I asked Terry Murray a question that came up in the Open Forum the other day, whether the Kings would go back to seven defensemen once everyone is healthy. The answer, it seems, is no, although I didn’t anticipate the reasoning that Murray gave. It’s a very honest and insightful look into the way that NHL teams are run in this salary-cap era, when waiver and cap issues play such a big part. It won’t impact things much, because the Kings have an open roster spot available when Oscar Moller returns.
Question: You have eight healthy defensemen right now. Long term, do you got down to seven, or do you stay with eight because of Harrold’s versatility or other factors?
MURRAY: “To be honest, and to answer that as candidly as I can, those decisions are almost out of the coaches’ hands these days, with the (salary) cap that’s in place today and the contracts that are in place. That ends up being more of a decision made by management. If there was something to happen with a player, then you have seven (defensemen). If not, we have eight. That’s kind of my approach to it. It’s not my position, with the way things are in the league, to go to anybody and say, `I only want to have seven.’ It is what it is, with the numbers. I’m comfortable with eight. It’s great for running your practices, that’s for sure. It doesn’t demand too much of anyone. It’s always nice, because if something happens, you have an NHL player that is ready and accessible to you. Then, as we talked about with (Harrold) before, he has that versatility. To me, that’s where it’s at in the NHL today, to have that guy who can perform both sides, front and back. So I’m comfortable with what we’ve got.”