The Kings sniffed around Ilya Kovalchuk. You knew it, I knew it, everyone in the NHL knew it, even if the folks in the Kings’ locker room did their best to ignore it, for fear of it becoming a distraction. Given that the Kings are 2-0 since Kovalchuk got traded to New Jersey, there doesn’t appear to be any disappointment. If anything, from what I’ve heard, there’s excitement that this team, intact, will be able to try to finish what he started.
Asked about the non-trade today, Murray echoed those sentiments and gave some interesting insight in terms of the process of building the Kings…
MURRAY: “You go over the history of teams in the league, and there’s not really a wrong way or a right way. Nobody is smarter than anybody else, when it comes to building teams. It’s just our way of doing things. It’s Dean’s way of doing things. This is the process that we talked about in the interview I had when the job opened up. This is how we planned about going about business. He’s staying with his decision, and everybody in the organization is on board with that, meaning ownership, obviously the management people upstairs and the coaching staff.
“That was a big part of the enthusiasm that I had when I got this job, was the fact that we’re going to be staying with the younger players, we’re going to bring them along the right way, and we’re going to lose together but we’re going to learn how to win together. This group has battled through a lot in a year in a half. There’s a lot of years together in front of them, and I admire his decision. It’s a very sexy deal to make. He’s a man sticking by his decision that he made two years ago. That’s what I admire about this decision. It’s always easy to tear things down and to go another route. That’s the easy way to do it. The hard decision is making the commitment to your team, `We’re going to do what’s best for the Los Angeles Kings organization,’ and that’s what has been done here.”