Everything But the L.A. Kings…Except for Bernier, Mitchell and Scuds

Are you enjoying the Stanley Cup Final? Bruins. Blackhawks. Is it fun? It hurts here. I get into it, then remember what could and should have been with our boys and walk away from the TV. I intend to try and enjoy game 5 though because the winner takes the series.

What does Dean Lombardi want?

Does Dean want a top 6 forward? Yes, to replace Penner but we have good competition for that spot from within.

Does Dean want a bottom 6 forward? No.

Does Dean want more defense? Just Scuderi if he can re-sign him

What does Dean want? Goaltending. He is going to lose Bernier and will need Bernier.

Whether it is Jonathan Bernier with other player(s) as a package or the return for Bernier that is then repackaged, I think Dean’s highest priority is solidifying the number 2 spot for 2013-2014.

The Willie Mitchell saga of uncertainty is making me sick. Losing Scuderi and Mitchell would put a huge hole in our D and Dean won’t allow that to happen. Rob Scuderi is getting re-signed. Willie Mitchell is either going to LTIR or getting traded when he is healthy again. The only way that doesn’t happen is if Lombardi feels confident that Mitchell is healthy now…which is risky and I struggle with him taking that risk without being reasonably confident of that as a fact.

Alain Vigneault

Alain Vigneault wants to be called AV. I learned that this morning, listening to the press conference on the radio. My opinion on his hiring and what impact it will have on the Rangers is simple. I don’t have one. So long as Glen Sather is the GM, Rangers will be Rangers. This guy has never left the 80’s Oilers school of hockey.

I hate that Lindy Ruff will coach the Dallas Stars. They will be better.

Lindy Ruff named Stars coach

Awesome.

LA Kings outdoor game

We’ll all be drunk, Kate. Surly and I may cause a rush to the field.

Rumors

Enjoy.

Kings bloggers

That question can only be accurately answered after The Royal Half shows his face.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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13 replies

  1. JVR for #45 and Khabibulin for a song…I’d be happy.

    Kiss Scuds goodbye. NYI will offer him a longer term and/or more money — he goes home to Syosset (to dine at http://www.mimsny.com/ and sit on the LIE.)

    Just end the drama; tell Willie to take one for the time and agree to LTIR. He simply cannot be the player he once was with a year off and recovery. Just. Cannot. Be.

    Take the $3.5MM and … pay Penner….? No. Take a chance with DD, Slavaaaaa!, Greene, Muzzin, Martnez, and some spare part/cast-off/Monarch/stiff with a pulse. Perhaps one of these UFAs: Clitsome, Ference, Fistric, or Ian White can be had in budget. Especially since there is a legitimate title opportunity. (RIGHT?????)

    Personally, I’d say getting #32 more goal support is FAR, FAR, FAR more important than another (almost) superior D-Man. Can’t expect him to have a GAA <= 2.00 all season long and win without getting closer to 2.5-3 GF/G. #s 23 and 11 need to have their loads lightened.

    The Goal, D-Corp, and Center core is all solid defensively. Get some freakin' scoring not another defensive stud.

    I'll wait until next June to collect all my hardware…..

  2. “That fucker from Vancouver”

  3. @ JKearns: Maybe I’m just sleepy/hungry – who is JVR?
    Hope Scuds stays!

  4. I liked the idea of getting JVR. No actually, I love it. But what would it cost to get him? I’d say, Toffoli + Voynov/1st round. JVR can flat out play and he’d fit our system of big, grinding players very nice. Dean should pull this kind of move.

    As for the D, well itd be nice to resign Scuderi, but I could see us getting by with:

    DD/Regehr
    Voynov/Muzz
    Marty/Greene
    Ellerby

    That D would be suffucient, but not preferable.

  5. I can’t fucking believe the names I’m hearing floated for Jonathan Bernier!

    Matt Read? MATT FRATTIN?

    Are you serious? And maybe a pick or prospect along with one of these guys? What is Dean Lombardi waiting for! He better take one of these offers before it disappears!

    If we can actually add a young, dynamic winger like that, on a low cap-hit, without losing anything off our roster… oh man. That’s the missing piece. I mean if we can add Frattin, and get Mitchell back for next year, we will have the best roster in the NHL again. Guaranteed.

    And damn, Frattin. I mean I mean Matt Read is quality, nice wrist shot for a small guy, speed, skill, underrated on the puck for his size, sort of a poor man’s Giroux, but a good two-way player. Just a solid second line skill forward, two-way, top-seven forward at worst.

    But Frattin? I’m not sure who is better at the moment, him or Giroux, but Frattin has a really nice shot, too, but more than that, whoever is better right now, Frattin has that potential to be special. He could turn out better than Read. This is a potential 30+ goal scorer, and he’s a good two-way guy too. This is one of those guys whose hockey sense just jumps out at you in a rare way. And he finds ways to get the angle on people, to protect the puck despite not being big, that underrated power in his stride. He reminds me a lot of Logan Couture in a more speedy winger type build, while taking away the playmaker aspect. More of a fast, off the rush, straight line Logan Couture, like a wing version of Couture.

    If we could get Frattin, that would be awesome. That’s the missing piece. And if Sutter is actually smart enough to play him and Toffoli both good minutes, while keeping everything else the same, that could add this new dynamic quality to our top-six without losing our Bruins-like identity at all. I mention the Bruins because what I’m saying in simplified terms is that we could add a little bit of the Blackhawks quality to our team without losing any of our Bruins quality.

    Without Mitchell and WITH Regehr (goddammit Dean) our defense is still a problem, but the video of Mitchell skating actually said a lot to me. He looks like he’s coming back. But we’ll see. I hope if he does come back that Dean buys out Regehr, even if he just signed him. It’s still allowed. I don’t want to hear any of this morality stuff, or loyalty stuff, or whatever bullshit from Dean. His responsibility is to ice the best team, and we don’t have the cap room for Regehr if Mitchell comes back. So trade Regehr or buy him out.

    Anyway, can’t believe we could get Read or Frattin for Bernier, and maybe more. Dean better not blow this! If he gets an even better offer, which I can’t imagine, but if he does, fine, but that better involve a winger as well. He better not opt for some offer that’s just picks just to make his scouts happy so they can draft some third liner in the first round who everyone else says is the 70th most talented offensive player in the draft, but THEY KNOW BETTER as always and take him like 15th overall.

    But Frattin is where it’s at for me. I also like Macarthur but he’s UFA. Still would be great if we signed him, too, but he’s not dynamic like Frattin or young with that potential.

    Brown – Kopitar – Williams
    Toffoli – Carter – Frattin
    King – Richards – Stoll

    Love that top 9… Make it happen Dean!

    • “Not sure who is better at the moment, him or READ” I meant to say. Him or Giroux… Giroux is better. I’m definitely sure of that.

      I meant to say him or Read.

  6. Also that the highest priority should be our backup goaltending position is a joke guys! Some of us Kings fans have gotten our minds messed up from being spoiled with two starting goaltenders. That’s not the norm, and it can never be the norm except in rare cases like this where you draft two starting goaltenders around the same time and they’re both on entry level deals at the same time, so you can keep them both. Once they both come of age to get their real contracts, like Bernier is about to, you can never have two. Same situation in Vancouver. You can’t.

    And you don’t need two starting goaltenders. Almost every team survives without two, both Stanley Cup teams just got there with the same goaltender all playoffs, just like the Kings did last year, as did their opponent the Devils.

    So let’s not be ridiculous. Dean should not be wasting big assets or big money on a backup goaltender. What you do is you have your starter, in this case Quick, who is spectacular, and then you find someone on the cheap who you feel you can depend on to just play solid, unspectacular goal during backup starts, or under the rare possibility that your starter gets injured in the playoffs, or if he plays horrible (but if Quick and his $5.6 million cap hit start to pull a Fleury, the Kings have bigger problems). Speaking of Fleury, just think Tomas Vokoun. Someone like that is more than capable as a backup, and most teams don’t even have someone that good. But you don’t need it. If you build a powerhouse team, and one way to help do that is not wasting cap space on positions that are supposed to be cheap like bottom pairing defenseman (oops Dean Regehr-colored-glasses Lombardi!) or backup goalies, then you can still win games, even a few playoff games if you have to, with a backup goaltender in net, like Ray Emery, or whoever it may be.

    So that’s what Dean Lombardi’s focus should be on, retooling this Kings team to how it was in the Cup year, so that if ever Jonathan Quick does go down in the playoffs, they can just outshoot their opposition 40 shots to 20 in those games, completely dominate them, and give their goaltender an easy night.

    As for Scuderi, nostalgia doesn’t win hockey games. Defensemen get worn down over the course of their careers. It’s just a fact with some of them. Not all of them wear down until very late in their careers when they retire, but some do earlier. You can see it, for example, with Scuderi’s ex teammate, Brooks Orpik, although I still think he has more left than Scuderi. But once this happens, they’re no longer as valuable, if valuable at all.

    So I think it’s a mistake to resign someone who is on the decline like this. Scuderi was a good signing when Dean signed him, and we got some of his best years at a fair contract. Now his contract has expired at what seems like the perfect time, which is probably why Dean didn’t give him a longer contract than he did in the first place, so why do you want to ruin that? Dean signed him when he was playing well, we got his good years, and now he’s on the decline it seems. So why would you sign him? Let him go, and if you need a defenseman, go out and find the next guy. People need to stop thinking in terms of “our player” or because he played here before, he should play here again. Just because he played in Los Angeles the last few years doesn’t give him some sort of super power that puts him above other players. Where he played last year is irrelevant. All that matters is whether he’s the best player we can get at that position. We need the best player, not the player we know best. We got his best years, he declined this year, his contract expired at what seems to be the perfect time in light of that, so let him go and find the next guy! Signing someone new worked with Scuderi three years ago, it can work now with someone new.

    Also if Mitchell comes back, we will have the full Cup winning defense again, except with Regehr taking Scuderi’s spot. But wasn’t that Lombardi’s whole plan by giving Regehr Scuderi’s exact cap hit? You can’t have both of them. Even if Mitchell doesn’t come back, I still don’t think you can have both of them unless Scuderi takes a huge pay cut. Are you really going to spend almost $6 million of your cap per year on Regehr and Scuderi? With that money you could get a top pair defenseman or forward. Does anyone really think it’s better spent split up on two declining defensive defensemen? To me it’s not even close.

    So as much as I appreciate Scuderi’s contributions, he seems worn down, physically on the decline, and even if he wasn’t, Dean Lombardi really gave us no choice but to let him go after giving out that terrible contract to Robyn Regehr.

  7. It’s also worth remembering that we used a fairly high draft pick on someone named Derek Forbort a couple years ago. Just to give some comparisons when it comes to our rivals, when the Ducks picked that high in recent years, they got their prized young defenseman Cam Fowler (he’s still not great now but you can see the elite skill and the potential), they got Emerson Etem late in the 1st who is already one of their most dynamic forwards, they got Kyle Palmieri also late who is also a quality young forward.

    The Sharks drafted Charlie Coyle two years ago late in the 1st, who is playing very well for the Wild now after being the main piece to get one of the Sharks better players in a trade, Brent Burns. That was late too. Last year they got Tomas Hertl, who is a very highly regarded prospect. And the last time they drafted as high as the Kings picked to get Forbort, they got Logan Couture.

    So these 1st round draft picks, especially the high ones, are nothing to sneeze at, or forget about. The impact of Derek Forbort next year will be hugely important to the Kings success. People need to realize, every year that goes along, especially after winning a Cup, your team effectively gets worse just by staying the same. I don’t just mean that other teams improve, although that’s also true, but that if you have a good team that stays the same every year, the personnel may be staying the same, but if they’re good players, they’re always getting more expensive. First it was Jonathan Quick getting a big raise, now Voynov. None of your top players, the kind that you win Cups with, get cheaper. They all get more expensive, which leaves less room to improve the team or even keep it status quo, which makes it harder to win.

    EXCEPT those young players coming out of the prospect pool. That is the ONLY way to combat this and stay elite over time. Every time one of your players gets a lot more expensive, like Quick or Voynov, which will either make you lose some of your depth (like maybe Penner this offseason) or prevent you from spending money to fill your major holes in free agency (like signing a quality #3 defenseman), the only way to stay just as good, or get better, even, is to have prospects emerge to fill your team’s holes at that exact perfect time, on entry level deals.

    When the Bruins won their Cup 3 years ago, it was Brad Marchand coming up and playing just fantastic hockey, for a tiny salary, giving them another top-six forward, and one of their most dynamic, complete, and unique ones, for free out of nowhere, that made a huge difference.

    Even when we won it, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan came up on entry level deals to have a big impact.

    This year, it’s Brandon Saad for the Hawks really helping their depth. Just another top-six forward with speed and skill, on an entry level deal, costing no assets to get. Having players like that emerge, unexpectedly (or expectedly), on your team, especially when your team is up against the cap, means EVERYTHING. Let’s not forget Bryan Bickell, either.

    So Derek Forbort may be the key to the Kings season next year. Considering where we drafted him, he should be a better player than Scuderi, in terms of natural talent, by now, with more offensive ability. But remember he was drafted as a two-way guy, not just an offense guy, so he should still be able to play that Scuderi type of role, just with more offense. And IF he is what the Kings thought he would be when they drafted him, that is if they didn’t miss on ANOTHER 1st round defenseman, he should not only be an improvement over the declining Scuderi, but would be so MUCH CHEAPER.

    And that’s why Forbort is so important to next season. The Kings just increased Voynov’s salary even though the cap is going down, so they need to decrease payroll in other areas, without getting worse as a team. In other words, they need to spend less money on certain positions, while getting just as good players at those positions. And it’s very hard to get equal or better players for less money, unless you have an emerging prospect.

    Tanner Pearson could also be important. I didn’t like the pick at all when we made it. The Sharks got Hertl a few picks ahead of us. The Coyotes got Samuelsson. Everyone else was using that 1st round pick to get someone dynamic, a difference maker, and then we decide to draft someone we could have had in the 7th round the year before, who is an overager (so of course he looks good in the junior leagues, he’s a year ahead of everyone else), and who didn’t seem to have 1st round offensive skills.

    He does have the size, however, so I definitely had/have hope that he’s someone drafted for our system, who can hopefully develop into like a better version of Dwight King or Dustin Penner, or a more complete Jordan Nolan, although Pearson doesn’t seem to be as big, physical, or dynamic as Nolan (which is the problem seeing as Pearson is a 1st rounder and Nolan is a 4th liner).

    Long story short, our payroll is going up next year with Voynov’s raise, and Regehr’s armed robbery of our salary cap, and that salary cap itself going down as well, so we probably can’t afford to re-sign Scuderi unless we trade Regehr (but then why did Dean sign Regehr?), and all of this means it’s more important than ever that our fairly high 1st round pick defenseman from a couple years ago is ready to go and really emerge for us, and maybe Pearson as well. It will really be important for our prospects to emerge and have big impacts if Lindholm for the Ducks, Gormley and Henrik Samuelsson for the Coyotes, and Hertl for the Sharks all do, which they could, especially the Ducks and Coyotes prospects.

    And the last thing I’ll write just as a side question, but why is it our front office always tries to draft defenseman and third line defensive forwards in the 1st round? And the defenseman aren’t even like sexy, Erik Karlsson type picks, like what you’d think of when someone drafts a defenseman in the first round, but instead it’s like Colten Teubert, or Derek Forbort. Don’t our scouts know there are plenty of two-way defenseman and defensive forwards available to take your chances on later in the draft, while there are only a very limited number of players with elite offensive talent available in each draft that you have to take in the 1st round usually if you want to get them?

    I mean, shouldn’t our scouting staff’s philosophy have always been to go for the home run, all star player in the first round, and then go two-way defenseman fishing and defensive forward fishing with later picks? Especially considering, if you read up on even the basics of the NHL scouting equivalent of “Moneyball” statistics, they will tell you that 1st round defenseman are much harder to project than 1st round forwards? The logic is basically that when you draft forwards in the first round, they have a much higher chance of panning out because you can just look at how good they are and skilled they are at scoring, and a good amount of the time that will translate over to the NHL in a few years, where defenseman take a lot longer to adjust to the NHL, and have to adjust to defending against much bigger players, and there’s a lot more involved, and so basically the forwards you take in the first round are worth that investment because they do actually tend to succeed more than forwards you might take in the second round, whereas defenseman, it’s not as big of a difference. The likelihood you’ll find a top defenseman in the second round is pretty close to the first round.

    What this all means is that you’re almost always better off taking a forward in the first round, and your defenseman later. The exception of course is the top 5 picks of the draft. Well, even then, when it comes to #1 overall, for instance, and there’s a forward considered on the same level, like Jonathan Toews vs Erik Johnson, you’re usually still better off taking the forward, the percentages say. But when the one forward in Stamkos is taken, and then it’s clear to every scout that the three elite players left at the top of the draft are defenseman, like Doughty, you take the defenseman.

    But I’m talking about outside of the top five picks and exceptions like that, it’s better to take forwards in the first round just from the percentages, and I bet that would also apply to going for skilled forwards in the first round, and defensive ones later, instead of the opposite. So why is that the Kings have taken so many defensemen in the first round, and when they do take a forward, its a defensive guy? Why are the Kings basically scouting AGAINST logic and the percentages?

    Whatever the reason, Forbort is the Kings one former 1st round pick besides last year’s that still has his sheen as a prospect, and where enough time has passed that he should be contributing next season, so he better be primed for a breakout year. I happen to think adding a 6’4 defenseman who can skate would be the perfect type of player to come in and take Scuderi’s spot, even upgrade it. I mean that’s a lot, at least measurements wise, what we’ve been missing with Mitchell, although I hope to get him back first and foremost. But having both contributing, and playing well, would be fantastic. If Forbort can come in and play like a rookie of the year, play like a young Willie Mitchell basically with maybe more offense, on top of Doughty, Voynov, and Mitchell, that would be fantastic. And Muzzin, I’m not at all ready to throw him under the bus like you guys. Defenseman who can score double digits in goals in a season do not grow on trees. This guy is developing into potentially a top offensive defenseman. Sure, he got thrown around a lot in the playoffs against huge teams. Those are his worst matchups, because he’s young and he needs to add more muscle. But rest assured that’s the worst you’ll see from him. Everywhere else, it’s all up from there. He just needs to train his ass of this summer.

    But you definitely don’t throw this guy under the bus. If nothing else, Muzzin is a potential huge asset. Develop him, get him in shape and filled out, then put him on the powerplay, watch him put up a 10 goal, 40 point season, and now out of nowhere you’re going to have someone with a lot of hype around him, where everyone around the league will be talking about him as one of the best young developing offensive defensemen, and that’s when you can deal him if you want for a top young forward, which the Kings can probably never have too many of, although I hope they’ll have already added at least one by then in the Bernier trade.

    But definitely don’t give up on Muzzin. Still, would like to see Forbort have a great year with the Kings next year, or if not him, some of our prospects better. Whoever it is, the point is we can’t afford both Scuderi and Regehr. You just can’t waste that much cap money on players with no offensive skill at all, even if they’re defensemen. It’s just too much money. With Greene, too, you’re approaching 9 million dollars on three defenseman with no offense. Just cant do it. Thats why Im hoping Forbort brings it because he’s got a more complete skillset with competent skating and passing and puck control.

    • Mrconcisemice: You are a fucking TWAT! Derek Forbort blah blah blah next season.

      Hey dickhead he’s still at North Dakota, going to be in his senior season.

      Next time you start to rant your manifesto Adolf, do a little fact checking.

      Maybe you should allow someone with a clue to make sure you appear to know what it is you are talking about.

      Gravel/Forbort/Dowd/Mersch/ still in college.

      Pearson/Vey/Shore/Weal/Deslauriers/Campbell

      Plus Dean stole Hyka from PHILLY.

  8. Well Bernie is gone and we got Scrivens and Frattin eh…

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