Saturday, September 18, 2010

30 Caps in 30 Days: DJ King

During the thirty days of September, I'll be trying to preview the seasons of thirty players currently under contract with the Washington Capitals and who have a good chance of spending some time in red, white, and blue this season. Advanced stats are given from ranked against other players at the same position--forward, defense, or goalie--in the same organization, at 5-on-5, unless otherwise noted. Age is on opening night, and teammates are those listed at 10% or greater. Today, DJ King)

DJ King: age 26, 6'2", 228 pounds, shoots left.
Contract: $638k, UFA in 2012, per Capgeek.

Last three years: 74 GP, 3-4-7, 133 PIM

The most significant roster change George McPhee made this offseason (re-signing RFAs not counting as "change") was probably trading prospect winger Stefan Della Rovere for "enforcer" DJ King.

Judging by his stats, DJ King is exactly that: an enforcer. He scores about 1 point for every 10 games played, which would be around 8 over an entire season. He may be better than that in reality, as his past two seasons have been significantly shortened by injury. I think that more-or-less balances out with the fact that his best NHL season in 2007-2008 came with the 28th-ranked St. Louis Blues.

DJ King may be better than 8 points over 80 games, especially on an offensive team like the Caps. He also may take a hit because of the difficulty of making the team on a daily basis. Between Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Knuble, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann, Eric Fehr, Jason Chimera, that's 8 of 12 forward spots taken, and both of Gordon/Steckel is a safe bet as well, bringing us to 10. There's not much leeway for King to make the lineup, even if management thinks King can bring more than just fists.

I think King is likely to see about 25 games, barring another big injury. He would likely be in the lineup against Tampa Bay (Downie), the New York Rangers (Boogaard), and a few other teams, I think, to counter the other team's pugilist or resident Caps-troublemaker. 25 GP, 1-3-4, single digit plus is what I have him for. I don't expect him to play in the playoffs.


  1. Actually, the East REALLY stacked up on the beef this off-season...

    Devils - PLL
    Leafs - Orr, Rosehill
    Flyers - Shelley, Carcillo, Lappy, Walker
    Lightning - Asham, Downie
    Isles - Konopka, Yablonski (2 way)
    Sens - Carkner, Neil
    Rangers - Boogaard, Prust
    Bs - Thornton, Lucic
    Pitt - Godard
    Panthers - Peters
    Thrashers - Boulton

    And I'm sure I'm missing a few.

  2. There's a fine balance. King is only valuable as long as he doesn't turn into a liability. Against every East team save Florida dressing King on the road runs risk of liability (the other coach likely would throw out his top line). Speedy teams could also victimize King in Washington, as the last line change means for a few seconds Crosby is out there against King and forechecking hard. Bradley and Steckel/Gordon are good defensively, but I'd rather not the team take that risk (assuming no injury).

    A team like the Rangers probably runs less risk because they're not an aggressive offensive team. Boston, Buffalo, Toronto, New York Islanders, and Atlanta I think are similar. I would have thrown Tampa Bay into that group too, but I read somewhere that Yzerman and Boucher will implement a high-tempo, aggressive scheme this season. New Jersey is supposed to up the tempo too.