Advice For Dean Lombardi – Pass The Torch On Down

I’ve always wondered why people don’t just listen to me in the first place. I am certainly humble enough to admit when I’m wrong. It’s an easy thing to do when it’s an infrequent occurrence. The phrase “I told you so” has been tired and stale on my lips.

Hammond may have the direct line to the players, but I own the one to their thoughts.

In reference to Nolan and King:

WILLIAMS: “It’s awesome. Their excitement, the other guys in the room feed off that. Youthful enthusiasm is kind of an intangible quality.

Now of course I peacock my feathers of insight in an overly robust manner, but I do so to help illuminate a deeper point. Yes, I have written numerous times that rookies infuse palpable energy throughout a lineup. Yes, I said Nolan should be called up ages ago because yes, I’ve had an eye for Jordan (as has Bobby) since his first training camp. Yes, I conspired with the entire Kings’ organization to confuse their verbs as nouns and adjectives, but that’s just the kind of intuit guy I am.

The distinct fervor of rookies eventually fades, as Loktionov’s did, as Voynov’s waned, as Nolan and Kings’ will inevitably. Right now the two young upstarts are breathing some new life into Mike Richard’s, whose line had become undeniably stale. Which leads me to the real point I wish to impart, this team has too often been prone to staleness.

As a stale piece of bread is still digestible, it has not rotted, so too have the Kings maintained serviceable and at times strong play whilst hardening into a less palatable version of their fresher selves. Do not misunderstand me, I do not say the Kings’ play without energy. I do not say they lack work ethic. I say the effort that is there is saddled by a fetid, noxious aroma. Dean Lombardi is directly responsible for this burdensome decaying and his fault lies in veering from his own stated plan.

How often have we heard (para)phrases like “we keep getting younger and better”? With so many children on the roster in Lewis, Bernier, Clifford, Loktionov, Johnson, Doughty and to somewhat more mature extents Quick, Kopitar, Richardson and Martinez, the Kings technically remain a young team. However when Dustin Penner was traded for, when Mike Richards was acquired, when Simon Gagne was signed and Justin Williams resigned, the torch that was to be carried by Brown and Kopitar and Johnson and Doughty was subtly passed between themselves and these veterans who now make up too large a component of the team that is leaned upon for success.

Now, acquiring more established talent to supplement the budding stars was always part of the plan. However there was a point at which the scale was tipped and the proverbial torch of the team, the keys to the city of Los Angeles’ hopes and hockey dreams was handed to these figures and without direct intention stripped from Brown and Kopitar. Part of this is the fault of these two leaders, they have not been able to imbue the team with the identity of frequent rejuvenating fire all team’s ultimately need despite style (a confusion Bobby neglected in his previous article on Brown’s captaincy). This is not to say they have done an abysmal job by any means, just not one strong enough to resist the pull of Dean Lombardi’s hired guns to acquiesce a large portion of the team’s responsibilities. The torch is supposed to be passed piece by piece by Kopitar and Brown to the younger players that they must now themselves begin to teach. What Lombardi has done is provide them with their seniors to help bear their weight with them, which brings us to the circuitous game of hot potato we now witness on a nightly basis. “Kopitar needs to lead this team” “No Richards needs to pick up his game!” “Nu-uh its all Penner and Stoll’s fault!” “Well bullshit Hunter is a waste of a roster spot!” “Well Hunter wouldn’t matter if Kopitar was consistently scoring!” And so goes the circle of mistrust and miscues as to who lights the candle of the Kings’ flame.

We can argue all day about how to assign blame. Ultimately Brown, Kopitar, Johnson and Doughty deserve some. Lombardi deserves much. Leiweke is also logically at fault for an assumed push of the hand that feeds to “win, NOW!” and ideological strategy that sadly often does not result in winning now, or later. So enough about the problem. What options are available as to the solution? Well, calling up King and Nolan is shall we say, phase 1. These two players themselves are not the solution, though we hope for them to continue to be a beneficial part of the equation. A shift must be made and stuck to, that this is the team of the young ones, the ones who strive to win what they have only dreamed of before, not the possession of those like Penner, Stoll, Williams and Scuderi who have either already attained their childhood dream or sniffed close enough to it for it not to be a luscious mystery. Those players have their place on the team. Certainly I would be an ass of preposterous stupidity to suggest we simply replace all such players with unproven quantities. There is a subtle but stark difference between acquiring veterans to provide stabilizing guidance for your younger stars and shifting the brunt of the expectations onto the shoulders of those same veterans.

I propose two things. One, we keep a rotating door of young players coming in and out of the lineup. This is not the first time I’ve suggest this. If someone sticks like Loktionov did this year because they adapt to the NHL game well and play responsibly, then brilliant, keep them around. If they spark and fizzle, as Nolan or King may do in the coming days or weeks, ship them back to Manchester and replace them with whoever is next in line for the promotion. If not Nolan/King, then Cliche, if not Cliche, then Kozun, if not Kozun, then Vey, if not Vey then Czarnick and on and on and back to the front if and when the time comes. Keep things fresh, keep a spot that has been taken up by Hunter and Moreau and the stone-hand twins Richardson and Lewis open for these guys. Simultaneously this keeps the bottom six players on their toes, the top six players aware, the locker room energized and allows for a constant influx of the fleeting exuberance that Williams’ speaks of rookies imbuing into their more seasoned compatriots. It also provides added motivation to the developmental system.

It is markedly more depressing to toil in the AHL when there is only one or two call-ups per year and even then, those are only in the event of injury. Much better for the hearts and minds of youngsters to see that their time is just around the corner and that they don’t need to secretly and regrettably hope for Stoll to injure his uterus again so that they may have a chance to taste what is just beyond their tongue.

Secondly, Stoll and Penner must not be resigned, nor should they both be replaced via trade or free agency. At the very least, one of these spots must be left open for a younger player to take. If one of these younger guys skips off to Europe, knee jerk reactions to sign scrubs must not be counted upon to rectify the issue. If Dean wants to sign Brandon Yip, or whoever next year’s Trent Hunter turns out to be, fine. But it is incumbent upon the coach to not give these back-up plans a regular role in the lineup. They are there for the precise purpose of displacing a rookie when they need to be taught the lesson of wearing a suit and tie to a hockey game.

As it stands, Jonathan Quick carries the torch of this team by default. I don’t have a particular problem with that but I do not want Lombardi to continue the same mistake of sublimating his draft failures and general timidity with which he treats many prospects by packing the responsibility onto players more established than the ones we are striving to establish ourselves.



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110 replies

  1. Well now that you mention it, the direction, identity, etc. of team is very confusing…

  2. You bring up an interesting concept, but it seems that you’re suggesting that the purpose of young talent is to stir that of “actual” talent. Burning through precious prospects could really stunt their growth. I have a theory with prospects. We’ve seen this with Doughty, Loktionov, Martinez, Richardson, and now Voynov. They do great in their first 20 games (or in the case of Doughty, sophomore season). However, at some point, they realize they have something to lose. Remember Richardson’s line during the playoffs last year. It was electric. Loktionov looked great before he was injured. I’m ASTONISHED Quick has not fallen prey to this yet. If he gets even a vezina nomination, we should hold onto bernier for dear life. We all saw what a calder nomination did for douhgty. I think part of the problem is the ’05 CBA. I think MLB does a much better job of keeping young talent in check. Now rookies are getting their biggest contracts after their entry level deals (cough doughty). It’s warping the young players. I think it’s obvious Doughty is playing with a 7 million dollar monkey on his back, meanwhile Johnson is having a career season. I would advocate for a reasonable maturation and a reasonable rookie pay scale.

    On a side note, I think it’s hard for fans to admit that Smyth (and Hanzus) were important parts to the puzzle. Stoll was chipping last year. He could hit the net in a shoot out. Now he’s in a contract year and is missing the net as much as doughty.

    • I don’t want to “burn through” prospects. I just don’t want the 11-13th forward spots to always be locked down by anyone, prospect or veteran.

      As for Smyth and Zus, it’s funny you mention them because I had a paragraph in the article about them but ultimately deleted it. It basically went that some vets like Smyth and Zus were the right kind of supplemental veterans who weren’t looked to for the heavy lifting, and as a result of being here to teach the youngsters had a more positive effect on the team and performed better themselves than vets like Penner who were brought in and expected to carry too much of the weight.

  3. Have you seen the rumor on cbs sports about jack johnson for paul stastny?

  4. Excellent article, and very much agree with not tying up the roster with players that don’t matter. The only way these kids will learn is to be exposed, and sometimes it takes 1/2 a season (like Cliffords 1rst season) to figure things out. Sometimes it takes several call ups before they figure it out.

    If a rookie is not figuring it out fast enough (Lokti) then he should be sent down, and Kozun, or someone else should be called up. King looked out of place last season from the moment the Kings called him up. This season he looks a little more comfortable.

    Martinez was the same way his first couple of call ups, then last season put it together, and actually stepped in front of Hickey, and Muzzin as a regular player.

    With a policy of rotating the younger talent, you give them development in stages, instead of forcing everything on them in 1 large “make it, or break it” proportion.

    I think that would also go a long way for guys who are frustrated (Holloway) because they’ve led the Monarchs in scoring for 2 years, and yet never got called up even once.

    Lets start using what we’ve got down there, and if weaknesses become to hard to deal with, then sign a veteran to fill the void for a few seasons until the next crop is ready.

    Obviously we’re looking at forwards here, but I would say defensemen should be included (especially with Mitchell, Scuds, and Greenes’ contracts all coming up in the next few years).

    • We can always use a dose of fresh sperm.

      I thought DL had it in mind to let Zus go because he needed a roster spot for one of the coming farmboys — and it woulda been silly to lay out $2+ mil for a guy who — as the season began — was expected to be the 4th line center. All Kings fans probably lament Zus leaving — (his signing with the Pricks was just more salt in the wound) — but we accept the basic premise of Lombardi’s reasoning.

      I think you’re on to something when you suggest that a rotation is more useful in training the young ‘uns than just playing them till they break. I was among the UN-insightful who saw no good to come from King or Martinez when they first showed their dicks. But now Martinez is on the path to being a solid defenseman, and King — well, whatever happens he still has his SIZE to make him valuable.

      (You know my mantra: SIZE uber alles.)

      • As for Zus, with the current quality of the defense how much difference would he have made at this point, 7 goals? And no speed.

        I suppose Zus could have stood in for Stoll in the circle. But who would have imagined Stoll would suck in more ways then simply missing nets?

        And who would replace Stoll when it came to tossing pucks to women sitting behind the bench?

  5. “Leiweke is also logically at fault for an assumed push of the hand that feeds to “win, NOW!””

    Totally agree with that statement. Thats what I was saying on an earlier blog, that Lieweekly has no patience and If DL gets fired I fear where we are headed.

    • Even still, Lombardi was capable of winning now without making classic ‘win now’ moves. He convinced Leiweke that sucking balls for three years was a great idea, it’s on Lombardi for allowing the pressure from upper management to change his directive for the team. I acknowledge Leiweke’s hand in this but I think it ony helps illuminate Lombardi’s actions, not in any way absolve them.

      • Maybe Leiweke got to sit next to Kovi’s wife in the limo.

        But it didn’t happen and Lombardi (only) lost one off season…only. Didn’t need to change direction like he did.

        The real fuck up was not checking the scale before the Penner trade…cluster fuck.

  6. The LA Kings need to decide once and for all, which 3 or 4 young defensemen they going to keep and get them along with Jonathan Quick signed to new long term contracts like Doughty And Johnson.
    I just don’t think we’ll be keeping both of them.
    I’ll assume we’re re-signing Mitchell to a 2 or 3 year deal and Scuderi will probably leave after next season. He’s a year younger than Mitchell but, we’ve got a lot of defensemen in the pipeline and don’t see him staying unless, we do in fact move DD and/or JJ.
    Here are the annual cap hits for the young defensemen:
    Doughty- $ 7,000,000 x8 UFA
    Johnson- $ 4,357,143 x7 UFA
    Greene- $ 2,950,000 x3 UFA
    Martinez- $ 737,500 x2 RFA
    Voinov- $ 816,666 x2 RFA
    Hickey- $1,316,667 x1 RFA
    (all x- include this season)

    I just think Doughty needs to go.
    He costs the Kings $2,642,857 more per season for 6 of the next 7 seasons.
    Has he really shown he’s worth it?
    I don’t think so, that’s $15,857,142 million dollars more for Doughty than Johnson.
    That goes a long way in signing Jonathan Quick to a 5 or 6 year extension at 4 million+ per season and getting Greene, Martinez and Voinov/Hickey new extensions when their existing deals run out.
    In this new age of real salary caps as you and I have seen this season, we have to plan ahead and use our farm systems, otherwise what’s the point of having them?

    • I just think Doughty needs to go.

      … Yeah, I heard you the first 35 times you’ve said this.

      I’m glad you’re not the GM.

    • Try 6 million+ for Quick……….if we are lucky, and if he’s going to want the west coast vs the east

        • If he is a finalist for the Vesna, and add the fact that he was clearly our MVP last season.

          Let’s move on to the fact that he is our only All-Star this season, and if we make the playoff’s, and he stands on his head and we make past the first or second rounds…….
          A contract like Rinne’s is well deserved

          Now concider a Hart nomination, or getting us to the finals, and a Conn Smythe nod
          At his age, a contract above Doughty’s would not be overpayment…..it would be justified, and needed to keep him here in LA…..that’s our West Coast Disadvantage…

      • Should we overpay Quick like we did Doughty?
        At least he’s earned whatever money he gets.

    • If you think DD needs to go you are a fucking moron, same to anyone else that thinks we should trade him. I am getting sick of hearing it, DD plays more minutes than anyone on the team and that is against all other teams top lines. After all that he is still a plus player on a team that CAN’T score goals. Why is it DD’s fault as a defenceman that this team can’t score? Doughty is still a young guy and is learning and I feel is a solid d man this year, but still learning. Look how long it took Weber and Suter to become consistent game after game. If you ask me JJ and his annual -20 should be traded in a package that brings in a true sniper. Mark my words in a few seasons Doughty will be winning Norris trophies and all you naysayers will be stroking him off, and pretending you supported him the whole time.

    • as for re-signing Quick both Gagne and Scuderi’s contracts are done the same year and will free up almost $7 mill that we can use to re-sign Quick. Then we just back fill their spots with prospects from Manchester like Hickey or Forbort on D and maybe Toffoli at forward. There problem solved and we don’t have to trade one of the best young d men in the world.

      • DD’s stats have definately changed offensively since Sutter became coach. His possession stats (before, and after) are much improved also.

        He makes mistakes, and in the same breathe makes things happen. At his age, and considering the responsibility he garnishes, I’d say he is not worth trading for any reason.

        His qual/comp alone vs any other 22 year old in the league makes even suggesting it sound irresponsibe (although many do).

  7. The move is simple in my mind for Nash….

    The move needs to put us in a position to sign Quick later and keep other guys when it’s time. I’m going to get stoned, but DD and Bernier get the deal done. We could even add penner and get another player back. Depending on the quality of that player coming back, we can toss a pick in to equal it out.

    Between lossing Penner and DD’s salary, plus the salaries that come off the books at the end fo the year, you have a core that includes:

    Kopitar, Nash, Brown, Richards, Quick, Williams, VV, JJ…. some strong stay at homers and some good youth.

    You also have a ton of cash to resign Quick long term and go shopping in the off-season.

    This is the move. Some combination of DD and Bernier and Penner and Picks for Nash AND player(s) coming back that are NHL level.

    Jackets get a core to build with, we keep our core and add a franchise player and an NHL player. We lose the ridiculous contract we have for DD, we take a shot a the cup this year and we can add even more talent in the off season.

    This is the move to make. And I can’t imagine the Jackets not taking it.

    • Problem I see is I don’t think the Jackets are looking to add another big long term contract, they’re looking to get rid of theirs. Trading Nash for Doughty doesn’t solve their cash problem, which is why the rumor included expiring contracts and Johnson.

      • If you read between the lines, the Jackets are trading Nash because hes asked for a trade behind the scenes. Everyone in the NHL would take Doughty back. Hes younger than Nash, could be a good piece in their rebuild.

        But Lombardi wont trade Doughty for Nash. He doesnt have to. Jack Johnson, Jonathan Bernier, and a 1st round pick is a perfect package for Nash. LA is in a great position to get Nash because they have the perfect pieces to trade back. Goaltending and a puck moving defenseman. After those three pieces, that should get it done, basically, but if it doesnt, you just go on from there. Add a B grade prospect. Add a 3rd round pick. I dont think youd have to, just saying if its not enough by itself, its close, and you add a B level prospect and youre there.

        Thats the deal Lombardi will make. Doughty is not for trade.

        Lombardi’s best trade assets for Jack Johnson and Jonathan Bernier, he also has prospects like Forbort but I dont think hell trade them necessarily. But basically its Johnson, Bernier, and Dustin Brown could be moved if the return is really good. I think Brown actually has a lot of value around the league. I watched an NHL Tradecenter where Darren Dreger himself was talking about the Kings having interest in Kulemin and Macarthur, and he was asked who would go back to Toronto, and if it was maybe Dustin Brown, and Dreger sort of raised his eyebrows in kind of a “welll, yeah, yes and no, kinda, sure of course BUT…” way, and he said “well yeah I know Toronto would like to get Brown, but it would take a lot more than Kulemin or Macarthur to get you a Dustin Brown.”

        So even though Kulemin (maybe Macarthur, too), probably had a better year than Brown last year, it looks like Brown actually has some damn good value around the league, probably because he hits, at least he used to, he has the reputation of being a good Don Cherry style Canadian honest hard working hard player who plays a rounded game…

        Anyway its just what Dreger said and Im speculating but it seems like Brown has value, and Lombardi wouldnt have to include Johnson and Brown both in any one deal, and that Brown could actually get him a really nice return.

        • 3Team…. if you’ve followed my posts, you will have seen that I agree with almost every single post that you make.

          But have to disagree with you here. To begin with, the Kings have neither a 2nd or 3rd rd pick this year. To trade away a first when they didn’t have one last year? I don’t like that idea even a little bit.

          Another two points wrt Nash: 1) The Kings just aren’t ‘one player away’. If they were that might be a different story. 2) They continue to turn a young(ish) team into an older team. I’m skeptical as to how they stack up against some other clearly very superior teams. If they had to get thru one rd vs one of said teams, I’d say ok. I’m not convinced they could get thru three rounds of elite teams to get to the Finals.
          3) I said there were only two points. Oh well; Nash is gonna be 29 in two years and probably on the downward curve. And you know as well as I do, that you take a 33 goal scorer, park him right in the Staples Center parking lot, with a team that has a conservative philosophy, and you can no longer
          guarantee those 33 goals in spite of the fact that he would be playing w better players.

        • Well said, thank you!

        • I think you missed the point 3TeamFan was trying to make. Doughty is not going anywhere. Johnson, Brown or Bernier could be.

      • CBJ need to build from the back out. What better way with a top goalie and defensman.

    • You evidently weren’t a Kings fan when they had Larry Murphy then. That allows no space or possibility that after arriving late in camp this year and trying to do too much that Doughty might actually be able to relax and readjust to what he was able to do earlier on in his career.

      • I agree with you. I would hate to see the Kings trade Doughty right now. He’s showing flashes of brilliance at times. If he can get more consistent, he could be the defenseman that the other 29 teams drool over.

        It wasn’t a fluke that he was probably the best D at the Olympics a couple years back. It also wasn’t a fluke when he was the best defenseman at the WJHC a few years back. He’s got loads of potential and he’s still extremely young for a defenseman.

        I know it’s all a bunch of ‘if he does this …”, I don’t think but he has tapped what he’s capable of. There’s no one in the pipeline right now that does what he does (and, no, Johnson doesn’t either). Giving up on Doughty at this point is only going to bite the Kings in the ass, just like Larry Murphy did. Or Matt Moulson. Or Teddy Purcell.

        Patience is what is needed for DD right now.

        • … The amount of people within this fanbase who are more than willing to give up on a 22-year-old defenseman makes me ashamed to a certain degree to be part of that fanbase. Truly embarrassing.

          Patience is what is needed for DD right now.

          … Anyone with about a couple of brain cells firing automatically knows this. Unfortunately, that must be one more cell than many have to spare.

          Time is on Doughty’s side. He’s going to be just fine.

          • I know, it’s ridiculous. People expect him to be the best D in the league right now because of what he’s paid, despite the fact Lombardi is paying for potential right now.

            There are very few D I’d trade Doughty for one for one. And, each and every one of them have significantly more games played than him.

          • Absolutely.

            These hysterical trade-nuts remind me of a dog trying to fuck my leg.

          • Thats great imagery Tuan. Yes, you in your inimitable style. Yowser.

          • Dustin Penner’s and Drew Doughty’s contracts are the dog and your leg is the fan.
            There’s some imagery for you.
            Go ahead let them finish on your leg.
            Now, all you have is a fucking mess, while they had fun!!!
            Good luck with that,
            you just got fucked by a dog!!!

          • Posting about choosing wine to go with properly prepared quiche in one thread…. dog fucking in another. Running the gamut today I see.

          • If you haven’t figured it out, Jason W., Penner’s contract is gone in a couple months. Who really cares about that contract at this point? Other than try to pawn it off on some dumbass GM. Penner didn’t work, move on, quit bitching about it.

            Pretty much every team in the league has a couple of monster contracts. Kings are in the same position as every other team, except with more flexibility. And, for the record, every other team in the league would kill to have Doughty signed to a long term deal at his age. It’s not a crippling contract, despite the length or cap hit.

            Just wondering, did Doughty try humping your leg or something to get this irrational hatred going towards him?

          • I agree what is in your water down there in LA that makes you want to trade one of the best young d men in the world.

          • I agree……….

            Doughty makes Defensive mistakes, but is far ahead of Johnson at this age of 22

            Doughty will keep growing, will he grow into his contract…….I guess we’ll see what #1 defenders salaries are in a few years won’t we……

            The fact that Jack is having a good season, still does not, mean he’s turning the corner to be a Norris canidate….he’s finally maturing into the D-Man he’s going to always be. -10 is still the highest on the team, AGAIN……
            His Value is at it’s highest, he still….on the offensive side misses the net more than Marty, VV, Mitchell or even Doughty. Shoots into shins, and continues to struggle holding the puck in the offensive zone…..
            And most importantly, has never become the Jack”Mutha Fuckin” Johnson, bone crushing, heavy hitting guy, due to his poor decisions in going for those hit’s.
            He is…..Very Fuckin Strong, and that cannot be replaced from the likes of VV or Marty and Even DD2…..but for the likes Nash, I can’t see the argument!!!
            Wiz is the kind of Defenceman Jack was supposed to be, also a minus guy, but freaking scary!!!
            Whether Columbus covets a younger Wiz in Johnson, or another bad contract like Carters in Doughty, remains to be seen.
            They in no way are trying to improve this season and miss out on the overall 1st pic in the draft.

        • I don’t think Doughty taking the league by storm was a fluke. He is very good and no one saw him before. He caught a lot of older players by surprise.

          Now they know him, his moves/looks and weaknesses. Doughty has to adjust and learn new tricks. Its a just a growth and learning process.

    • Substantial overpayment for Nash, he’ll be 28 in June and hasn’t seen 40 goals for a few seasons, he only has 18 goals on the year and Kopi has 17 and the team is struggling……

      We can’t start packaging guy’s that are here, moving towards their potential, for guy that may have reached it already!!!!!

      Bernier + …………….
      Johnson+…………….
      Doughty+…………….

      Any combo is as rediculus as these experts saying Bernier + is not enough………….

      They’re picking Number 1 right now, in EVERY round…..WTF

  8. As I see it this would be one of the few things that could come to the aid of Lombardi.
    Dan Bylsma proposes putting the red line back in. It would fit DL’s philosophy perfectly as he still appears to function in a way that was suited to pre-lockout nhl.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/penguins-coach-dan-bylsma-supports-putting-red-line-215417674.html

    Surly, I think it’s a really excellent article (yours…. not the Bylsma one) I must say.
    The only concern I have – and it’s a big one, is that as long as Lombardi continues to draft relatively ‘one dimensional players’ for lack of a better way of putting it…. perhaps thats too strong….. let’s say ‘grinder type forwards’, I think that the upside is gonna be limited, unless they can find a way to bring in more creativity up front. And I just don’t see that happening from Lombardi at the moment.

  9. I propose two things. One, we keep a rotating door of young players coming in and out of the lineup.

    … I don’t agree with the concept of a rotating door, as it will adversely affect not only the way these guys approach the game, but also their level of confidence. If you’re going to bring up young guys, they need to be up to stay. Getting rid of Fraser and Hunter will open up two spots immediately.

    Secondly, Stoll and Penner must not be resigned, nor should they both be replaced via trade or free agency.

    … First off, at this point in time there is no one on the team or in the system who can replace Stoll. Secondly, there are no candidates who are ready to step into the top six, and as such, if the Kings can retain Penner at a reduced price, their depth will be that much better. Guys who have the ability to step into a top six role in case of injuries or slumps are valuable. Penner’s play looked to be improving before he was benched; still not sure why he was benched, but that’s the way it goes with a head coach who doesn’t handle his roster well. Sutter may as well be Terry Murray Jr. when it comes to player deployment.

    • JT…. a friend told me when everyone was screaming it was time to fire TM, that DL would replace him w someone who was totally in line w DL’s d-first philosophy. Right he was and therefore right you are.

      As for Penner, I have to disagree with you. He’s been wildly inconsistent, wasn’t appreciated in Edm where they do play a different style of game, and clearly hasn’t functioned very well in the Kings system. If he’s struggling that much in his contract year, I’m not sure what one could expect going forward.

      I could be wrong about that… but it would be a bit of a surprise. That said, he does seem like a nice guy.

      Finally, while I liked Surly’s article a lot, your points are well founded in that it wouldn’t exactly help bring stability and steadiness by rotating players in an org that desperately needs more stability……. not less.

      • As for Penner, I have to disagree with you. He’s been wildly inconsistent, wasn’t appreciated in Edm where they do play a different style of game, and clearly hasn’t functioned very well in the Kings system. If he’s struggling that much in his contract year, I’m not sure what one could expect going forward.

        … As I said to Bobby, I believe that Penner’s numbers can only get better. The whole team has struggled offensively this season; to single out one guy is lame and wrong. Penner is merely one out of many right now.

        I don’t really buy into the “contract year” bit, because I don’t believe that players try harder in some years as opposed to other years. It’s just been an off-season. I’ve always been from the school of letting certain guys go when their value is abnormally high (Quick) and getting or keeping guys when their value is abnormally low (Penner).

        What the Kings should be thinking at this point is “we need to stockpile as many useful and talented forwards we can right now. If we lose Quick, we have any combination of Bernier/Zatkoff/Jones. If we lose Mitchell, we have any combination of Martinez/Hickey/Voynov. If we lose Penner and Stoll, we really don’t have enough waiting in the wings right now to replace either of them.” Loktionov is still very young at 21, but he’s a project. They’re going to have to keep working with him, and I’m thinking he’s two years away from being a solid starter at the NHL level. Keep in mind that the best center the Kings have in their system, Cliche, is turning 25 in three weeks.

        If you ask me, I think it’s time to clear the deadwood (Westgarth, Fraser, Hunter, Lewis) and really look to open up spots for guys who are ready to come up without letting go of veterans who came off of down years but are able to help the team next season.

        • I find your Faith in Stoll disturbing………………

          Nobody that can replace Stoll???? In our system!!!!

          Czarnik !!!! After being ROCKED by an illegal “Hit to the HEAD”, for some in Manchester, the scariest hit they have seen………..
          He’s is released that night, and goes home….
          He returns in under a month a scores the game winning goal………..
          He is playing his first season down there and has already moved up to first line center at times, is a plus player and is starting to produce at a higher pace than anyone else…….
          A FUCKIN STUD……Power play & PK
          Cliche…….Same as Stoll……shootout king
          And in case you haven’t noticed
          Lokti has already STOLLen his spot
          Stoll …………..bye bye……….

      • We’re talking about rotating one, MAYBE two roster spots.

        If that rocks the stability of the lineup, well we were fucked before the word “go”. The rotating spot is there to provide a renewable source of freshness and energy. The stability is supposed to come from Kopi, Brown, Johnson, Doughty, and THEIR stability needs to come from a small handful of supporting vets and also from their own leadership in ingratiating youngsters to the team.

        There are different points in the article and some of them are dependent upon one another and others are mutually exclusive.

    • I agree that the revolving door is not a good idea. It doesn’t bring any unity to the team. You will have your core guys then your “outsiders”. It’s really no use in getting to know these outsiders because they may not be around in a month or so. And so the process begins again of seeing a new face if the last one didn’t work out.

      Someone in the organization needs to bring a cohesiveness to the group as a whole. I’ll use this example. In the early part of the 1900′s, when high rises were first being built, it was extremely dangerous. Very easy for guys to get killed. Guys would be in teams as they built upwards. If one guy on the team was sick or couldn’t make it in, none of the other guys would work with a replacement for fear that this new guy could get them killed.

      A familiarity brings on a level of comfort knowing how that other teammate is character and skill wise.

      So if there’s a group of guys that really aren’t going anywhere and then you bring in these outsiders, naturally these core guys are going to ask the question, “How long are these guys going to last?” Of “Is this guy any good?” Not a good scenario for a cup contending team.

    • Good points and Bad………..

      Not many 4th line centers are tearing it up on the scoresheet,
      Fraser is hit or miss, maybe his pace reflects the teams overall, maybe he gets 5 goals before seasons end and we resign him……he’s a gamer, we don’t have many centers with his tenacity that stay out of the box……
      Andreoff could be a year away, but will be a beast
      Hunter, the experiment will; be over soon
      Cliche could play 4th line center maybe even 3rd, but with Kopi & Richards manning the top 6, our 3rd line center would need to be able to fill in if there are injuries, so he has to have an offensive upside…..
      Lokti, needs time….( Purcell, Moulson & Boyle needed time )
      He’s got good vision, maybe with Nolan and/or King production increases, but he’s shown great hockey I.Q in both ends, and will improve…..BUT, can he stay injury free?
      STOLL……not even worth a bag of pucks, his presence makes this log jam at center seem retarded…
      Lewis or Richardson provide whatever we can get out of Stoll, I’m freakin’ tired of hearing about his faceoff’s, because he detracts from that with all his giveaways and turnovers, and his shootout mastery has disappeared, and does not help us come playoff’s…….He will not be missed like Handzus!!!!!
      Penner at a reduced price……Hmmm
      I like your enthusiasm, as well as your faith…..
      If at 30 he would be willing to accept a 3rd or 4th line role, living in L.A., after we bashed him relentlessly all season, and would accept a Richardson type salary, MAYBE!!!!
      At least we would have our Pinata …………but the expectations would be less and if he found his game, the reward would be substantial……
      BUT, there are going to be suitors concidering the same thing, and how many 6’4+ 245lb 20 goal potentail guys are there to be had for under 2 mil available come summer.
      I do agree that I’m a little shocked to see Westy, Hunter, Richardson and Lewis playing instead of him, especially after Tampa……But I have my own opinion and theory
      I believe a Deal was on the table for Stoll, and the groin thing either delayed or nulified it…..Penner may be more important in a Deal involving salary coming to us…so an injury would keep his salary on the books, he could be waived, and this would FUCK US!!!!!!
      The fact that both Nolan & King were brought up allows us room to do whatever wheeling and dealing, send a player down roster moves when a deal comes through.
      So Mr. Dutch….now comes my problem with your Sutter comment………
      No Coach in the Last 20 years with this L.A. Kings team, has assessed and wrongfully used our young players more so than Terry Murray!!!!! It took him 1 season to see nop NHL potenial in Matt Moulson, and he was not resigned.
      He saw a big offensive center with vision and finess and forced him to play wing on our 4th line to get him to play a heavier game, he lost all confidence and Boyle was traded for a 5th round pick!!!
      He took the AHL MVP, moved him from Right wing to left wing because he was left handed, destroyed his confidence, and therefore again he was traded along with a 3rd round pick for Halpern, which I concider the worse DL trade to date, but under Terry Murray, this was Purcells value…….
      Fine….DL made the deals, but the play on the ice,within the system and such, all reflects on the Coach!!!
      Darryl Sutter will take a long time to reach Terry Murray incompetance…….should I bring up Oscar Mollar!!!!
      How good would he look on our roster right now, he bailed because there was no place for him with TM!!!!
      Try having the same faith you put in Penner & Stoll, in our late round, paying their dues guys down in Manch.
      Deano has made some great late round picks, that may just have the right stuff to be NHL players, even though his 1st round picks seem to have been SHIT…….

    • See and I thought you would be all over this article in a positive way JT. I don’t want a rotating door strictly for the sake of it, I want spots open for youngsters, just like you do. I want low-paid veterans in the 13/14 spot, there to cover for them when the coach needs to bench a rookie for a game or three because his play tails off.

      The rotating door is simply because prospects don’t always pan out, and often times for their development it is best for them to come in, cut their teeth, then go back and work on what they learned. I don’t like just throwing your best prospect out there and continuing to play them ad naseum hoping they will figure it out, or benching them in favor of guys like Hunter or Fraser in the hopes they will learn a lesson. The rotating door is a simple necessity of development when you want to leave spots open for rookies, because they aren’t all going to just figure it out right away, or even in their first NHL stint. So they come up, play 5-15 games, and if they are making a consistent positive impact then sure, you let them hold onto the spot, but if they need more seasoning, you send them down and replace them with the next guy in line. The rotating door is not hard and fast “you only get 5 games and then you go down”, it’s just a solution to the problem of A) having too many rookies who need seasoning and not enough roster spots for them, and B) the roster getting stale because players who aren’t having an impact keep on taking up these roster spots.

      As for Stoll, I am fine with Loktionov locking down third line center. Besides face-offs, what else really needs replacing with Stoll?

      Penner, well I want Gagne healthy next year and in that spot and I think a trade or UFA signing can replace the other top six wing spot. I said BOTH Stoll and Penner shouldn’t be replaced from outside the organization, I’m fine with replacing one of them that way and I think it should be Penner. Penner has done absolutely fucking nothing to deserve another contract. Penner’s play has looked to be improving many times over the season. It has always only been in isolated games and he has shown nothing to indicate consistency in improvement, so I don’t know why you think his one decent game this time around is any different.

      • As for Stoll, I am fine with Loktionov locking down third line center. Besides face-offs, what else really needs replacing with Stoll?

        … I don’t believe in letting go of a player (Stoll) and replacing him with another player (Loktionov) who is worse offensively, worse defensively, less physical, worse along the boards (I think Loktionov is the worst corner/boards player on the team, in fact), and worse on faceoffs. I don’t see how that helps the team get closer to where they want to be.

        Penner’s play has looked to be improving many times over the season. It has always only been in isolated games and he has shown nothing to indicate consistency in improvement, so I don’t know why you think his one decent game this time around is any different.

        … Penner had a couple goals in his last five games, and three in his last nine. That’s as many as Kopitar has had in the last nine, and more than anyone else. Granted, it’s a small sample size. But it looked to me like he was pulling out of his funk. Maybe I’m being overly supportive of him; favoring him over other players. I guess that’s fair to say. But I liked what I was seeing from him, and I like his attitude. He’s been a good sport through all of this, and it has made me root for him a bit more, I suppose.

        I just don’t want to see another team sign him for dick and get 25 goals out of him next season. That would piss me off.

        As for your rotating door policy, I don’t really know what else to say other than while I agree with wanting to make sure the future rookies need to keep a fire lit under them, I feel that won’t be an issue. I’m just going to agree to disagree with you on this, though I do understand your points. You wrote a very good piece and outlined your views well … I just happen to think a different way. It’s safe to say that we both want more youth to be served here; and I hope that happens.

        • It’s safe to say that we both want more youth to be served here; and I hope that happens.

          I know you feel that way which is why I was shocked you didn’t like my idea. How would you go about getting the kids more looks? Is it simply a matter of let Hunter go and have the best rookie lock down that spot for the season?

          “… I don’t believe in letting go of a player (Stoll) and replacing him with another player (Loktionov) who is worse offensively, worse defensively, less physical, worse along the boards (I think Loktionov is the worst corner/boards player on the team, in fact), and worse on faceoffs.”

          My view is that Stoll has been basically crap all year and Loktionov has slowly progressed and gotten stronger. I worry about Stoll just declining from here on out on this team (he might be an example of a player who needs a fresh start), and Loktionov has so much room to grow. I think Loki has actually been quite good defensively. He is a sneaky defender, not a muck and grinder defender. He needs to have more diversity on his wing. Not every player needs to be a big board player. That’s why I like Clifford on his wing. Having Lewis and Richardson flank Loki is too redundant and exposes Loktionov’s weaknesses because no one can substitute them on his line.

          • Loving the Jimmy Neutron…….

            I agree 100%, with more experience and confidence from his coach he will continue to grow
            With more productive wingers and finishers on his flank, he will become more productive
            He has been clearly handed the 3rd line center position from Sutter, and he is excelling at everything Murray labelled him weak…
            Having had 2 shoulder surgeries and been off the ice for those long durations, he may have and still appears soft in areas… but give him a summer with Brown and this could improve…
            He has been productive when healthy throughout his career, and now on this team that does not score, after 2 MAJOR shoulder injuries. I love what I’m starting to see out of him!!!!!
            The 3rd line shut down Terry Murray system label died with HIM leaving….
            It’s now the energy line, the catch you holding your dick line…..
            It’s time for different thinking with Sutter….he can’t change the whole system overnight and keep these guy’s confident. If there was going to be a system overhaul this season , it would have started witrh the Tampon!!!!

          • Is it simply a matter of let Hunter go and have the best rookie lock down that spot for the season?

            … That works for me, sure.

            My view is that Stoll has been basically crap all year

            … I guess that all depends on what you expected out of him, isn’t it?

            Last season, Handzus was the third line center. He had 12 goals on a team that scored 209 – that’s 5.7%. This season, Stoll has 5 goals on a team that has scored 120 – that’s 4.1%. Not all that worse, especially when you consider that 4 of Handzus’s goals were on the PP last season, and all of Stoll’s have come at even strength.

            Last season, Handzus started just 43.5% of his shifts in the offensive zone, and his relative Corsi was -13.1. This season, Stoll has started 46.4% of his shifts in the offensive zone, and his relative Corsi is -1.2. As a big believer in those stats, I see this as a positive for Stoll.

            Last season, Handzus was at -5. Stoll’s at +1. For what that’s worth, and it’s not much – still a positive for Stoll.

            Stoll has been more physical this season than Handzus was last season, as Stoll has been more of a physical player throughout his career.

            Handzus is a better shot blocker for a forward, but he turns the puck over more often than Stoll, according to the league’s figures.

            Last season, Handzus spent 2:24 on the PK per game. This season, Stoll has spent 2:08 on the PK per game, a comparable figure. The Kings’ PK this season has been better in terms of goals allowed per 60 minutes, but worse in terms of shots allowed per 60. I’m more willing to believe that Quick has made more of a difference on the Kings’ PK this season than any other player, so I’ll give Handzus the slight edge here.

            On faceoffs, it’s no contest. Last season, Handzus won 51.7% of them, which placed him just out of the top 40 in the NHL. This season, Stoll has won 55.5% of them, placing him at 16th in the league.

            I think that, for a guy who’s playing his first season as a third line center, Stoll’s doing pretty well for himself. He shouldn’t have been bumped up and played out of position at wing on the second line, but that’s a coaching issue – not a player issue. Considering how the season has progressed for so many of the Kings, I’d say Stoll has been alright, and I don’t see anyone else in the organization right now who’s as ready to take on the third line center role for this team next season.

        • “… I don’t believe in letting go of a player (Stoll) and replacing him with another player (Loktionov) who is worse offensively, worse defensively, less physical, worse along the boards (I think Loktionov is the worst corner/boards player on the team, in fact), and worse on faceoffs. I don’t see how that helps the team get closer to where they want to be.”

          Again I find myself agreeing with you — which is so disturbing I’ve got to check my meds.

          However, the whole idea of a “rotating door” — as I’m trying to understand it — is that it’s a procedure meant to keep from crushing the spirits of players who are entitled to get a taste of the Big Show, yet who simply can’t sustain a protracted period up here without cementing in mistakes that will kill their careers regardless of the league they play in.

          I failed to see the potential in Martinez and was surprised to see the improvement in his game. Perhaps even Muzzin will exhibit a similar gain in skill and smarts.

          I can’t say whether a — for lack of a better word — “rotation” up here will always produce the desired effect. But there’s something to be said for Mark Twain’s remark that a guy who’s holding a cat by the tail is getting many times more information than a guy who isn’t.

          In any case, if the regular team is healthy and playing well, all this talk about rotation is academic.

          • In any case, if the regular team is healthy and playing well, all this talk about rotation is academic.

            Well ideally you have 12 guys who are ALL impact players to one degree or another, game in and game out. 12 guys you would never consider benching because you need them and their services as an integral piece of the puzzle. Right now I feel we carry dead weight, instead of having a mechanism of interchangeable parts.

            My observation is that teams like the Bruins and Detroit and Pittsburgh almost always have a constant influx of different rookies, getting looks at who they have, letting all these guys whet their whistle on NHL action. It lends itself to the synergy of system that all teams need. When you have that up and down your roster and your farm system, the benefits are many-fold.

            Your team falters less in the event of injuries.

            You get more bang for your buck out of players. You don’t need a team of superstars.

            Because you don’t need a slew of stars, you get to pay your stars more money, while keeping perfectly serviceable cheap players in the bottom six who eventually work their way into the top six for periods of time or on a permanent basis. When some players mature and deserve raises, you can either dump older players to give them raises, or trade them for other assets because you have a guy who is only a year behind him and on a cheap deal ready to step in.

            You have more cap space in general to make more moves.

            The example is always Detroit, and I don’t care what philosophy Dean wants to build this team with, that is the model that should be followed.

            Detroit has been fairly healthy this year. Still, they have 6 forwards who have played in 10 games or less. 2 journeymen in Connor and Eaves. 3 youngsters shuttling between AHL/NHL and Fabian Brunnstrom, ever trying to find him NHL game.

            They did this over two years with Helm and Adbelkader and eventually these two have become pretty integral components of their team. They have Cory Emmerton breaking in now as next in line and either one of these guys will probably replace Hudler next year and/or Filpulla the year after, and one of the guys getting small looks now will replace Helm/Adbelkader’s role.

            You’ll notice that Detroit does NOT do this same thing with defensemen, which is where the bulk of their capspace goes. They have only really tried a couple of young dmen in recent years and Jakub Kindl and Jon Ericcson are the only 2 homegrown boys to recently break into the lineup and that took years for them to do.

          • I agree with what your saying about using Detroit as a model to build on.
            The one really big problem we have is, the
            Red Wings have alot of Stanley Cup Banners hanging from the rafters.
            We have dick!!
            If we or just about any other team in the league were equal with Detroit on:
            length and terms of a contract, perceived team potential,etc.
            Nine times out of ten we will lose to Detroit because of their history, coaching staff, management and even ownership.
            That’s the tough truth about the situation we’re in.
            Perhaps if we’d won the cup in 93′ things would be different but, we didn’t!

    • “Work your (butt) off, then you get a chance to play again,” Sutter said. “If you don’t, you don’t.”

      That’s why Penner has been benched. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. And you’re thinking of resigning the guy. For how much? A million? Two?

      • The saddest part about Penner is that Frolov worked twice as hard as Penner but was let go for supposed laziness. Meanwhile Penner, a good old North American big boy is everything Frolov’s detractors were convinced he was while truly Frolov was a smart player who picked his moments, such as in board battles, to outwardly exert himself. Though also tragic, that’s what we call poetic justice for Lombardi.

        • The Kings could use Frolov right now. I thought Pony got shafted as well. And the Kings could use him also. Instead he got picked up by Lamoriello for a mere 1.5 million. I’d call that a smart move by a smart GM.
          Honestly, I thought TM was the only problem. DL gave up size but added skill and Murray clearly wasn’t the coach who’d be flexible enough to guide the team through the transition. That was painfully obvious to everyone except Lombardi. lol, he was satisfied with the level of compete the team brought to the game.
          Ugh, Penner has no compete. Lazy ass. My guess is he doesn’t deal well with pressure either. There was no pressure in Edmonton. He played with a bunch of teenagers and getting into the playoffs would have been an enormous success. Send him to Winnipeg and forget he ever played for the Kings. The sooner, the better.

        • I meant a healthy Frolov. I always liked the guy. But sadly he had to go due to the Kings’ incredible depth at LW/RW position. The list of DL/TM related player losses is way too long. No wonder the Kings lack quality wingers.

      • “Work your (butt) off, then you get a chance to play again,” Sutter said. “If you don’t, you don’t.”

        … I think Sutter benched him for the whole deal with the Kings’ “pancakes” promo. I don’t buy the whole thing with Penner not working hard enough or whatever. It’s another case of the coach having his favorites, and Penner isn’t one of the favored guys. That’s all it is.

        I’d re-sign him for less money than he makes now. Obviously, in the real World, the Kings won’t. He’ll go elsewhere for less money and have better success. That’s just how the Kings do things. It’s why they’ve never won, and only once in over forty years have come close to winning. The Kings never buy low and sell high; they do just the opposite and wonder why everything goes wrong for them.

        • Lombardi’s loves to buy low. Johnson, bought when he was being a malcontent. Williams, bought while injured.

          He does sell too late though. Cammy, Purcell.

          But trust me, letting Penner go is not something holding the Kings back from success. Many other things are but that’s not one of them.

          And seriously, you’re conspiracy theory is that Sutter was upset that Penner elf a charity function? That’s gt to be one of the silliest things I’ve heard.

          • And seriously, you’re conspiracy theory

            … You DO know what a conspiracy is, right? More than one person involved? I don’t know of any other head coaches on the Kings except for Sutter. If you do, you know more than I.

            is that Sutter was upset that Penner elf a charity function?

            … Yeah, pretty much. When you don’t have a high opinion of a player going in, it doesn’t take much. Why else would he bench a player who was playing well at the time? Shits and giggles?

            Lombardi’s loves to buy low. Johnson, bought when he was being a malcontent. Williams, bought while injured.

            … He gave up quite a bit for Williams and Johnson, actually.

            With 20/20 hindsight, we now know that O’Sullivan didn’t pan out. But, at the time of the deal, he was a pretty good player – probably the best two-way forward the Kings had at that time.

            As for Johnson, he cost Tim Gleason, who’s a 20 minute per game D in the league, and Eric Belanger, a guy who won a lot of faceoffs and put up 13-17 goals for five years running. Not exactly crap, right?

          • I didn’t say he got them for cheap, I said he got them when their value was down. Lombardi isn’t a great trade negotiator in general, so imagine how much more he would have given up if Johnson wasn’t being a bitch in Carolina and Williams was healthy and scoring! He would have traded away Palffy’s ghost!

            As for benching Penner, I didn’t see any of the Florida game that he last played in, but the consensus understanding seemed to be that he was lazy dog shit in that game.

            Penner has been given SO many chances to succeed here. Played so many minutes while doing nothing with them, that I just can’t see how him being benched now can suddenly make you say that the coach is just playing favorites. I could have easily made the argument earlier that Penner is well liked by management and the coach which is the only reason he continues to play top 6 minutes in spite of poor performance.

        • Don’t know if Pancakes got benched only for the pancakes incident, but I agree with you. Sutter and Lombardi probably didn’t think the pancakes story was funny. To me it seems like he wants out of LA in a hurry. He’s won the cup, he’s rich, doesn’t like playing defense and working out. He’s gonna sign with the Jets for less money and score 20+ goals next season.

    • I can see your point about Stoll, second power play unit, faceoffs, speed.

      Penner…has to go. He has clearly lost interest in putting in the work….unless he is injured in some way that not apparent.

      In my mind Sutter’s message was the nail in Penner coffin, perhaps his career.

      • In my mind Sutter’s message was the nail in Penner coffin, perhaps his career.

        … LOL. His career??? No, he’ll be signed by another team and he’ll go on to have better success than he had here. The Kings have torn Penner down seemingly from the moment they traded for him, which begs the question “why would you trade for a guy you didn’t like in the first place?” Maybe they needed a guy to tear down? I have no idea. To his credit, Penner hasn’t bitched about it and he’s actually kept a good attitude, outwardly at least.

        Give Penner a chance to play for a team that won’t do stupid things like that, and he’ll have more success.

        • Penner just doesn’t fit here.

          Penner fits in Edmonton and Anaheim, and will probably fit someowhere else too because he only works in two kinds of systems:

          “Defense? What’s that we wants moar gooooaaaaals!”

          And

          “Skate motherfucker or I’ll grind your children into burgers and shove them down your throat!”

          Our system is “Don’t you dare make a mistake or I’ll just let us keep losing! D-FENCE! Clap-clap-clap. D-FENCE!”

          The Kings didn’t tear Penner down. They made the mistake of trading for a guy who doesn’t respond well to hugs and benchings when asked to play intelligence.

          Penner either needs to be let loose or bag skated until he pukes. Well no one on the Kings is just let loose and Sutter is still too huggly wuggly to give Penner the Carlyle treatment.

          Not saying its right, just unfortunate and not a case of playing favorites, just a case f a square peg being traded to a team of round holes. Resigning him for cheap would accomplish nothing for either party.

  10. My gut feeling……..as well as my rookie camp observations sees……..

    Robbie Czarnik 3rd round pick > Trevor Lewis 1st round pick

    Jordan Nolan 7th round pick > Brad Richardson cost us a 2nd round pick

    Nicholas Deslaurier 3rd round pick > Thomas Hickey 1st round pick

    Andy Andreoff 3rd round pick > Oscar Mollar 2nd round pick ( OR Lewis & Richardson )

    Michael Schumacher 7th round pick > Bud Holloway 3rd round pick

    If we stick with our current scouting staff, we will continue to get the most out of the draft, and even with high salary contracts we may extend to get a STAR scorer, RESIGN QUICK……..we will have a solid core of young guy’s on the ready.

    We have Been a HEALTHY team……maybe Brown’s summer conditioning has something to do with that. But these guy’s NEED their chance. Sometimes 2, 3 or more…..it’s happening throughout the league…..maybe without TM, we will see what we have been promised and so will they……

    Vey, Kozun, Toffoli, Muzzin and the rest, are more than pieces in deals, they are all the real future….maybe Sutter’s the right coach….we’ll see

    With all this NASH trade business, and the Doughty goes…or Johnson goes…or Bernier goes……the pick is much more valuable to US, seeming we do get NASH.
    However we get him or IF, Columbus will have by the looks of things the 1st pick in every round, so the first pick in the 2nd or ( Biting my lip…ouch ) the first pick in the 3rd round coming back for our 1st rounder……..would be ESSENTIAL

    • Bud Holloway was a solid pick.

      He only left because he was a top producer in Manchester, played in all key situations, and scored key goals at criticle times, for 2 strait years.

      He got 0 call ups, and had to base whether he should sign another contract on his faith the Kings would use him.

      Truth be told, the Kings never gave him a reason to believe they would ever use his skills with the parent club. So he bailed, and would rather play in Europe, and try to force the Kings to trade his rights, than toil in the minors again.

      Comparing Schumacher to him isn’t a fair comparison because Schumacher hasn’t lead anybody for 2 strait seasons.

      Just my thoughts on Holloway. Most think I’m wrong, and he’s a crybaby for leaving anyway.

      • I would also like to add that he wasn’t asking the Kings for more money, he was asking them to play him, and left on that premise.

      • I’ve seen both Holloway and Schumacher at camp, during different years…..This was my personal observations from camp!!!!

        Schumacher at 18, looked better than Holloway ever did, and a 6’5″ almost 6’6″ guy that can skate like the wind, and is a monster along the boards and in front of the net, will be an outstanding asset……oh and he’s adapting very well to the OHL……

        No stat’s, past or present….just my opinion

        I forgive Holloway for joining Mollar in Sweden, there was no Future out of Manchester with Murray as Coach, unless traded…….

        • “Schumacher at 18, looked better than Holloway ever did, and a 6’5″ almost 6’6″ guy that can skate like the wind, and is a monster along the boards and in front of the net . . .”

          You had me at 6’5″.

          SIZE DOES MATTER.

          • Dudes having a great 1rst year in the OHL as a rookie. 22 goals, and 20 assists in like 50 something games. Kids only 18, and will improve tremendously as he gains some weight. By the time he’s 20, he might be as big as Kopi, and scouting reports say he plays a heavy game. Just your type of Frankenstien.

  11. I think it’s a great idea for the Kings to trade their 1st Round pick as it’s a super important pick this year. But I wouldn’t trade it to get Nash (amongst other things). I’d trade it to a team drafting higher ……. along with a supposed ‘chip’ such as JJ so they can get up high enough to get a legitimate winger.

    • Hope that was clear….. their first plus a player to get someone else’s pick thats drafting higher up than mid table, which is where the Kings will be whether they make the playoffs or not.

      • There’s where I have felt Johnson is more suited for Washington rather than Columbus, with the loss of Green.
        They have 2 first rounders, and need that powerplay QB.
        Also they are labelling their defensive core SOFT, so maybe Jack fit’s for one of their firsts……
        Everyone seems to think that Colombus want’s NHL guy’s NOW for this season…..if they play better without Nash, and lose the 1st overall pick…..than all these experts saying Bernier, Penner, Hunter and a pick is a SHIT deal, don’t see the BIG picture.
        Remember!!! The #1 guy is Yakupov. This draft Mirror’s the Stamkos draft, because there is this 1 offensive Dynamo and then a slew of defenceman that will go 2nd to 6th overall possibly.
        Columbus needs a Goalie, Columbus could use a solid Defensive D-man like as soon as next season!!!!
        OR a high IQ D-man since their core can score and are large…..so maybe we have a suitor for Hickey…this is of course my thought.
        Reguardless, we have to approach the deadline and the draft together….a first rounder may not be for the taking if we don’t take advantage of it now.

    • Or trade down……..to get Nash

      We give them what will end up a pick in the middle of the first round and we get the 31st overall pick…….

      We’ve done worse with picks 2 through 20 or so

      We got Voynov with the 32nd

      • This comment was for Drew…….ooops

        • I got it Hit. I was pleased to see your comments. One move (the farm for Nash) seems desperate. The other (using one of the chips to change draft position – especially given that we didn’t have a pick last year and that we need to be able to acquire ‘quality’) would be a creative move.

          But we’d have to hope that Lombardi would use the move up in a far more productive manner than he used the Cammelleri chip several years ago (urgh).

          Would he even be open to a player with some speed, skill and finish to his game if he didn’t have a large ‘macho’ streak accompanying it?

    • From the article ‘I have to assume he wouldn’t mind the living accommodations either’. Does that mean he’d like to hang out with Pens on the beach and eat pancakes in the morning?

      Seriously….. one thing that was considered big time before was the fact that by trading Bernier you have absolutely No backup plan if Quick is difficult financially to sign to a deal. Then at that point he really does have the Kings over a barrel. Maybe not the same way as Meehan did w Doughty, but in a very different way. Even w Doughty, Voynov showed up early and did the business.

      Secondly, in fact that DL hasn’t gotten it right so far on three first round picks (Lewis, Teubert and Hickey), I still believe a first rd pick is important. Especially when you have no 2nd or 3rd rd picks.

      So, as you probably gathered, I don’t much like the idea. Oh, and what if just per chance Kopi and Nash don’t fit so well together. They might, and they might not. But that’s the least of it.

      • Nash is still relatively young and will be an effective player for many years to come. If for whatever reason he doesn’t click with Kopi I have a feeling he would with Richards. As far as re-signing Quick I suppose it would be a bit of a risk, but sometimes you have to take your chances. We need offense man.

      • I’ve said this before. Deano is stockpiling goalies, even the “Gibson boy,” so he never has to pay a goalie over a certain price he has in mind.

  12. Where the Fuck is Player X in all this??????

  13. It’s a Sleastack……….lol……….lmfao………….

  14. Keeps getting better……..lololmfao

  15. That “fetidness” is Murray’s corpse

  16. Well Well Written Article Surly.. you did yourself proud..
    put your feathers up.. you deserve it..
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  17. I guess my feeling on the “rotating door” is that it has been kinda misnamed. I have always been an advocate of having guys “platoon” into certain spots, which include all but C1 and one of his wings. What I mean is, you have to allow chemistry to develop and once it has you have to exploit it, so once you find a working pair you ride it, even thru some short slumps, until it is clearly no good. So, you have one “go-to” offensive tandem and all other positions are subject to assignment by merit.

    Richardson was a perfect example last year, as he played at so many positions. He didn’t earn his way into top line play, singularly, the hole was created by injury, but he did earn the first shot at that position once the hole existed. Guys move up from 4th to third and second line often when they go through a streak of many consecutive games where they just shine for one reason or another, as with a Clifford or a Simmonds.

    Merit-based line assignments, and merit-based ice-time amount, are a part of every coach’s motivational toolbox. I see no reason to exclude Manchester guys from getting some time with the big club, but it seems unrealistic to be able to assure them that if they get called up they stay. Just a call up is a reward, and it is not necessarily an insult to be sent back down, especially if it happens to a bunch of guys the same way. If many got a 5 game stint, nobody would feel singled out or left out, going back and forth. Different needs would dictate which guy came up, as to fill an injury space; then when the injury is over the guy goes back down.

    As Surly has shown, there are so many positive results from guys coming in short-term from Manchester that it needs to not be neglected as a regular practice; a smart GM tosses bones and works guys in. As I understand it, Lombardi has very few spots because all his players would be lost to waivers if sent down. I guess that means either there might be a criticism regarding that lack of foresight, or else Lombardi knew what he was doing and just doesn’t agree with the entire idea.

    Hunter was looked at as a potential 10 goal guy for 3rd line if it worked out, good size and at worst 4th line minutes. To me, he is just too slow for the game now. Fraser has fulfilled his role, but it pushed Richardson and Lewis up to 3rd line minutes. I liked it better when those two guys would share 4th line responsibilities and play C4/LW4 (Richardson) and C4/RW4 (Lewis). Whichever was not at center could fill in on wing for a 3rd or 4th line. Lokti has been getting better, even in the corners where he uses his smarts and a quick stick instead of size to win battles.

    It just seems that the team has many guys playing out of their depth. That can translate to what Surly says, exactly: we have roster spots filled in duplicate and even triplicate, all with mediocre results. I guess the answer is a question; if we brought in new guys for short stints, it might be better, but could it really be that much worse?

  18. OH my god……he SHITS!!!!!!!!!!

    Seemed more like a Fart, because you came full circle and left No Meat

    Thanx for finally chimming in there……

  19. I am struggling with one aspect of Surly’s post. Does any team in the league do what he states? Infuse rookies into the lineup? Rookies / youth seem to be a product of either need or lack of options. King and Nolan being a good example of this.

    The other question I have and am increasingly annoyed at – why hasn’t a sniper like Kozun gotten the call up?

    EDIT: And the Mayor answers the question…kind of. Read this quote from Sutter on Kozun. Thoughts?

    “You have a be a really dynamic player to play in the NHL when you’re a little player. You have to be really dynamic,” Sutter said of the 5-foot-8 right wing. “Those two kids who came in here now, they’re big guys who can skate. That’s what they are, right? When you’re a little guy, you better be really dynamic. How many of them are there? The only one that I can think of off the top of my head – and he was a dynamic player at the American League level, is the little guy playing in Montreal, David Desharnais (5-foot-7). I saw him in the American League and I thought, `He’s going to play,’ because he was dynamic. You can’t just be in and out. It’s a tough league to play in. The average weight of a defenseman is 220, and they’re as fast as any players you have on your team. So, you have to be a pretty special player if you’re 40 or 50 or 60 pounds lighter than that.”

    • Cue the Calamari/Parise/Gionta/Sullivan/Fleury posts.

      Also, Sutter, for all his down-hominess, drops these stats off the top of his head that are interesting, like he already knows the average is 220, or the 3-2 league thing.

    • Anecdotally, regarding the infusion of rookies, transactions are reported on NHL Network and when I see them it is almost never the Kings. I remember the Sharks shuttling guys like crazy for cap issues, St. Louis just had guys go back down because McDonald came back, both of which fall into your “need” category.

      Surly claimed that Detroit did it and gave examples of Helm and Abdelkader, this year Emmerton, ostensibly not out of pure roster “need.”

      I think his point is to have one or two spots where it could be possible. Not a constant shuffle, but an availability to do it without injury creating a spot to fill.

      My concern would be that the Kings need to roll 4 lines due to their travel imbalance against so many teams, to sustain energy, etc. Having untested, or developing rookies in the lineup could have a chance of hampering the coach in rolling 4 lines as much.

      I think Surly also would focus more on the “wasted” roster spot on D carrying 8 guys, and how that also deprives roster space to filter AHL talent guys in, but that idea was used in previous posts and did not get a focus in this one that I recall.

      BTW, if I was Drewiske, I would really hate this organization. What the hell are they doing to this guy? If he’s good enough to get picked up on waivers, then he is good enough to be worked into the lineup. The guy’s career is being wasted, even sabotaged; makes me wonder if a guy named Curt Flood would stand for that kind of treatment.

      • You’ve pretty much got it, with some minor tweaks. Another way of saying it is…

        When it comes to player development, and in turn organizational depth, if you don’t have 1-2 players per year that are totally worth giving NHL time to, you’re doing it wrong.

  20. Surly,.., love ya. Who’s gonna replace Lombardi? True he is not gotten us fhe O tallent,except for maybe Vey or toffoli. But Dean is the best Gm this team has ever had a by fucking long shot. For One will take my chances with Deano. blah blah blah.

  21. Surly love you! But with whom are you going to to replace Dean Lombardi? Sham the Disaster McMaster? Including every goddamn fault he has, He is our best chance (DL.) At a cup

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