Return Of The King
Manning the right wing with The Twins, the kid from Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, scored goals with a natural ease in his NHL debut. He racked up 11 points in 14 games and captured the NHL's top rookie award for November, 2003.
The lockout and a concussion temporarily stalled King's rise, but he's healthy and determined to regain a roster spot with Vancouver this season.
At 6'0", 200-pounds, King is a natural scorer. The Canucks watched him net 63 goals in 61 games playing for Halifax in his final year of junior hockey and drafted him 212th overall in 2001.
A solid 20-goal, 40-point campaign with Manitoba in his first professional season led to an opening-day roster spot playing alongside the Sedins in 2003. King skated in 47 games that year and dressed once in the playoffs.
The lockout curtailed King's bid for a full 82-game season in the NHL, and an impressive run with Manitoba was cut short by injury.
On March 6, 2005, Rochester defeceman Doug Janik delivered a shoulder to King's chin that dropped the shifty winger. A promising campaign that saw King amass 53 points in 59 games skidded to a halt.
The headaches and dizziness of post-concussion syndrome kept King off the ice for the rest of the lockout season and away from camp last year.
"It would play on anybody's mind," King said last December. "You really want to think short term and get back to what you love to do. But sometimes you have to be realistic and look long term because your brain is one of your most important organs."
King returned January 8th, 2006 against the Cleveland Barons and promptly scored twice.
King proceeded to score 17 more times over the next 35 games and was two assists away from finishing the year at a point-a-game pace.
His comeback year ended when the Moose dropped a 5-4 decision to the Grand Rapids Griffins in game seven of the AHL's Western Conference semi-finals this spring. King scored in that game, and had six more in 13 playoff games with Manitoba.
King appears to have regained the scoring touch that made him such a hit with the Sedins three seasons ago, and he's got a bit more perspective heading into training camp after conquering his injury problems and marrying high-school sweetheart Jennifer Dawe back home in July.