Kings and their pathetic downfall to the bottom of the standings. But, wait, they may actually make the playoffs this year! So cheers to the good times and tears that will inevitably fall from my eyes with whatever the Kings do.

With that said, here are some handy dandy ways of checking out KingsCast and myself outside of this blog.

Listen to the episodes through iTunes and then go to KingsCast and start discussing!

Of course we're up on Facebook (the coolest place to be).

Twitter us as well!

Overtime videos are up on YouTube where you can actually see me in action with the guys. I think the chemistry is already flowing nicely.

You can follow me on Twitter if you'd like: Connie_Kim. I'm trying to be more active on it, so please follow and encourage the updates! I'll definitely be Twittering at least once during games (especially if I'm at Staples Center).

Email city: KingsCast - kingscast[at]gmail[dot]com
Connie on KingsCast - connie[at]kingscast[dot]net
A Queen Among Kings - aqueenamongkingsblog[at]gmail[dot]com


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