Dec 19, 2010, 12:02 AM EDT
It’s been a tough season and a half for shutdown defenseman Willie Mitchell, but some people will take a “told you so” tone when discussing the Los Angeles Kings’ decision to sign him.
That’s because every reasonable hockey person knew that the team was taking a risk on the defenseman, who missed almost half of the 2009-10 season – plus the playoffs – after suffering a concussion from an Evgeni Malkin hit. Especially when you consider the Kings’ lengthy history of getting burned badly by injury prone players.
Don’t get me wrong, Mitchell is a very useful player when he’s healthy, but that hasn’t been the case for much of this season. He’s only played in half (15) of the Kings’ 30 games in 10-11, as he dealt with a broken arm in November and now ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the former Canucks blueliner is expected to miss two to three weeks with a “lower body injury.”
LeBrun made a good point when he said that, ultimately, the Kings only care that he can suit up during the playoffs.
Of course, it’s not safe to assume many teams in the clouded Western Conference picture will make the playoffs. Los Angeles would be in there if the postseason started tonight, but only by a small margin: they own a tie-breaker for the eighth spot because they have games in hand over the Coyotes and Blackhawks.
- Jonathan Toews talks about the Patrick Kane situation 12
- Voynov detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 13
- Ex-‘Hawks goalie Raanta tees off on former club 31
- Report: Hawks feel Kane ‘disrespected’ team, have received trade calls 119
- Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane? 82
- Hall of Famer Al Arbour passes away 22
- Poll: Who will be San Jose’s next captain? 24
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance 95
- Gio won’t go: Flames extend Giordano for six years, $40.5M 13
- Pens’ plan for now: Crosby starts as Kessel’s center 25
- Report: Hawks feel Kane ‘disrespected’ team, have received trade calls (119)
- Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane? (82)
- Report: Hawks’ Kane has not been asked to waive his no-move clause (47)
- Lucic jokes about running through Rask ‘like I did (to) another goalie’ (42)
- It’s Chicago Blackhawks day at PHT (41)