Terry Murray was asked a simple question about what has surprised him about this Kings team, and it led to an interesting answer about the development of young players…
Question: If you could pick one thing that has surprised you about this team, what do you think it is?
MURRAY: “It’s hard to put your finger on one thing. It’s easy to say the hard work, but that’s kind of a cliche…”
Question: Is there a skill level that surprised you?
MURRAY: “I kind of knew there was a skill level coming in, just looking at the lineup and talking as we went through the summer. The biggest surprise, clearly, has been the two young guys up front. Doughty, we knew he was probably a sure thing coming in, that we were going to put him in the lineup if he just came out and did a good job in the training camp. If you’re the No. 2 pick overall, you’re a pretty good player. But the young guys have been a real good surprise for me. Moller and Simmonds, and we talked about Moulson, those guys have really done a great job, and that’s probably been the biggest surprise, the level of skill from the young players that are in the organization. There’s a couple guys who have gone back to junior and there’s a few guys who have gone down to Manchester that are going to be knocking on the door real soon. If not this year, they certainly will be there again next year at training camp. That’s been probably the biggest surprise, the depth of the talent level that’s in this organization.”
Question: That’s something Dean talked about, how the top guys, like Brown and Kopitar, were here, but you always had to go outside to get the second- or third-line guys. Now you’re starting to develop those guys yourselves.
MURRAY: “Exactly, and that’s a real compliment to what Dean has done with the development camps in the summer and with the scouts that have drafted. I know what it’s like to scout. I did it for a year with the Flyers when I got fired there. I was out pro scouting, and that’s a tough road. You’re on your own, you’re traveling and you’ve got to beat the bushes looking for players. These guys are doing that every year, and it’s starting to pay off. They’ve got some good people in the organization now.”