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ROYAL MAILBAG (OCT. 26)

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
THE ROYAL MAILBAG: Would Jim Fox ever want to be a coach?


Friday, Oct. 26

This week's mailbag was full of questions on topics ranging from the Kings National Anthem to whether or not Jim Fox would ever be an NHL coach to Marc Crawford’s line changes. Find out those answers and more in this week’s Royal Mailbag. LAKings.com will get your questions answered every other Friday in its usual time slot. So send in your questions early and often.

So I was at the game vs. the Wild on Oct. 16 and I noticed that as the National Anthem is being sung and the words are going along with the song on the big screen, the last line reads as follows:

“O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

Why is there a question mark at the end of that? I heard some people say that they noticed the error at passed games as well.
Brian S.

Brian,

Thank you for your email regarding the national anthem lyrics on the Jumbotron. The question mark you noticed at the end of the song was not a typo. The last line is actually a question Francis Scott Key was posing:

"O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"

The lyrics the Kings use come directly from the White House’s website.

Jim Fox has been a trusted, knowledgeable part of the broadcast team for the Kings for many years. Jim, would you ever consider coaching a team in the NHL?
Craig W., Pacific Palisades, Calif.

LAKings.com caught up with Jim Fox as he was watching practice on Friday and posed that question to him.

“Well Craig, I certainly thought about it over the years, but now that I have been broadcasting for so long I would feel like I would be starting at square one,” Kings television color analyst Jim Fox said. “It is a long process to get to the NHL as a coach and you typically have to get a ton of experience and credibility before you get to the NHL.

“It would be a complete career change. Obviously, being an ex-player, and hanging around NHL teams for so long I would get a head start since I am in daily contact with the coaches, and seeing how they run practice, seeing how they set up travel schedules and learning the systems that they put in place, just getting a hands on education on how it should be done. That would give me a head start, but I would be starting at square one.”

Fox went on to add, “Having said that, it was always something I was interested in, but broadcasting takes up so much of your time, it is almost like you choose one or the other and I am very fortunate and happy to be involved in the broadcasting side of things.”

What is the significance of the No. 72 that the Kings mascot Bailey is wearing?
Mark O., Simi Valley, CA

Well that is simple Mark, it is always 72 degrees in Los Angeles.

You can check out more information on Bailey by visiting his page on LAKings.com…and stay tuned to LAKings.com as his new Web site will be launched soon…

I am always fascinated by the designs on the masks that NHL goalies are wearing. What is on the Kings net minders’ masks and what is the significance of it?
Garry P., Los Angeles, CA

Well LAKings.com sat down with each of the netminders and here is what they had to say:
J-S Aubin:
“My mask has the numbers of my club's retired sweaters -- Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Marcel Dionne, Rogie Vachon and Dave Taylor -- on it in the shape of a star, like the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I think it is good to represent the club's history. On one side I have the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre and on the other side I have the Hollywood Sign along with some palm trees. On top I have the Kings' shield logo and on the chin I have our club's old logo. On the back I have my nickname, Aubs, and the name of my son.”

Jason LaBarbera:
“I am a big Metallica fan so I have a lot of Metallica logos and imagery like an image of lead singer James Hetfield and the images of the Master of Puppets and St. Anger album covers. I also have the Kings name on there in Metallica-style writing and the initials of some family members. I also am a big wrestling fan, so I have a photo of Hollywood Hulk Hogan on there as well. I loved the Hulkster growing up.”

Could you please explain to fans the reasoning behind all of the line changes? I have never seen a team that switched their lines so often. The Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Michael Cammalleri line works so well together, why spit them up?
Kathy G.

Former NHL player and color TV analyst Jim Fox also shed some light on this.

”I think the one thing that has changed is that it used to be you had three-man combinations, where you have left-winger, center, right-winger play together often,” Fox said, “But that has changed in the last 8-10 years. Coaches now look for pairs, they have two guys they keep together and a third guy they switch up. I think it has to do with the advancement in scouting and pre-scouting and other teams knowing your tendencies and having the ability to shut down lines with matchups.

“The old days, coaches didn’t worry about that, since they did not have the same amount of knowledge as they do today.”

In regard to breaking up a quality line like the Brown, Kopitar, Cammalleri line the Kings have used at times this season, Fox had this observation: “You have to weigh and balance the effectiveness of each line. When teams want to shut down a line, they can do it. You have to come up with other ways to get that scoring balanced and the only way to do so sometimes is to break up a solid line.

"Another thing to keep in mind is an 82-game season is a long season, things might work for 10 games and then a line might struggle, so then what do you do if other players are not familiar with each other?”

Brian Willsie was having his best preseason in the last six years and then the season starts and he is a healthy scratch, but now he is playing more and well. How is he able to get ready for games not knowing if he will play or not?
R. Freisinger

Brian Willsie had a solid preseason and then when the season started against the Ducks in London, Willsie did not play in either game. He made his debut in the home opener against St. Louis and then did not play at Dallas on Oct. 9, vs. the Bruins on Oct. 12 and vs. the Red Wings on Oct. 14, making him a scratch for five of the first six games.

However, Willsie has seen action in the last five games, scoring 1-1=2 over that span, including a beautiful goal that tied the game at one last night vs. Dallas on a rebound of a Michael Cammalleri shot.

Reporters last night asked Willsie about being ready when his number is called and how he has handled the season thus far and he talked about his confidence and his hard work over the off season. “I was a little frustrated last year with my play and I worked hard all summer and I wanted to come in here with some confidence. I had a good preseason, but I wasn’t in the lineup at the start, but I am feeling pretty confident right now.”

Thank you for all of your questions and comments. LAKings.com would like to answer as many questions from Los Angeles Kings fans as possible. E-mail your query to LAKings.com for possible inclusion in a future mailbag column. Letters can be addressed to any member of the organization and may be edited for brevity, length and/or content. Please include your name and location along with your question and email feedback@lakings.com.

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