Today Rich Hammond has all but officially announced the final roster cut as being bestowed sanctimoniously upon Slava Voynov. We get the following quote from Terry Murray:

“I can’t speak for management. That’s probably a conversation we need to sit down and have, but I would say the chances are not very likely that we would keep him around. With Drew back now, and the players that we have in place from last year, the chances are maybe not quite in his favor, but he has certainly made an incredible impression on us throughout the training camp. We love the way he has come along in his development. He’s right on the threshold of stepping over and making his debut as an NHL regular defenseman. … I don’t want to rule it out, because he deserves a lot. He’s been a great kid and I love the way he’s playing. So we just need to make sure we’re making the right decision for his proper development.’’

Let’s then refresh our memories a bit, oh, say, 7 days ago?

Terry Murray has expressed continued displeasure with Parse’s play…

Murray: … There’s a little more compassion, I guess, with what I’m looking at, but at the same time, after a couple games I need more. I need more work. I need more skating. I need to see him moving his feet, just to show that, `Yeah, it’s starting to come, I’m starting to get my confidence, I want to handle the puck, I want to do the right things,’ and solidify this position on this line. He’s reluctant to grab ahold of it right now…

So let’s do some math. Voynov has kicked ass in camp. We’ve all seen it, even Murray admits it. The kid is flying high right now, amidst long standing (though potentially bullshit) rumors that he may bolt for the KHL if the Kings choose to send him packing to Manchester. We also get the note today that Voynov has been given a low number, 26, something that even Alec Martinez wasn’t allowed until this camp, after spending almost all of last season with the Kings. Voynov was primed and ready to fill Doughty’s void had he not signed a contract before the start of the season. He has spent 3 full years in the AHL, improved in each of them, won accolades, is heads and tails better than Davis Drewiske and probably better, if not assuredly going to be better, than Alec Martinez. Slava Voynov is the top 5 pick Thomas Hickey was supposed to be.

Scott Parse on the other hand, sucks. He has shown flashes of ineptitude and consistent beams of boredom in every minute he has skated in preseason action. Murray has called him out. The fans are pretty much done with him. The only thing keeping him around are a feigned sense of pity and an unrealized fear that he will score 30 goals as soon as he leaves the Kings.

Logic kind of forces a decision one way. The Kings may defy it towards another.

Now of course, like we saw with Andrei Loktionov days ago, there is a numbers game at play. Martinez hasn’t done anything to deserve losing his spot and the Kings’ other five defensemen are going nowhere fast. Drewiske fills the role of “guy who can step in when you need him but also have no qualms sitting for weeks or months at time” admirably well. Unless he goes, Voynov would be the 7/8 defensemen, equating to very little ice time so long as the top 6 stalwarts remain healthy. So on this note, we can mildly understand Slava simply being squeezed out, like that one pimple on your face that puts it over the top and drives you towards masochism. You can bear one or two, but you wake up one day and there is another one, laughing at you. While you don’t want to scar your skin by excising the pus forcibly, you just can’t fucking take it anymore and your fingers are compelled righteously as pincers.

I think that is a very apt metaphor. To increase its aptness, let’s now consider that there is also a skin tag the size of a marble sticking out from between your eyes. What’s more important? Popping a zit, or removing that awful eyesore of a skin tag, the thing that makes people on the street look at you wonder “is he fucking blind or does he not own a mirror?” Someone may even come up to you at work and say “OK Jim, we’ve put up with it long enough. We didn’t want to say anything, but its getting ridiculous, get that disgusting Scott Parse off your face. We are done feeling sorry for you, it’s starting to affect morale.”

My answer?

Cut off the skin tag.

Keep around Drewiske for as long as possible. Moreau and Hunter are redundant, so let’s rotate them in and out of the lineup. Voynov won’t be a 7th defensemen for long, and since he has shown that he is incredibly capable of playing at both ends of the ice, give him the NHL action he needs to solidify himself as ready to take over the spot that Mitchell or Scuderi leaves behind next year (assuming either Mitchell isn’t resigned or Scuderi is traded – I guess Greene getting traded is a possibility at some point as well, but I see that as less likely). Eventually one or two of Martinez, Voynov, Hickey or Muzzin are going to have to move on to another team. With Hickey uninspiring and Muzzin currently injured, letting Slava idle away in the minors is just a crappy idea, particularly when his roster spot is being given to Scott “Coors Light” Parse.

Then again, nothing is official yet. Things can still change. Voynov is also practically guaranteed to get in some NHL games at some point this season even if he is sent down in the immediacy. Remember Martinez last year? Muzzin started with the Kings, went down, then later Alec came up and never looked back. So there is always that. I just worry that with Murray’s double-sided comments on Slava today, that the kid will leave with some serious blue balls. We all know that there is a saturation of blueness to the balls that once reached, reverses desire for release to desire for spite. Don’t be a tease, Kings. Nobody likes a tease.

What say you?