Stephens: What to expect from our Southern California hockey coverage

For years, I like to say that it takes three to manage my daily life well. I told my wife and she really didn’t get it at first. It took a while, but I think she understood what I meant by that. I think.

Husband. Dad. Bill payer (a bit too much). Dishwasher and groceries (I don’t mind). Occasional repairman around the house. (Although no work there is really, completely 100% done). Somewhat regular cook (although I’m more of the type to follow directions than chef. Thanks, YouTube.).

Journalist. But not only this cover. Hockey beat writer. Track what a team is doing, what it could do, what it should do, and what it will do. Always trying to write the best possible story. Always looking to inform, enlighten, explain and maybe even entertain – from September until the following September.

Do you see the picture? Maybe not, and I understand if you give the same skeptical look my wife first had when I brought up the matter of the three. But that’s how I feel, even more now after being a hockey beat writer for the past 17 years.

Which brings me to why I am writing this letter to you. The next writer to cover the Los Angeles Kings for Athleticism it’s… well, me. Myself. I. Any of these should apply, but otherwise I’m just covering the basics here. And I will continue to cover the Anaheim Ducks. As I have been, for quite some time now.

WHAT? BLASPHEMY!

(Take a nervous peek behind the curtain).

Again, I understand.

Let’s take a breath here. For some, it can accompany you as well as a day-old burrito. I talk to my regular readers, my periodical readers and hopefully my new readers. I’m coming there has been some concern about a new writer telling the stories of a Kings team that could be on the verge of something big after bringing its fanbase back to playoff hockey . And I will do my best to win your eyes.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my job after the Ducks. They become interesting again and there will be many scenarios, winners or losers. But it will also be fun to get a closer look at the Kings. For years I watched from afar and kept an eye out as much as possible. I previously helped with Stanley Cup coverage with the Kings and can attest to live coverage of that five-minute power play against New Jersey in 2012 and Alec Martinez’s rebounding score to bury the Rangers in 2014. I don’t think I’m the only one who enjoys seeing another Kings-Ducks playoff series ignite the diehards and even capture the casual Southland fan as it once did for a few weeks.

Think of me as your friendly southern California hockey writer. The one who puts a few miles on his six-year-old Acura. Whoever will try to listen to podcasts even though they’re inclined to sing along with Earth, Wind & Fire, the Police, Nirvana, the Black Keys, and even that guy from Kanye heading north and south on the 405 and – as little as possible – on 5. (My musical tastes are very varied across genres but not out there and could use some more modern stuff.)

Above all, I hope you see someone who wants to tell the best stories from Los Angeles, Anaheim, and even other points around this vast region. The kind of stories you won’t see everywhere and certainly not to the depth we have at Athleticism are known for. In short, the goal is to write a lot and do it well.

A person. Two teams. For some it doesn’t fit and maybe it never will. Now, why do you think I told this little story at the beginning?

Listen to me. Until the day I can multiply, I will not be physically in El Segundo or Irvine every day. But I promise to be at both training centers often. And that also means continuing to be a regular Honda Center and now Stap…er, Crypto.com Arena. Feel free to use our live feature, where I regularly contribute items that don’t necessarily require a full standalone piece. I will monitor what is happening in both places, as well as in Ontario and San Diego. If an interesting story needs to be told by one or the other, I’m not averse to taking a long drive.

The plan is to tell the best stories and do the best reporting possible. Analyzing. Colonize. (Damn, that’s a word!) And that will include travel. The best stories are often the ones you discover on the road. For example, there may soon be some to hunt in San Jose.

It’s a lofty goal, but I’m in. A challenge that I accept like one that was thrown at me a long time ago, where I just hoped to hold out for six months before one of the greatest sportswriters of our time, Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times, eventually pay attention and come to their senses. . The following season, I watched Scott Niedermayer and his majestic salt-and-pepper beard hoist the Cup and write the championship history you dream of. One way or another, I will now be entering my 18th.

I know I fill big shoes. I freely admit that I don’t have the institutional knowledge about the Kings that others have. That means more homework, but that’s what I’ve been planning to do from our coverage of the draft in Montreal to the “State of the Kings” series that you can use as an intro for the next rookie camp and the main training camp.

Since my arrival here and even in the places where I have written before, I have deeply appreciated everyone who has read my stuff faithfully or even just once. I know this is a big change and maybe even upsetting. But I intend to be as involved in Kings coverage as I am in Ducks coverage. As I’m there more often and picking up some of that institutional knowledge, I’ll end up doing regular mail and the occasional fan poll. I have other big ideas in mind and I’m ready to execute them.

I leave you with that. Give me a chance. As Mr. Dwyre once did.

(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today)

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