Now that we are a couple of days removed from the hoopla of the LA Kings hoisting the Cup on home ice and players forgetting they are on nation TV while launching in to profanity laden incoherent speaches (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/six-favorite-things-kings-stanley-cup-parade-230523060–nhl.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) I want to talk about the person who probably hurt the most watching the Kings win it all.
His name is Jack Johnson. Johnson was a 3rd overall pick in 2005, and was aquired by the Kings a year later. Johnson played a Shattuck St. Mary’s prep school and anchored a power play that boasted both Sidney Crosby and Drew Stafford. They were no slouches, but as the archives show I did have a save percentage that weekend, so I must have stopped a few 🙂 He went on to the USA Olympic Development program, played a couple years at Michigan, and ended up representing the red white and blue in the 2010 Olympics. Thats about as highly touted as it gets. And he was all set to become a center piece of their defense as the Kings franchise was poised to break through. That was until…Drew Doughty.
Doughty was the Kings pick in 2005, 2nd overall in the draft, and quickly came into his own. He also had better offensive skills than Johnson, but together they provided potent offensive potential from the defensive core. But Doughty made Johnson expendable at the February trade deadline despite being in the first year of a 7 year deal, when the Kings sent him and a first roudnd pick to Columbus for a Jeff Carter. The Kings were in desparate need of scoring, and it was a good trade.
But at the end of the day, Jack Johnson was a player that deserved to be on that team last week, hugging and crying over the best trophy in sports. Tough break for a great player. Hopefully he won’t waste away in Ohio.