New ad­di­tion Folin warm­ing up to L.A. life

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Cur­tis Zupke sports@la­

Most play­ers go into free agency with a clear-cut plan or idea of where they want to go. Chris­tian Folin was thrust into it awk­wardly.

He thought the Min­nesota Wild, the only team he had known in his young NHL ca­reer, would ten­der him a qual­i­fy­ing of­fer this sum­mer.

But June 26 “hit and my agent had no idea be­cause I thought we were go­ing to sign,” Folin said. “We were way be­hind al­ready at the start. So we had no idea. It came as a shock and a sur­prise, ac­tu­ally.”

That brief, fren­zied pe­riod cul­mi­nated in Folin land­ing with the Kings on a one-year con­tract on July 1. It wasn’t a flashy sign­ing be­cause Folin is a stay-ath­ome de­fense­man, but his big body, hard shot and de­fense should fit in with the Kings.

Folin made his un­of­fi­cial Kings de­but Satur­day in a 4-3 over­time loss to the Van­cou­ver Canucks in a pre­sea­son game at Sta­ples Cen­ter. The Kings needed his penalty killing more than they would like be­cause they took seven mi­nor penal­ties, in­clud­ing four by Adrian Kempe.

And Kings coach John Stevens is still get­ting know the 6-foot-3 Folin, but he said he’s had a good camp and looks re­cov­ered from off­sea­son shoul­der surgery.

“Well, he’s a big guy that moves pretty well, and I think in to­day’s game you have to move pretty well, and he has to be able to move pucks, and he can do those things,” Stevens said.

Former Wild team­mate Darcy Kuem­per has joined him in a new start with the Kings. Folin also has the same strength coach as fel­low Swede and Kings de­fense­men Os­car Fan­ten­berg, who scored Satur­day

along with Jake Muzzin and Dustin Brown be­fore Brock Boeser’s over­time goal.

Folin is mostly ex­cited about the way the Kings play, and the friend­li­ness of the locker room, his new­est en­vi­ron­ment in a well-trav­eled ca­reer.

Folin has gone from Fargo, N.D., to Min­nesota, then to Mas­sachusetts for col­lege hockey fol­lowed by mi­nor league stops in Iowa. He fell for this lo­cale, as op­posed to Min­nesota win­ters.

“I like Minneapolis,” Folin said. “It’s a fun city. But it doesn’t com­pare to this. This is hard to top. I’ve been here three weeks and it’s hard to top. My friends told me right away, ‘We’re def­i­nitely com­ing to visit.’” China ros­ter

As ex­pected, the Kings’ 26-man ros­ter for pre­sea­son games in China is com­prised largely of veter­ans. It also in­cludes rook­ies Fan­ten­berg, Kurtis MacDer­mid and Michael Mer­sch. The goalies are Kuem­per, Jonathan Quick and Jeff Zatkoff. Etc.

Former Kings gen­eral man­ager Dean Lom­bardi was hired to work un­der Philadel­phia Fly­ers gen­eral man­ager Ron Hex­tall, ac­cord­ing to TSN … There were four penal­ties Satur­day for slash­ing, an in­frac­tion the NHL is strongly en­forc­ing this sea­son. A sign to come? “I hope not,” Brown said. “We might as well just go, two min­utes power play, two min­utes penalty kill. I get what they’re try­ing to do. They prob­a­bly change rules like this a lot. They crack down hard for the first 20 games and then they kind of find the happy medium where you can still play the game.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.