Both King and Nolan were disappointed to have to go back to the Monarchs and the AHL, especially after winning the Stanley Cup last season. But they had no choice in the matter, and they made the best of a bad situation.
“It was good, it was nice to be playing,” said King, who scored five goals and added twelve assists for 17 points, with a +4 plus/minus rating, and 13 penalty minutes in 28 games with the Monarchs this season. “I was awfully familiar with the whole situation. Being able to play with guys who were all looking to get better, and then, end up here, was huge for me. Our record could’ve been better while I was there, but overall, the experience was good.”
“Some of the guys who [did not play during the lockout] have played in [the NHL] for awhile, and are more comfortable,” said Nolan, who scored two goals and added four assists for six points, with a -3 rating and 21 penalty minutes in 21 games with Manchester this season. “But I’ve only played a couple of months, so I thought it would be better for myself to get myself back into the grind of playing games and practices, and then, coming here without [needing much of a] transition.”
“I worked on consistency, and keeping my game simple,” added Nolan. “That’s what got me in the lineup last year, and helped me contribute. That’s what I’m trying to do again this year. I have to earn my spot—it’s a tough lineup to make, so coming in here and working hard has some value.”
Like others who played during the lockout, King and Nolan are already in game shape. “It’ll be nice not to [have to] start feeling it out again from square one,” Nolan remarked. “I’ll be right back in game shape, and at game speed.”
“I think there’s a lot of guys who wish they were in my shoes, [along with King and Voynov] to keep on top of our games,” Nolan added. “It’s going to help us in the long-run. Some guys could get off to a slow start, but we’ll be on top of our game.”
“No matter how old you are, you want to stay sharp,” King noted. “Being in Manchester, in one of the top leagues running while the lockout was going on, was definitely a good thing.”