It’s all in the family. Call the duo the ‘Slovenian set’.
The Kopitar tandem is now featured in Sweden.
A plethora of Kings players are expected to explore European destinations to play hockey away from Los Angeles for the duration of the NHL‘s lockout. Anze Kopitar has issued the club’s first international transition.
Kopitar is now in somewhat unfamiliar territory, but reunited with an extremely familiar face.
Call it a family reunion, because Anze Kopitar will be playing on the same team as his brother, Gasper Kopitar. The Kopitar brothers will be skating for Mora IK of the SwedishHockey Allsvenskan league.
This is second-tier pro hockey in Sweden, but the Elitserien, or better known as the Swedish Elite League, is not allowed to sign NHL players to contracts during the lockout. Anze Kopitar began his pro career in Sweden playing in the SEL with Sodertalje SK for two seasons.
This will be Gasper Kopitar‘s first season playing in Sweden. Gasper has been involved in the North American hockey landscape for three years now. An undrafted player out of Jesenice, Slovenia, this will be the first pro hockey Gasper will have played in his young career.
Gasper Kopitar spent short stints of two seasons with the WHL‘s Portland Winterhawks. In 12 games, Gasper recorded one goal. The younger brother then went on to play in the USHL for two seasons with the Des Moines Buccaneers, where he unloaded for a combined 36 goals and 27 assists.
As for Anze’s backdrop, we’re all familiar with the better of it. This will be a heavy downgrade in skill and competition for the Stanley Cup Champion, but it’s about as perfect of a fit you can ask for during such dark times in the NHL.
He gets to play hockey, he gets to do so alongside his brother.
And most importantly, he’s guaranteed to be back in Los Angeles when NHL-play resumes.
Kopitar, or Kopitars if you will, are expected to play together for Mora IK as early as this weekend.
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We’re not in Kansas City, yet: But the marketing released is warming up the approach to the start of the season. As touched upon a few weeks back, the Kings will make their return to Kansas City’s Sprint Center for a preseason contest after a one year hiatus from AEG‘s Missouri-based complex. This will be the farthest the Kings travel at that point in time, September 27, after a home-and-home split-squad series against the Phoenix Coyotes and an exhibition with the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center. A promotional advertisement has been released for the affair, and tickets start at just $10 – The exact same price charged by the person who produced and edited the commercial. What a deal.
Let’s just go over things here:
Horrendously banal hockey metaphors – CHECK
Footage of a former King: Wayne Simmonds – CHECK
Footage of that scumbag another former King: Ryan Smyth – CHECK
Footage of Tom Preissing as an Alternate Captain – WHAT (Seriously, look close)
Is that Jonathan Quick wearing an all-white mask? – Check, I’m not sure.
Horrendously banal hockey metaphors – CHECK
Like more than 30 Jarret Stoll highlights – CHECK
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Hey, if you think John Ahlers and Brian Hayward are downright f*cking atrocious at calling hockey games, discretely present your stance by wearing four-leaf clover sunglasses.
Now we know where Bob and Jim stand, others seem to think it’s a pretty fair consensus as well.
Kings ‘Caster’s Ranked High: A contributing writer over at SB Nation provided solid insight into the TV broadcast teams associated with each NHL club, in ranking them from worst to best. According to the list, the Bob Miller and Jim Fox tandem are ranked at five-stars, which only includes three other commentator couples – the voices of the Nashville Predators, the Florida Panthers, and the Dallas Stars. Jack Edwards of the Boston Bruins is ripped to shreds in this piece, and it almost wasn’t enough. Man, – He’s just terrible, bottom line. And what do you know? Ahlers and Hayward are hit first, and deservedly so. Oh, and to my Red Wings buddy, who constantly degrades the in’s and out’s of the Kings franchise in comparison to that of Detroit’s, often slamming the Kings’ tradition. Well, looks like Ken Daniels, Mickey Redmond, and Larry Murphy are traditionally bad at calling games. Eat that cake, Arthur.
Where there’s Vacancy: Now, the only sources I’ve been able to find are on European websites, forcing me to send along this news thanks to a few attempts with a translator. However, the news is reliable and %100 true. Bud Holloway and Oscar Moller are giving their career’s a shot in the Swedish Elite League for the time being, agreeing to terms with Skellefteå AIK.
For Bud Holloway, this is an outlet he needed to pursue because of his situation in Los Angeles, a situation that simply wasn’t the best for his personal doing. It’s a decision you’ve got to understand; Holloway has consistently produced at the AHL level the past three seasons, tallying 145 points (65 goals and 80 assists) in a Manchester Monarchs uniform since the 2008-2009 season. Not once has Holloway dressed in a regular season game for the Kings, he’s been battling a heavy slew of prospects at the wing position since he left the WHL. The Kings’ moves in the offensive department this summer didn’t help his outlook, either.
As for Oscar Moller, his rookie contract failed to reach agreement on negotiations, and the Sweden native returns home by inking a two year deal with the same club as Holloway, Skellefteå AIK. Moller, who dressed in Los Angeles for 87 games, could never cement a role with the Kings. In his time in a Kings uniform, Moller supplied 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists). Often shifting through various lines, Moller never clicked with a certain pair to seriously instigate a permanent spot on the roster. His stature has been one of his biggest setbacks, where his speed becomes undermined. He may be able to get first-step to loose pucks, or track down an opposing player who’s possessing the puck, but retrieving that puck was an issue with his size and strength. The SEL looks to be a smart move for Moller, where he’ll see an increase in skill level and a decrease in physical play – compared to the AHL.
Who’s taking bets?
If there’s a pool for preseason hockey that exists, the Fox Sports West site might be of help. We’re losing to the Anaheim Ducks on October 3rd, at Staples Center. *SIGH
“I’m telling you, it’s 3-2 Ducks over Kings in October 3 Exhibition.”
Not necessarily earth-shattering news but LA Kings forward prospect Geordie Wudrick and defenseman Niclas Anderson were not signed by the Kings and are no longer part of the organization. Following the announcement, Kings Nation let out a collective “Who?”.
Drafted in the 3rd round (88th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Geordie Wudrick as a tough 6’4″ winger who became a fringe fan favorite in his first development camp. Injury kept Wudrick out of training camp this past season however. With the emergence of Wayne Simmonds, Kyle Clifford and Brayden Schenn, there’s not much of the future for Wudrick in the organization. Wudrick is now eligible to be drafted this year. I wonder where he goes.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Niclas Anderson beside a few grainy photos on Google. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Anderson has stayed in the Swedish Elite League to hone his skills. Given the defensive depth in Los Angeles, there was no place for Anderson in the lineup. It’s another Dave Taylor/Al Murray draft pick gone awry.
Let’s face it, if you bet against these guys at a sportsbook, you wouldn’t be walking away with any money. I know there’s a few of you out there who thought Wudrick could be a Dustin Brown type but it ain’t happening with the Kings. We have enough depth in the organization that we can live without him. As for Anderson, does anybody really care?
It’s the summer guys, what kind of news were you expecting?