Time For Willie Mitchell To Swim Upstream

Over 800 Tweets. Nearly 200 Instagram posts. How many do you think are about food?

Well, not nearly as many as are about salmon, but the point stands. Over the past four years, Willie Mitchell has endeared Kings fans to his solid defense and love of food.

But mostly this:

Here come the tears!

Now, after three full seasons and two Stanley Cups, the Kings will cut ties with the veteran defenseman. And, well, it kind of sucks.


Like a rejected girlfriend, Willie will move on to another team next year. And Kings fans are taking it, uh, well.

Most Kings fans will remember Mitchell’s legacy as a King for years to come, as he stabilized the blue line and became an integral part of the defense-first team, the same that gave up the fewest goals this past season. Despite missing the lockout shortened season due to injury last year, the Kings won the Cup the last two seasons Willie has played. His road back from injury last season, to cap it off with a Cup win, is an inspirational story only found in fairy tales. Like Rob Scuderi, his intelligence, leadership, and physical ability have left the Kings better than before he joined. Four short years, three played, has left that impact, and personified the identity of the Kings moving forward.

That said, some will remember him for the cavalcade of restaurants he and his posse visited and shared with the world through Twitter and Instagram. So, do your best to honor the legacy of Willie Mitchell by taking your own #lafoodtour – and international restaurant tour – with Willie Mitchell’s Restaurant Guide. (click on the “full screen” tab for a complete listing).

Willie Mitchell Approved!

Everyone has their favorite players on their favorite team. Unless you’re a crazy person, it’s a given if you are a Kings fan, you probably love Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Jonathan Quick. Maybe even Dustin Brown. The faces of the franchise. The guys that need to play an integral role for the team to have any success. Some fans have unhealthy obsessions with others like Trevor Lewis and Alec Martinez. My guy was Willie. I even made a Tumblr page two years ago (still updating!) to prove my unhealthiness. Willie embodied determination, truculence, blue collar, and all of the other schmaltzy hard work phrases hockey people love to say, enlightened hockey people hate to hear, but the standard all fans live by. He did not have to be flashy on the ice or in the media. Come to work, take care of business, and go on living with curiosity discovering and enjoying the people, places, and nature this world gives to us. That’s what it is all about; find your own happiness and choose your own path.

Unfortunately Willie’s path with the Kings is at an end, and, yes, he and many of us are sad, but he will continue to create his own adventure somewhere else, uncovering new restaurants, and bringing his sense of exploration and energy to a new town.

So, Willie, until we see you out on the ice again, or at the local farmer’s market, know that you will always have a home at Staples Center.


Willie Mitchell, #ForeverAKing

Flubber McGee is TRH's resident Kansas City correspondent, and has survived as a Kings fan long before the dawn of Internet streaming sites. He has seen the Kings win exactly zero non-exhibition games in person. Have you ever achieved enlightenment? Flubber has, because he once witnessed Kevin and Brett Westgarth fight in, and get kicked out of, the same game (they didn't fight each other, unfortunately). In addition to being a part of TRH, Flubber runs a Kansas City hockey blog. It's exactly what you think it is. You can follow Flubber McGee on Twitter @FlubberMcGee.