The Kings over the years have never really inspired massive confidence during their regular season slogs. Certainly last year, that carried over to the playoffs and I was hoping at most that they would avoid a sweep. Mission Accomplished? The main point being though, that even during their Cup winning years, the Kings didn't ever look that good in the regular season.
Part of that was the roster wasn't loaded up fully quite yet. 2012 had Trent Hunter, Ethan Moreau, and Simon Gagne acting as the top 6 winger they needed. Gagne died, as he is prone to, and didn't reappear until the finals, while the Kings had to go steal Jeff Carter. Did Andrei Loktionov or Scott Parse play much? I don't know. 2014 featured Matt Frattin, Daniel Carcillo, and brief cameos by Colin Fraser and Linden Vey. Ultimately, they had to go get Marian Gaborik.
Those are not small name pick ups. That isn't snagging Kris Versteeg or Freddy Modin. That's a massive addition to the top six for any team. But the Kings now have them long term and the team is still sorta floundering on. The team hasn't really had a reliable third line center in years. Stoll got old and coked up, Lecavalier was a stop-gap still playing way over his head, and Nic Dowd should still be playing but Sutter hates him.
Yes, I know it's weird saying Jarret Stoll was the last really reliable and trusted third line center on the team. It also didn't help that Dustin Brown stopped scoring for a few years, Justin Williams left, and the Milan Lucic deal was fucking awful and stupid. Should the Kings have been using Nick Shore more, and elevating him to third line center over the past few seasons? Yes. Of course. It would make fucking sense.
But it never happened.
And while I like Trevor Lewis and Dwight King a bunch personally, they are not exactly top 6 material. They're reliable defensively minded wingers. Instead one of them is being thrust into the top line, which echoes more from 2014 prior to the Gaborik deal and, much like then, it's not exactly effective.
The Kings could move Carter back to the wing, but the team seemingly does not trust Dowd or Shore at all for larger roles. The names not yet mentioned, Devin Setoguchi, Kyle Clifford, Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff...that's fourth line at most. Pretty much the only feasible option is moving Dustin Brown back to the top line, earning that ridiculous paycheck of his, and let the bottom six sort themselves out.
Or they could trade for someone.
OR they could act like the Senators and just make up players.
So I am happy to introduce:
Thurogood Ferdinand! If that's not believable, try Sleepy Tobago. Or Dan Smiley. It doesn't matter. The next step is to create a backstory. Use Google Maps and type in "Canada" then randomly zoom way in. Use the first town you find, and that may take a while because huge parts of Canada resemble north of the Wall in Game of Thrones. I got Flin Flon. What the fuck Canada.
So here we have Sleepy Tobago from Flin Flon. What position does he play? It doesn't matter! He plays whatever position you say he plays! Give him a jersey number in the 40s as to make him extra forgettable. Tell him to suit up, and ta-da. He's magically there. Don't worry about as to how there's suddenly an NHL player magically added to the roster. It never bothered Ottawa. They've done this with 20 or so guys, and just threw them around Chris Neal.
Prediction: Kings win after a two goal performance by Thurogood Ferdinand/Sleepy Tobago.