Unless you have been invited to the home of Donna and Dwayne King, or the residence of their eldest son D.J., the best place in Meadow Lake, Sask., to watch a Los Angeles Kings’ game these days is at the Milltown Sports Bar on 9th Street.
Meadow Lake, population 5,045, is the hometown of Kings’ rookie sensation Dwight King. His No. 74 sweater has yet to be added to the collection that hangs inside the Milltown haunt that includes three other NHLers from Meadow Lake, but manager Darcy Friesen said that if Dwight brings a Kings sweater back home this summer, they will be more than pleased to find some wall space.
“There is a buzz here with Dwight and the Kings playing so well,” said Friesen, a distant relative to Jeff Friesen, whose New Jersey Devils’ sweater hangs inside the Milltown beside D.J.’s St. Louis Blues’ jersey, and one from Blake Comeau’s days with the New York Islanders.
“I know when I come in here for breakfast people are talking about Dwight. They come in here specifically to watch the games, too. It has been exciting.” [...]
Credit 67-year-old Jack Ferreira, the Kings’ special assistant to general manager Dean Lombardi, for the late-season addition of King and Jordan Nolan. He long felt that the pair of 22-year-old forwards deserved to be called up from the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs.
Ferreira finally got his wish on Feb. 11, when the two were called up as replacements for an injured Jarret Stoll.
King has become comfortable in his NHL surroundings and that’s a big reason for his production in the playoffs. There were similar patterns for his growth in junior and the AHL.
“Growth? He’s still 232,” Sutter joked. “After games, he’s 228. Just because he’s scoring, it’s not growth. It’s what he’s done in his junior career and his pro career.”
King had Darryl Sutter’s younger brother Rich as an assistant coach in Lethbridge, where he was a 34-goal scorer in junior with the Hurricanes in 2007-08, when the Spokane Chiefs beat them in the WHL final. He checked in with 24 goals in 72 games with Manchester a year ago.
Both King and Nolan agree that to get called up at the same time and share this experience together has been helpful. They live in a hotel not far from the Kings’ practice facility. They spend their free time going out to eat and taking in movies.
King’s parents – Donna is a secretary and Dwayne is a truck driver – and brother D.J., who plays in the Washington Capitals’ system, [...] are in town to take in the Hollywood scene [...].
For a 22-year-old kid from Meadow Lake it has been quite an experience.
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