Purcell has been a real find so far

Times Staff Writer

Ted Purcell has been with the Kings for a little more than a week but there are some in the organization who believe they’ve unearthed a gem.

Purcell has yet to score a goal in his four games with the parent club, but the University of Maine product led the American Hockey League in scoring with 53 points before his call-up from the Kings’ affiliate in Manchester, N.H.

“He’s a good player,” Kings Coach Marc Crawford said. “And I think he’s a very wise choice for our team to pick up as a free agent. He looks like he’s going to be an extremely capable player.”

Purcell got his first NHL point Thursday when he set up Derek Armstrong’s second-period goal with a nice centering pass.

Crawford compared the 6-foot, 3-inch, 177-pound Purcell to winger Alexander Frolov in terms of his playmaking abilities.


“He doesn’t have the strength that Frolov has . . . yet,” Crawford said. “He has a nose for offensive opportunities and he’s going to have to get a little stronger. He’s going to have to get better in protecting the puck in fending off strong NHL defensemen.”

Ducks rookie Ryan Carter is getting a crash course in defending against the NHL’s top centers as he continues to fill in for the injured Samuel Pahlsson.

“The learning curve is definitely smaller when you’re going against the world’s top players,” Carter said. “But I think it’s better that way in the long run.”

Carter said he understands that this is his first real chance to prove that he can be an everyday player.

“I’m filling in for a guy that has a solidified spot and that’s Sami,” he said. “As long as he’s day by day, I’m game by game. But it’s an opportunity to prove that you can be consistent.”

Starting Tuesday in Philadelphia, the Kings’ eight-game trip continues on to Long Island to face the New York Islanders before they head to New Jersey and back to New York to face the Rangers. They’ll finish it off with games at Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus and St. Louis.

The Ducks’ next trip starts at Minnesota and winds its way to St. Louis and Philadelphia. They’ll also play at the two New York teams and New Jersey before finishing off the two-week run at Detroit and Colorado.

Michael Cammalleri missed his 14th consecutive game for the Kings because of his bruised ribs and it doesn’t appear as if the winger is close to returning.

When asked about Cammalleri’s recovery, Crawford said, “Really slow. We’ve pulled him back. He actually pulled himself back as well. He has to be the guy to judge.”


Staff writer Helene Elliott contributed to this report.