As one of the leading scorers in NHL history, former Los Angeles Kings great Marcel Dionne knows a thing or two about creating offense. Apparently Dionne isn’t shy about critiquing the current Kings’ best source of production, either.
Mayors Manor caught up with Dionne, who compared Anze Kopitar to Mats Sundin – and not in a good way – but hopes to see an Evgeni-Malkin-without-Sidney-Crosby transition.
“I think Kopitar’s at the point in his career where he has to decide what he wants to do,” Dionne said. “Does he want to be the guy? He should be looking at the situation and what’s going with (Evgeni) Malkin. When (Sidney) Crosby was playing, Malkin was happy to be second fiddle. Then, when Crosby went out, Malkin took over.”
“[Kopitar] reminds me a little bit of Mats Sundin. They’re big guys, but when they get close to the net, they’re not aggressive enough. I still have confidence in him. But, sometimes, management [is] too nice to stars. He needs a wake-up call.”
Kopitar leads the Kings in goals (18), assists (36) and points (54) this season, but that still might be a disappointing output for some. Do you think Dionne has a point about Kopitar’s supposed lack of assertiveness or does it really come down to a lack of support from the players around him?
Either way, Kopitar will get his next chance to heed that “wake-up call” against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.