The Kings aren’t likely to announce their official 23-man roster until tomorrow, but indications are that Scott Parse will start the season on injured reserve and that the 23 players on the ice this morning and will make up the opening-night roster. The biggest question, for now, is in regard to what will happen to Erik Ersberg. He has been assigned to Manchester, but it’s possible that he will seek a deal in Europe instead.
“We have no problem having three NHL goalies available… (but) that has to be mutual,” general manager Dean Lombardi said today. “He has to go down there with a good attitude, and if that’s what he wants to do then we’ll be fine with it. If, at this stage of his career, he wants to go back to Sweden, then we’ll try to accommodate that too.”
Plus, as Lombardi noted, “This whole goaltender market can change in a hurry,” meaning that an early-season injury could cause a team to look for a goalie with NHL experience, such as Ersberg.
It seems as though the last big question the Kings had to answer was the choice between Clune and Kyle Clifford. They went with Clifford — although he can be returned to his junior team before his 10th game — and I asked Lombardi about the Clifford vs. Clune choice.
LOMBARDI: “It’s not easy. These are good problems to have. We had some tough decisions here, and those are subtle signs that your reserve list is certainly getting better, when you have tough decisions. There’s not much. They both played their role pretty well. I think it’s just a question of numbers. Obviously there’s a little window here with Clifford, in terms of the 10 games, but I think it’s just a question of numbers. It could have gone either way.”
I asked Lombardi if he was surprised that Clifford made such a strong impression in camp…
LOMBARDI: “Don’t forget, last year he went right down to the end. I think we were more surprised last year. I don’t think there’s any doubt that we think this kid is going to be a good player. When you talk about culture, you’ve seen how he responds and stands up for his teammates. These are the kinds of things, when we were playing Anaheim three years ago, that stood out. There are certain elements out there that Anaheim, in the past, took advantage of, but we set out to address that. We’re getting there, and this guy certainly understands not only being a good player but being a good teammate. Again, he’s still only 19 years old here, so we have to be careful. We approached this with an open mind, and thought that he had a chance, and he certainly held up well. He’s going to improve, too. He’s not only going to be a physical player. He has a chance to be a good player.”
Finally, the Kings signed forward Jordan Nolan to a three-year, entry-level contract. Nolan is in camp with the Manchester Monarchs.