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.
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 4
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 11
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 61
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 33
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 22
- Gorges still can’t explain falling out of favor in Montreal 13
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 7
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 31
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 45
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (61)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off (54)