For my final Manchester Monarchs Insider post, here’s a link to the LAKings.com story I wrote about the weekend I spent with the Kings’ AHL affiliate. From conversations with Mark Morris in his office, to discussions I had with players and members of the team’s staff and the special teams meeting I joined, there were any number of directions I could have taken with this story. I decided to use as much as was possible, and in a mostly chronological account of the weekend, I strung 2,836 words together about the team’s personality, its quest for a Calder Cup, and the players who have developed under head coach Mark Morris. It’s a somewhat long read that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Asked to name particular players that have left an impact on him, Morris at first takes a diplomatic response before the names begin to flow.
Peter Harrold is the first name spoken. Then, Teddy Purcell, Matt Moulson and Tim Jackman are similarly referenced as “character guys.”
Brian Boyle. Rich Clune. Thomas Hickey.
“That’s the natural reaction of most American Hockey League players – finding your niche with your team,” Morris says. The name Marc-Andre Cliche, who captained the Monarchs from 2010-13 and scored his first NHL goal with the Colorado Avalanche the week before, brought a smile to Morris face. Dwight King and Jordan Nolan’s names were also recalled.
“The closest thing we have to a King or Nolan right now is Nic Deslauriers,” Morris said.
“I haven’t seen him lose too many fights.”
LAKings.com: Weekend in Manch