In this week’s edition of Los Angeles Kings News & Rumors, I discuss the recent opening of LA Kings Ice at Promenade on the Peninsula, LA Kings night at Dodgers Stadium, minor schedule changes, honoring scouts Garnet “Ace” Bailey and Mark Bavis, and Ontario Reign Schedule updates.
Expanding Southern California Hockey
In their attempt to continue expanding the popularity of the game throughout Southern California, the Kings recently announced two community projects. One being, the re-opening and renovation of a local ice rink in Rolling Hills Estates. The Kings have begun remodeling the facility, formerly known as the Promenade Ice Chalet. The facilities grand re-opening was on Sep. 7 and featured a kid’s skate along with the team’s mascot Bailey and King’s radio commentator Daryl Evans. The team will be working on several external and internal improvements for the Ice Chalet, which has been closed since Sep. 16, 2020, due to Coronavirus-related financial issues. Anyone who has skated at this rink will be ecstatic to hear about renovations to the facility, as they were desperately needed.
The second project is a ball hockey rink at Camp Whittle, a YMCA facility in Big Bear, California. This will bring ball hockey to the YMCA sleep-away camp year-round and will, hopefully, help in expanding interest in the game of hockey. This will be a fun experience for campers, some of whom were given a ball hockey clinic during the rink’s grand opening from Evans.
LA Kings Night at Dodgers Stadium
Another exciting event for Kings fans, especially those who also love Dodgers baseball, was the LA Kings night at Dodgers Stadium. On Sep. 10, 20 King’s players were in attendance for the Dodgers faceoff against the San Diego Padres, a contest they won three to zero. Several notable players were in attendance, including Quinton Byfield, Gabriel Vilardi, and Anze Kopitar. The King’s captain was even given the honor of throwing the game’s ceremonial first pitch.
It’s always fun seeing the LA sports teams interact with each other, and it was nice seeing young players like Byfield and Vilardi immerse themselves into the LA community.
The Kings also saw two minor schedule changes last week. The Kings game on April 14 against the Chicago Blackhawks was changed to April 12, puck drop will be at 5:30 PM. The team’s April 29 game against the Vancouver Canucks will now be on April 28, puck drop will be at 7 PM.
Remembering Mark Bavis & Garnet “Ace” Bailey
On Sep. 11, the country mourned those lost during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. The King’s organization is no different as they mourned the loss of two of their own. Two members of the team’s scouting department, Bailey and Bavis, were aboard United Airlines Flights 175 when it was crashed into the Twin Towers. Bailey was entering his eighth season as the organization’s Director of Professional Scouting, and Bavis was entering his second season with the organization as a professional scout. To this day, King’s players wear AM stickers on the back of their helmets in honor of the two men. The team’s mascot, Bailey, who is named after “Ace” himself, also wears the AM sticker on his jersey.
If you want to support the legacy of both Bavis and Bailey, consider a donation to Ace’s Place (https://www.tuftschildrenshospital.org/patient-care-services/departments-and-services/child-life-services/aces-place) at Tufts Hospital, or to the Mark Bavis Leadership Foundation (http://www.markbavisleadershipfoundation.org/).
Recently, the Reign have announced their promotional nights for the 2021-22 season. The team’s season opener on Oct. 16, is the first of these nights — the team also announced nine nights of specialty jerseys throughout the season. With several of the team’s hottest prospects likely to spend much of the season in Ontario, there’s plenty of excitement around the Reign this year.
My name is Austin Stanovich, as a lifelong player and fan I’m hoping to bring my own unique perspective on the hockey world, specifically covering the Los Angeles Kings. As a SoCal native I grew up a Kings fan, and after graduating from Long Beach State in 2020 I’ve joined The Hockey Writers crew as a columnist for the Kings.