Roenick, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in an August trade, is the Kings’ new star and locker-room spokesman. He could be a very influential man when it comes time for the Kings to sell next summer’s free agents on the advantages of playing hockey in Los Angeles. College-style recruiting will be more important now that a salary cap is likely to limit the financial differences in teams’ contract offers. I wanted to know how Roenick will try sell our city and its hockey team to would-be Kings. At the Kings’ pre-training-camp luncheon Monday, I put him to the test. Could he name 10 good reasons for hockey players to flock to L.A.? A difficult request, I admitted. “Nothing is difficult,” he said. And so he began. EL SEGUNDO – Jeremy Roenick came up with a list Monday on which item No. 7 is “eye candy.” Maybe an explanation is called for. 1. “The organization.” “I’ve been here one day, and I can already tell from the way they treat you that this is a first-class organization,” Roenick, 35, said of the Kings, his fourth NHL team. “You can’t say that in a lot of places.” 2. “The youth of the team.” “It’s good just to see these guys champing at the bit,” Roenick said after the players checked in and took physicals. “They’re ready to get rolling again. Great atmosphere.” 3. “The weather does not suck.” “You can write that,” Roenick said. “It makes waking up in the morning a lot easier.” 4. “Nightlife.” “If you like going out in public, if you like action, if you like good restaurants, if you like nightlife, you’ll have fun here,” Roenick said. “New York is good, but, you know what, it’s … different.” 5. Coaching. “He’s prepared,” Roenick said of Kings head coach Andy Murray, who’d just treated the luncheon guests to an overhead-projector-aided preview of his camp-opening speech to the team. Roenick knows preparation when he sees it, having played for the Flyers’ Ken Hitchcock. “I think he never left the rink,” Roenick said. “I hope Andy has more of a social life than Hitchcock.” 6. Challenge. “Trying to turn this town into a hockey town,” he said. “You’d have to like that challenge.” Roenick’s rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks, 1988-89, was Wayne Gretzky’s first season with the Kings. “You’d see the stars in the first row behind the glass at the Forum – Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Tony Danza,” he said. “If we start winning off the bat, we can get that back.” 7. Manhattan Beach. Ah. “The ocean, the beach, the Strand, morning walks,” Roenick said. “Good eye candy.” 8. Koi, in West Hollywood, for dinner. The Ivy, in West Los Angeles, for lunch. “I’m a tourist. I like to go see the stars,” said Roenick, wearing a tasteful T-shirt with the words “Everyone’s An Actor.” 9. Golf. Year-round. “L.A. Country Club, Bel Air, Riviera, Lakeside. If you have time, there are so many great courses,” Roenick said. 10. The Pacific Division. With the new schedule emphasizing in-division play against Anaheim, San Jose, Phoenix and Dallas, travel just got easier for the former kings of the NHL air-miles program. “There’s got to be more rivalries out here,” said Roenick, who sees the potential in Kings-Mighty Ducks. “That’s a reason (hockey) hasn’t been more popular. A good rivalry gets fans up and gets players up…. You can’t be afraid to open your mouth and say something to try and spur it.” That’s 10. Roenick kept going. 11. Facilities at the Kings’ Toyota Sports Center practice rink. “It’s close to our homes (mostly in the beach cities). It’s close to the airport. It’s got hot tubs and saunas for us guys who like to be pampered,” said Roenick, who has seen the other end of the spectrum. “My first year at Phoenix (1996-97), we had to dress at the main rink and bus to the practice facility.” Convinced? There are reasons to feel good about hockey here as the sport comes out of its lost season, the Kings beginning training camp today in El Segundo, starting exhibition games Saturday at Staples Center against the Mighty Ducks and opening the season Oct. 5 against the Stars in Dallas. The Kings have a revitalized front office, with Kings CEO Tim Leiweke ceding responsibility to Shawn Hunter, named president for business operations Monday, and Dave Taylor, given the grander title of president for hockey operations and general manager. They have an improved roster, with Roenick among nine forwards Taylor says are capable of 20-goal, 50-point seasons. And they have Roenick to talk up the franchise to the public, the press and his fellow players. If he can talk a few more good ones into playing in Los Angeles, we’ll put him to work for the Lakers and the Dodgers, too. Kevin Modesti’s column appears in the Daily News three days a week. He can be reached at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!