Picking And Choosing: Loktionov's Puzzling Exclusion From The Cup

Jeff Gross - Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings petitioned for Drewiske and Westgarth, but not him. Why?

Andrei Loktionov was omitted from the names engraved on the Cup, causing much confusion and anger.

The sticking point is that exceptions were made for two players who had participated in far fewer games. Rich Hammond of the LA Kings Insider had this explanation today:

The Kings did not petition the league to have him included on their list, apparently because they knew his chances were quite slim. Personally, I would have tried to petition for him, but it’s true that his chances wouldn’t have been good. In 2010-11, Steven Kampfer played 38 regular-season games for Boston (one fewer than Loktionov last season). The Bruins petitioned the league to include him and they were denied. The Kings were able to petition to get the names of Davis Drewiske and Kevin Westgarth on the Cup, because they were a part of the team for the entire season.

Loktionov played more games than Drewiske and Westgarth, and played in the playoffs when they did not, but his chances for petition were hopelessly slim? Drewiske and Westgarth contributed more to the team by being there every day in practice?

In what universe does this make sense?

This seems like vague nonsense. And now, they're trying to pin this on the league's standards and rules. Yesterday, the excuse proffered to the Los Angeles Times was a bit different:

It's interesting that the name of forward Andrei Loktionov was not added, even though he played 39 regular-season games and two playoff games. He wasn't on the original list and a team spokesman said Loktionov didn't qualify based on the criteria the team had set internally.

So Loktionov didn't fit the Kings' criteria either, eh? Great, now everything's perfectly clear.

If the league has contradictory standards about the regular qualification rule being cancelled out by participating in practice, that is odd. I don't begrudge Drewiske or Westgarth their chance to be included, but the contributions of players like Loktionov and Kampfer shouldn't be treated so lightly. I think all players who stepped foot on the ice should have priority.

Maybe a petition wouldn't have made it past the NHL, though they seem to have made exceptions for so many. But what's most telling to me is the fact that the Los Angeles Kings didn't even try.

This, from a team that supposedly celebrates teamwork and the contributions of all.

Shame on them.

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