Editor's note: Read Part 1 of this 2-part series by clicking here
In January when the Kings played the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place Josh Green scored the game's first goal in a 2-1 overtime win for Edmonton. For Green it was his first NHL goal in almost five years (his previous goal was in January of 2007 when he played for Vancouver). Yes, it is the same Josh Green that was drafted by the Kings in the second round back in 1996.
To say that Green's professional career has been an adventure would be an understatement. Since turning pro after his junior career in the WHL he has played for a host of teams at both the NHL and minor league level and has had two separate stints playing over in Europe. His resume now includes having played for eight NHL teams.
In 1998-99 he appeared in 27 games for the Kings, netting one goal and adding three assists. Green was then traded to the New York Islanders in June of 1999 in the multi-player deal that saw the Kings acquire Ziggy Palffy and Bryan Smolinski. For Green (a native of Camrose, Alberta) that trade marked just the beginning of his NHL journey. After the Islanders, he moved on to Edmonton then to the New York Rangers and Washington. From there it was off to Calgary, followed by Vancouver and Anaheim and eventually back to the Oilers organization when he signed last summer as a free agent. He's played for eight NHL teams but he also has played for eight teams in the AHL including Fredericton, Springfield, Lowell, Hamilton, Manitoba, Iowa, Syracuse and Oklahoma City. Over in Europe the 6-4 left wing played one season in Salzburg and one for Modo in the Swedish Elite League.
If hockey had a "Love for the Game" award, Josh Green would definitely be a candidate for that honor.
Congratulations to Calgary's Jarome Iginla, who on January 7th became the 42nd player in NHL history to reach 500 goals. His milestone goal came in a Flames win over Minnesota, 3-1, which also makes reaching a milestone sweeter.
Now in his 15th season (all with the Flames), Iginla is working on extending his streak of 30-plus goal seasons to 11 here in 2011-12. He has averaged 39 goals over the past 10 seasons and twice in his career he has led the league in goals. In 2001-02, he had 52, and in 2003-04, he tallied 41. Four times he has been selected to the post-season All-Star team (three times as a first team member) and he has played in six All-Star games (including this year's classic in Ottawa on January 29th).
The proposed re-alignment by the league from the current two conferences with three divisions in each to four conferences next season is on hold. The league was looking at having two conferences with eight teams and two with seven to begin next season, however, the NHL Players Association has blocked the change for now.
The Kings would have been in an eight team conference with Anaheim, San Jose, Phoenix, Colorado, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. One issue that concerned some players: the new proposal didn’t call for the same number of teams in each conference. A player playing in a conference with seven teams has a better chance of finishing in the top four (and qualifying for the playoffs) than a player in a conference with eight teams. It's a valid concern because players have bonuses for making the playoffs.
No doubt the issue will be part of the new collective bargaining talks (the current CBA expires later this summer).
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.