Sunday, September 26, 2010

Training Camp Casualties

So the Kings made their first round of cuts from training camp, and so far the players I chose to stick around are still in the hunt.  The only miss on my list so far is Brandon Kozun, who was assigned to Manchester.  While I didn't pick him to make the squad, I was hoping the kid would get a longer look this time around, including an appearance in Las Vegas.  But don't worry, he's far from done.  I hope he takes the criticism I've heard that he's too small to ever play at the NHL level and use it as motivation to become the league's next Martin St. Louis.

More cuts will be coming in the near future, and while the full picture is still far from clear, I didn't see anything in training camp this weekend to change my mind about who makes the squad and who will eventually go home.  I'm excited to see how it all plays out.

But training camp also created a casualty of a different kind -- a personal one.  It happened the first day of camp, and it took me a little bit of time to calm down enough that I could talk about it.  Now that I'm convinced everything is OK, I can share the story of how training camp almost killed MY PHONE!

I get a lot of comments about my iPhone for two reasons.  First, it's rarely out of my hand.  Second, it has a very cool Kings-themed skin.  One of my dearest friends (who incidentally doesn't like hockey) got it for me last Christmas, and it's probably my very favorite gift from last season.  If you'd like to "skin" your phone, laptop, or other electronic device and show your Kings loyalty, here's a link:

What you may not have noticed in the photo above is a chunk missing from my previously perfect Kings logo skin, and beneath it, a ding in the phone itself!  Let's take a closer look.

Ouch...that hurts!  So you're probably wondering how on Earth this happened if the phone never leaves my hand?  Well, let's just say I was a little excited to be seeing the boys at camp and I combined that excitement with a little too much multi-tasking.  I was sitting down on the floor next to the glass shooting photos and video.

Shooting STEADY video takes two hands, so I sat the phone down on my leg.  Then a woman came walking by and asked me to move.  A security dude (the same one that sees me sit on the floor at EVERY PRACTICE) had already come by once to say I couldn't sit there because someone (NOT a practice regular) complained, so I figured I had better oblige this woman.  As I shifted my leg, the phone slid off, hit the glass, and bounced down into this narrow space between the boards and the floor.

I sat there stupified for a minute.  My practice-watching companions, Jen and Brianna Wells, noticed from the look on my face something was wrong as I stared at the floor.  When they asked what was wrong, I blankly stared and said, "My phone."  "Where is it?" they asked.  "Down there," I pointed.  Confused looks ensued.  Then they laughed.  It's a good thing I love them.

After we all got our bearings and notified facilities, I waited.  And stewed.  And started to panic.  I knew I depended on my phone for pretty much EVERYTHING , but I honestly felt completely lost thinking about it down there.   Would I ever get it back?

Then Mike Timoney, one of our friends from the Kings Crew, came by to watch practice.  When we told him the story, he got us real the form of Kings Alumni Daryl Evans.  After briefly surveying the situation, Daryl just shook his head. "But it's a KINGS PHONE!" I pleaded.  "If it was a Kings phone, it would have already jumped back up out of that hole," Daryl replied.

Daryl did confirm the phone could be retrieved, but I had to wait until the crowd cleared out because they had to pull up one of the bleacher seating boards.  WHAT?  I can't be the first person who's done this, right?  Isn't there a door to a crawl space?  Something?  Sadly, no.

So at the next break in practice, Daryl got one of the facilities guys to come out with his fancy screwdriver, pull up the bleacher seating in one section, and climb down to save my phone.  It was moist from the ice condensation, beaten and permanently scarred, but thankfully still working.  And now every time I walk into Toyota Sports Center, Daryl looks at me and just shakes his head.

I am now convinced my phone was a hockey player in a prior life.  They get beaten up every day and still come back for more.  And every scar has an interesting story.


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