First, a tangential note. The Kings have signed prospects Andy Andreoff and Robert Czarnik to entry-level contracts.
Back to the item…It’s safe to say that nobody on the Kings has put in more skating work since the start of the season than Colin Fraser. Acquired from Edmonton in a summer trade, Fraser was the center of a Kings-Oilers dispute about his health, then underwent surgery to (finally) repair a broken foot. Fraser has been skating since camp opened and was recently cleared for full practices, including contact. I caught up with him today to ask about his status, and then asked Terry Murray about his plans for Fraser…
FRASER: “I feel great, really. I feel ready to go, but it’s not really up to me. It’s up to the coaches and management and stuff. I’ve got enough practices in now, and enough bag skates to get in shape and stuff like that. I’ll continue to work hard and continue to do what I need to do in order to get better every day and hopefully get an opportunity here sometime soon.’’
Question: Are you totally cleared to play?
FRASER: “Yeah, I’m cleared by the doctor. The coaches want me to feel comfortable with the systems, the new systems, and to get into shape, so that when I do get an opportunity, I’m at my best, versus being just halfway there. So I feel really good. I feel comfortable with all that, so hopefully it’s sometime soon.’’
Question: Initially, it was thought that you might be out until November or December. All things considered, was this about as positive as it got in terms of recovery?
FRASER: “I had two different issues. One was a broken foot and the other was a cyst on the foot. If, like originally thinking, we were going to fix the cyst, I would have been out until November or December. But after seeing more than one doctor, we decided that that was not necessary. So we just fixed the broken bone and they told me six to eight weeks. Technically speaking, without being in shape and knowing the systems, I was probably ready at eight weeks. But I had to get in shape and feel comfortable on the ice, so it’s been 10 weeks now, maybe 11 weeks. So I’m feeling good.’’
And here are Murray’s thoughts, when it was mentioned that Fraser said he’s ready to go…
MURRAY: “Yes, but he’s on the I.R. He spoke with me yesterday, after the practice, and said he’s feeling great. He’s been through the last couple days of practice with no pain, no hesitation in his play. I said, `OK, I’ll pass that along.’ He just wanted me to know that he’s feeling good.’’