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Nicholas J. Cotsonika

NHL Insider

Golden Knights ready for first game on home ice

Expansion team to host Kings in preseason matchup at T-Mobile Arena

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

LAS VEGAS -- Cody Eakin visited T-Mobile Arena for the first time Sept. 16. He went to see the boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, so there was no ice, no boards, no glass, different lighting.

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China Games

NHL optimistic about hockey's future in China

Daly says League will analyze plans for long-term growth after preseason games in Shanghai, Beijing

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

BEIJING -- The NHL sees a bright future for hockey in China after the 2017 NHL China Games presented by O.R.G. Packaging.

"I think we're coming away from this very encouraged with respect to the plan and the viability of the plan longer term," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said during a news conference Saturday.

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China Games

China Games part of long-term plan to grow hockey in untapped market

First visit by NHL teams designed to reach new fans in country of 1.3 billion people

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

BEIJING -- The boy held a hockey stick for the first time and didn't want to let it go.

His name was Shengrui Li. He was 3 years old. His parents had brought him to the NHL Fan Fest at Wukesong Arena on Saturday before the Los Angeles Kings' 4-3 shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks in the 2017 NHL China Games presented by O.R.G. Packaging.

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China Games

Visit to Great Wall unforgettable for Kings, Canucks

Teams tour historic structure on off day during NHL China Games

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

BEIJING -- Luc Robitaille is the NHL record-holder for goals by a left wing, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players. He is president of the Los Angeles Kings.

But he was just another tourist on Friday standing on the Great Wall of China, a structure that stretches for thousands of miles with a history that stretches for hundreds of years.

"It reminds us of how small we really are," he said.

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China Games

China Games big first step for NHL

Kings' historic win against Canucks thrills fans new to hockey

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

SHANGHAI -- The kids skated out in full uniform and lined up in the corners. Two days ago, they mobbed the Los Angeles Kings for autographs after practice and learned from some of their alumni at a hockey clinic. Now they greeted the Kings and Vancouver Canucks before the first NHL game ever played in their country.

They slapped gloves with the players as they came out, lined up on the blue lines with them for the Chinese national anthem, then took off their skates and helmets and headed up to the third level of Mercedes-Benz Arena.

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China Games

Mercedes-Benz Arena ready for 2017 China Games

Shanghai rink set for Canucks, Kings thanks to former GM of Coyotes home

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

SHANGHAI -- The first question:

"Does your ice plant work?"

This was last fall, when the NHL was exploring the idea of playing in Shanghai. Mercedes-Benz Arena had never hosted a hockey game before, and Dan Craig, the League ice guru, started with the most basic thing.

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China Games

China Games will be 'event within an event'

Inspired by scene at Stanley Cup Final, local organizers prepared to put on 'show' when Kings play Canucks

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

SHANGHAI -- Hu Hong was not a hockey fan. Then last year he went to see the Kunlun Red Star, the first Kontinental Hockey League team in China, and became interested. Then this year he went to see the Stanley Cup Final between the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins.

He was blown away. Not only did thousands pack inside arenas in Nashville and Pittsburgh, thousands watched outside on big screens too.

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China Games

Kings, Canucks get down to 'business' in Shanghai

Hold practice, take in sights of 'beautiful city' ahead of 2017 China Games

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

SHANGHAI -- It was as surreal as expected at times Tuesday. Here we were on the other side of the world, in a place the NHL had never been before. The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks were practicing at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, on the banks of the Huangpu River, with the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Shanghai Tower in the distance. Fog hung over the ice. Usually, it dissipates as players skate. This time, it thickened. Mercedes-Benz Arena was built for concerts, had never hosted hockey before and didn't have dehumidifiers like at home.

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China Games

Kings create buzz at Shanghai youth clinic

Chinese hockey players enjoy learning experience during NHL's visit for 2017 China Games

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

SHANGHAI -- This is why they came.

After the Los Angeles Kings practiced at Mercedes-Benz Arena on Tuesday, they walked off the ice to greet a group of young Chinese hockey players. At first, the boys and girls stood on the sides, wearing the jerseys of their local teams, waiting patiently, clearing a path.

Then they swarmed.

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China Games

Kings ready for 'cool experience' at 2017 China Games

Players taking advantage of perks that come with NHL's first foray into Chinese market

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika and Lisa Dillman / NHL.com Staff Writers

SHANGHAI -- One day last season, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez broke some news to his teammates as one of their NHL Players' Association representatives.

"I remember him saying something like, 'The NHL wants us to go to China,'" goaltender Jeff Zatkoff said. "I think initially everyone was like, 'Man, that's a long ways to go for a couple of games.' But I think once it came out that we were going, everyone was like, 'This is going to be a cool experience.'"

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