Just to clarify/consolidate some of the Marco Sturm stuff, he’s on waivers and teams have until 9 a.m. to put in claims. If no teams put in a claim, Sturm will remain with the Kings, and Terry Murray and Dean Lombardi both said today that, in that case, Sturm will play tomorrow against Colorado. That is, overwhelmingly, the most likely scenario. A player clearing waivers does not automatically mean he’s destined for the minors, and it does not automatically mean a corresponding move is coming. In fact, by itself, it means nothing, other than that a team has flexibility in terms of what to do with the player. In the Kings’ case, they’re at the 23-man roster limit. If they make a trade, and end up with 24 active players, they would need to make a short-term move until the roster-limit rule vanishes on March 1. If Sturm clears, the Kings could send him down to create that roster space, if needed. Anyway, this is multi-faceted so I hope that made sense. Here’s what Sturm said after practice today about the situation, followed by Murray’s thoughts…
STURM: “There’s not a lot to say. Obviously it’s a roster move, like they did with me earlier in Boston, so I’m just going to have to wait and see. Hopefully I’m going to be a King again tomorrow at the game.”
Question: And that’s the plan, right? You’ll play if you clear?
STURM: “Yeah, exactly. So we’ll have to wait and see, but I like it here and hopefully I’ll be able to play again tomorrow.”
Question: There have been some fits and starts since you were traded here. Has it been frustrating in a way?
STURM: “Definitely. It’s been frustrating, pretty much the whole year for me. I know I can play better too, but for right now I’m sometimes limited. But again, I think I feel better. I’m going in the right direction. It just needs time, and I hope I can prove to all the guys in here that I can play better, too.”
Question: Last night looked more comfortable for you last night than the previous game. Is that how it felt?
STURM: “Definitely. I felt better. I felt more comfortable. I had more jump. So yeah, definitely much better.”
And Murray’s thoughts, starting with his perspective on the Sturm-on-waivers situation…
MURRAY: “The plan is that he will be in, and play tomorrow. This has no effect on my decision as the coach of the team, as far as his ability to be a player for our hockey club. The plan is that he will be in the lineup tomorrow.”
Question: Do you need to talk to him at all, just to make sure his mindset is OK?
MURRAY: “I know Dean had a meeting with him this morning, and reviewed all of the thought process that went into it. There will be — after we get done with our workout here, in the off-ice part of it — a brief conversation with me, as far as, `How are you doing? How are you feeling? Are you ready to go tomorrow?’ He went through the practice fine, and he will be on the line with Kopitar.”
Question: Do you just need to see more scoring there from him?
MURRAY: “On the on-ice part of it, we need more. He’s a player going through a situation — as you all know — with an injury, coming back, getting himself physically ready to play. He’s been through the skating club for a couple of weeks. My view of it is that his conditioning is good. He’s ready to get going. Everything is on page there. Now it’s putting it all together on the ice, and being a good player to play on the top line and contribute to the hockey club and help us win games. I certainly could use more on that, but he’s a player who can show me that veteran-player composure, making plays, carrying the puck, use his speed, his asset, and that’s what I’ll be looking for again tomorrow.”