Arizona Coyotes And Los Angeles Kings Rivalry Lives On


The Arizona Coyotes opened up their preseason Monday night with a pair of split squad games against the Los Angeles Kings. Not only was there excitement in the air from Coyotes fans, because the preseason had begun, but it also brought back some memories they’d like to forget from last year.

Almost exactly a year ago, Kings Center Jordan Nolan laid a big high-hit on Arizona Coyotes defenseman, Rostislav Klesla, in open ice, early on in a preseason game. This hit all but ended Klesla’s NHL career. Klesla was taken off the ice on a stretcher and missed a considerable amount of time due to the injury he sustained. He wasn’t the same player when he returned to the team. His inconsistent play lead him to be traded away by the Arizona Coyotes later on in the year. He soon retired from the NHL after the trade. To add insult to injury for Coyotes fans, Nolan was given no disciplinary action for the hit from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Here we are, a year later, in last night’s game at Gila River Arena, it became apparent that the Arizona Coyotes players had not forgotten about Jordan Nolan and his history with the team. Coyotes captain Shane Doan connected with a big hit on Nolan, causing him to be slow to get back to his feet as a loud cheer from the fans in attendance rang out. Later on in the game, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who is not known for fighting, went to blows with Nolan after he was shoved by him at the end of a play. It didn’t end there, Arizona Coyotes new comer B.J. Crombeen challenged Nolan to a fight. Nolan declined the fight, but Crombeen would have the last word at the end of the next play.  Crombeen went after Nolan causing a scrum to break out. Crombeen was given a two-minute penalty for roughing and a ten-minute game misconduct.

It’s clear that the Arizona Coyotes and Kings rivalry lives on after last night’s game and will continue to grow. The Coyotes would eventually go on to win the game 5-4 in a shootout.

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