Rich Hammond, the ex-Daily News reporter hired by the Los Angeles Kings, has been the only journalist accompanying the team on most road trips. This week they're in western Canada, and at the pre-game skate in Edmonton Hammond quickly noticed how hockey gets more attention up there. He blogs:
I counted six camera crews in Edmonton’s locker room after its morning skate. I don’t think I’ve seen a single local TV camera crew, not one, at any of the Kings’ morning skates in L.A. this season.
It’s almost impossible to get a one-on-one interview with an Oiler, because every player of significance is swarmed by reporters. It’s much closer to what the Lakers experience in L.A. The scene around Anze Kopitar’s locker this morning looked exactly like the scrum I’ve seen around Kobe Bryant’s locker at Staples Center.
Kopitar, the Kings' young star, leads the National Hockey League in scoring. The Kings won that night in Edmonton, but lost tonight in Vancouver with 18-year-old prospect Brayden Schenn in the lineup for the first time — the third-youngest player ever on the team.
Noted with disbelief: The Kings hired Hammond because, as a top team official told me, the team vanishes from the media while on road trips. Yet, this season the Kings won't televise a single game from Canada.