Kings Holiday Links: Shootout Goals, Teddy Bears, and Slovenian Flags for All!
As the lockout plot thickens, we showcase year-end honors, memories, a ridiculous goal, a good cause, and a shout-out to Nick Nickson.
Hope everyone has had a great week, hopefully devoid of stress and full of holiday joy and/or obscene amounts of food. The NHL has just released a new CBA proposal, which Pierre LeBrun has neatly summarized over at ESPN. But while the season continues to hang in the balance, check out the last week or two in Kings news below!
The 2012 recaps are beginning to pop up around the sports world, and you can expect a lot of stories about the Kings' historic run to the Cup. So far we have articles from James Duthie of TSN, Steve Keating of Reuters; and Ryan Dadoun of NBC Sports. I can imagine there will be more to come.
In case you missed it, fan favorite Colton Yellow Horn of the ECHL's Ontario Reign scored a mind-blowing goal in the shootout last Saturday night against the San Francisco Bulls. I'd describe it, but I can't possibly do it justice. [YouTube via Ontario Reign]
Your Slovenian sportsman of the year is Anze Kopitar. [NBC] For those who don't remember how big Anze got in Slovenia, here's a reaction to his SCF Game 1 goal [24ur.com] and a glowing article about him from a GOVERNMENT website. [Slovenia.si]
A new installment of the Kings' "My Story" series tells the story of Andrei Loktionov, in his own words. [LA Kings]
The IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship has begun. The WJHC has prominently featured Kings prospects such as Derek Forbort, Tanner Pearson, Maxim Kitsyn (twice!), Martin Jones, and ex-King Brayden Schenn in past years. This year, only one current Kings prospect is playing: 2012 sixth-rounder Tomáš Hyka and the Czech Republic. Hyka scored the first goal in yesterday's 3-1 victory over Finland. [TSN]
Thomas Hickey's goal kicked off Manchester's annual Teddy Bear Toss on December 16. The 1000+ bears will be distributed by the Manchester Police Department to children in need. Check out video here (starts around 0:45). [Mayor's Manor]
Nick Nickson Rocks
Finally: Nick Nickson's birthday was a week ago today. Kings fans have been spoiled by the group that provide the soundtrack for hockey in Los Angeles: Nickson, Evans, Miller, Fox, and of course, the late David Courtney. Aside from countless "Kings Talk" radio segments, my lasting memories of Nickson came about this year. During OT of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, my cable went out. After nearly killing my roommate when I chucked the remote across the room, I turned on the radio and heard Nickson's joy when Dustin Penner sent the Kings to the Finals. Then, with five minutes left in Game 6, I put NBC on mute and turned on Nick and Daryl to hear them call the moment that will live forever in Kings history. Relive it here. Happy Birthday Nick!