Sports Out West

Hockey snippets from California

Justin Williams awards

The popular hashtag on Twitter says it all – #IsItOctoberYet. Actually, most hockey fans would settle for September and training camp.

A few things are going on around the league. Sidney Crosby won an ESPY Award for being Sid the Kid, er, for Best Hockey Player. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are future gazillionaires, the hockey versions anyway. The Los Angeles Kings are traversing the globe with the Stanley Cup – and forward Anze Kopitar tweeted a photo of his hair standing straight up. (Scraping the bottom of the barrel, I know.)

Here are a few snippets of noteworthy hockey happenings in California.

Owen Nolan and Kyle McLaren Take Up Baseball

San Jose Sharks alumni Owen Nolan and Kyle McLaren participated in the Supercuts Take-A-Cut Challenge at AT & T Park. Local sports radio KNBR hosted the annual event. Ten listeners were chosen to participate in batting practice with professional athletes, including Nolan and McLaren.

McLaren said of his baseball prowess:

“I’m really happy. I hit the ball. I didn’t [strike] out, and I didn’t hurt myself.”

Former Sharks captain Nolan was a little more circumspect:

“What a great day we’re having out here. A good opportunity to do this – not a lot of people do. I feel fortunate to be a part of it.”

Justin Williams Receives Key to the City

When a team keeps winning the Stanley Cup like the LA Kings do, it’s hard to know what to get individual players anymore. Ventnor, New Jersey Mayor Michael Bagnell settled on giving Kings right wing Justin Williams a key to the city.

Williams is a native of Cobourg, Ontario, but he keeps his offseason home in Ventnor. He’s familiar with the Jersey Shore from his days playing with the Philadelphia Flyers.

In addition to the Stanley Cup, Williams brought along his Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. After receiving the key to the city, Williams queried:

“I wonder what it opens.”

Jonas Hiller Gets Appendicitis

Ok, technically Hiller is no longer with the Anaheim Ducks. However, the Ducks had a quiet week, and he did play for the team for three seasons.

In any case, premiere goalie coach Francois Allaire must be going tough on his charges in Switzerland this year. First Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov suffered a mild sprain to his right ankle. Now Hiller suffered an attack of appendicitis. He was scheduled to receive an appendectomy.

 

Well, perhaps it is noteworthy that new center Ryan Kesler seems poised to be the most popular Duck now that Teemu Selanne is gone. He’s even got his own commercial for Anaheim.

 

Photo by Getty Images

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A professional writer, Nadia Archuleta is a hockey expert. In addition to maintaining her own hockey blog, Hockeygrrls, she has contributed sports writing for numerous websites. From the hockey smile to the butterfly style -- she covers it all.

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