Caps Add Some Sandpaper with Signing of D.J. King
By Leslie Silvey –
In what has been a super slow summer for trades, the Caps took a step in adding some grit to their roster with yesterday's signing of enforcer D.J. King from the St. Louis Blues. The team acquired the 6’3", 230-pound, left winger from the Blues in exchange for prospect Stefan Della Rovere. Since the departure of big, bad Donald Brashear, the Caps have been lacking a tried and true veteran enforcer, despite the best of efforts of various players to take the task of on-ice law enforcement upon themselves. Hockey Mom for one will welcome a replacement for Matt Bradley, who gladly accepted the call to defend his team mates one too many times last season, often leaving the ice looking like a horrid scene from "Saw II". King has had a full dance card throughout his 101-game NHL career, dropping the mitts with such tough guys as Colton Orr and Derek Boogard (King is sure to get reacquainted with his former foe this season as Boogard will be suiting up for the NY Rangers). He posted nine points (four goals, five assists) and 185 penalty minutes in his time with the Blues. King played 12 games in St. Louis and 10 games for Peoria of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2009-10, seeing limited time due to a broken finger.
Originally selected in the sixth round, 191st overall, by the Blues in the 2002 Entry Draft, King played junior hockey for Lethbridge and Kelowna in the Western Hockey League, topping 100 penalty minutes in each of his three seasons. He won the Memorial Cup with Kelowna in 2004.
John Erskine, Matt Bradley and Jason Chimera gladly accepted invitations to dance many times last season. But with the absence of a dedicated enforcer, several opposing players took liberties against Caps players last season, including a very scary run at Mike Green taken by Colorado Avalanche forward David Koci back in December. Not to mention the fact that superstar Alex Ovechkin pretty much has a bulls-eye on his back every time he hits the ice, due to his elite status combined with his tenacious, full-steam ahead manner of play. In fact, the team Caps’ fans love to hate the most (the Penguins of course) has already started stirring the pot courtesy of one Maxime Talbot. Talbot made some derogatory comments about the Great8 this week in a radio interview preceding the 2011 Winter Classic press conference. When informed of Talbot’s comments, newcomer D.J. King chimed in, saying: "Wow. I guess that's not going to be happening too much longer." Yes, looks like our new heavyweight is going to blend in with the boys just fine…now how much longer until training camp?