In recent weeks, however, it became clear that the league had no interest in televising the draft. Mark Stein of the New York Times reported that the NBA chose what could possibly be the most boring alternative:
Instead, the East’s and West’s leading vote-getters are scheduled to hop on a conference call Thursday afternoon, joined by a limited number of league personnel who are all sworn to silence, so James and Curry can make their picks in secret. The results will be revealed Thursday night on TNT, but league officials are determined to take every step they can conjure to ensure that the pick-by-pick decisions made by both superstars are never uncovered.
Moving on to tomorrow night’s opponent, Stevens assumes the Kings will see a better prepared Capitals team than the one who lost to their division rivals. Los Angeles defeated Washington 5-2 on Dec. 30 and the two standings points are important as they try to return the post season in Stevens’ first season as head coach.
“It’s the second game of a trip, teams are probably a little more acclimated to the travel out here,” Stevens said. “They will probably be a better team in game two than they would in game one, but certainly they’ll be a better team than they were against Anaheim. They have high-end players that are very dangerous on special teams and they forecheck very well. We know what they’re capable of and we have to be ready for their best game.”
Winger Trevor Lewis could make his return from the injured reserve list after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury. Lewis is a key depth player for Los Angeles, registering 13 goals and 11 assists in 54 games. The winger has practiced throughout the week and was on line with winger Adrian Kempe and center Michael Amadio on Wednesday, a further indication of his possible return.
Defenseman Dion Phaneuf missed Wednesday’s practice due to illness but is expected to play Thursday.
Darling, 29, spent his first three seasons with the Blackhawks and helped the team win a Stanley Cup championship in 2015. Chicago traded him to Carolina at the end of last season in exchange for a third-round draft pick.
In that time, Calgary has gone from sitting third in the Pacific Division to 11th in the tightly contested Western Conference playoff picture. With 15 games left, the Flames entered Tuesday with 74 points, three behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Kings.