Preseason or Not, Etem May Have Revenge on His Mind in Arizona

For Emerson Etem, his road to possibly becoming an official member of the LA Kings will start in one of the most ironic places – Arizona.

Word is, Etem will be playing for the Kings road-unit in tonight’s split-squad series against the Coyotes, which is certainly an interesting one given the 26-year-old forward’s recent past.

Let’s reset here and connect the dots. In July 2017, the So Cal native signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Arizona Coyotes. Not exactly what you’d expect for a first round draft pick back in 2010. However, there simply wasn’t much out there after Etem only played four pro games the season prior, a campaign that ended much earlier than expected due to knee surgery.

After previous stints with the Ducks, Rangers, and Canucks, his stay with the Coyotes was rather short-lived. From what we’ve been able to gather, it was in late December 2017, when Etem notified the Coyotes organization he wanted to move on. He had played 16 games with their AHL affiliate in Tucson – where he was earning a minor league salary of $200K, as part of his contract – and he had grown tired of not getting called up to the NHL. As we understand things, Coyotes management tried to assure him his opportunity would come, but only after they had a long look at some young prospects playing with the big club at the time. Whatever was discussed did not appease Etem, as he left the team during a road trip in San Diego and did not return to Arizona with the club.

Soon thereafter, he parted ways with his longtime agent Eustace King – somebody who had been advising him since he was a young teenager.

Then, it was a call from Linden Vey – his old junior hockey teammate and one-time Kings prospect — who alerted Etem to some money to be made playing in Switzerland. Etem signed a contract there for a reported $50k, a far cry from what he was earning in the AHL. Nonetheless, he suited up for five games with Lugano of the Swiss National League to round out his 2017-18 season.

Allegedly, part of Etem’s frustration before leaving the Coyotes organization had to do with the fact that he worked out extremely hard last summer. He spent quite a bit of time with Adam Oates, working on his shot, and was eager to show it off in the NHL. When things didn’t work out as planned, he decided to take his talents elsewhere.

This summer, while waiting to plot his next move, Etem again spent a tremendous amount of time preparing for the upcoming season. In fact, he often skated at the Kings training facility in El Segundo, working out with other NHL players – typically guys like Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets, during ice time sessions arranged by assistant coach Jamie Kompon.

“To be honest, I didn’t know what was going to really happen,” shared Etem. “For the better part of two years I’ve been injured, [but] this is the best I’ve felt in a long time.”

And after no real offers surfaced, Etem signed a PTO with the Kings, which gets us to tonight.

“I don’t have a contract right now,” he added. “I’m trying to fight for one.”

Opening round of this prize fight officially begins tonight, back in the Arizona desert, where Etem will look to put further distance between his past and what could be his future.

He also told us he’s feeling pretty comfortable inside the room and skating with the Kings, as he either knows or has played against guys like Jack Campbell, Tyler Toffoli, and Nate Thompson. Add in the fact that he’s coming off of a hat trick in the Kings vs. Kings exhibition event in Ontario a few days ago, and Etem should enter tonight’s action with a bit of confidence – if not a hint of revenge on his mind.

RELATED CONTENT:

Kings Prospect Aidan Dudas, Perhaps Another Hidden Gem

Instagram

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com

Photo of Etem in Ontario by Dinur Blum

Recent Articles

NHL RADIO REPLAY: Mayor’s Minutes on Kings Hiring McLellan and the Draft

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 take a deep dive on the LA Kings hiring Todd McLellan as their new head coach.
Today’s radio segment can be heard using the player below or download any of our audio […]

TO DO LIST: Kings Have Way Too Many Forwards

It’s no secret that Los Angeles GM Rob Blake has his work cut out over the next three months. He’ll need to hire a coach, make some trades, and carefully navigate around a series of potential landmines while the rest of Southern California is barbecuing and off at the beach enjoying the summer months.
To […]

Answering the Two Most Important Jeff Carter Questions

Will Jeff Carter be back with the LA Kings? What’s the deal with those previous reports of him allegedly saying he may retire if traded?
While guys like Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, and Rob Blake spoke at length during Monday’s exit interviews, Jeff Carter opted for the quality over quantity option.
After taking a few questions regarding […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings: The Top Two Players

After nearly a month-long journey through the LA Kings prospect pool, we’ve reached the end of the road. It’s time to officially reveal the top two players in this year’s Midseason Rankings – including the highly coveted … [Read More...]

More Prospect News