Kings could finally hang Stanley Cup banner this month

The National Hockey League and players announced a tentative deal this morning that could end their sport's shutdown after more than three months. Training camps could open this week, and a shortened season could start as soon as Jan. 15. Details are expected to be revealed later today. Teams might play as many as 50 games before the Stanley Cup playoffs, with the schedule expected to focus on geographic rivalries in hopes of generating interest among fans. (TSN, Helene Elliott/LAT)

The prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, tweeted his relief at the news. It's not such big news in LA, but still, plenty of fans have looked forward to the hockey season and to the Los Angeles Kings finally getting to present the Stanley Cup to the Staples Center faithful. Must admit, the unofficial celebration was pretty memorable.

One ray of discord. The Kings' star Anze Kopitar, who took the Stanley Cup home to Slovenia for a hero's welcome over the summer, injured his knee while playing in Sweden this weekend. He is expected to be out of action for at least three weeks.

Other players are starting to make their plans to fly into Southern California. Kings captain Dusitn Brown, who has been playing in Switzerland, told Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times that he is likely to travel back here on Monday. Elliott, by the way, posted her news of the tentative settlement on Facebook early this morning. There was no one at the paper to edit and post the blog story she wrote for the Times.

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Kings captain Dustin Brown with family and friends around the Stanley Cup at Staples Center, minutes after the Kings won the championship. Photo: Rich Hammond

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