Remember Jason King?

By
Updated: January 15, 2014
Jason King | Newfundland Hockey Talk

Jason King was the pride of Corner Brook’s Minor Hockey Association that went on to play in the National Hockey League.  It came as no surprise because he was a kid with talent, soft hands and the skills that should have insured him a long career once he made the big leagues.

King was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks 212th overall in the 7th round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft after impressive seasons for the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL that saw him collect 114 goals and 84 assists in a 186 games from 1999-2002.  He played his first games with the Canucks in the 2001-2002 season, suiting up for just 8 games and collecting 2 assists.

The 2003-2004 NHL Season became the longest NHL stint that Jason King had.  He played a total of 47 games for the Canucks that year, collecting a total of 12 goals and 9 assists in just 47 games.  He found himself on one of the best lines in hockey, playing with the Sedins in what became known as the Mattress Line (2 Twins and a King).

During the lockout season of 2004-2005, King found himself playing for the Manitoba Moose and was on a pretty close pace for a point a game.  He had 53 points in just 59 games before suffering what some have said was a career ending concussion when playing against Grand Rapids.  He was sidelined for the rest of the season.

The Canucks looked past the injury and in 2006-2007 they made a qualifying offer that would have seen him sticking around to the Vancouver organization for the season.   However, for whatever reason, King refused that offer and ended up stranded without an NHL team to play for.  Those close to the game have said that King’s refusal of the offer was a deal breaker for the Canucks and even though he was highly received as a great prospect, the organization felt the offer was generous and refused to deal him to another NHL team that season.

Unable to play in the NHL, King went to Sweden and would later find that the Canucks had dealt his rights to the Anaheim Ducks but ended up spending most of his career playing for the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in Portland that season.  He only ever returned to the NHL to play four more NHL games before heading off to Germany for three seasons and then landing in the St. John’s IceCaps AHL organization.

King suffered another concussion during practice with the IceCaps and was forced to retire from the game he loved.  The Jets named King to the role of Assistant Coach within the IceCaps organization after his retirement at the age of 32.

Some will argue that King had a great hockey career and made it the big leagues by playing both in the NHL, AHL, Swedish and German elite leagues.  Still, there must be some doubt in his mind and in those in the hockey circles as what would have happened had he accepted the Canucks qualifying offer and picked up an additional season of experience playing on the Sedin line.  His career may have taken a much different turn and the offers from the Canucks or any other NHL team may have been that much greater.

What would that 1 additional year of experience have brought for his hockey future?  No one will ever know.  It should however teach young players to look at a much larger picture.  Greed may sometimes blind your vision of what you have been working hard to obtain your entire career.  Be very careful on the advice that you follow and at the end of the day, remember what happened to Jason King.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *