Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Stringer Bell, Oct 24, 2018.
How good was he and why did his career end so abruptly?
By the end of his time with the Islanders, Derek King had a concussion, a jaw injury, and foot injuries. His numbers weren't terrible with Hartford (12-3-3-6) and Toronto (161-45-63-98), I tend to think that he was the right guy in the right place in NY, he meshed with Pierre Turgeon and Steve Thomas...a pretty solid line. Once Turgeon left, King's numbers declined, although he was still kinda decent when he was healthy.
King had a pretty good shot, and woukd be digging around the net for rebounds, and from what I remember his skating seemed average. Don't recall how he was defensively, but I don't think he was a liability. Powerplay minutes probably boosted his numbers, not sure what kind of minutes he got away from the Islanders, particularly Toronto. By the time St Louis signed him, he was pretty much spent at the NHL level, and he was well on the decline.
Not a bad career, 261 goals, 351 assists in 830 games, from '91/92-'93/94, 108 goals 116 assists.
King was a solid player who got the most out of his abilities. Nothing extraordinary about his game, always thought he was a lunch pail type of player. About a 20-25 goal scorer when not paired with Turgeon.
In TOR, he played with Sundin (at least on occasion) in '97-'98 and put up 21 goals and 46 points in 77 games and was the Leafs' third leading scorer.
In '99 he played on the second line with Sullivan and Mike Johnson and put up a very solid 52 points (24 of them goals) in a season where the Leafs led the NHL in scoring by 20 goals, but then he really struggled in the playoffs. I've read on here that he had confidence/psychological issues that season according to an article that was published or something along those lines (which I had no idea about at the time if true). His career was more or less finished after the '99 playoffs.
actually, I know exactly what you're talking about but I don't remember where it was from either. I remember reading a report following that season saying something to the effect of " don't let his 52 points fool you, by the end of last season he was a quivering mass of insecurity with the puck". Sure enough, he was finished the very next fall
I remember him, had a solid career but was never what you'd call a star. Played his final game at 33 (2000)
King was an ok 2nd line type who was a bit slowish, not great defensively, but had decent size and a nice shot.
Owes pretty much his entire career to Pierre Turgeon who made him look a lot better than he actually was from 1991-94. Rammed home a lot of Turgeon's passes on the PP but never did anything of note before or after Turgeon was an Islander.
Yeah, pretty much this, this is what I remember of him. He wasn't really a first line guy & was punching above his weight on Turgeon's line because the Isles were lacking in forward depth, particularly on the left side. To his credit, he held his spot. But, yeah, a rather unspectacular player who probably wouldn't have risen above 2nd/3rd line had he broken in with another team.
Yup - a one-dimensional guy who was cast as a sort of poor man's Brett Hull to Turgeon's Adam Oates, and like you say to his credit he filled that role well and fired in a pile of PP goals over a 3-year stretch.
Separated from Turgeon, he was a slow guy who couldn't drive offense by himself and struggled. Toronto tried putting him with Sundin in the late 1990s and even though he put up ok numbers on paper he wasn't good at all and was a major whipping boy there. Much like Turgeon making him look good when he was average, Sundin probably made him look average when he was bad.
King was a mediocre player who cashed in on being with the Islanders at the right time and riding shot gun with Turgeon.
i don’t think a guy who scored 20 goals on a line with brent sutter, pre-turgeon trade, then 20 three more times during the dpe centered by travis green (ziggy palffy was the other winger), then sundin, can be called a mediocre player.
not a great player either obviously, but a passable complementary top line winger. mike knuble with better hands and less toughness?
better than, say, matt moulson, who was basically nothing without tavares.
Parenteau, not Knuble...
King’s generally style/type always struck me as odd because he had that trucker-looking face where you look at him and think “well there’s a gritty guy who’ll kick ass in the corners”, but that’s not what he was at all.
Ziggy was a top ten scorer in '97 in what was a pretty good year for Art Ross competition (Lemieux and Gretzky still putting up points; peak Selanne, Jagr and Kariya, LeClair having a big season with help from Lindros; Yzerman, Forsberg, Francis, Sundin, Shanny, Tkachuk, Turgeon putting up 85 or more points in the first season of the DPE). I didn't follow the Islanders closely that season and King could have been the beneficiary of being in a "bad team scorer" type of role and playing with a far more talented linemate in Palffy.
In '98 King wasn't anything special, but he produced at a first line clip or thereabout playing for another bad team. If anything, he should have done better considering Sundin was a top 15 scorer that season despite not having a winger who hit 50 points.
I do give him some credit for his '99 season - as I mentioned, he played on a line with Sullivan and Johnson and put up 24 goals. However, he played for a team that played a wide-open style of game and scored a lot in general and then he completely disappeared in the playoffs. One goal in 16 games... FFS, Derek.
parenteau? a smallish playmaking winger? i don't see the connection other than both being islanders wingers.
i was thinking knuble in the sense that he's best as the third best guy on a scoring line (say, with thornton/murray, gagne/forsberg, ovechkin/backstrom; similar to king with turgeon/thomas) and was a bigger guy who made his living in the slot and did a lot of his damage on the PP. but yes, very different styles of players, grit wise.
sure, ziggy and sundin were great offensive players. but at that time, i don't think i'd call palffy a big playmaker. and sundin has never been the kind of guy to turn a plumber into a goalscorer, adam oates-style.
i don't doubt that king benefited from playing with them; who wouldn't? but my point is the guy had hands and a nose for the net. he was a high pick in the '80s for a reason.
He was definitely better than "average" if average is used in comparison to all players or forwards and not a particular subset of offensive players (top six scoring wingers for example). Steve Thomas was a legitimate top line forward who wasn't a star level player by any means. King was like a poor (or poorer) man's Thomas in terms of ability, which I suppose makes him anywhere between a "passable complementary top line winger" and a player who ideally should be playing on a second line (like in '99) but can step in and produce at at least a half-decent clip offensively on a top line.
Knuble had a defensive conscience...PAP was a weak player, below average skater and needed a lot of talent directly around him to be useful...yeah, probably more of a passer than King, but similarly incomplete players...
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