Ontario Reign Spotlight

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Javier Arredondo

The Toyota Arena after a game between the Reign and Bakersfield Condors on October 22nd

Javier Arredondo, Editor

The Ontario Reign are a minor league hockey team, affiliated with the Los Angeles Kings, who play at the Toyota Arena. The Reign have been in Ontario since 2008, but have been affiliated with different teams and played in different levels of the minor leagues. The NHL has 2 different levels of the minor leagues: the AHL(American Hockey League), the highest level, and the ECHL(East Coast Hockey League) which is the lowest level. 

  When the Ontario Reign played their inaugural game on October 25th, 2008, they were an ECHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. Despite the name, the ECHL does boast teams who play on the west coast. The Reign also spent time as a Winnipeg Jets affiliate while in the ECHL. They had a decent amount of success, making the playoffs 5 times in 7 years, but never past the conference finals. They also hosted the ECHL all-star game in 2010. 

  Then, in summer 2015, the Ontario Reign announced they would be moving to the AHL, making them the Kings highest level affiliate. This was done for convenience, as the Kings former AHL affiliate, the Monarchs, played in Manchester, New Hampshire. In a situation where the Kings have an injured player and have to call one up from the minor leagues, they would have to call the Monarchs and ask for a player to fly all the way out from the east coast to the west coast for a game later that night, which made for hectic situations. So the Monarchs were moved to the ECHL, and the Reign were moved to the AHL, allowing for players to get to Los Angeles much easier if there is a last-minute situation that arises. Since being an AHL affiliate, the Reign did not flaunt much more success, making the playoffs 4 times in 6 years, and only as far as the conference finals. They hosted the AHL all-star game in February 2020, pre-COVID shutdown. They also played the 2021 season at the Kings practice facility in El Segundo since there would be no fans allowed at their games in Ontario. The Reign are back in Ontario this season however, and you can go to games to check out the Kings minor league team for a much cheaper price than NHL games. 

  “The game was great, a lot of powerful plays and great skills overall from the players” said Jordan Renderos, a senior. He also talked about the ticket prices compared to Kings games, “price was worth it for sure.” In comparison, tickets to Reign games can cost as little as 9 dollars, while the cheapest Kings tickets could be 17 dollars