Twice in this decade, Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis has brought the Stanley Cup home to the Salt Lake Valley. The team that will play Saturday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena posted the NHL’s second-worst record last season.
Lewis has experienced both extremes of pro hockey, as he enters his 10th full season with the Kings, who will meet Vancouver in a preseason game. When he cites “a lot of young energy” in the Kings' dressing room these days, he's speaking from the perspective of both a 32-year-old veteran and someone who lived through a lousy 2018-19 season and is convinced the team will improve this year.
“A lot of us had down years,” said Lewis, who missed 37 games in the middle of the season with a fractured foot. “Everyone’s hungry.”
The timing of the injury especially was disappointing to Lewis, who had scored a career-high 14 goals the previous season. He’s feeling good in camp, though, and expects to play a consistent role in a rebuilding season. Lewis played steady hockey for Kings’ teams that claimed the Stanley Cup in 2012 and ’14, becoming one of few Utah natives to win two major league championships.
SALT LAKE SHOOTOUT
Los Angeles Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks
Where • At Vivint Smart Home Arena
When • Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Kings’ hoped-for revival comes with a new coach, Todd McLellan, and includes another hometown stop for Lewis, who grew up in Cottonwood Heights and played one year of high school hockey for Brighton. The game that’s marketed as the Salt Lake Shootout is the second exhibition in a three-year package that became a big hit last September, when 12,367 fans watched the Kings beat the Canucks 4-1 on a Monday night.
The only flaw of the presentation involved ice issues around the goals that caused five lengthy delays in the game’s first 11 minutes. Otherwise, the game was crisply played and didn’t have an exhibition feel.
The turnout impressed Lewis, who didn't know what to expect in the NHL's first appearance in the Salt Lake Valley in 10 years. Unless the novelty has worn off already, the Saturday night booking should draw another good crowd.
Skyline High School product Daniel Brickley, a defenseman who played mostly for the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate last season, also is in the Los Angeles camp this month. Richard Bachman, a goaltender who was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in the Denver area, is on Vancouver’s roster.
The Kings are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to Vegas on Thursday in Los Angeles. They had oddly mixed results in split-squad games Tuesday vs. Arizona. Most of the Kings' regulars stayed home to play in a 5-0 loss, while the other group won 4-1 on the road.
Vancouver won 6-1 at Edmonton on Thursday. Bachman dressed as the Canucks’ backup goalie, but didn’t play.