Quincey what doctor ordered

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray admits he had no idea what they were getting in defenceman Kyle Quincey.

Even now, the most fervent hockey fans are undoubtedly asking themselves, Kyle who?

The former spare part for the Detroit Red Wings is now an all-purpose tire with the Kings, who snagged the 23-year-old off waivers Oct. 13.

"We didn't know what we had. None of us knew who he was," said Murray yesterday before the Kings battled the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.

"We put him in that first game, and he impressed us. He's done a steady job right through."

Only rookie Drew Doughty has averaged more ice than Quincey since coming over from the defending Stanley Cup champions, for whom he played just 13 games over three seasons.

Despite his limited role, it was hard to leave the best team in hockey.

"I was pretty torn when it all happened," said Quincey. "But (I've) kind of settled in nicely here."

The numbers support that idea.

He's scored twice -- both game-winning goals on the road -- and racked up eight helpers in 16 games with the Kings prior to last night.

Oh, and the Kings aren't languishing in last place as they did last season.

That unfortunate standing worked out well for the franchise, which picked up Doughty second overall in the draft, and had the lowest status of the teams trying to pluck Quincey off waivers.

With an 8-8-3 start to the season, it looks as if the Kings have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs if they win a few more of the one-goal games that have gone the other way so far.

Quincey didn't suit up for the Wings during the playoffs last spring, but he does bring post-season experience. He got into 13 games in 2006-07, including the Game 6 victory in Calgary that knocked the Flames out of the first round.

His name won't appear on the Stanley Cup, but he was given a day with the trophy.

A ring will be also waiting for him when the Kings visit Detroit next month.

"They didn't need to do any of that, and they did. I was very fortunate to be a part of the Red Wings for the time I was. They really made you feel a part of it," said Quincey.

Forced to do something about their salary-cap situation, the Red Wings tried to deal Quincey. Giving up something in return for an unproven commodity wasn't in the other 29 teams' best interests, so exposing the 6-foot-2, 207-lb. rearguard was GM Ken Holland's only way to get the relief he needed in case they had to call up a goaltender if one of theirs was injured.

"He was just putting me on waivers to get cap room. He said, 'Selfishly, I don't want anyone to pick you up, but at the same time, it's not fair to you, because we know you can play in the league,' " Quincey said of Holland's upfront talk to keep him informed of what could happen.

"We kind of left on the best terms possible. I told Kenny when we left, down the road, I'd love to come back. But I'm very happy right now."


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