After three months of impatiently waiting for hockey season to resume, the underwater basket-weaving supplies, finger puppets and yo-yos can safely be tucked away for the next eight months.
The LA Kings open their season on the road this week, with games in Minnesota and Winnipeg before hosting the New York Rangers for the home opener at STAPLES Center on Monday. The measure of a good road trip is not only defined by the number of points earned from a professional standpoint, but, in many personal cases, the quality of the memories made. Anyone still recovering from this past weekend in Las Vegas, should understand perfectly.
Their working road trips are an open book, but in this edition of “Off the Post,” the Kings divulge which of their personal road trips have provided them with the time of their lives.
The Shot: What is the best road trip you’ve ever taken?
The Pass: If you were to get lost on a road trip with minimal resources, which teammate would you want with you?
Shot: In Junior I took an RV down to Florida from Detroit with three buddies.
Pass: Probably Mitchy because he seems to be one with nature.
Shot: The best one was actually by myself, it was my first NHL training camp. It was from Port McNeil, B.C. – so go find that on a map – and went all the way out to New York City. It was about 58 hours in a car, from about as far west as you could go to as far east as you could go in North America, so I thought that was pretty cool.
Pass: I think Reg (Robyn Regehr)– I think Reg would think it through and know what he’s doing out there.
Shot: Maybe a family camping trip when I was younger, to northern Ontario.
Pass: Nolan and Kinger…for obvious reasons.
Shot: Probably the ones that stick out in my mind are when we used to go on a family ski trip when we were young kids. We would drive from Saskatchewan in western Canada, down to Montana and go skiing. We did it in a big station wagon, so what my dad did, was he packed the stuff in the back of the station wagon so one of us or two of us kids could go in the back and play. We thought that was the best thing until we got a seatbelt ticket.
Pass: Probably Willie Mitchell. He’s very comfortable being outside and in the wilderness. He grew up on the west coast, and he’s a very active guy, so I think we would probably even enjoy ourselves a little bit and have a little fun outdoors.
Shot: When I was 22, me and three buddies drove from where we grew up, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, all the way to Vegas. It was 27 hours I think, just took our time, slept along the way, played some golf and then we actually went to Palm Springs after, so it took almost two weeks, but no time frame, just kind of did our thing.
Pass: Probably Robyn Regehr because he seems like he knows what he’s doing in the brush – he’s like a caveman sometimes and I think he can get a lot of things done.
Shot: Probably Vegas with some friends from my hometown in Utah.
Pass: I want to say Car Bomb (Daniel Carcillo) – he likes to think outside the box and come up with different things.
Shot: Every summer I used to go back to Sarnia, for this concert, Bayfest. I’d go from Toronto, it’s about two and a half hours.
Pass: I’d say Matt Greene. He’s funny, he’s got a lot of information up there in that head, and I’m sure he could get us out of any jam that we get into.
Shot: Drove to Vegas a few years ago from Los Angeles…with a few guys…I won’t name names.
Pass: I’d go with Jeff Carter right now because he’s got a car that can drive itself. I don’t think he can get lost, it could parallel park itself, it could tell you whatever is around, so I’d go with him, just hit the ‘snooze’ button, he’d get us home.
Shot: I like going up to Sicamous, B.C. for the summer, it’s nice up there, good weather, just to hang out. It’s a good meeting point for both sides of my family.
Pass: Carcillo Bomb – he’d be entertaining, we’d have a couple good laughs. He’s my linemate, I have to stick with my linemate. We have to get to know each other real well if we’re going to play together.
Shot: I went to my buddy’s cottage this summer in Sudbury, it’s a three-hour trip from Sault Ste. Marie. It was just a weekend away with my buddies for about five days.
Pass: Probably Matt Greene – he’d entertain me for a bit.
Shot: We went to the lakes up in Ontario with my family – it’s about two hours away. One time I went to watch Brad Paisley in New York, that was pretty awesome.
Pass: Probably Rick (Mike Richards) or Greener – they’re kind of outdoorsy. Rick would be able to fish… or Mitchy…but he’d probably talk my ear off…so probably Rick.
Shot: Road tripped to the Indy 500 two years in a row and camped out at the track. It was a pretty good time – kind of a mess, but a pretty good time.
Pass: Keaton Ellerby – he can make fire out of basically nothing, he could grow a really thick beard, he’s somewhat of a mountain man. We’d have a really good time.
Shot: Driving home from Montreal to Kamloops, B.C., it was me, Jason Garrison who plays in Vancouver, and one of our buddies.
Pass: If I was trying to dodge authorities, I’d go with Alec Martinez. If I was just stuck in the woods, Matt Greene seems like he’d be a forager of fire. I’d go with Marty or Greener. But Mitchy can fish – I’ll stick to the ‘D’ corps.
Shot: I drove to Disneyland when I was a little kid, but I don’t really remember it that well. I don’t really do well on road trips, I don’t really enjoy the journey of it.
Pass: I’d probably want Willie Mitchell – I’m thinking survival here – he’s kind of an outdoorsman.
Shot: I’ve been on a lot of traveling trips when I was younger. I think the most memorable one, just because I was the youngest, it was the first time I went on a long distance trip, it was to Prince George, B.C. and it was 17 hours from Saskatchewan where I grew up. I think it was cool because it was pretty much the first time I got to see different landscapes and everything.
Pass: Robyn – he’s been around, he’s kind of an outdoorsman, and he seems to find things that would help the situation.
Shot: I went to a friend’s cottage, I drove from Ottawa to Montreal.
Pass: Probably Brownie – he wouldn’t talk a lot, I feel like he wouldn’t get us frustrated on the road.
Shot: We made a road trip from Grand Forks where I went to school, all the way to New Brunswick with a bunch of buddies – that’s number one.
Pass: Noly or Kinger might know a little bit about the land – I’ll put my money on Kinger.
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