He only stayed a brief time but his tenure was a memorable one.
Today, the Los Angeles Kings have traded netminder Ben Scrivens to the Edmonton Oilers for a 3rd-round draft pick.
While I am certainly sad to see Scrivens go, heading home to Alberta should give the 27-year-old something to look forward to, even if it means playing for the hapless Oilers.
When he was dealt to Los Angeles last summer, I called Ben Scrivens the wild card of said trade that sent Jonathan Bernier to Toronto – and I like to think I was accurate in calling him that.
I certainly wasn’t expecting him to be a, for lack of a better team, saviour for the Kings but in a significant way, he was.
During an early-November game in Buffalo, Jonathan Quick left the game with an apparent groin injury. I, like most of the Kingdom, held my breath. While the team’s defense is, for the most part, second-to-none, the Kings were on the verge of losing a man who meant so much to their team on the ice in recent years, that it was hard to imagine the silver-and-black succeeding without him – especially in the cutthroat Western Conference. But when Quick’s diagnosis was announced (six weeks), many panicked. One who didn’t was Ben Scrivens himself who handled the spotlight admirably.
Thanks to Scrivens’s play, the Kings would earn points in their next eight outings and in nine of their next ten before they made way for rookie Martin Jones (and we all know what he did). While he did have help from the stingy defensive unit in front of him, Scrivens was certainly no slouch, accumulating back-to-back shutouts just to name one accomplishment during that stretch.
While many fans will remember his recent face-off with the camera while FSWest’s Patrick O’Neal chatted with Jarret Stoll, I will remember Ben Scrivens for how he shouldered the load in goal and immediately put everyone’s mind at ease. Most netminders would crack under such enormous pressure but not the Cornell alum.
As for what the Kings get in return, few would celebrate the acquisition of a third-round draft pick. In all fairness, though, all it takes is a bit of research on what (Kings GM) Dean Lombardi has done at the draft since arriving in 2006 to acknowledge just how valuable such a selection can and will be. Plus, on the business side of things, it was highly doubtful the Kings would have re-signed Scrivens who is an unrestricted free agent this summer. So, at least the pick, as trivial as it sounds, is better than nothing.
With this move, the six-week-old question of what the Kings will do with their goaltending situation has been answered… somewhat. According to sources, Martin Jones, who was sent down to Manchester last week, will be en route to St. Louis for tomorrow night’s game versus the Blues. Whether Jones will remain as the backup remains to be seen. It is most likely he will stay in Los Angeles but depending on how much Jonathan Quick plays, there is the concern of Jones getting rusty. At least in Manchester he would play on a regular basis.
Thank you, Ben Scrivens, for all your hard work in your abbreviated time in Los Angeles. I believe I speak for all Kings fans when I say that and that I wish you the very best in your future.