When he was 18 years old, Devin Setoguchi’s slapshot was clocked at 96 mph at an event for NHL scouts. A few months later, he became the eighth player picked in the 2005 entry draft.
Several onlookers were marvelling at Setoguchi’s scorching slapshot again Friday. This time, instead of scouts, it was his teammates at the Reign’s morning skate.
Was there a feeling in the air that Setoguchi’s time in Ontario was running out?
At one point Thursday, the marathon collective bargaining agreement talks in New York seemed destined to end the NHL lockout. Ultimately, no deal was reached.
The NHL Players Association made a proposal, the NHL roundly rejected it, and Setoguchi, a Minnesota Wild player, and Kings forward Kyle Clifford went back to work in Ontario, honing their superior skills on an ECHL rink.
“It definitely makes it easier that I’m here, I’m working out, I’m skating, I’m playing,” Setoguchi said, “but at the end of the day, it’s still frustrating to not be practicing and playing with the team, with the league I’ve been playing in for seven years. It definitely makes it easier to be here, to be playing, winning and having fun playing hockey.”
After NHL commissioner Gary Bettman pulled the league’s last offer from the table, rumors of player dissension circulated in the media. Clifford said that’s not the case, offering strong but measured responses to the latest round of give-and-take.