CHICAGO -- During the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings shared hotel space with a large Anime convention while playing their games at San Jose's HP Pavilion.
When the Kings checked into their hotel Thursday for the start of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, they weren't even fazed by the "Star Trek" convention being held there this weekend.
"Actually, this is pretty tame compared to what we saw in San Jose," Kings captain Dustin Brown said Saturday morning prior to the series opener at United Center (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). "That was Anime, so that one was a little more bizarre."
The fact the defending Stanley Cup champions are sharing their hotel with dozens of people dressed like Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock carries its own brand off weirdness. Character actors from the show roamed the lobby, and actors from the hit show signed autographs down a hallway near where the Kings met with the media.
At the coffee stand in the lobby, people dressed in "Star Trek" attire stood in line for lattes and espresso shots while Brown, defenseman Drew Doughty and Kings coach Darryl Sutter strolled past toward the elevators.
Doughty was asked if he'd given any of the Trekkies the infamous split-fingered hand gesture of Mr. Spock, and he looked befuddled.
"What is Spock?" he said.
Informed Mr. Spock is a famous "Star Trek" character, Doughty said, "Oh yeah … I don't know anything about 'Star Trek.'"
He does know more about Anime thanks to the road trip from last round. Officially, that convention was called "FanimeCon 2013," and all the Kings remember the wild outfits they saw.
"That was weird, but it was cool too," Doughty said. "There were some really cool costumes, but it was something I wasn't aware of, and never had seen before. I didn't realize people were that excited about things like that."
A couple hours later, Doughty and the rest of the Kings were to be bused -- not beamed -- to the Madhouse on Madison Street for Game 1.