Playoff, Battle Tested Young Depth Forwards Must Be Retained

You reach the peak riding on stars. You lift the Stanley Cup with the backbone of your depth.

Time has not been an ally in the past few weeks but what little I have had to dedicate to puck was spent studying the L.A. Kings depth and possible entrances and exits of such players.

I have come to these conclusions…

It would be a mistake to trade Kyle Clifford. He is now battle tested, has changed his role from the less relevant fighter to the more relevant power forward who will go through walls (with his helmet on), take hits to make plays, give hits to create opportunities and chip in goals and assists, while rarely hurting you on defense.

Jordan Nolan has no such resume.

Adam Cracknell has no such resume.

Andy Andreoff hasn’t had the opportunity to build such a resume and he should be given the opportunity with us.

Unless Kyle Clifford’s past concussions are a reasonably foreseeable hindrance to his continued development, it would be a mistake to trade this asset, carved from steel with a gift for GO, all part of a core deep in skill, speed, size, chemistry and camaraderie.

Let’s win with those with whom we have won and shall win again.

My crystal ball continues to evade me. But absent surprises at camp or knowns that are un, if a trade must be made, it must not be Kyle Clifford.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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8 replies

  1. Your words ring true. If Clifford’s concussion problems are a thing of the past (that seems to be a very real IF), it would be good to see the amount of improvement he will show us this coming season.

    As for Andreoff, if the Kings can hang on to him, I would like to seem him playing. Too many good young players are traded only to become starters for another team.

  2. i still think King should be traded. Is he really worth 1.95 million per season?

    He had his best season in terms of points last season, but if you look at when he was getting goals or assists it was pretty much from October to November when he was playing on the 2nd line when the Kings were trying to figure out who would become the permanent LW.

    From Jan till the end of the regular season King had 5 goals. So he scored 7 goals between October and November, then 3 goals in December. After that he had 5 goals from Jan till the end of the regular season.

    Big strong LW, decent defensive forward, but with his size he should be more like Dustin Brown, and not Andrei Loktionov. King does not engage the way you would hope he should, and at his salary of 1.95 you have a very easy contract to trade to acquire draft picks in return and also free up some CAP space to potentially give Andreoff and Weal a chance to play.

    Nothing is given on this team, and prospects like Andreoff and Weal will have to really battle to prove they can be productive and responsible NHL players.

    Andreoff can play either center or left wing which make him very attractive to the Kings since he can play both positions very well, along with his role of protector of his teammates.

    Weal is probably one of the more exciting forwards the Kings have, who has yet to really find a way to the NHL. He’s one of those smaller forwards, which DL likes to draft, but have a hard time getting to the next level. Weal is very fast and could be used as an energy type of player, along with a 2nd grouping power play forward. He put up 23 goals and 47 assists in Manchester which is another improvement from his 1st year with Manchester which he put up 15 goals and 18 assists.

    Nolan isn’t going to bring much of a return if he is traded, but his fists are size are something the Kings need simply because the Kings don’t have a big enforcer type who can play and not be a liability when he is out there. Andreoff is smaller than Nolan and about the same size a Clifford so you need that sort of balance when it comes to guys who are going to be looked to protect or send a message to their opposition.

    • modcop- I normally agree with you and you make a lot of sense. I love having King and Clifford. People want King to bang bodies more, or show some flashy hands (like that assist to Carter and everyone said effing Dwight?). I appreciate King for what he is, a Corsi machine, the guy just flat out wins puck battles and yields his line very high possession numbers.

      Very few teams in the league can have a third line that can overmatch King-Stoll-Williams… Isn’t that what you want out of a shutdown line?

      As for Clifford, I’m with Bobby on this one. Clifford took a couple big hits to make plays throughout the playoffs, he drove hard to the net finished checks and was defensively responsible. Both players are guys you can slide up and down the lines when Sutter takes out the blender or somebody goes down hurt.

    • Yes Weal has been exciting to watch develop year to year. But he is small..and each year we seem to dee less and less small players. Brandon Kozun similar. I really liked him last Rookie camp. D. Evans said if he can’t make our Kings team he will play somewhere in the NHL.
      I do feel bad for athletes that don’t have the size. Seems to hinder them in many sports.
      GOKINGSGO!!!
      WWTCA

  3. I agree with this

  4. King’s trade value is high with a good contract as well. We are soft at LW so it may be better to hold onto him. Most of his goals were on top two lines. His possession numbers are good, his defense is good and he plays pk minutes. The biggest knock on him is that he does not bang bodies considering his size and that’s why everyone is frustrated by him. With talk of MR moving up to the 3rd line, not sure if I can think of a more formidable 3rd line than DW-MR-JW. Who else would you put at LW on that line? Clifford is one to keep. If he focused more on offense and hitting, a decrease in fighting, he would be an even more effective bottom sixer. I would like to see what andreoff an weal bring as I too hate to see guys we groom goto other teams without giving them a chance to play. Nolan, no need for him. He’s basically a goon, and does not possess the skill set for today’s game. Cracknell, signed to make the guys to compete and injury call up.

  5. I think you make many accurate points. However, I feel that Nolan is more than a goon. He can skate for a big guy and he is still young. Could be a good power forward in time. We need his size and toughness.

  6. Thumbs up to this. Nothing to add as I agree with your assessment.
    GOKINGSGO!!!
    WWTCA

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