Editor’s note: The Examiner will be announcing the members of the Missouri Mavericks’ Top 10 all-time team over the next two weeks. Each sports section will feature a member of the team, as voted on by fans on the Mavericks home web page. The toughest guy in the CHL, Missouri Mavericks enforcer Colt King, is featured today.
By Bill Althaus
If you’re a member of the Missouri Mavericks Orange Army and someone mentions “the shot heard ’round the world,” you know that person is not making a reference to the April 19, 1775, volley that set the stage for the battle for independence and the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
No, this shot took place on April 5, 2013, when Missouri Mavericks enforcer Colt King delivered the new “shot heard ’round the CHL world,” as he sent Rapid City’s Garrett Gruenke flying into the cheap seats at the Independence Events Center with a forearm to the chest that set the stage for a new battle for Independence.
A tougher-than-a-two-dollar-steak Missouri Mavericks team won that game 4-2 and roughed up a Rush squad that did the exact same thing to them in a series sweep over a first-year Mavericks team.
King, who was an enforcer for the Rush when they won the CHL championship in the 2009-10 season, didn’t just make an impact on Gruenke. He made an impact on everyone on the ice who was not wearing Mavericks orange.
“Kinger is amazing,” tough-guy defenseman Dave Pszenyczny said. “He can score, he can fight, he can dominate a game in so many ways. He put the hit on Gruenke, but everyone on the Rush felt it. We picked up our cues from Kinger. He set the tone and we all followed.”
The toughest guy in the CHL is the newest member of the Mavericks’ Top 10 all-time team.
“Colt King is a player everyone in the CHL fears,” Mavericks president Brent Thiessen said. “It’s a different game when he’s on the ice. He gets so much room, because no one wants to be near him. If someone goes after one of our guys, it all stops when Colt gets out on the ice.
“He has a presence as a tough guy, but he is so much more than that. He can score, he’s a smart player – he can do it all. It’s fun to have a guy like that on our side.”
Team captain Sebastien Thinel backs that comment.
“Kinger is a special player,” Thinel said. “Because he is so tough, people might just think of him as our enforcer. But he is so skilled and so talented. He’s one of the top players in the league.”
For the past two seasons, King has been a dominant force on the ice and a player who made an impact in the community.
“I love it here,” King said during the season (he was unavailable to talk about being named to the all-time team). “This is home, and the fans and this organization are special to me. When you step out on the ice and all the fans are standing and cheering, you know how special this team is and what it means to our fans.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of playing here in Missouri.”