Dean Lombardi’s Big Deadline Move
A trade?! Not in the traditional sense. But a roster move has been made. Jarret Stoll has gone to the IR with a lower body injury, which can only mean his uterus is swollen. In his place comes Anze Kopitar’s favorite linemate, Dwight King and the guy I called for several moons ago, Jordan Nolan.
But before I get to those moves, let’s discuss how one injured forward necessitates replacement by two rookie forwards. Slava Voynov and his waiver exemptedness (I make up words when I’m upset) is AHL bound.
Carrying 8 defensemen, as the Kings have done for most of the season, is generally a silly thing to do, particularly when you don’t rotate your 6th defensemen regularly. Slava Voynov filled in admirably for Drew Doughty when wunderkind went down with a case of the contracts in preseason and then missed a chunk of games with a case of the dizzies a few weeks later.
That spot duty earned Slava the honor of usurping Alec Martinez’ role as 6th defensemen. Slava did so well in fact that he eventually earned himself Jack Johnson’s top 4 spot.
Oh how the times have changed.
I haven’t seen the last 4 games because of various circumstances, so I don’t really know what Voynov did to play himself off the roster. I can’t speak to how good Martinez has been since finally getting another chance to play after an extended forced sabbatical. What I do know is that during this time, Davis Drewiske, the home-grown boy who never complains, has played a whopping 7 games to Voynov’s 33 and Martinez’ 26. Amusingly, Davis has 2 goals in his 7 games, but come on, Scott Parse, who is as healthy as a tumor, has played more games this season than Davis, whose fiddle is quite fit. Is that dirty? It sounds dirty.
Yes yes Drewiske is that reliable guy who always works hard in practice and can be called upon for reasonably astute defensive duty in a pinch. He would probably get picked up on waivers. In a trade he won’t fetch much. Martinez is too good to let go for nothing and the trade deadline action hasn’t picked up quite yet, if you even think trading Martinez is a good idea, which many do not. Still, unless Voynov committed an egregious error I missed, I fumble to find a reason why Drewiske is forcing Voynov out of the roster…. wait, no I don’t. Safety.
The safe move. This move is the equivalent of not activating your defensemen when you are down 2-0 in the third period. It is sending only one man in on the forecheck. It is playing not to lose instead of playing to win. Sending Voynov down is the move that best aligns with a battle plan that mirrors a squirrel harboring nuts for winter. Voynov in Manchester will serve Lombardi’s hibernation at this trade deadline well, as I am more and more convinced it will be an unspectacular affair for the Kings.
But before we ponder this further, we must consider the two gentlemen who are bouncing up and down in their first class airline seats. Dwight King… is big. I know that much about him. I know he is slow. I know he is second on Manchester in scoring, meaning he is Queen of the offensively lame underworld of the Kings organization. I don’t know what to expect from him but I’ll keep as open a mind as a cynic can spread without hurting himself. Nolan, well if you click that link above you’ll know what I think of Nolan. I like this kid and I like him alot. He is intense, his hands are made of a substance softer than stone and his game is fearless. He will fight, he will hit, he will crash the net. Put him on a line with Clifford and Fraser and watch the havoc unfold.
Will any of this solve the Kings’ scoring problems? Of course it won’t. At best I can hope for a small boost in the interim, but the problem we have can not be solved by Dwight King or Jordan Nolan. Still, I am interested to see what young, fierce rookie blood next to Richards can do to help, assuming Sutter doesn’t just throw Lewis to Mike’s right.
Though of course as I type this I see the practice lines are up at the mushroom’s. I’m not going to bother rewriting anything based on the following, as lines are a vaporous thing.
So Richardson gets the shaft and Richards goes from playing with two veterans who are expected to score but can’t to playing with two rookies who shouldn’t be expected to score but will be though they probably won’t.
As you can tell, I’m in a stellar mood.
I am excited to see Nolan play in the NHL. Otherwise my hands will remain in this appalled upwardly thrown position in which they seem to be stuck.