ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 7: Nikita Nikitin #64 of the St. Louis Blues is checked into the boards by Ethan Moreau #19 of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Scottrade Center on March 7, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
In the next few days, look for another former Oiler to sign a one-year deal with the Kings (for around $1-million). [Ethan Moreau, it turns out; but you knew that] There's strong indication that the Kings are willing to give the kids - i.e. Tyler Toffoli, Brandon Kozun, etc. - a shot in camp. Yet, that would be to add skill to the 2011-12 NHL roster. [...] The Kings probably want to add some more 'sandpaper' and more importantly, a little more of a veteran presence. Lombardi knows his window to win is now open and he's determined to put the Kings in the best possible position for success this season.
The addition of Moreau suggests the following (forward) line-up:
Of those names, only Kyle Clifford is waiver-exempt (and he's not going to be sent down). Which means that, if Toffoli or Kozun -- or Andrei Loktionov -- are going to crack the line-up it will be because of injury or else at the expense of Lewis, Richardson or Parse, any one of whom would be scooped up on waivers the second Lombardi tried to send them to Manchester. Which means Loktionov and Kozun will likely be starting the season in Manchester and Toffoli will be back with the 67s.
Also, if you consider that it's reasonably likely this year's defense will be identical to last year's (Drew Doughty, Willie Mitchell, Rob Scuderi, Jack Johnson, Matt Greene, Alec Martinez, Davis Drewiske), that would mean 2011-12 would be the first year under Lombardi the Kings didn't have any rookies in the line-up.
- 2006: Kopitar, Patrick O`Sullivan
- 2007: Johnson
- 2008: Doughty, Oscar Moller, Wayne Simmonds, Jonathan Quick (Brian Boyle, Matt Moulson)
- 2009: Parse, Drewiske, Teddy Purcell
- 2010: Loktionov, Muzzin, Clifford, Brayden Schenn, Jonathan Bernier, Lewis, Martinez, Westgarth.
- 2011: ??