Nick Shore may face his brother after his NHL debut with the Kings

Nick Shore, Francois Beachemin
Kings rookie center Nick Shore battles along the boards with Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin during a preseason game at Staples Center.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Kings center Nick Shore was fast-forwarding through the hockey memories, and he could not recall playing against his older brother, Drew Shore.

Not even as little guys growing up in Colorado.

It is increasingly likely that it will be Shore vs. Shore on Monday, when the Calgary Flames visit Staples Center. Drew, 23, was traded to Calgary last week by the Florida Panthers and made his Flames debut on Thursday at Arizona.

First, however, is the significant matter of the NHL debut of Nick, who turned 22 in September. With the Kings, nothing is set in stone, but it appears as if Nick could make his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. The biggest sign is that he centered the second line of Dwight King and Jeff Carter during practice Friday.


“It would be really cool,” Nick said of potentially facing his brother. “Like you said, it’s a little early to be thinking about that. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of days.”

There are four hockey-playing Shore brothers, a mini version of the Sutters. Quentin Shore, 20, an Ottawa Senators draft choice, is at Denver University, and the youngster, Baker, is only 15. Said Nick: “We’re hoping he’s going to be the best.”

The family pull toward hockey seems like destiny. Nick said his parents, David and Sarah, met at law school at Denver University, and their first date was at a DU hockey game.

Nick and Drew played together at Denver University. Now they could be playing against each other almost at the start of Nick’s NHL career.


“It’d be strange. It would be a first,” Nick said. “I don’t think either one of us really expected it this year or anything like that. If it happens, it happens, and it’ll be a cool experience.”

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, by his standards, sounded almost giddy about Shore’s upside. Sutter and his staff thought Shore had a better training camp in 2013 than Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli or Linden Vey.

“This year, I didn’t think his camp was quite as good, but we played him more.… We kept him longer, and that was part of the thing,” Sutter said. “We wanted to play him more, so that it was just helping his development. He went down and he’s put up really good numbers” in Manchester, N.H.

Sutter indicated Shore could have more responsibility with the Kings.

“I just don’t like putting a guy in and having him play seven or eight minutes,” he said. “There’s not much of a point unless he’s strictly a role player. He’s probably going to have to not just stick his toes in, he’s going to have to jump in and show us what he’s got.”

Blake’s night

Saturday’s retirement of Rob Blake‘s jersey has been a focal point this week, and rightly so. Blake, the Kings’ assistant general manager, still resonates with current players, Sutter said.

That hasn’t always been the case with other organizations.


“If you ask them, they don’t even remember them playing,” Sutter said. “I remember asking Brad Stuart once about Gary Suter. He thought he was my brother.

“Sutes played in Calgary. It’s like, ‘How could you not know him?’ ”


When: 7 p.m. PST Saturday.

On the air: TV: FS West, Channel 13; Radio: 790, 830.

Etc.: Kings forward Toffoli (mononucleosis) had some more blood work done and was scheduled to have more tests regarding his spleen. Toffoli reported that he was feeling good. Defenseman Robyn Regehr, out for almost a month because of an injured hand, has been cleared and is close to returning. Sutter did not know whether Regehr would be ready for the Ducks game.

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