Rest Is History for Lacroix
Eric Lacroix spent Thursday night watching his former employers beat the San Jose Sharks, then playing host to former Colorado teammates who came by his house for a combination victory celebration/bon voyage party.
He spent Friday morning in the air, starting at 4:30 a.m., then skating at the Great Western Forum; and Friday night watching his new employers, the Kings, play Tampa Bay.
“He’s pretty tired, and he hasn’t slept much lately,” Coach Larry Robinson said, explaining the scratch.
“When a good team is slipping, you look for people to blame,” said Lacroix, traded Thursday for the Kings’ Roman Vopat and a draft choice. “Ever since I’ve been there, it was the father-son thing.”
Lacroix is the son of Colorado General Manager Pierre Lacroix, who is taking much of the blame for the Avalanche’s slide from Stanley Cup winner to oblivion.
“Before it became unbearable, I made the move to leave,” Lacroix said. “I’m happy to be here. It’s great.”
It’s also a return to the Kings for Lacroix, who brings some offensive skill--he has averaged 18 goals in each of the last three seasons--particularly around the net.
“Look, I’m no [Wayne] Gretzky or [Peter] Forsberg,” Lacroix said. “Putting me on a line with Jozef Stumpel isn’t going to get him 50 goals. I’m a role player.”
That role will probably begin as a third-line winger. “He could play first or second line,” Robinson said. “He’s no secret. What you see with Eric is what you get.”
Defenseman Mark Visheau skated Friday without the splint he has worn since breaking his left thumb in a fight with the Mighty Ducks’ Stu Grimson in an exhibition four weeks ago. Visheau said he will be ready to play in about two weeks, and he is ticketed for the Long Beach Ice Dogs to get back into shape. . . . Stumpel, sidelined for six games, saw a hernia specialist Friday for tests that proved negative. . . . Longtime anthem singer Warren Wiebe was honored with a moment of silence before the game. He died Sunday.
The NHL Breakout Weekend today and Sunday, sponsored by the Kings, is at Santa Monica Beach, south of the pier. Most events are free.