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The LA Kings Have Gone Country

Who are the Kings' favorite country music artists? And what they think of this year's Drew Doughty Cowboy Bobblehead?

by Deborah Lew @Deborah_Lew / LAKings.com

Being that country music is often the genre of choice in the LA Kings locker room, Country Music Night is particularly relevant to many of the players, who happen to be big country music fans. 

This year's annual Country Music Night, presented by Champion, takes place on Monday, March 18 when the Kings host the Winnipeg Jets. All fans in attendance will receive a Drew Doughty Cowboy Bobblehead, complete with cowboy hat, boots, and a red bandana.

Get a Ticket to Country Music Night!

Kings forward Matt Luff is a big country music lover, and a couple of his favorite artists include Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley, to name a few. Luff gives Old Dominion at Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto the title of best country concert, and labels "Fishin' in the Dark" by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band his classic country song. He knows his stuff. 

"I go to Boots and Hearts a lot, it's basically the Stagecoach of Canada," explains Luff, who usually attends with his buddies after receiving event passes from his parents as a birthday gift.

"I've gone three times now, so that's big," Luff said. "Luke Bryan goes all the time and Florida Georgia Line was the headliner last year, so they have some pretty big names that go."

Luff hasn't yet had the chance to inspect the Doughty Cowboy Bobblehead, but thinks it should be pretty convincing. "He's got the whole thing going, you could put a straw through his two missing teeth, you could think he's from out there," chirps the 21-year-old. 

Tweet from @LAKings: Be at Country Night on March 18th as the LA Kings take on the Winnipeg Jets and you'll get to go home with this highly-loved @dewyy8 cowboy bobblehead! 😍>> https://t.co/xAVtYqQwAe pic.twitter.com/PZqmQVt3F1

"I do like country music and I like cowboy hats," says Doughty, who has seen the bobblehead, but isn't sure why he was selected for it.

Doughty has been listening to country music since grade nine and while he doesn't attend many concerts on the regular, he does admit that the best country concert he's seen was Keith Urban when he was 14 years old. Eric Church is actually the defenseman's current favorite country artist, and though Doughty has yet to see him in concert, he would like to one day. 

Forward Trevor Lewis, Doughty's old roommate, confirms that Eric Church, whom he saw in 2012, was the best country concert he's been to. Lewis has been a fan of the genre since high school and would love to see Thomas Rhett live. 

Tweet from @LAKings: Country Music Night treated Jeff Carter too well.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/fCiHFnU6xm

Minnesota native, Jonny Brodzinski admits he has been a country fan his whole life, and names Florida Georgia Line the best country concert he's seen, which happened his sophomore year at St. Cloud State University.

A bit of an old school country fan, Brodzinski is quick to cite George Strait and Brooks & Dunn as his favorite country music acts. He's unfortunately never seen them in concert, but hopes of a Brooks & Dunn reunion are alive and well in the 25-year-old. 

"Somehow get them back together first, I think that's probably the first priority, get them back together, and hopefully they can do a concert for me," mulls Brodzinski, whose favorite Brooks & Dunn Tune is "Red Dirt Road."

"I'll probably have to shell out some serious cash though."

Brodzinski may be able to use his own talent as leverage should Brooks & Dunn require a backup guitarist and vocalist. 

"I'm self-taught - I started my freshman year of college. I only know like, eight chords, but I'm pretty good at them and you can play pretty much any song once you know the chords. I can play anything as long as it's in my range," proclaims Brodzinski. 

Not afraid of using his own set of pipes, Brodzinski also admits that he "can pretty much sing any song off FGL's first album." His karaoke go to? Brooks & Dunn's "Neon Moon."

As we learned in Nashville on the last father's trip... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

Tweet from @LAKingsPR: Mr. Brodzinski takes the stage. A star is born. Eat your heart out Hank Williams. pic.twitter.com/pmJMrH48Ph

Instagram from @brodzyy: Happy Father's Day to the best Dad a guy could ask for. Karaoke could use some work tho.. #BigMike

Austin Wagner, who grew up in Calgary, Alberta, where country music is pretty much part of the culture, has been a fan of country music since he was a kid.

Wagner has had the pleasure of seeing Brooks & Dunn live, but he names Brothers Osborne the best country concert he's seen. He saw Brothers Osborne at Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival, which promotes itself as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" and attracts over a million visitors each July. 

"I listen to a lot of country music, so I wouldn't say I have a favorite right now," concedes Wagner, who has seen Tim McGraw three times, but would like to see Garth Brooks. 

"Time Marches On" by Tracy Lawrence and "Don't Rock the Jukebox" by Alan Jackson are two of the songs on his massive country playlist, but if that isn't suiting Wagner on a road trip, he has Y2Kountry, The Highway, and the Garth Brooks channel included in his satellite radio stations. 

Defenseman Paul LaDue, who hails from Grand Forks, North Dakota, got hooked on country music when his first favorite song became "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" by Don McLean.

LaDue is now a fan of Bob Seger, and loves the songs "Night Moves" and "Hollywood Nights." His best concert memory came at a Minnesota country music festival where Toby Keith was slated to hit the stage. 

"It was raining, they cancelled it out at first, so we didn't think it was going to happen, and then lights came on and he came on and started singing so I was pumped," recalls LaDue, who has Zac Brown Band next on his list of concerts to attend. 

If you're a fan of country music like these guys are, you won't want to miss the show that the Kings have in store for March 18. You'll like it, you'll love it, and you'll want some more of it. 

Don't miss the fun, wear your best western attire to LA Kings Country Music Night!

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