Believe it or note, there was MORE news officially announced this morning! With the trade of Daniel Carcillo and the demotion of Martin Jones (both covered in John's comprehensive This Week in Kings feature), the Los Angeles Kings had a roster spot to play around with. There was light speculation that the Kings had another trade in the works, and for all we know, they very well might. For now, however, the Kings have taken the obvious course by calling up a forward from Manchester. Unlike earlier this season, Tanner Pearson got the nod over Linden Vey.
The reasoning is pretty simple; with Trevor Lewis back to full health and Colin Fraser languishing in the press box, there's no need for another center on the big club. However, the bottom six left wing spots are still very much in flux, and neither Matt Frattin nor Kyle Clifford has guaranteed themselves a night-in, night-out spot. Pearson wasn't overly impressive in his initial six-game stint with the Kings, but he did score his first NHL goal and got to play in a few different roles.
So, Pearson comes back to LA and could very well find his way into the lineup. If Sutter's feeling experimental, he may even give Pearson a spot in the top six and shuffle Dwight King or Dustin Brown around. Where could Pearson go?
Pros: Playing with Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar eases Pearson's defensive responsibility; Kopitar makes anyone look good.
Cons: Dwight King ain't giving up that spot without a fight; probably too many minutes for Pearson.
Pros: Pearson can handle the ice time of a pseudo-second line; possession numbers should be fine.
Cons: They get plenty of defensive zone starts; he doesn't complement Stoll/Williams as well.
Pros: Gets to play with Tyler Toffoli; another "sniper" for Mike Richards to play with; good candidate for a sheltered/offensive line.
Cons: Bumps Matt Frattin, who finally looks comfortable; no Vey at center. =(
Pros: Doesn't have to play all that much; adds a bit of punch to the bottom line; complements Jordan Nolan and Trevor Lewis
Cons: Doesn't get to play all that much; will be chasing more than shooting.
Pro/Con: Reasonably suited for a press box role, but is he wasted there?
From this morning's practice, it appears that Pearson will be a healthy scratch tonight, which is no surprise after traveling from Manchester. He'll need a couple days before he can slot into the lineup. However, if you're setting the lineup for Thursday's matchup against the Boston Bruins, what would you do with Tanner Pearson? Vote in the poll below, and add your reasoning in the comments section.