About face: Kings aren't recalling John Zeiler--or anyone else
Will a logistical goof cost the Kings a chance at winning Game 2 of their playoff series against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday?
A few hours after saying they would recall center John Zeiler from Manchester of the American Hockey League to replace suspended center Jarret Stoll, the Kings unexpectedly reversed course.
Apparently they realized late Friday they couldn’t get Zeiler through the re-entry waiver process after learning about Stoll's fate early Friday afternoon. A club spokesman at about 6:40 p.m. said that Zeiler won’t be winging west -- and nor will Brayden Schenn or anyone else. Forward Oscar Moller, a healthy scratch in the Kings’ 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1, will instead take Stoll’s spot.
The turnabout on Zeiler was curious. After the Kings' practice Friday, Assistant General Manager Ron Hextall called Zeiler "the right guy for this time in this series." Players on re-entry waivers are in limbo for 24 hours because another team can claim them.
A Kings spokesman said “our intent was to recall him but given the timing of [Friday’s] ruling on Stoll we could not have him clear re-entry waivers in time” for Saturday’s game.
Moller has plenty of skill and is speedy but he’s small and prone to being rubbed out and moved off the puck. He was moved from center to wing for that reason. He’s listed at 5-foot-10 and 189 pounds but hockey rosters tend to overstate players’ stature. In a series like this, which started out physical and might ratchet up to ferocious on Saturday, it will be difficult for Moller to become a factor.
-- Helene Elliott, reporting from San Jose
Photo: Kings winger Oscar Moller chases after Sharks center Joe Thornton during a regular-season game in early April. Credit: Jason O. Watson / US Presswire