DJ King fights Derek Boogard

Conventional wisdom around the blogosphere was that the Capitals’ offseason needs included a second-line center and shutdown defenseman. So tonight it was a bit of a shock when it was announced that the Caps acquired rugged right wing D.J. King from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for prospect Stefan Della Rovere.

Yeah: WTF!?!

It’s a curious move, one that comes in response to coincidentally coincides with Max Talbot calling Alex Ovechkin a “real douche”.

It’s been reported that King recently signed a 2-year extension prior to the trade, so you have to wonder what GMGM’s plans are for the 4th line tough guy. Here’s our two guesses: send him down to Hershey, or use him as a healthy scratch almost every night.

Like most enforcers, his boxcar stats are – sparse. In fact, King only has 4 more NHL goals than I do and it took him 101 more NHL games to do it. Though his fighting skills are a bit more developed than mine:

DJ King is being brought to the Caps for one purpose: to punch an opposing player so hard that no one will even think about calling hitting one of their teammates a douche.

There are other “skills” DJ King brings to the table, like his amazing -4.45 GF/GA differential. Or his -7.7 Relative CORSI when he is on the ice.

With a whopping 67.6% of the time starting in the offensive zone, he managed to end there only 56.1 % of the time, so clearly he helps move the puck in the wrong direction.

Finally, there is his Penalty differential of -1.1, meaning he takes twice as many penalties as he draws and in hockey there is a clear positive correlation between penalty taking and losing.

Bah. Who am I fooling? He was brought here to kick ass. The real questions to ponder are:

  1. Realistically, how often will he get a Caps sweater?
  2. Whose spot does he take in the lineup?
  3. (And yes, this question again.) Do the Caps really need an enforcer?

Let us know in the comments.

  • Megan

    Eh, hopefully it will work out, I’m not too worried. It’s good to have someone so Ovie doesn’t have to be the fighter, it would probably increase his productivity.

  • Rob

    Every team needs an enforcer. What the Caps really need is a skilled tough guy – Dale Hunter in his prime comes to mind. This is GMGM sending a message to Talbot and any other 2-bit punk who thinks he can make a name for himself by taking runs and Ovechkin, Semin, et al.

    Tarik’s post says it all:

    ” When told what Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot had to say about Alex Ovechkin yesterday, King shot back, “Wow. I guess that’s not going to be happening too much longer, I guess.” “

  • Gracie

    “So I missed first pitch at Nats Park b/c a 20-year-old didn’t have his cell phone on him. Sigh.”

    Didn’t like that tweet. At all. Sorry a hold up at your job was such an inconvenience, Nate. It’s the NATIONALS nonetheless.

  • I think he very rarely gets a Caps sweater, is either a scratch or in Hershey most of the time, and an enforcer isn’t needed but this probably doesn’t hurt the team at all.

  • Pingback: Capitals Deal Della Rovere to Blues For Tough Guy D.J. King | Breaking News 24/7()

  • The Caps may need an enforcer down the stretch IMO. King won’t be needed most nights, but he could turn out to be huge in terms of setting the tone during the postseason.

    In all likelihood, King won’t play more than 10 games though.

  • Tim

    I think King is mainly a scratch, but gets brought in for certain games, or if a player is hurt. I think he gets virtually no time at Hershey – mainly press box time. He is a very tough fighter – has taken on Boogaard multiple times (and broke his nose), Orr, and Koci. Also, his stats are misleading – he’s been on the Blues his whole career. Not exactly a great team. What it boils down to is the Caps just traded a player who can hardly crack the AHL for a proven NHL enforcer.

    As for if they need an enforcer – Koci… Downie… Carcillo. Plus, Boogaard and Shelley are now in the East. King might not do much for the Caps, but I don’t see how he can hurt. Especially at his near-minimum $637K.

  • @Tim: Downie & Carcillo are not one dimensional fighters. Downie had 20G/24A and was a +14 last year with a ATOI of 14:43. Carcillo (ATOI 11:15) had 3x more goals last year than King has had in his career. If we got an “enforcer” type in that mold I would welcome the trade but I don’t see much use for a pugilist who will be “mainly a scratch.”


  • Tim

    I know he’s one dimensional, but we don’t currently have anyone to protect our stars from goons like Downie or Carcillo. Chimera and Erskine are decent, Bradley gets pounded until he bleeds almost every time, and no one else is even worth mentioning. Even if King gets sat most games, his cap hit won’t do anything to the Caps. Plus, the trade involved a player who will probably never crack the NHL – so no loss.

  • Tim

    I should also add – last season, we had Laing up mainly just to sit him – at $550K. King will sit for the most part, for $637K – not a big difference. Plus, he brings something the Caps don’t have and might need.

  • I would have preferred Dave Semetco (sp?) of the early Oilers to King but….. The Star on a team can’t be the lone physcial force on a team as Ovie is with the Caps. See early Eric Lindross career. Last year, several teams (especially Ric Tocket’s team) tried pushing the Caps around and were somewhat successful. So, we get a real tough guy and second rate players like Talbout (Maxine???) have to think of the consequences of the shift after messing with Ovie….. Isn’t it nice that the Carcillos, Talbots or Cookes of the NHL need to include Dental coverage in their benefit package for 10/11…..

  • Dead Penguin

    Caps fans have little to worry about. King will dress for one or two games before he suffers a season ending injury.