Kings no longer using Yellow Pages to find defenseman

Deslauriers – Rookie Camp, day one

During the 2006-07 NHL season, Dean Lombardi‘s first year at the helm in Los Angeles, Kevin Dallman and Mike Weaver combined to play 92 games on the Kings blueline.

While I’m sure that wasn’t what Lombardi was thinking about as he stood and watched part of Rookie Camp today from the Kings bench, he almost assuredly was smiling inside watching Jake Muzzin and Nic Deslauriers.

They’re two of the brightest young stars in the organization. Entirely different players on the ice, they share the same problem away from it.

With a solid six d-core at the NHL level, when will they ever get their shot to make the big club?

That remains to be seen. However, it hasn’t kept either from coming to camp with the right attitude. Here are comments from both following tonight’s on-ice session…

Deslauriers – “It felt great to be on the ice today. It was amazing to be out there and just to get the rust out. It was a good first day…I trained almost seven days a week this summer – only saving a little bit of time for golf…The ‘Q’ (QMJHL) is behind me. I’m at the age where I can play in the AHL now. So, I’m trying to make a place there, that’s what I want – to build on what I did in the ‘Q’ and jump to the next level.”

On the possible dual with Muzzin for the pseudo-award of ‘best defenseman in camp, he shared these remarks – “I have to do the same thing I usually do. If you try to do to much, that’s when you shoot a hole in your foot (note: I know the expression is ‘you shoot yourself in the foot’ – but, it sounds so much better when coming in broken English from somebody with an accent!). So, I just try to play my game. For sure, there’s a little bit of competition. But, I don’t make it too much and I just try to be friendly with Muzzin. He can also give me a lot of tips. He’s a few years older than me. So, even just talking with him can help me a lot.”

And Muzzin shared similar thoughts, as well – “I just have to go out and play my game. If I start to complicate things, I get into trouble. I have to play physical, move the puck, get shots through and keep it simple.”

However, he did admit to thinking and strategize a bit on occasion. “You think about how to get an edge on someone and all that. But, when it comes down to it, you have to play your game. I can’t try to play like Drew Doughty or any of those guys. I have to come out and be who I am and play how I’ve been playing my whole life and what’s gotten me here. It’s a cliche, but you just keep trying to get better everyday and you hope some day you get your shot.”

Unlike most of the other guys I spoke with on Saturday, who talked about an increased level of comfort when they’ve been to LA for at least one camp previously, Muzzin went a different direction when talking about it.

“It’s still tough though – the testing, the skates, everything is hard.”

Finally, Muzzin offered a response to Toffoli saying he was one of the guys who helped show him the ropes in Manchester last season – “Seeing an OHL guy coming into Manchester, we went through the same thing as young kids coming in from junior the year before – coming out of the playoffs then right into Manchester. So, we (he and Jordan Nolan) helped him out. It was just the right thing to do really. It’s not like we were going out of our way to help him. It was just like giving him rides, giving him whatever he needed to get by. Really, it’s just being a good friend.”

Like, giving him lunch money?

“I did actually do that,” Muzzin said while laughing.

FYI – I’ll have live coverage throughout the day from HockeyFest on Sunday. You can follow along at the links below.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the all new MayorsManor rankings of the Top 10 LA Kings prospects – it just published yesterday.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor  

the photo above was provided courtesy of CIKIRI

order here –> MayorsManor Store
View the store to see full line of shirts for men and women, dozen of styles and colors

Recent Articles

Datsyuk Red Wings

Things You May Not Know: Kings-Red Wings Edition

With the Kings winless in their two games at opposite ends of Pennsylvania, they’re now set to take on the Red Wings at the famed Joe Louis Arena. Before they drop the puck in Detroit, we have a few tidbits that will make you sound smart while watching the action on TV or hanging out [...]

Carter Toffoli Pearson

Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Radio – Carter, Kopitar, Voynov, Lombardi

Follow @mayorNHL Here is a free replay of this week’s Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Network Radio. John Hoven joins host Jim ‘Boomer’ Gordon to hit on a bunch of topics – including: changes in Jeff Carter, Jonathan Quick for Sidney Crosby, Slava Voynov, Anze Kopitar, Kyle Clifford, Brayden McNabb, Trevor Lewis, Jake Muzzin, Dean Lombardi’s [...]

Scuderi Stoll

Puck Probability: Odds for Kings at Penguins, October 30

It’s nearly time for stop two of the Kings four games in six nights stretch, with Darryl Sutter’s squad preparing to face the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Continuing a series we’ve done throughout the early part of this season, we’re back with 10 all new tidbits related to the game. As usual, MayorsManor has come up [...]

Major News Items

Manchester Monarchs MayorsManor Kings by Blake Gumprecht

MAJOR NEWS: Kings Preparing To Move Top Prospects To SoCal

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com Follow @mayorNHL In a story that MayorsManor has been chasing for the … [Read More...]

More Prospect News