Cupdated and still Lokt-out
Show me you love me. Put my name on it.
Andrei Loktionov has the longest name on the Kings’ Stanley Cup-winning roster.
A whopping 15 letters if you can count; And his name, they’re counting that out.
The seasoned prospect out of Voskresensk, Russia, who has played in three separate stints with the Kings, contributed moderately to this year’s franchise accomplishment, skating in 39 regular season games, along with two appearances in the playoffs.
The harsh decision to leave Loktionov out of the 52 (now 53) Stanley Cup trophy name engravement list had nothing to do with his lengthy name, or the number of games he played. Loktionov was a mere two games short of the NHL‘s minimum requirement of regular season games played (41) to guarantee a spot for his name on the Stanley Cup.
Two other skaters who fell short of the 41 game requirement, however, were given the honor of having their names etched onto the Stanley Cup trophy.
Kevin Westgarth appeared in just 25 regular season games, 14 less than Loktionov, and his name graces the Cup. Davis Drewiske only dressed in nine regular season games for the Kings, 30 less than Loktionov, and has his name etched onto the trophy as well.
The reasoning for this, which Rich Hammond hinted at, is most likely due to Westgarth and Drewiske’s strong and positive presence off the ice, in the locker room. This is something I could definitely see and believe.
Apparently, the Kings had the opportunity to petition to the NHL to have Loktionov’s name inscribed. Hammond broke the news that the Kings didn’t even make an attempt to do so.
They write checks
Corporate Perks: The other issue here, and the one that seems to be the most bothersome to many fans including myself, are the list of non-player names to be included in the Kings’ newly etched spot on the Stanley Cup trophy.
Fourteen names from ownership, five names from coaching staff, six names from the scouting department, and four names from the training staff were included. That’s 29 total names, roster players aside, yet there’s no room for Andrei Loktionov.
The group of names dedicated to ownership is usually the most disgusting list to grace the Stanley Cup trophy. Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs did his best to make a mockery of the Bruins’ engravings last season, including his three children on the list.
That’s horrible. There’s no place for that, especially when players are kicked to the side.
We’re not at the dinner table, here. Separate family from work, and do so with respect.
Kings’ owner Philip Anschutz, who just put the team up for sale along with his entire AEG Enterprise, didn’t go as far as Jeremy Jacobs, but he did include his wife, Nancy Anschutz, to the Kings engravings this year.
The sport of hockey exemplifies teamwork to the utmost degree, it builds camaraderie rarely seen or experienced elsewhere. Every player matters, and every player must have a selfless side if they plan on being a successful pro hockey player.
Andrei Loktionov dedicated more time, effort, and struggle to play with this club than 39 regular season game appearances can begin to justify. And he did so away from his natural position, call it a double whammy.
That’s why this is so bothersome; and without hesitation, I can strongly express my distaste for Nancy Anschutz‘s name gracing the Stanley Cup ahead of Andrei Loktionov.
I’ll stop there.
Put it in writing, won’t you
The full list of names, via Rich Hammond of the LA Kings Insider: HERE
Andrei the — but wait
Other Omissions: Three players and a former coach have also been negated from Stanley Cup trophy engravement.
Trent Hunter: Put on waivers and sent to the AHL‘s Manchester Monarchs on February 17, Hunter played in just 38 games with the Kings, putting up two goals and five assists for seven points.
Ethan Moreau: Put on waivers by the Kings on December 9, but Moreau instead decided to end his pro hockey career. Moreau played in 28 games for the Kings, potting a goal and three assists.
Scott Parse: Parse, still struggling with a hip injury, played in just nine games for the Kings this season. His final contest of the season came on November 8. He totaled two goals in his quick appearance.
Terry Murray: The former coach, who led the Kings through 275 games and two playoff appearances over four seasons, is another controversial name that was axed. Murray was fired on December 12th.
Andrei Loktionov: Is not good at interviews. This is wonderfully uncomfortable. (Below)
Lokt and Loaded
Contrary to recent reports that claimed Andrei Loktionov was to head home to Russia and sign with a Kontinental Hockey League club during the NHL lockout, the Kings’ young forward prospect reported to Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday.
Loktionov, for now at least, will spend his NHL lockout playing with the AHL‘s Manchester Monarchs.
Nobody said life was fair. For Andrei Loktionov, the hockey world has hit the kid with some humbling circumstances, just after he played a role in achieving the sport’s most glorious goal.
It’s politics, and it’s the life of pro hockey.