Murray not impressed with Loktionov so far, chance is now

Loktionov in preseason (photo: M. Zampelli)

Along with his comments about Slava Voynov and the new defensive pairings (posted in earlier articles last hour), Kings coach Terry Murray had plenty to say about the ‘other’ Russian who’s now in town, forward Andrei Loktionov.

For the second day in a row, Murray had the 2008 NHL draft pick playing on the Kings’ second line, with Mike Richards and Dustin Brown.

Following practice, Murray talked a little bit about the expectations surrounding Loktionov right now…

“He’ll be playing on one of the top two lines here, playing with Richards, that’s an important position that he’s in. Same as Voynov, he’s in a position to play some important minutes.”

The move to put him on the left wing is at least eyebrow raising, as Murray and Loktionov both spent quite a bit of time late last season and over the summer talking about the fact the young Russian is better suited for the center position. Murray addressed that point as well…

“Well, I had many different scenarios in my mind on how it would all come together in the summertime, thinking Loktionov would really feed off of his opportunity from last year. I felt his training camp was off, quite frankly. in the exhibition games, in the practices, I saw some hesitation, I saw him not handling the puck, not transporting the puck through the middle of the ice and creating in the offensive zone, as I envisioned it would be. So, with that, that’s where it ended up at the start of the year – with him back in Manchester. Now, it’s a situation where I need a player to fit into a position. We’re pretty much set down the middle. If he’s going to fit in and be a player for us, he’s up on an IR replacing Penner, we’re looking for offense and we’re looking for goals. We feel with Loktionov fitting in there now, he’s going to give us that same look – creativity, he’s a hockey player, he has a high IQ on the ice, I think. He’s going to make plays with Richards and Brown.”

He went on to talk about any motivational tactics he may use on the two players just called up from Manchester…

“I’m not going to motivate them,” said Murray. “I’m telling you guys right now and they can read it in the paper tomorrow – this is an opportunity for them to show us what they can do. They’re up on an IR, but they’re not kids. They’ve been pros now for a couple of years. So, it’s an opportunity to show the organization where their game is at and how they’re going to fit it, impress us, force us to do something and force us to think about it. It’s a great opportunity for them.”

He later added – “Pro players have to motivate themselves, that’s your job as a player – is to get yourself ready to play hockey. It’s an 82-game season, it’s a grind out there. If there’s any need for anybody to go over there and kick your butt to get going, we’ve got some problems.”

Full comments from Murray on Voynov, Johnson, Doughty, Mitchell, etc. are up on the homepage.

Also, check out an exclusive pic here of a toothless Dustin Penner following practice today.

Recent Articles

NHL RADIO REPLAY: Mayor’s Minutes, the Draft, Mindset of Kings Fans

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of this week’s Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Network Radio, where John Hoven joined host Jim ‘Boomer’ Gordon to discuss the current state of mind for SoCal hockey fans, look back at the 2010 NHL Draft in Los Angeles, and so much more.
For some bonus / related content, check out this […]

SPORTSNET RADIO REPLAY: Hoven on What the NHL Should and Should Not Do Next

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on Sportsnet Radio in Toronto, where he joined host Roger Lajoie for a look at some of the ideas surrounding what the NHL should and should not do next – from starting the season back up, to the Draft Lottery, to neutral site games, free agency, trades […]

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven on Kings Season Status, Prospects, and Draft Lottery

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of this week’s Hot Stove, where John Hoven joined hosts David Pagnotta, Dennis Bernstein, and Ryan Paton to evaluate what’s next for the LA Kings, including: a possible return to the ice, 2020 Draft Lottery, top prospects coming to AHL Ontario, Todd McLellan, roster changes over the summer, compliance buyouts, […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2020 Prospect Rankings – Goalie Depth Chart

Before we get started here, some context… While normally our Midseason Prospect Rankings come out shortly after the World Junior Championships, we held off in anticipation of any deals the Kings may make prior to the … [Read More...]

More Prospect News