Moller likely staying put

Tomorrow night is the Kings’ ninth game, meaning they have a decision to make after the game. If they keep Oscar Moller beyond that, he’s officially a NHL player and a year is taken off his entry-level contract. So the Kings have to make a decision. Do they keep him here, or send him back to Chilliwack and retain all three years of his entry-level contract? The Kings haven’t made an official decision, but it seems unlikely that Moller will be going back, as his play has justified a stay in the NHL and he’s well-liked by teammates already. There’s no question that Drew Doughty, the other King with junior eligibility, will be staying. Here’s what Terry Murray said about Moller (and try to ignore the part where he gets the 10-game situation incorrect…)

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Question: A couple weeks ago, you said you hadn’t really even considered that Moller might go back to junior. Has that thought changed at all?

MURRAY: “No, his play has been pretty good. The only way, as a coach anyway, that you would think about it is if things are inconsistent and he’s not playing well. I’m seeing a young player that’s staying very hungry and his level of play actually, in my mind, has gone up. He’s playing on the No. 2 line and on the power play, getting 15 minutes a night. I know there’s a decision to be made and it doesn’t have to be made until the 10th, after the 10th game. So we’ll leave it at that, and that’s also a meeting that involves people upstairs, and not strictly or solely a coaching decision. So we’ll see, when it comes, what decision we’re going to make.”

Question: Are you pretty confident that he could hold up for an entire season here?

MURRAY: “All I can answer is based on what I’ve seen. Through the training camp and the games so far, he has held up physically, he’s been staying with the pace of the game. He’s been looking at a lot of minutes and NHL play, against top players, and he’s fine. He’s comfortable, he’s confident with the puck and he’s making good things happen. Now I know it’s early. We haven’t traveled a lot and had the wear and tear in the early going, so I think that’s part of the conversation whenever we get to that time.”

Question: I guess I don’t even need to ask about Doughty, right?

MURRAY: “No, Doughty has played very well. He’s really handled himself extremely well for an 18 year old.”

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  • Harry

    How about Simmonds?

  • Marc Nathan

    Question: I guess I don’t even need to ask about Doughty, right?

    OK, Rich, I guess you don’t… but how can you NOT ask how he can bench Preissing mid-game, and then pull him out of the lineup for a stretch, yet NOT do the same for Gauthier? Do we REALLY need his presence in the lineup? The guy has been a minus in SIX games already this season, and in one of the two he wasn’t, the team didn’t give up any goals, so he couldn’t have been :)

    Seriously, what’s the double standard?

  • Anonymous

    The guy has been a stand up player.You need to keep him up. Simmonds… how fast can we get rid of the block head.

  • Mike

    thanks Rich. now that I think of it – We haven’t heard from Lombardi in awhile. Any chancey you get get us a interview or a few questions answered on his thoughts about the start of the season – specifically what his thoughts are on moller, simmonds, boyle and harrold.

  • ksc218

    Rich,

    Now that we’re two months and 9 games in, what do you see the differences between Crawford and Murray. He seems to be available every practice which is either more than Crawford or your coverage has expanded.

  • SuperSonic420

    Anonymous said: Simmonds… how fast can we get rid of the block head.

    Dude, which Simmonds have you been watching?! Block head??? He’s big and tough, but the big guy has some skill and will only get better once he puts some weight on that frame. I think they should both stick.

  • Quisp

    “double standard” re Gauthier/Preissing:

    Gauthier is nasty and physical; Preissing isn’t. Even with the mistake(s), Gauthier gives Murray something he likes.

  • gumlegs

    Harry
    Simmonds is 20 years old and not subject to the same 10 game rule regarding the return to the juniors as are 19 year old Moller and 18 year old Doughty. The Kings can send Simmonds to Manchester at any time and recall him at their discretion. I hope they give him more of a chance as I have been impressed with his play.

  • Moondoggie

    Doughty was a no-brainer, he’s one of the best defensive picks I’ve ever seen, particularly at his young age.

    Oscar, wow…I’m glad he’s staying, lets hope. He’s been great, same for Simmonds.

    Supersonic, gotta agree with you…I think Simmonds has played well, particularly for a 20 year old. He’s physical, very agressive and has tremendous upside to his game. I truly like the young Kings and can’t wait for more of the youngsters to join the team. This is getting fun, just one goal, one less bad pass and 1:55 left in the 3rd and LA would have beat the best team in the world. This team is coming on, watch out!

  • Ed

    I have a feeling Moller is going to be sent down. When Zeiler comes off the DL.

  • Duckhunter

    Moller did all he could do. He played above what most of us expected. I personally wouldn’t send him down, but that means nothing. I think they should keep him aboard and give him a few games off during the year, if he starts wearing down. Same with Simmonds. Doughty, he’s a different story. He would play every game if I was in charge