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Bark Madness 2017: Sweet 16

The annual LA Kings dog tournament is back! Check out the opening round and vote for a winner in each match-up!

by The Royal Half @TheRoyalHalf /

The biggest tournament in the history of televised sports is back!

Hmmm... close.

giphy (2)
No way, not even.

Oh, forget it.

Jeff Carter 3 Dogs

It's the ultimate bracket that determines who is the toughest... who is the grittiest... and which player on the LA Kings has the most adorable pet dog!

Bark Madness Presented by Zignature is back! This is the third year of the tournament and this time... the competition is RUFF!!!

dog head shake

So far Gustl Kopitar (2015) and Emma Pearson (2016) have each achieved greatness by being crowned champion of Bark Madness. This year, who will join them in the Bark Madness Hall of Fame?

The seedings have been finalized and we are ready to hit the ice!

Dog ice


Even though Gustl Kopitar lost in the Bark Madness 2016 Final, the lovable Goldendoodle returns to the competition as the #1 Seed.

Anze Kopitar 0173
Gustl is a 4-year-old Goldendoodle that is a born leader and loves to high-five.

Just like Daddy!

The #16 Seed Lulu Muzzin, a Shiba Inu Mix, is back for her second Bark Madness competition.

Lulu Muzzin
Lulu is a short-hair...

Jake Muzzin Beard
...while her owner, Jake, is a long-hair.



Emma Pearson was the true cinderella story of Bark Madness 2016. The German Shepard/Border Collie mix came out of nowhere to become a champion! Emma was a rescue dog and now this 4-year-old good girl gets to spend her days in the most amazing place in the world!

In the arms of Tanner Pearson! (Also, Hermosa Beach.)

The #15 seed, Sunny Lombardi, is a 2-year-old Golden Labrador, who loves the NY Yankees, Greek Mythology and Conference Calls.

Tweet from @CarrlynBathe: Dean Lombardi's dog was hamming it up during the @LAKings team photo today

Tanner Pearson's contract is coming up for negotiation, so there has been some talk that Emma might consider throwing this competition for him to use as leverage. We'll be following this story as it updates.



The #3 Seed, Mack Carter, is the elder statesdog of the Carter family and is known to always travel in style.

The LA Kings offense isn't the only thing Jeff Carter has been carrying all season.

The #14 Seed, Arlo Dowd, is a Bark Madness rookie. Unlike his father who is too old to be considered a NHL rookie. Arlo is already a fan-favorite in Ontario where last season he was instrumental to the Reign's deep playoff run!

Tweet from @Paige_Kraemer: Arlo ready to drop the mitts tonight! Thanks @BizNasty2point0 for letting us borrow yours for this pic #makeitreign

Tweet from @Paige_Kraemer: "Good luck to my dad @JimmyDowder26 & the @ontarioreign in their 1st playoff game!"- Arlo ���� #makeitreign



The #4 Seed, Hank Martinez, is a beautiful Blue Heeler/Beagle mix. His owner, Alec Martinez, is a beautiful American/Spanish mix.


Alec Martinez 0760
Hank has mad hops.

Dogs are man's best friend. But so is your defense partner! Paired against Hank Martinez is Lily Muzzin, the 8-year-old Chow Chow Mix that belongs to Jake Muzzin. But there is one thing that might able to set Lily Muzzin apart from the competition.

Lily Muzzin LA Kings hat
A photo of Lily wearing a LA Kings hat.



Jeff Carter's 3-year-old Shih Tzu, Bo, has overcome many things in his short life. Bo is bow-legged and with his mother, Megan Carter, he is hoping to raise awareness of adoptable special needs dogs in rescues and shelters across the country. But most importantly... Bo loves America.

Milo Brown, a Goldendoodle that is the 12th Seed, is quiet, soft-spoken, and prefers to stay out of the spotlight as the second most famous Goldendoodle on the LA Kings. His owner, Dustin, also loves America.

Milo Brown Dustin Dog



Dodger Toffoli is new to the battlefield of Bark Madness. Dodger is a 7-year-old Toy Yorkie and is affectionately referred to as "Dodgy." Dodgy is coming in as the 6th Seed which means there is a lot of pressure on this dog to be as cute and cuddly as her owner, Tyler Toffoli.

Find someone who looks at you like Tyler looks at Dodgy.

This is what a 30+ goal scorer looks like.

Meeka Doughty, a 4-year-old Shar-Pei is back in Bark Madness and this time she brings the Norris hardware with her.

Meeka making the same befuddled face that Erik Karlsson did at the NHL Award Show last summer.



I mean, let's be honest here... a photo of the 8-year-old Bichon #7 Seed, Miley Carter, is worth a thousand words.

Presenting the Kings 1st overall draft pick in 2034.

A late addition to the Bark Madness 2017 bracket is Onja Iginla, a 10-year-old German Shepherd that is a good old dog that brings veteran leadership to a group struggling to make the playoffs.

...wait, are we talking about Onja or Jarome?

Onja Iginla
This is the same face every member of the Colorado Avalanche made when they realized they weren't moved at the trade deadline.



Our last Bark Madness 2017 matchup could be our best.

Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty have won Stanley Cups and Olympic Gold Medals together, but now they are going head-to-head for the first time.

And Muzzin's latest rescue dog is an adorable St. Bernard named... Darryl.



Reggie Doughty, a 5-year-old Beagle, captured the hearts of LA Kings fans everywhere when he burst onto the scene as Drew Doughty and Trevor Lewis' newest housemate.

A truly game-changing beagle.

And even though this isn't Drew Doughty's dog ... I can't resist posting this:

DoughtyDogCalendar Smile

The greatest defenseman in the NHL, ladies and gentlemen!


Well, there you have it. The Bark Madness 2017 seeds have been set and it's time to bust your bracket! Make sure you vote above in each matchup.

But more importantly, make sure you give back by purchasing one of the "We Are All K9s" calendars for ONLY 5 BUCKS!!! Buy them here! The purchase benefits the Kings Care Foundation and helps bring attention to 4 Paws 4 Patriots! You can check out a behind-the-scenes feature on the making of the LA Kings Calendar from Kings Weekly here!

Also, Jeff and Megan Carter work tirelessly to help promote all the wonderful dogs that are available for rescue throughout Los Angeles with the Wags and Walks organization. You can always support Wags and Walks by fostering, rescuing or donating.

And be sure to check out Sunny Saints, a St. Bernard Rescue that Courtney Muzzin is involved with that helps put big old (and young) good boys and girls into loving, caring homes where they can spread their love.

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