: Kings News:
Trent Hunter invited to training camp
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09-14-2011, 10:56 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Hunter, if he can prove healthy, is the exact type of player that was missing following the departures of Smyth, Simmonds and Ponikarovsky.
Sure, the Kings may have more skill, speed and smarts after the summers deals, but this is still a Terry Murray coached team, and you need guys who won't just show up for board battles, but know how to win them and come out with possession. That was a missing element, and honestly, not a real improvement with the signing of Moreau.
Even with Moreau, the Kings weren't blessed with a bunch of wingers who could play the hard, heavy, dot to net game. Williams and his hefty balls would always give 100%, but Penner plays hard when he wants to, Brown is a far better open ice player and not a noted cornerman, Gagne is similar to Brown in that regard, and Clifford may battle his ass off, but isn't ready to be counted on to know what to do with loose pucks.
You have Parse, who hasn't won a board battle in his life and typically stays 10 feet away from the opposition at all times, and then some sort of combination of Lewis or Richardson playing the wall and Westgarth to do whatever he does.
A guy like Hunter is badly needed for that board play. It's his skill - tough, physical hard-nosed dirty work, specializing in the ability to separate his man from the puck and recover it smoothly. He's a perfect fit next to Stoll, if his knee lets him play his game.
Plus like I said with Moreau, anything that keeps Parse out of the lineup is a good thing.
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