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Regal Rundown: Blake Bolden on her first year scouting for Kings

Former Boston Pride defender discusses scouting in quarantine and adjusting on the fly.

Blake Bolden, the first black NWHL player, poses in front of the Black Hockey History Museum before the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings at STAPLES Center on February 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL might be on break, but as long as there’s hockey being played somewhere, a scout can still do their job. But travel restrictions mean a lot of scouting has moved to video for the time being.

Blake Bolden, who joined the Los Angeles Kings in February, has been forced to adapt quickly — the season paused on March 12, and the Kings were not part of the NHL’s Return to Play Plan, missing the cutoff for the Qualifying Round. That means watching game tape has been the primary way she’s able to scout players. It comes with its own advantages (replay, mainly), but missing play away from the action, out of frame, is a unique disadvantage.

Bolden spoke with Marisa Ingemi about how she came into the role with the Kings, how coronavirus has impacted her work, and what it’s like to scout as a former women’s hockey player. One of my favorite quotes comes on the last point:

“Everyone who played the game does that,” she said. “Thinking, ‘I wouldn’t have done that.’ There was one play (Elias) Pettersson made where he used his knee to slingshot around the goalie and make a pass to (Tyler) Toffoli and I was like, that was the coolest thing ever, I never would have thought to use a knee, I’ve never done that before.”

Check out the rest of the story below, along with extra news and notes.

News & Notes

  • Meet the only Black female scout in the NHL [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Kings are going to struggle this season, but future is very bright [NBC Sports]
  • Offseason grades for all 31 NHL teams: Best signings, cap space, remaining roster holes [ESPN+]
  • Inside EA Sports’ decision to revive NHL ‘94 [ESPN]
  • NHL free agency matchmaker: Best landing spot for Hoffman, Duclair, and more [NBC Sports]
  • NHL still hoping for January 1 start, but it may take ‘different form’ [Yahoo! Sports]