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May 17. 2014 11:23PM

Ian Clark's On Hockey: Plenty of hockey left

Sure, the sting of the Boston Bruins' exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs is still fresh, but don't give up on hockey quite yet.

There are still plenty of local angles to keep you interested. Exhibit A is, of course, the Los Angeles Kings and the bevy of former Manchester Monarchs on the roster.

The Monarchs may have been bounced from the AHL playoffs in the first round, but four players on the Kings' active roster played in Manchester this season.

Forwards Tanner Pearson (two goals, four assists) and Tyler Toffoli (three goals, four assists) have been solid contributors for the Kings in the playoffs. Backup goaltender Martin Jones saw some mop-up duty and defenseman Jeff Schultz has come on to play in six games.

Schultz' story is perhaps most interesting since he began the playoffs in Manchester and was called up, getting almost 20 minutes of ice time per game now.

It's a nice perk for the veteran of nine pro seasons who came to town with a good attitude and willingness to mentor young players.

Schultz is probably the only Kings player who took a little extra something from knocking off the Ducks since it was Anaheim's AHL affiliate Norfolk that eliminated Manchester.

Aside from the four most recent Manchester Monarchs playing in L.A. there are of course so many others, including the key pieces like captain Dustin Brown and goalie Jonathan Quick.

It's worth noting just how strong this Kings team has been over the past few years with players who learned the pro game at the AHL level under Mark Morris, yet he was not brought back for another year as Monarchs coach.

Can whomever steps behind the bench next continue the legacy of development set by Morris?

The Ducks had a couple of notable New Hampshire connections as well with coach Bruce Boudreau, who was popular in town when he coached the Monarchs. Anaheim also had Concord-born defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who played at Dartmouth.

In the Eastern Conference, it's worth mentioning that the New York Rangers have some players you can get behind, among them former Monarch Brian Boyle.


Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email is iclark@unionleader.com.


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