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Kings Notebook (Nov. 16)

Tuesday, 11.16.2010 / 6:55 PM / Los Angeles Kings | News
By Rich Hammond
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Kings Notebook (Nov. 16)
Dwight King was called up from Manchester on Tuesday and will debut as the third line left wing Wednesday against Columbus.
EL SEGUNDO -- The Kings didn’t have a game Tuesday -- just a medium-length practice -- but they did manage to squeeze in quite a bit of off-ice ``action.’’

The team announced that Scott Parse will undergo surgery next week to repair his hip labrum and is expected to miss 3-4 months. The Kings called up Dwight King from Manchester and put Alexei Ponikarovsky (broken finger) on injured reserve.

King is expected to make his NHL debut Wednesday, when the Kings host Columbus at STAPLES Center, and play left wing on the third line alongside center Michal Handzus and right winger Wayne Simmonds. King will wear No. 74 with the Kings.

Also, rookie center Brayden Schenn was not at practice Tuesday, and the Kings are looking into loaning Schenn to Manchester for a two-week conditioning assignment while still retaining his junior eligibility. A team spokesman said the Kings ``are discussing issues with the League related to the completion of the assignment.’’

Parse missed most of training camp, and the first 11 games of the regular season, due to a groin injury, but had played a first-line role in the last five games.

Parse scored a first-period goal Monday night in San Jose, but spent much of the third period on the bench after apparently having injured himself during the game.

``Last night, he was into a behind-the-play look,’’ Kings coach Terry Murray said after Tuesday’s practice. ``He was turning pucks over, not able to battle along the boards and push against people. To me, there was something wrong. So I made the change on the line and, as you see, he wasn't on the ice today.’’

Brad Richardson, who spent four games as the Kings’ first-line left winger last month, before being replaced by Parse, will return to that role in tomorrow’s game.

That opens a spot for King, who was a fourth-round draft pick of the Kings in 2007.

After he finished his junior career -- with Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League -- in 2009, King was assigned to the Ontario Reign of the ECHL at the start of last season but earned a promotion to the Manchester Monarchs after 20 games.

King had 10 goals and 16 assists in 52 regular-season games with the Monarchs last season. Through 16 games this season, King ranked second on the Monarchs with six goals and 11 points. King measures in at 6-foot-3 and 227 pounds.

``He started in the East Coast league and worked himself up to the top line in Manchester last year,’’ Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. ``He had a good playoffs and he had a good (training) camp too. He's always been a big, talented guy. You're talking about a guy who was the No. 3 pick in the junior draft, so obviously he has talent. But like a lot of young players, he's had to learn how to compete. That's gotten better, but that's going to be the challenge for him.''

Murray indicated that King’s size and style of play made him a potential good fit with 6-foot-4, 219-pound Handzus and 6-foot-2, 183-pound Simmonds on the third line.

``Very big body. Real wide man,’’ Murray said of King. ``He establishes position in front of the net. He has good hands. He has very good awareness, can make plays. On the other side of the puck, his reads are becoming more consistent. We'll push his pace. That's the one area of the game we want to see be better, pushing the overall intensity and pace of his game.’’

GETTING SOME ICE TIME
If it takes place, Schenn’s conditioning assignment could be his ticket back to the NHL.

Schenn has played eight games with the Kings, and before he plays his 10th game, the Kings must decide whether to return him to his junior team or keep him and use a year off his NHL entry-level contract.

Schenn has been a healthy scratch in five consecutive games, and Murray also indicated that Schenn’s offseason knee injury might have impacted the Kings’ desire to give Schenn an AHL conditioning assignment.

``Certainly, with Parse being out of the lineup right now,’’ Murray said, ``this would be a great opportunity for him to be able to come back and have him play some games, if everything is going well and he's feeling good physically, and get into the lineup.’’

It is believed, but not officially clarified, that Schenn would be allowed to have a 14-day conditioning assignment while still retaining his junior eligibility. Schenn is not yet 20 years old, and thus not eligible to play in the AHL under regular conditions.

NOT HIS FAULT
The Kings allowed a season-high six goals in Monday’s loss to San Jose, but Murray said he did not fault backup goalie Jonathan Bernier for the goals.

``No, not as far as Bernier, no,’’ Murray said. ``We had team play in front, and I think everybody needs to take responsibility on what happened. The other part of it was the timeliness of the goals we gave up. We got ourselves back into the game and we were ready to go, and the next shift, a minute later, they've got that two-goal lead again, or they're building on what they had.

``We just need to be -- and we have been -- we need to get back to, in those situations, the importance of the next couple shifts right after, bouncing back and responding to that challenge. Again, that's something we have done a very good job with so far this year, and that was a letdown for us last night.’’

Jonathan Quick is scheduled to start in goal tomorrow night against Columbus.