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Thoughts on the addition of Ethan Moreau

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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)
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)
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MayorsManor.com - LA Kings Hockey Blog: Look for LA Kings to add 'sandpaper' in next few days

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:

Dustin Penner - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Simon Gagne - Mike Richards - Dustin Brown

Moreau - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford - Brad Richardson - Scott Parse

(Kevin Westgarth)

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: ??
You've got Thomas Hickey, Viatcheslav Voynov, Jake Muzzin, Nicolas Deslauriers and Martinez fighting for one third pairing spot and one press-box seat. And then there's Toffoli, Kozun and Loktionov looking to unseat one of Parse, Richardson or Lewis. Unless Lombardi has some more moves up his sleeve (or Doughty decides not to sign), I think it's possible we'll all of the sudden be looking at a pretty experienced, veteran team. 

On that roster, the youngest guy is Clifford. The second youngest guy, still, after all these years, is Drew Doughty.