LOS ANGELES — On June 24, one day after being acquired by the Los Angeles Kings in the trade that sent goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs, right wing Matt Frattin and goaltender Ben Scrivens made a quick stop in the Los Angeles area to tour the team’s practice facility, meet the staff, and undergo medical examinations.
Talk about a whirlwind 24 hours.
“I was out at the lake this past weekend, and I got a call from Dave Nonis, who is the GM (general manager) with Toronto, and he relayed the message to me that I got traded to L.A,” said Frattin. “A little later after that, [Kings assistant general manager] Ron Hextall gave me a call, too, and kind of just tried to set up some stuff for me to come down after that.”
“Personally, I did not know there were too many trade talks,” added Frattin. “I mean, you hear rumors within the media, but you don’t try to think too much of it, because Toronto—the media is pretty crazy up there. But other than that, most of it was probably behind closed doors, and I don’t think too many people knew about the trade rumors.”
“I was at home in Toronto, and I got a call from the assistant GM, Claude Loiselle, of Toronto,” said Scrivens. “He informed me that there had been a deal made, I was involved, and I was going to L.A. He thanked me for my time and a little while later I got a call from Ron Hextall and got everything rolling to come down to L.A. today and meet everybody down here.”
Although they were able to become at least somewhat familiar with the team’s practice facility, neither Frattin or Scrivens are all that familiar with any of the Kings’ players.
“The only guy I had met before was Dustin Brown,” Scrivens explained. “He’s an Ithaca, New York native. Obviously, I went to school at Cornell, so during one of the off-seasons there he had skated with us a little bit, but it was brief and in passing. I think I only skated maybe a couple of times with him.”
“Other than that, I just know people through other people,” Scrivens elaborated. “The hockey community is quite small when you get to this level, so I know a lot of people who have played with guys on the team, and I’ve heard nothing but good things. I know I can say for myself I’m really excited to be joining this locker room.”
“I don’t know any personally,” said Frattin. I know Matt Greene is also an alumni of the University of North Dakota, where I went, too. He was there a couple years earlier than I was, but I’m sure we’ll get in touch and maybe catch up. That’s basically the only guy I kind of know on L.A.”
Speaking of familiarity, both are Southern California greenhorns.
“I’m not familiar with Southern California at all,” Frattin noted. “This is all new to me. So far, the past 15-20 hours here, it seems very welcoming, and everybody around the rink has been warm and welcoming, so it feels really good.”
“I’ve spent a little bit of time around here,” said Scrivens. “My wife is actually from Camarillo, just north in Ventura County, so I’m a little bit familiar, but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a local, by any stretch. I’m sure we’re going to find some spots that we like, and really start to form some roots early on. We’re both really excited to be in L.A. and to be part of the organization here.”
Frattin Expected To Give Left Wing A Try
With the Kings getting so little production from the left side this past season, they are expected take a look at right wing Tyler Toffoli on left wing in training camp and in pre-season games next season.
The same will go for Frattin, who played some games on the left side for the Maple Leafs, even though he is a natural right wing.
“I played a few games with Toronto on the left side,” he noted. “I’m definitely comfortable over there. My strong side’s my right side, but I’m just going to come to camp and just try and earn a spot. That’s what everybody’s going to be doing, and I’m just going to do that myself, too.”
Frattin also allayed concerns about his twice-operated on left knee.
“The first time they repaired it, it was a five-to-six month rehab period, and then I played two months on it, and then I re-tore it in the Buffalo game [on January 29, 2013],” Frattin explained. “They cleaned it up and took 40 percent of the meniscus out.”
“I was out for three weeks after that and then came back,” Frattin elaborated. “Towards the later part of the season, and into the playoffs, I felt like I was at 100 percent and playing like I was.”
As Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi said on June 24, he had been trying to acquire Frattin for two years before finally trading for him.
“That’s definitely exciting, knowing that the team that just traded for you definitely wanted you for the past couple years,” said Frattin. “I’m definitely excited for an opportunity, and wherever they kind of slot me in, that’s where I’m going to try and play my best.”
Scrivens Not Concerned About Scarce Ice Time
The biggest reason Bernier was traded was that, like all NHL goaltenders, he wanted a chance to be a number one netminder in the NHL, and he was not going to get that chance with the Kings, not with Jonathan Quick firmly established as the team’s top goaltender.
With Quick getting the vast majority of starts, ice time for the backup goalie will be scarce, forcing him to watch game after game from the bench for weeks at a time.
Scrivens said that fact will not bother him.
“That’s the problem no matter where you go [for goaltenders],” he said. “Everybody wants to be the guy, everybody wants to be the number one. Obviously I’m still a young guy in the league, and for me to come in behind Quickie and learn as much as I can with him and work with [Kings goaltending coach] Billy Ranford, it’s a great opportunity, but also a great challenge.”
Having served as James Reimer’s backup in Toronto, Scrivens indicated that he will be in familiar territory, so to speak.
“That was my role in Toronto by the end of the year,” said Scrivens. “I was trying to push James for ice time and for starts, so I really don’t see it as too much of a change coming in to L.A.”
“You have to earn every minute you get on the ice,” added Scrivens. “But, saying that, the better you play, the more chances you get. Hopefully, I can provide a good counter punch when Quickie needs a break, and hopefully, I can force the coaching staff into a difficult decision into how often they want to play me because I’m playing well. That’s all you can do, and that’s all I’m going to focus on.”
Media Conference Call With Matt Frattin And Ben Scrivens
(Extraneous material and dead air have been removed)
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