Frozen Fury For Dummies

Friday, 09.06.2013 / 12:34 PM
Deborah Lew  - LAKings.com Staff Writer

Frozen Fury weekend is typically a whirlwind of hockey exploits, and the best Las Vegas has to offer. For anyone who has seen the weekend first hand, the most awesome part about the entire experience is undoubtedly seeing so many Kings fans in identifiable gear walking up, down, in and out of Las Vegas Boulevard.

In 14 previous years of existence, Frozen Fury has laid claim to a handful of coveted Kings fan traditions. For a Frozen Fury rookie, this is a comprehensive look at all those things that shouldn’t be missed. For all the Frozen Fury veterans, this is the chance to update any existing checklists, especially with the addition of the second hockey game.

For the lucky 48 hockey enthusiasts who have purchased a spot to participate in the Frozen Fury Fantasy Camp, the weekend begins on Wednesday. The all-encompassing hockey experience includes four days of hockey, hockey, and more hockey with Kings and NHL Alumni, which includes games, meals, lodging, parties, and more. A limited number of spots are still available at LAKings.com/FantasyCamp.

Those in town on Thursday night, head over to the Hofbrauhaus across from the Hard Rock Hotel for a hearty Oktoberfest celebration. A rambunctious crowd contributes to endless ‘Go Kings Go’ chants in between German beer-drinking songs, which creates a truly unique Kings fan experience. Celebrities have been known to tap the giant keg, including Neil Diamond and, most recently, the cast of ‘Pawn Stars.’

A Hofbrauhaus repeat will take place again on Friday at 2 p.m. for those not arriving any sooner. Otherwise, fans will definitely not want to miss ‘The Gauntlet,’ affectionately named for its narrow passageway. The Gauntlet will begin at approximately 6 p.m., or 90 minutes before puck drop (7:30 p.m.), in the MGM Food Court, and consists of hundreds of passionate Kings fans greeting game attendees with high-fives and the like. Opposing fans, of course, will receive some good-natured heckling.

“It started out as a pre-game get-together that we used to have at ESPN Zone, then after showing up one year and having the entire club reserved for a private party, we decided to meet in a public place,” said Michael Zampelli, Webmaster for LetsGoKings.com. “It started as a few of us drinking jello shots at 32 Degrees in the food court and now it's grown to hundreds of Kings fans high-fiving and chanting.”

The first game of the weekend is Friday night at 7:30, as the Kings take on the New York Rangers. Clearly this is one of the can’t-miss events of the weekend! Frozen Fury weekend is, after all, based on hockey. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, you can do so at LAKings.com/FrozenFury.

Saturday morning will kick off with the 7th Annual Luc Robitaille Celebrity Poker Tournament at MGM Grand. Fans have the opportunity to go ‘all in’ with Kings and NHL alumni, and other celebrities, for the opportunity to win over $40,000 in cash prizes. All proceeds from the event benefit Echoes of Hope, a non-profit organization founded by Luc and Stacia Robitaille, which focuses on aiding at-risk and emancipated foster youth graduate from college. The tournament pre-party, which this year will include food, drinks, and Kings trivia, begins at 11:30 a.m. while the tournament begins at 1 p.m.. Tickets can be purchased for either or both at FrozenFuryPoker.EventBrite.com.

“The addition of the second game this year has resulted in our tournament moving from its typical Friday night slot to Saturday afternoon,” said Laura Baker, Echoes of Hope’s President. “Our new time slot will make it easier for fans who typically have trouble getting in to Vegas early enough on Friday due to work obligations. The new schedule will allow everyone to enjoy a game, take in some Vegas nightlife and then participate in the tournament the next afternoon.”

The poker champion should be crowned just in time for the finalists and on-lookers to make it back to The Gauntlet for the second game, between the Kings and the Colorado Avalanche, for which puck drops at 7:30 p.m.. The game should finish up just in time for one last Vegas rendezvous before likely packing it up and heading home on Sunday.

Keep this in mind – if anyone survives the weekend and makes it to Sunday bright-eyed and bushy-tailed…they did it wrong.

Follow on Twitter: @by_DeborahLew

Email story ideas: dlew@lakings.com

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