Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Kings: Decision could be near on Clifford, Schenn
By Dan Arritt
Kings coach Terry Murray and general manager Dean Lombardi plan to huddle up Wednesdayafternoon and discuss the fates of 19-year-old forwards Kyle Clifford and Brayden Schenn.
Clifford is scheduled to appear in his 10th game Thursday against visiting Dallas. When that happens, the Kings will be responsible for the first year of his NHL contract. Schenn is in the same situation, though he has appeared in eight games and is not penciled in to play Thursday.
Lombardi said during practice Wednesday that finances would not be a factor in the decisions, so the Kings could feasibly keep both on the roster for as long as they choose.
Murray, however, indicated after practice that Clifford is in a better position to make the team than Schenn.
“My gut feel on it is that [Schenn] might need to ... go to junior and play,” Murray said. “That’s my gut feel, and that will be the conversation we have. That’s not a firm, strong opinion obviously, it’s just my opinion. It has a little bit of weight, but it doesn’t carry everything. ”
Clifford's advantage is he's already playing close to where he's projected, a third or fourth-line scrapper. Schenn, meanwhile, is projected as a top-six scoring forward but has been limited to fourth-line duties with the Kings thus far.
"That’s where I do see Schenn as a player. He’s going to be on your top two lines," Murray said. "With Clifford, I see him as a third-line left winger with the ability to move up for short periods of time."