What does a 7-year-old hockey player and a pro in the National Hockey League have in common? To listen to the President of the LA Kings, Luc Robitaille, it's dreams and desire. Robitaille says when most players were kids they had big dreams of being in the NHL some day just like Oliver Morris. We met the 7 year old at Toyota Center in El Segundo where the Kings practice and lots of young people come to learn and play hockey.
Morris has been playing hockey since he was 3. His dad is a big San Jose Sharks fan. He is too. So, he'd like to be a Shark when he grows up. But, so many others we met at Toyota Center want to be LA Kings. Robitaille says he doesn't view these kids as part of the team's Junior Kings program, but possible future Kings.
What the Kings do on the ice seems to inspire the youngsters. Officials at the rink say since the Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012 more kids have joined their teams. Youth hockey coach Jack Bowkus adds "we've seen the growth since 2012 to be a 30 to 40% increase. It's awesome."
Perhaps one of the most compelling comments this reporter heard at the rink came from Oliver Morris. I asked the 7 year old "Do you want to be a hockey player someday?" 'Yeah," he told me and added, "it's been my dream to be in the NHL." Big dreams from a little 7 year old.