The following article was written by guest writer Howard Roark. As always, we thank Howard for his contributions to the site.

After the mourning has ended, it is time to look forward to the future.  Despite a very disappointing ending to the season, the future for our Kings has never looked brighter.  I believe that the Kings are ready to be an elite team provided that the young core continues to develop.  Most of Lombardi’s boxes are filled though it is clear the roster needs to upgraded for the team to take the next step.  There are eight players on the team that likely have played their last game in the purple and black.  It is time to thank them for their contribution and wish them well.  So long, we hardly knew ye…

Eric Ersberg – the future of the goalie position has never looked better.  Despite Jonathan Quick’s problems late in the season, it is hard to argue that he did not have at least a mildly successful season.  Jonathan Bernier is clearly ready to compete for the starter’s job.  With Zatcoff and Jones waiting in the wings, it is time to say goodbye to the baby-faced Swede.  Perhaps someone will pick him off waivers or he can play back home getting him off our books.

Sean O’Donnell – time for the battle-hardened warrior to hang up the skates.  He no longer has the speed to play in the NHL and the stamina was clearly tested as the season wore on.  We still need a veteran on the blue line but there should be plenty available UFAs at an affordable price.

Randy Jones – this guy is not a player on the elite team we are hoping to become.  His contract is up, and he will be lucky to find a job.  Let one of the kids compete for his role.

Davis Drewiske – what can you say about a guy who could not crack the lineup despite a clearly tired O’Donnell, a turnover machine in Jones and a diminutive Peter Harrold.  He must really be in the dog house.  We can bury his salary in Manchester, if necessary.

Raitis Ivanans – He is a UFA, over thirty and takes way to many unnecessary penalties.  Time to give Westgarth a chance.

Jeff Halpern – it’s not that he was bad, but much more was expected.  While Modin stepped up, Halpern brought relatively little. He is another UFA whose role can be taken by Lewis, Loktionov or Cliche. Time to give a kid a chance.

Richard Clune – Do we really want to give this guy a one-way contract?  Yes, he will drop the gloves, but we drafted a lot of tough guys last year who should bring a lot more skill to play the agitator role.  At least Parse scores some goals.  Is Clifford ready?

Alexander Frolov – this is the only real controversial name on my list.  But, let’s face it, we saw the upside of Frolov in last night’s game, and it was limited.  Moreover, that Frolov does not show up every night.  The guy is not worth more that the $2.9 mm cap hit he is paid now.  Nevertheless, some team will give him a big raise and half way into next season their fans will be asking when the Frolov we have always expected makes an appearance.  Our biggest weakness is the lack of a skilled, goal scoring winger, and freeing up Frolov’s cap hit and roster spot is necessary to fill that hole.

Good Luck and Godspeed, guys.

Categories: L.A. Kings News


2 replies

  1. Maybe. My take:

    EE: You didn’t mention it, but I feel he’ll be most valuable as trade bait during the off- or pre-season.

    SO’D: Happy trails, partner. Enjoy the sunset years with that tasty young wife of yours. You deserve her!

    RJ: Thanks, but no thanks.

    DD: He’ll be back. Just a hunch.

    RI: Raitis, you think the beaches are nice in SoCal, wait til you get to Orlando or Tampa.

    JH: Who was that masked man?

    RC: A regular fixture, at least for a while. He’ll do tag team with Westgarth until one of them proves to be the more reliable hockey player.

    AF: Some day we’ll look back with a bit of nostalgia on those lost years and remember this coy, enigmatic, boyish Russian who dazzled us with his ability to play keep away from the heaviest competition the league had to offer. Being able to wake up next to a wife like this guy’s got, why should he worry about what anybody else in the world thinks of him? Happy humping, Fro, whoever you are, whatever planet you may land on next!

  2. Most of the above players will be wearing different, or perhaps no, jerseys next season.

    Regarding Frolov, probably best for the team if he moves on. This guy has teased us with flashes of brilliance that he never has been able to sustain on a consistent basis. Not that I really want to see him go, but he probably can get more on the market than he is worth. I am hopeful that DL can get a better player for a competitive price.

    Stay tuned…


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