Stephane Fiset, the odd man out in the Kings' goaltending rotation, left his pregnant wife behind and flew east Thursday to join the Kings' American Hockey League team at Manchester, N.H.
He wasn't thrilled, but he was no longer seething.
"I'm going there with an open mind," said Fiset, who was limited to seven games with the Kings last season because of a knee injury. "I'm going there to win some games and get my game back ....
"I'll be ready for the team that's going to want me to play in the NHL."
Fiset, 31, was reassigned to the minors Tuesday when the Kings set their 23-man roster, leaving Jamie Storr to back up Felix Potvin.
The Kings made the move after failing in their efforts to trade Fiset or Storr. After Fiset went unclaimed in the waiver draft last week, clearing the way for the Kings to reassign him, his fate was all but sealed, barring a late trade. If the Kings had demoted Storr, he would have had to clear waivers.
Still, Fiset said he was surprised when he got the word this week from Coach Andy Murray and General Manager Dave Taylor.
"I wasn't expecting that," he said. "When the trainer came to me and said, 'Andy and Dave want to talk to you,' in my mind I was traded. I never thought about going down to the minors.
"I've been in the league for 11 years now, and the only time I played in the minors [since the 1993-94 season] was [a rehab assignment] last year because of my injury, so that was the last thing on my mind. So I was disappointed, for sure."
He hopes to return.
"I still want to be with the L.A. Kings," he said. "I said before and I keep saying it: My heart is here with the L.A. Kings and I don't want to move."
Adam Deadmarsh, sidelined throughout the exhibition season, was kept out of the opener because of a lingering groin injury."It may make sense to wait three more days," said Deadmarsh, who had hoped to play but now looks forward to Sunday's game against the Minnesota Wild. "I've had recurring problems. Maybe these three days will wipe it right out." ... The patch the Kings are wearing on their jerseys to honor scouts Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis, who were killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was conceived by Perry Pearn, an Ottawa Senator assistant coach.