this surplus of 3rd and 4th line players?? Right now our top 6 is going to be a combination of Cammalleri, Frolov, Kopitar, Conroy, Brown, & O'Sullivan.
For the sake of argument(and the success of the organization) lets say Lombardi gets a deal done for Shanahan or even Samsonov. That pushes Brown to the 3rd line. Putting our most talented players on the ice(minus the checking line) I see a line up that looks like this:
Looks promising to me. Now take a closer look at the checking line. Belanger is the only center thats left(I'm still unsure about the status of Armstrong but I'm not going to factor him in because A. I hate him and B. He sucks.) One of either Parros or Cowan is going to have to be playing night in and night out so that Kopitar and O'Sullivan aren't getting the **** beat out of them. And I don't see any reason to replace Kostopoulos on RW who is a fine defensive forward and penalty killer.
So this all begs the question: Why the **** did we sign Thornton and Willsie???
Why!? Are the Kings going to trade Avery and or Belanger? Both of them together probably cannot fetch a top 6'er. Is TK going to be banished to Manchester for one of Deano's boys? If he is that's bullsh1t! Didn't we get rid of AM in part due to his undying loyalty to grinders and muckers? What the hell is going on here?
FOr a few reasons... 1, you are counting your chickens before they hatch. Shanahan or Samsonov or Carter HAS NOT signed with the Kings and you never plan a roster with the expectation you will. A good chance is we will not got any of those guys then we are forced to play guys like Parros and Guliano. 2, Thorton gives us great leadership and depth. We are an injury heavy team and we have NEVER had enough depth to get through the injuries... no we do. 3, San Jose's second best line last year had Thornton and McCauley together. Why mess with good chemistry. 4, everyone is convinced Kopitar will be in the NHL next year. Everything I have heard from Lombardi about the situation is he WILL NOT be here. that may change but I think he will at least start the year in Manchester.