September 26, 2011 3:30 pm

Third-line spot up for grabs?

The Kings entered training camp with the idea that Scott Parse would hold down the third-line right-wing spot and play alongside Kyle Clifford and Jarret Stoll. Now, less than 10 days into camp, Terry Murray has expressed continued displeasure with Parse’s play. Could that spot be up for grabs? Could a player such as Brad Richardson or Ethan Moreau, or perhaps tryout winger Trent Hunter, step up and claim that spot? I asked Murray today whether he would say that there is now competition for that third-line spot…

MURRAY: “There’s always competition for those positions. I’m putting him in a situation with Stoll and Clifford and trying, and giving him some time, with some understanding that he missed the whole year last year, playing four games and a couple games in the playoffs. So I’m trying to give him a lot of time. There’s a little more compassion, I guess, with what I’m looking at, but at the same time, after a couple games I need more. I need more work. I need more skating. I need to see him moving his feet, just to show that, `Yeah, it’s starting to come, I’m starting to get my confidence, I want to handle the puck, I want to do the right things,’ and solidify this position on this line. He’s reluctant to grab ahold of it right now. So he’s not going to play in the game tomorrow, as we move into Kansas City. There will be a couple other guys getting some opportunities. That’s what our training camp is about now, to see where the other guys are going to fit.”

Hunter, in camp on a pro-tryout agreement after spending the summer recovering from a serious knee injury, has played in one preseason game already and will be in the lineup when the Kings play Pittsburgh in Kansas City on Tuesday, on a high-profile line with Dustin Penner and Mike Richards…

MURRAY: “I want to play him. I want to give him some more games and give him a fair opportunity. We’re moving him up in the lineup tomorrow, with the look that he will have, and he might play two, three more games out of these four games that we have left. I like what he’s done. He has come in and worked very hard. He’s coming off, obviously, an injury that took away most of last year from him. He put a lot of time in in the offseason. His conditioning is good. He’s a big-bodied guy that can establish himself in front of the net. He’s got good hands to score some goals, and that’s the reason we invited him to the training camp, to see how that might fit. We’ll see how he is in the next few days.”

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