Every other Monday during the month of August, new Kings Forward Brian Willsie will post his journal of thoughts on the weeks upcoming and past events. Be sure to check out each entry.
Brian Willsie Journal Entry One August 14, 2006
I was happy to sign a contract with the Kings in July. After playing against LA last year, I knew it was a good team with a lot of solid young players. I think the team has made some solid acquisitions during the off-season and I think it's headed in a new direction.
Anaheim and San Jose have accomplished a lot over the last couple of years and Dallas is always so strong. Phoenix has also made a bunch of key moves this summer so playing each of those teams eight times - it's going to create some great rivalries. You've got to be on your best game every night because every night you're going to be facing a solid team.
So much of the game for me is confidence, and I think I was lacking a little bit of that confidence in Colorado. I was given a great opportunity to play last year in Washington, and thanks to Head Coach Glen Hanlon and his confidence in me, I felt better on the ice last season. It was kind of a breakout year for me. I hope to carry that momentum on for the rest of my career.
I guess I've always thought of Los Angeles as "Hollywood" and that type of city, but since being here and seeing some of the players, it's actually a great hockey town and a great sports town. We have a great practice facility and all of the guys live near it. It's an exciting team to be a part of.
I do know a few members of the team, and that's comforting as I prepare for my first Kings' training camp. I spent two years with Rob Blake in Colorado and we're also from the same area in Ontario. I also played three or four months of junior hockey with Dan Cloutier and Jeff Cowan played in the same junior town as I did.