Watch and wait
The Kings will stay with the same lineup tonight that they used Tuesday, meaning that Kyle Clifford, Peter Harrold and Trevor Lewis will be healthy scratches. For the rookie Clifford, who played in the first two games, that’s three consecutive games out of the lineup. Given that Clifford is 19, and still junior-eligible, it’s a bit surprising to me that he would stay with the Kings as a healthy scratch when he could be playing elsewhere, but it doesn’t seem as though the Kings are overly concerned. Clifford can play nine games before the Kings must decide to return him to his junior team or keep him and burn a year of free agency. Murray said he hadn’t discussed Clifford’s short-term future with management.
MURRAY: “No, I have not had those conversations. My mindset is that the players who are here now, on the roster, are L.A. Kings players, and I’m going to stay that way. He’s out of the lineup. You know the reason why. I put Loktionov in, and I wanted to see his game. Stuff happens. Players are going to get back in, players are going to be out. Young guys are learning, I think, as much here in the practice and watching video and staying with the off-ice program. They’re improving with that part of it, so we’ll stay with that plan right now. I like it.”
There’s also been no official decision made on Brayden Schenn, who is also junior-eligible, but unless Schenn’s play dips considerably in the next six games, it’s hard to imagine him not staying with the Kings.