Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/23/11 at 07:21 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
...Still, the conventional wisdom is that L.A. is far ahead of Columbus on the development curve, even if the evidence suggests differently.
After Richards and Kopitar, the Kings’ next best forward is Dustin Brown, a good player who topped out at 60 points FOUR years ago and has been in the mid-50s ever since. Then there’s Justin Williams (frequently injured); Simon Gagne (best days behind him); Dustin Penner (a disaster since arriving from Edmonton), plus a cast of journeymen (Jarrett Stoll, Brad Richardson, Trent Hunter, Colin Fraser). Kyle Clifford is one good young player on the horizon, but he plays fewer than nine minutes per night.
OK, now over to Columbus. Carter and Nash essentially cancel out Richards and Kopitar, right? Then there’s Vinnie Prospal, who continues to prosper wherever he goes; Ryan Johansen, who is about a year away from being a special player; Sens castoff Antoine Vermette, who is capable of scoring 60 points; and R.J. Umberger, who has a lot of Brown’s qualities as a leader and a scorer, but is far behind the scoring pace he set last year. Mark Letestu and Sammy Pahlsson are quality bottom-six forwards; Kristian Huselius is a dynamite power play specialist currently on IR again.
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