Tomorrow, we’ll get beyond the Drew Doughty stuff and take a look at some other camp issues, but here’s one more look at it, from a different perspective. Doughty isn’t in camp, which isn’t good for the Kings in general, but it is an opportunity for a young defenseman to step forward and make an impression during his absence. And why not Thomas Hickey? Famously drafted No. 4 overall by the Kings in 2007, Hickey battled injuries early in his pro career as has yet to play a game at the NHL level. Last season, Hickey made it through the entire year without injury and totaled six goals and 18 assists in 77 regular-season games. Along with Viatcheslav Voynov and Jake Muzzin, among others, Hickey might be able to use camp to make a strong impression.
Question: Do you feel some pressure, heading into this training camp?
HICKEY: “There’s a lot of pressure for everyone. I’m concerned about doing my own thing and playing the best I can. I want to make this team really bad. There’s pressure, there’s expectations. I’d say mine are higher, greater than everyone else’s. It’s an exciting time of the year for me.”
Question: Doughty not being here can open up some serious minutes for someone else. Do you look at that at all?
HICKEY: “Yeah, you do. If you’re a D-man, the first thing you look at is the one-year contracts. Those are the guys that have earned them, and the right to play here, over the guys that are coming up. Without him, there’s only six. I think all the D understand that and understand the style that he plays. It’s a big void that is left open, and I think some of my skills could be useful, moving forward, if he’s not going to be here.”