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Sunday Long Read: Messier helps Ice Center in NYC

Sunday, 01.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

On Dec. 10, 2013, the New York City Council approved plans for the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) to occupy the Kingsbridge Armory space in the Bronx. The complex, as proposed, will be, upon completion in 2017, the world's largest indoor ice center. The nearly unanimous vote capped three years of efforts by KNIC Partners, led by Kevin Parker, former global head of asset management at Deutsche Bank, and CEO Mark Messier. The success of the venture, the "alignment of the planets and stars" as Parker calls it, was the culmination of thousands of hours of research and planning. It also involved a healthy dose of community cooperation and, curiously, a bus trip to Philadelphia.

Kevin Parker had an ice problem.

A hockey dad living in the middle of New York City, Parker's two boys, then 8 and 10, had graduated from Pee Wee hockey and were in search of a stiffer challenge. So the Parkers searched, and searched, eventually only finding competitive hockey some 45 miles from their home, traveling to Mennen Arena in Morristown, N.J., and Stamford Twin Rinks in Stamford, Conn. The shorter of those two trips, to Stanford, is 34 miles from midtown Manhattan.

"That just made the situation seem even crazier to me, that if you love hockey and want to play hockey growing up in New York City, you have to travel 35 or 45 miles to go play," Parker said. "So I asked the question: 'Why are there no ice sports? No ice surfaces in New York City?'"

It's a common question among hockey families, school programs and city leagues, and especially pertinent this week. How, in a city that will host two 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series games featuring the three metro-area NHL teams during the next week, can there be almost no year-round ice to be found?

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Lovejoy: L.A. crowd goes 'nuts' for hockey

Ben Lovejoy - Special to NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy loved everything about the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, especially because his Ducks took a 3-0 decision against the Los Angeles Kings. It is the second time in 48 hours Anaheim has beaten its fiercest rival.

In the third and final installment of his blog for NHL.com, Lovejoy talks about the atmosphere of the game, his role in one of the game's defining moments -- the penalty shot by Anze Kopitar -- and what his lasting memories will be.

LOS ANGELES -- That was the coolest thing I have ever done playing hockey. That was such a spectacular night for the Ducks, for the Kings, for the NHL. The crowd was so impressive out there. That game means so much to hockey in this area and it was so cool to be a part of it - and to win.

I remember who has won every outdoor game the NHL has had so far. It's a focal point for the League. I will remember the atmosphere here, but the taste in my mouth would have been way worse if we had lost that game.

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Muzzin: Outdoor experience 'awesome' despite loss

Jake Muzzin - Special to NHL.com

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin enjoyed everything about the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, except the outcome.

In the third and final installment of his blog for NHL.com, Muzzin talks about the atmosphere of the game and the frustration of losing to the Kings' archrival for the second time in three days.

LOS ANGELES -- The loss hurts, but the experience Saturday night at Dodger Stadium was simply awesome.

Not too many people can say they were at an outdoor game in California, let alone that they got to play in one. It was really cool. I'm really fortunate to be a part of it.

The atmosphere was amazing and the fans were really loud. I didn't think it would be that loud because typically we're used to fans being right on top of us, right on the glass. But with the music and the fans and the yelling, it was pretty loud.

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Loss to Ducks spoils outdoor experience for Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Their pre-game anthem, "We Are Los Angeles," blared through the Dodger Stadium speakers just as it does at Staples Center. The "South Park" skit played on the scoreboard. The outfield video screens implored fans to "Go Kings Go!"

As much as the Los Angeles Kings made the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series opener feel like a home game, not much changed once the puck dropped for the first outdoor West Coast regular season game in League history.

The Kings can't score indoors or outdoors after a 3-0 loss Saturday night to the Anaheim Ducks, who have kept L.A. scoreless for 116 minutes and 47 seconds during their past two games after surrendering an early goal in a 2-1 home win on Thursday.


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Social media excitement for Dodger Stadium game

NHL.com

Social media is abuzz with content regarding the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium. Check out some tweets, pictures and videos surrounding the event:

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Stars come out for Stadium Series game in L.A.

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Only in Los Angeles could a red-carpet event at a hockey game produce the kind of palpable buzz that was so evident two hours before puck drop Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

There was KISS in full costume and makeup, Alyssa Milano talking about her love of sports, particularly hockey, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson sporting his long beard, and Wayne Gretzky photobombing actor and entertainer Tom Arnold.

"This is a wonderful night, a spectacular event, only a positive for hockey and a positive for sports in California," Gretzky said. "It's an opportunity too to show people how great a hockey city this is."


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Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com