Monday, March 8, 2010

Erik Ersberg, Larry Murphy and Doughty?

It's all in a day.

Happy Birthday to Kings back-up goaltender Erik Ersberg. The now 28 year old netminder has had extremely limited action this season, having played in just eight games. Since arriving in LA for the 2007-08 season Double E has only seen action in 50 games. Not exactly the veteran presence the Kings may need come playoff time, causing some Kings fans to wonder why GM Dean Lombardi didn't shore things up at the trade deadline.

When asked about this at yesterday's meeting with season ticket holders Lombardi shared a few thoughts...first, who was really available that would be much of an improvement...two, Ersberg shouldn't necessarily be judged on his performance this year (having to sit for long stretches at a time, sometimes more than a month - and then having to play)...three, if need be, they can always call up Jonathan Bernier from Manchester. However - HOLD ON before you Bernier lovers start ordering your new Kings jerseys from Team LA.

Lombardi and assistant GM Ron Hextall have made it perfectly clear on multiple occasions that the plan has been to keep 'the other' Jonathan in Manch' all year (including any possible playoff run by the Monarchs). So, it remains highly unlikely he'll be up in LA this season...unless there is an unfortunate injury...and if you're a Kings fan, you don't even want to think about something like that happening so close to the playoffs.

Now, on to the other birthday today...

Seems that Ersberg shares a birthday with not only a former Kings defenseman, but a legendary one...a guy who went on to have a Hall of Fame career - Larry Murphy.

Murph turned 49 today, which means he should be playing along side Chris Chelios for the Chicago Wolves. That's a different story though.

This story is about the uncanny similarities to Murphy and a current Kings defenseman - one who is pretty damn good himself...Drew Doughty.

* Both are guys are from a similar part of Canada - Doughty grew up in London, Ontario...about 2 hours from Murphy's hometown of Scarborough (Wayne Simmonds hometown coincidentally)

* Doughty played junior hockey for the Quelph Storm, less than an hour north east of where he grew up...Murphy played for the Peterborough Petes - yes, less than hour north east of where he was raised.

* Both have represented Team Canada in the Olympics - Murphy in 1980 and Doughty in 2010.

* Doughty was a first round draft pick in 2008 (taken second overall). Murphy was a first round pick too, having been picked fourth overall by the Kings in 1980.

* Both debuted for the Kings as teenagers - Murphy was 19 when he first suited up for LA in the fall of 1980...Doughty was just 18 when he played his first game as a King in 2008.

* Doughty wears #8 because his birthday is the 8th of December. Although Murphy started out wearing #5 with the Kings, he went on to wear #8 with the Washington Capitals (1983-89) and Minnesota NorthStars (1989-90).

* Both were offensive minded from the very beginning - Doughty's 27 points tied him for first among all rookie defenseman, while Murphy set the record for most assists and points by a rookie dman.

The list of comparisons could continue...however, just know this:

Murphy won four Stanley Cups and retired having played more games than any other defenseman in NHL history up to that point.

One can only hope that Doughty goes on to have that type of career...with just one major difference - let's hope he accomplishes those things wearing a Kings uniform!

The Mayor

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