On Friday, the Kings held a State of the Franchise call, featuring President Luc Robitaille, Vice President & General Manager Rob Blake, Chief Operating Officer Kelly Cheeseman, Director of Player Personnel Nelson Emerson and Head Coach Todd McLellan. The live video of this was exclusive to season-ticket holders and other ticket-package holders. Here's what you should know.
The five answered several questions relevant to the 2021 Kings, the future of the franchise and the league, and a variety of other topics.
1. One of the NHL's top goals is to make sure that the 2021-22 season starts on time and is played in full. Calling it a "big priority," it is expected to see the 2021-22 season begin in October.
2. The NHL Draft will likely be held just a few weeks later than usual and is currently scheduled for July 23 & 24.
3. As seen in the recent NHL announcements, the previously postponed Kings/Blues game will be held on May 11th. With that day added to the regular reason, there is a possibility that the NHL could extend the regular season a week, pending more postponements across the league.
4. The organization is excited for the NHL/ESPN partnership, citing the amount of exposure that it will bring the sport.
5. There's no guarantee that fans will be back in STAPLES Center before season's end, but seeing recent progress in the area is encouraging. If fans were to be allowed back in, it would likely be in "pods".
6. Toyota Sports Performance Center will likely remain closed to the public for practices through the end of the season.
7. McLellan pointed to the veteran leadership, outstanding special teams play and the evolution of the youth providing a supporting cast when asked about the difference between this year and last year.
8. Rasmus Kupari and Samuel Fagemo were recognized as the two standouts for the Ontario Reign so far this season. Emerson alluded to the fact that both had pro experience, in good leagues, coming in, which benefitted them. Talked about Kupari taking the next step from where he was last year, and Fagemo coming in and excelling.
9. Moving forward, any potential deals that GM Rob Blake is looking at making would make the team better at this stage. He believes they have now put that foot forward, to add to the core in place.
10. Regarding potentially trading veteran players - Blake said that those players have earned the respect of having a conversation about their future.