|King skates against the Rangers in January.|
Stats/Season Summary: King had a typical slow year, only playing in 16 games despite being on the active roster the entire season. The left winger registered two points on the year, both assists, while compiling a -2 rating and 30 penalty minutes and occupying a fourth line role. All 30 of his penalty minutes came from fighting majors. Predictably, King struggled in the Caps' fast paced offensive system early, and then in their defensive oriented system later; he only played in two games past February 21. He was also waived at the trade deadline, though he went unclaimed. Grade: D
Role Play: In his first year on the Caps, King was pretty much a flop. He struggled to get in a groove all season because of his profound lack of skill and as a result saw almost no consistent playing time; he never played more than eight minutes in a game this season. He had several games where he acquired zeroes across the board: no shots, points, hits, or blocks, and only six fights for an enforcer like him is far from an acceptable number. By mid November, the sandpaper on the fourth line role had completely passed to Matt Hendricks, rendering King obsolete. He is a great guy and his teammates love him, but he is not going to be a useful player for the Capitals. Grade: C-
Playoffs: Thankfully, King came nowhere near the ice during the playoffs, instead entertaining us common folk with tweets from the press box. Grade: N/A
Future Potential: King is under contract through next season, but I do not see him making an impact on the team next year unless he is forced to by the Caps' salary cap crunch. If young players take charge during development and training camp and earn roles in the top 12 forward spots, I would not be surprised if King either gets waived again, spends the season as a healthy scratch again, or takes a quick trip up I-95 to Hershey. In the Caps' new defensive system, players who are not strong skaters like King really take a back seat. Grade: C-
The third report card of the year will be posted on May 9; it will feature defenseman Tom Poti.