- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kings head coach Terry Murray stressed Monday that Jonathan Quick is the No. 1 goalie on his team after a standout year last season. But he also opened the door a little in saying the emerging Jonathan Bernier has a chance to push.
We asked once again, just to be clear, whether the Kings coach was saying that he would go with the hot hand in goal.
"That is what I'm saying yes," Murray said. "Quick is our No. 1 guy and, every game he played last year, he was outstanding. You know how every point and every game is in this league, the ones in the first quarter are just as important point-wise as the second quarter. So I'm going to go with the guy that's playing really well. Quick will be the starting goaltender coming out of training camp and that's how we'll deal with it moving forward."
Murray said last year at this time, he penciled in which goalie would start from the start of the season through Christmas. This time around, he's left it more open. Quick is already a proven No. 1 netminder; Bernier is franchise goalie material. This is a great problem to have if you're an NHL team, but it still warrants monitoring as the season goes on.
Still no Doughty
Day 4 of Kings' camp and still no Drew Doughty as the defenseman remained unsigned.
With each passing day, the concern intensifies in terms of planning for the Kings.
"I've been through it before with other players in the past," said Murray. "Some have turned out to be the right decision to miss training camp and get the deal done and come in in great shape and ready to go. And a couple of other guys I remember it's a concern coming back in after missing a lot of time with your teammates and practice and the extra work that we do with the skating.
"But the bottom line is, I have to get the team ready to play. I have players on the ice that are getting themselves in that position, they're hungry. We've got a bunch of young guys here that are looking for an opening and want to play. If Drew Doughty is not able to get signed right away, then I have to find that player that is going to take up some of those minutes."
Rumors in cyberspace over the weekend had the Kings in talks to trade Doughty. General manager Dean Lombardi laughed Monday when asked about that.
"I'm not trading Drew Doughty," Lombardi said. "He's going to be a franchise player."
Murray added that contract negotiations are all part of the business.
"Hey, I miss Drew Doughty, believe me," said the Kings coach. "He's a great player. He's going to be here one day. I miss him here in the locker room because he always has a smile on his face, he's a happy guy to be around. But this is the way the business is. And I understand it is a business, so I hold no animosity towards Drew Doughty whatsoever. When he comes in, I'm going to give him a big hug and say, 'Let's get ready to play hockey.'"
It was notieable on Monday that Jarret Stoll was wearing a visor. While he has never worn one in his pro career, Stoll said he would try to stick with it after the scary eye injury Canucks forward Manny Malhotra suffered last season.
"I'm already used to it," he said.
Stoll said he had a few close calls last season, which was another factor in his decision. Not to mention his mom bugging him to wear one, he said with a chuckle.
1dScott Burnside and Craig Custance