LOS ANGELES -- Jealousy and envy used to be the emotions that Corey Perry and Anze Kopitar experienced when they would turn on an NHL outdoor game. They'd see the spectacle of the event, the volume of media coverage, the grassroots appeal and have thoughts such as, "Good for them, but that'll never be us."
Saturday night at Dodger Stadium it will be them -- minus the snow and frigid temperatures.
The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings are ready to play the NHL's first warm-weather outdoor game to kick off the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2). The teams practiced at Dodger Stadium on Friday to get a taste of what they will be walking into Saturday night.
For Perry, Kopitar and others like Dustin Brown, Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne and Jonas Hiller, guys who have been in this market since the NHL's outdoor game explosion started in 2008, getting the chance to play in this game gives them the opportunity to check an item off the bucket list they have for their hockey careers.
Players want to play in these outdoor games. Now the Kings and Ducks get to play in a regular-season game that should make other players around the League jealous.
"It's one of those things you're hoping you're going to be a part of one, but usually you've got better odds playing in the east to participate in one," Kopitar said. "I guess there's a slight hope in your system where you want to play even here, and it's nice that this dream, I guess, comes true."