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Rink Ramblings - Part 1

by Nick Nickson / Los Angeles Kings
Editor's Note:  Look for part 2 of this 2-part series on Friday, March 9. 

This April 10th will mark the 30th anniversary of the greatest comeback in Stanley Cup Playoff history when the Kings rallied from a 5-0 deficit after two periods to beat Edmonton 6-5 in overtime in Game 3 of their first round best-of-five series. Daryl Evans’ goal off a faceoff win by Doug Smith capped the "Miracle on Manchester."  

Earlier this season Daryl, my partner on Kings Radio since 1999-2000, explained how he wound up even playing in that series as a rookie. 

"I actually didn't think I was going to play at all to start the Edmonton series," recalled Evans.   "At that time the roster of players you could dress for a game was 19 in the regular season and in the playoffs it was expanded to 20.  Our coach, Don Perry, and I had a conversation the day of Game 1 in Edmonton in the hotel saying that the rules had changed and I might get a chance to dress as the 20th player.  Don said it doesn't mean I might play and I responded that I'd just love to be there.  There's no better place to watch a game than on the bench.  I had played for Don in Saginaw (IHL) and earlier that season in New Haven (AHL). He thought I'd be a positive influence and a source of energy for the team on the bench.  I really didn't expect to play but when I got into Game 1 things took off for me." 

Took off indeed! In Game 1, a 10-8 Kings win, Evans scored two second period goals and became a fixture in the lineup for the rest of the series.  He ended up getting points in all five games of the Oiler series with his memorable goal coming in Game 3 at the Forum in overtime.  30 years ago!!!

Now that veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell has re-signed with the Kings for another two seasons (he agreed to terms on February 24),the Kings, and more specifically GM Dean Lombardi, will have decisions to make regarding two veterans before July 1st.

The two players who play significant minutes include forwards Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner.  Both are due to become unrestricted free agents after this season. For forwards Penner and Stoll, how they perform here in the next month may well determine their outcome. Penner and Stoll are both 29. 

Other current Kings who will be unrestricted as of July 1st if they are not signed before that include center Colin Fraser and forward Scott Parse, who has undergone two hip surgeries in the past two seasons and has appeared in only 14 games in that span.

Nick Nickson is in his 31st season of calling Kings’ action on the radio. He and his partner, former Kings left wing Daryl Evans, can be heard on KTLK AM 1150 and along the Kings Radio Network.  Nick and Daryl invite all Kings’ fans to join them for “Kings Talk” on the radio after every Kings home game.  Call 1-888-570-5522 with questions and comments or watch the show LIVE as they broadcast after most games from The Mixing Room at the JW Marriott LA Live.

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