By Rich Hammond | OCRegister.com
The longest, most frustrating championship celebration in Southern California sports history ended pre-dawn Sunday. Now the Kings can get back to work.
Cell phones around the continent buzzed at 2:30 a.m. Pacific, as Jarret Stoll texted teammates with a simple message: ”Done deal.” After 113 days, the NHL and its players had agreed upon a framework for a new collective-bargaining agreement, one that, if ratified by both sides, will end the lockout.
Kings players and staff members will soon get their Stanley Cup rings and watch the championship banner get lifted to the Staples Center rafters. The Kings’ first home game of the shortened 2013 season is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 19 at noon, but that remains unofficial.
”It’s great to get back at it and see if we can do it again,” Stoll said after a workout at the Kings’ training rink Sunday morning. ”It will be great to see all the guys again and get back practicing and playing, with the routine that we all love. It’s part of us, it’s inside of us and it gets us going. We’re all excited.”