I love the support and I love that L.A. is coming out to Utah and having that shootout, it should be good stuff. —Daniel Brickley
SALT LAKE CITY — Defenseman Daniel Brickley will be the newest Utahn to play in the NHL.
The NHL’s Los Angeles Kings introduced their newest player, a native of Utah and a graduate of Skyline High School, in a press conference at Vivint Arena in front of Brickley’s family and friends on Friday afternoon. Brickley joins Trevor Lewis, also of the Kings, as the only two active NHL players from Utah.
In his junior season at Minnesota State, Brickley played in 40 games, scoring 10 goals and racking up 25 assists.
Why did the highly coveted free agent choose to sign with the Kings? Proximity to Utah and a gut feeling.
“One, it’s pretty close to home, I really like that, being from Utah. It’s just about an hour plane ride. Two, gut feeling. It was awesome when I went there and visited and met (Kings general manager) Rob Blake and (Kings president) Luc Robitaille. I just had a great feeling going there, and you can’t beat the weather either,” Brickley said.
Brickley also celebrated his 23rd birthday on Friday as family and friends sang "Happy Birthday" to him and ate cake after he was introduced by Robitaille.
“It was awesome. It was pretty convenient, I was just flying through and Luc gave me a text and said, ‘Hey, we have a press conference, do you want to come out?’ and I said ‘Sure, no problem,’” Brickley said. “I just thought it was going to be some friends, maybe a couple relatives, but a big turnout and it was awesome. I love the support and I love that L.A. is coming out to Utah and having that shootout, it should be good stuff.”
Vivint Arena and the Kings also announced a three-year agreement to host one NHL preseason game per year in Salt Lake City, starting in 2018, with games in 2019 and 2020 — dubbed the "Salt Lake Shootout." The first NHL preseason game in Utah since 2008 will be held on Sept. 24, 2018, when the L.A. Kings take on the Vancouver Canucks at Vivint Arena.
“We’re really excited. We were looking for a place that our fans could get excited about and come and visit, enjoy a great weekend and then go and watch the Kings. The past few years, we were doing this in Las Vegas, and we were like, ‘We’ve got to find a place that our fans will enjoy coming,’ so we thought this would be the greatest place, so that’s why we’re very happy that we have three years that we can do this,” Robitaille said.
Tickets for the Sept. 24 game went on sale Friday at the Vivint Arena box office and vivintarena.com
“We’re really excited about this partnership and to be able to partner with the Los Angeles Kings, one of the great sports franchises in North America — and really, in the world — is something that we take seriously and look forward to the start of a relationship and hopefully something that continues for a long time,” said Steve Starks, president of Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment.