This season: 40 games, 4 goals, 12 assists, 4 penalty minutes, 13:31 average ice time.
The good: Purcell had 16 goals in 38 games with Manchester and, at times, showed that offensive touch with the Kings. Purcell made the most noise in early March, when he had at least one point in five consecutive games and totaled two goals and four assists in those five games. Purcell’s numbers fell off toward the end of the season, but he earned some first-line time during the season, and ended it as part of an intriguing third line with Brian Boyle and, at times, Brad Richardson.
The bad: Purcell’s first stint with the Kings this season, in December and January, ended in relative disappointment. Purcell alternated between the first and fourth line. In Terry Murray’s eyes, Purcell didn’t bring enough offense to stay on the first line and didn’t bring enough grit to stay on the fourth line. That led to a return trip to Manchester.
Going forward: Asumming the Kings re-sign him (he’s a restricted free agent), next season will be an important one for Purcell, a player Dean Lombardi once had penciled in as a potential first-line winger. Purcell’s style of play indicates that he needs to be in a top-six role in order to thrive in the NHL, but will his talent level make him a fit in one of those roles? Lombardi’s activity level in the trade market this summer will go a long way toward determining where Purcell might be able to fit.