Marc-Andre Cliche was called up by the Kings from Manchester today — along with Rich Clune — and if Cliche stays around and plays Tuesday in Dallas, he would be making his NHL debut. Cliche, 22, has 10 goals and 11 assists in 50 games with the Monarchs this season and is known as a strong defensive forward. Cliche would wear No. 67 with the Kings. Here’s what he said about getting the call yesterday to join the Kings…
Question: How exciting was it to get the call that you were coming here?
CLICHE: “This is my third year in the American Hockey League. You always think about it, and it’s a dream come true. It hasn’t happened yet, because we still have a long way before Tuesday and I don’t know if I’m going to play, but just being here, it feels so good.”
Question: The fact that you’ve been here for a couple training camps, does that help you feel a little more at ease?
CLICHE: “I think the biggest thing about training camp is just the fact that you get to know the coaches and the guys around here. It’s a really good team, really good guys, so it’s easy to fit in. They make you feel good, so it’s really easy on that point.”
Question: How has the season been going for you in Manchester?
CLICHE: “I got a (captain’s) letter down there, so I think leadership was one of my biggest parts this year. I have just tried to lead the team, and I think I did a pretty good job. (Drew) Bagnall, the captain down there, helped me a lot, because he’s got a lot of experience with leadership. He showed me a couple things. Hockey-wise, I think my defensive role is always the biggest part. Then, when guys started getting hurt, I had to produce more goals and I did. I got lucky but I worked hard and it worked out for me.”
Question: Based on that, you could probably fill a couple different roles with the Kings, depending on what they ask of you, right?
CLICHE: “I’d fill any role, to be honest. I’ll play one shift a game. I really don’t care. It’s just a dream to be here. I’m so happy, so whatever happens, happens.”