Many young defensemen will cue up videos of today’s stars to learn the nuances of the position. Kings prospect Kale Clague dipped a tad further into the archives this summer when he studied Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom.
“He’s maybe the best ever,” Clague said. “You watch clips of him, it makes the game look pretty easy and slows things down. It’s very impressive.”
Kings fans have been waiting to watch Clague. He’s been their top defenseman prospect but, at 20, still is going through an apprenticeship.
This is an important training camp for Clague because it prefaces his first year as a professional, either with the Kings or minor league Ontario. He spent his final season in junior hockey focusing on positioning, a defining strength of Lidstrom, and added about 10 pounds. He was regarded by some as the best defenseman in the Western Hockey League.
“Going back to junior helped,” said Clague, who had an assist in a split-squad 4-2 loss at the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday.
“I had another year to create more offense in junior and work on those kinds of skills, but [also] to get better on my d-zone game, and I think over the past year I’ve really focused on that.”
Known for his skating and offense, Clague could spend most of the season with the Reign. But he sounded intent on getting into some NHL clips.
“I’ve showed a lot better so far …” Clague said. “I think I’m right in the mix and my goal is definitely to make L.A.”
Signing off on AM radio
Listening to Kings games on the AM dial is no longer an option.
The team announced that all games will be audio streamed on iHeartRadio, on LA Kings Audio Network, which marks the end of traditional AM radio broadcasts. The Kings previously partnered with KABC radio since 2014.
“Our streams will continue to not only serve our fans in a traditional sense but, the LA Kings Audio Network will also feature additional content that our fans will enjoy listening to,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said in a release.
Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Nick Nickson and analyst Daryl Evans will continue with their 20th season as broadcast partners.
The Kings also will air 10 games on ESPN Deportes 1330, beginning Nov. 1. They will be the team’s first Spanish radio broadcasts since 1997-98.