Training camp opens today! Yes, folks, the ice is forming, the weather's dropping, you can see people getting their cars ready for a long winter... haha, just kidding, it'll be like 75 degrees today. But camp is starting, and that means real, honest to god hockey is right around the corner.
The Kings have split themselves up into 3 groups, colorfully named A, B, and C. They're mostly random, but I wouldn't be doing my job as a team-centric hockey blogger if I didn't needlessly overanalyze every little thing.
Group A Notable Names: Brayden Schenn, Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth, Justin WIlliams, Jack Johnson, Rob Scuderi, Thomas Hickey, Colten Teubert, Drew Bagnall, Jon Quick, Peter Harrold
Thoughts: Kopitar will start camp with Smyth and Williams on his wings, as Terry Murray hopes they can congeal into a #1 line. Brayden Schenn is sharing camp with Kopitar and can hopefully learn a little from the talented center. Jack Johnson and Rob Scuderi are with one another, perhaps signalling that they might form a defensive pairing; or, alternatively, they might be paired with 3 young defensemen who have the best shot at making the team to see if those young men are ready to make the team.
Peter Harrold is listed as a center. What?
Group B Notable Names: Jon Bernier, Jeff Zatkoff, Matt Greene, Davis Drewiskie, Oscar Moller, Jarret Stoll, Dustin Brown, Ted Purcell
Thoughts: This is the 2nd line tryout group, with Stoll, Brown, Moller, and Purcell all present. 3 of those 4 should comprise the Kings' 2nd line. It's interesting that Moller is listed as a center, perhaps signalling that the rumors Stoll might not be ready for camp are true. Drewiskie is known as a defensive defenseman, as is Greene, and the Kings could be taking a look at making them their shutdown pair. While Jonathan Quick is given the young John-Francois Berube, Jon Bernier is paired with Jeff Zatkoff; they will likely be partners down in Manchester this season unless Bernier impresses.
Group C Notable Names: Sean O'Donnell, Drew Doughty, Michal Handzus, Andrei Loktionov, Wayne Simmonds, Trevor Lewis, Brad Richardson, Alex Frolov, Marc-Andre Cliche
Thoughts: This line-up is less filled with intrigue than the other two. O'Donnell and Doughty are the only NHL-caliber defensemen on their squad, and are likely together not so much because they'll play together but because they're friends. This grouping does kind of give credence to what most of us had known, that Frolov will likely be paired with Handzus on the stoper line again. Richardson and Lewis are there as well, and hopefully they'll be paired together on the 4th line. Marc-Andre Cliche isn't a notable name but I've been cheering for him for years and I hope he someday makes an impression.
Finally, here's a guess as to how the line-up is going to look when camp ends (Note: not what I want, what I think will happen):