The L.A. Kings Still Need A Legitimate Third Line Wing To Replace Wayne Simmonds

I keep looking up and down our lineup and I see one glaring weakness in the bottom 6. A solid left or right wing player in his 20′s, with experience, ideally a Cup to his name, who has an aggressive forecheck, can play both ends of the ice and has the hands to chip in 10-15 goals. Essentially, a legitimate replacement for the loss of Wayne Simmonds’ depth scoring and forechecking, which Ethan Moreau (no offense intended) is not and while converting centers to wing is a fun experiment in the short term, at some point it gets old.

If I spin the NHL wheel of wingers, I get a few names but I keep coming back to Chad LaRose. He is 5’10″ and about 175-180 pounds. 29 years old (good age). Has been in the league since 2003. He was a late bloomer. Plays for the Hurricanes, his only NHL team, and has put up respectable numbers. 16 goals, 15 assists in 81 games last season. 11 goals, 17 assists in only 56 games the season before. 19 goals, 12 assists 3 seasons ago in 81 games. He has a Cup to his name (on the same Hurricanes’ team as Justin Williams of course). Though he was a sniper in Juniors, he has become a solid forechecker and rounded out his game. He kills penalties (critical in a bottom 6 role) and can skate. Oh, and he can play both left and right wing without breaking a sweat.

I saved the dollars for last – his cap hit is $1.7 million per season through 2012-2013.

I want him. I want him alongside Kyle Clifford and Jarret Stoll. How badly do I want him? Not sure yet. Our depth is defense so that is where I look first. I doubt Carolina wants anything we are even willing to give up in the bottom 6 so, if a forward goes the other way, it’s probably a prospect unless it’s, gasp, Penner but that is nuts. That brings me back to defense. Who do you give up? If I wrote Scuderi, you would think I am crazy and I am not saying I would. I am wondering though if I was Dean Lombardi, I wouldn’t look at a LaRose or someone like him in the league and make a play. I think I would.

So, do you think we need help at wing in the bottom 6? Or are you drinking the Ethan Moreau Kool-Aid?



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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21 replies

  1. You want to open a spot in the top 4 defense for a #3 RW? I’m more concerned about signing the #1 defenseman. ;)

    Never trade a top 4 defenseman for a bottom 6 forward, especially a winger.

    The Kings have plenty of bottom six forwards in the organization. Fill from within and fish at the trade deadline, if needed.

    • I hear you and I conceded trading someone like Scuds is a bit crazy but that is where we are deep. It can be Martinez, it can be one of our prospects, you know we have a serious need there. Did you see how effective that third line was in the playoffs last season? Depth wins Cups. We lack depth at wing.

      • No depth at wing? How many teams have 4 30+ goal scoring wingers? With teams concerned about Kopitar and Richards lines, Stoll’s line will get a lot of favorable match ups. 45+ goals from the third line isn’t out of the question.

        I’m fine with training camp determining who gets the #3 RW spot. Richardson, Lewis, Kozun, Moreau, or another prospect that surprises in camp. I’m fine with the current roster + Doughty.

        I’m still most concerned with Murray and his interview on Frozen Royalty hasn’t increased my expectations for a new offensive style. He claims that it is nearly impossible to enter the zone with possession and speed. I think Murray needs to watch the games that are being replayed on NHL network.

        Would love to get your thoughts on Murray’s interview.

        • I am taking a wait and see approach on Murray’s statements. Terry Murray has said a lot of things in the offseason and done the complete opposite during the season. Remember when he said the Kings need to become a more puck possession team? That we need to enter the zone with the puck? Less dump and chase? Remember how he talked about changes to the powerplay that need to be made? I have all the articles, his statements in the offseason and what happened? Thus, I let the words roll off my back. Let’s see what he actually does.

  2. That would be a not-good trade. I’m sorry, but Mitchell and Scuderi are too important to trade for that.

  3. DB23. Perfect 3RW. It’s a reach, but either TToffoli or BKozun can fill the 1RW. Now or in the future. JW14 works better on 2RW in my ‘spreadsheet boxes’. Either way, I’m totally geeked for the season to start.. gKg!

  4. Great post. Personally I would love to see Brown playing with Stoll and Clifford. So I’ll just agree that we need another RW. See, I’ll admit to indulging some time in fantasy land and hopiung for Kozun to light the world on fire in camp or Parse to rebound like a madman and watch either earn a top six role.

  5. I’m too pissed about Doughty holding out to think about this…

  6. I would actually love to see Parse take that spot, at least for right now. If not him, maybe a rookie could get a shot in the beginning, or someone else like Richardson. I would like to see how that would play out for the first few weeks of the season, and then maybe consider bringing in a guy like LaRose if no one else could fit on that 3rd line. I could see the bottom six like this at least to start the season:

    Clifford – Stoll – Parse/Kozun/Clune?
    Richardson – Lewis – Westgarth/Moreau

    Although Parse or Kozun would likely be a liability defensively and would get dominated physically, Clifford and Stoll would help make up for a good portion of that. I think the additional scoring touch and speed of Parse or Kozun added to that line would give the Kings 3 solid lines that could score, with the first two being able to act in a shutdown role as well. That third line would be able to create mismatches with opponents and would allow for much more secondary scoring and speed. If Parse or Kozun dont work out, I could also see Clune getting a shot there and would help to fill the void left by Simmonds.

    The fourth line would be a pretty good line with Lewis and Richardson to create speed and defense, and Westgarth/Moreau to provide the physicality/fighting. Although the bottom six might not be as physical or gritty as years before, the physicality and grit it is more spread out through the top 6 as well with Richards, Penner, Kopitar, and Brown and would create multiple scoring/shutdown hybrid lines to create mismatches for other teams.

    Overall, I think well know more after training camp and the first few games whether or not a move like this needs to be made, but for the time being, I feel someone else, given the opportunity, would be more than able to fill that role.

  7. How about….

    Clifford-Stoll-Lewis

    I see Lewis as are 3RW. He was horrendous at face-offs last year, hence Stoll would take the draws.

    IMO, Lewis had a “pass first” mentality when he had the puck in the offensive zone. But that would click well with snipers Stoll and Clifford. (Yes Clifford was picking the corners toward the end of the season)

    That would leave…

    Moreau-Richie/Loki-Westgarth/Kozun for our 4th.

  8. I don’t see a problem. As long as Doughty signs before camp we are fine. We have plenty of bottom 6 forwards.

    • Which center do you like as one of our wings on the third line? ;) It’s not at question of “forwards”, but “wing”

      • I’m with Djspock up above, Trevor Lewis plays RW just fine and Richardson is better at center than at wing anyways.

        Cliff-Stoll-Lewis
        Parse/whoever wins a spot in camp-Richardson-Moreau/Westgarth

        Problem solved.

        Also, I would be uber pissed is Scuderi was traded and we didn’t get another vet dman to replace him. That would mean that either a rookie OR Greene is our middle pairing shut down guy. No bueno.

        • Come on man. How many centers can you covert to wing? Might as well just eliminate the designations of center, left wing and right wing from the bottom 6 and call everyone a “forward”

          • It’s one dude and if you want Richardson to play then someone is getting converted to wing, Richie or Lewis, and when it comes to RW Lewis is better on that side, Richie better on the left. You’re being ridiculous. Who cares what you call them so long as they do their jobs well.

          • Did you forget who the coach is? Harrold and Drewiske have seen time at wing with Murray at the helm. Meanwhile, Holloway is in Europe.

  9. What’s wrong with Richardson?

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