It’s always a pleasure to cover the
There were two additional reasons to welcome their visit to Anaheim on Friday: the presence of all-time
Fraser, 29, was not retained by the Kings after they won the
Although Fraser didn't play in the playoffs, he was voted a full playoff share by his Kings teammates. He said the Kings sent his Stanley Cup ring to him in Chicago, but he doesn't wear it.
"It looks really nice," he said. "I'm a conservative guy. I try to keep it locked up until somebody asks to see it.
"I've got three of them. I'm collecting them one at a time. Hopefully, now that I'm back in the NHL, we can get that rolling again."
Hitchcock said the Blues called up Fraser because "he adds an element of grit and determination and moxie that we need." Hitchcock added, "I think one of the things we're finding out is on these good teams, the teams with really good records, it's the strength of their third and fourth lines that are really being the difference for Nashville or here or L.A. or wherever …
"Us getting more stabilization and harder play from the third and fourth lines is going to be able to match what these other teams are doing because you can really see it."
Fraser played only 33 regular-season games for the Kings last season and no playoff games, though he skated in the warmups and practiced with the regulars, not the minor-leaguers. However, he found himself without a contract most of the summer and signed with the Blues on Sept. 5. He had seven goals and 12 points in 32 games with their AHL farm team this season.
"I've been in the minors but still playing my game and trying to do what got me here in the first place," he said. "Unfortunately a couple guys got hurt here but hopefully I could fill the void and kind of reestablish myself and make a name for myself again here in the NHL."
Fraser said he had fond memories of his time in Southern California. "Los Angeles was a good home for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my time," he said. "I miss the guys, the best group of guys. It sounds cliche, but when you win with guys, it really was an awesome group. I still talk to them. They give me the gears a little bit. It's fun to be back. I looked at the schedule in hopes we were going to L.A., but we're not."
Brodeur, 42, apparently will remain with the Blues for another week, allowing Jake Allen to do some specialized work in practice while
";I'm enjoying it,"; Brodeur said. ";I'm fortunate to have this opportunity on a good team like this. Every time they give me the net, it's like this is another opportunity to kind of prove I can still play and try to help this team. I signed here not knowing exactly what the future will bring me, but it's been over a month now and I'm feeling more and more comfortable and they seem to feel comfortable also with me.";