Answering some questions

I’ve received a few e-mails over the past few days, and since a lot of them are on the same subjects I figured I would just answer them here. Please remember, these are NOT Dean Lombardi’s answers, they’re mine, and they’re conclusions I’ve come to after talking to people in the organization and thinking things through myself.

– I know there’s a lot of support for bringing over Giguere, but I’ll be stunned if it happens. The fact that the Kings signed Ersberg out of Sweden tells me that they’re going with LaBarbera, Cloutier and Ersberg (if needed). Otherwise, with all the goalies in the system, there’s no need to sign a Euro to a one-year deal. Giguere is going to want a long-term deal, and the Kings are going to want to start working their young guys into the fold. Finally, and most importantly, do you really think Burke would let Giguere walk to the Kings? Burke is a savvy guy, and that would be a nightmare for that organization. He will overspend to keep him if it means keeping him from the Kings.

– Now, if we’re talking about Manny Fernandez, who has two years left, then I might be able to see that. That’s just speculation on my part, but some speculation is more realistic than other. Regardless, bringing in any goalie (except LaBarbera) would mean buying out Cloutier and I have no indication that the Kings are willing to do that right now.

– There’s been some talk of “now that the Ducks won, the Kings MUST get better.” Not so fast. Lombardi has a plan and that involves building the organization from the ground up. He’s not going to panic and bring in four big-time free agents just because the Ducks won. You can bet there was some big-time irritation in El Segundo this week, but there’s not going to be an emotional reaction on the part of the Kings. Bottom line is, if you believed in Lombardi a week ago, you still should. If you didn’t, nothing will change. Don’t form your opinion on him based on whether or not he “reacts” to the Ducks’ victory, because here’s your answer right now: he won’t.

– I can absolutely see the Kings trading their first-round pick if the right offer comes. The Kings are much, much higher on the 2008 draft than the upcoming one and at the spot they’re picking, there’s no can’t-miss pick there. And remember, Lombardi made a big splash on draft day last year. When you’re talking about trades, or possible free agents, you have to think defense. If you look at the organizational depth right now, defense is a big problem.

– I’m not aware of any changes to the Kings’ uniforms for next season. The change to the Reebok, tighert-fitting sweaters doesn’t mean that the Kings will have to change anything in terms of logo or color.

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  • Michael Liebel

    Any insight on the captain and assistants next year? It’s pretty obvious that Blake will wear the “C,” but who’s gonna get an “A?” Isn’t it time to give one of the kids one?

  • deacon blue

    Rich–I appreciate your insider’s view of what the Kings organization is thinking. I agree about JS Giguere. I’m not sure the Kings really want him, anyway. If the league cracks down on padded equipment for goalies, his effectiveness goes down (somewhat). The focus should be on bringing Bernier into a stable situation and an improving team in the next few (three?) years. For that, we need a strong defensive core. Thanks again.

  • Jim McGinnis

    Hey it’s not Lombardi we need to step-up it’s the ownership that has the bad track record,”JR” as a example,letting hockey people make the decision would be the first step.Now that the shock is over most longtime/hardcore KINGS’fans know that big singings won’t help win the cup next year and that we are on the right track(we hope…lol).all we can ask for is that if the g.m. thinks we should sign someone he would be allowed to and not have a internal cap to save money for some soccer player if you know what I mean.With this great blog we now have a way to know whats happening with the team,thanks to you and DL’s great openess,thanks again……..GO KINGS GO

  • Scott

    The only high draft prospect I see fitting into Lombardi’s plan is Karl Alzner, and he is a reach at 4. I would expect DL to try to trade down to take Alzner later or acquire a late 20s defenseman with the pick.

  • BobMillersHair

    Kings should tade down and select Angelo Esposito. No relation as I understand it. But he does wear #7. Currently developing his scoring in the high scoring QMJHL. He also attended Shattuck-Saint Mary’s School in Minnesota which in fact is the same school that Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise, and many other college and NHLers attended. I know that it doesnt guarantee anything but its helps.

  • Anonymous

    FWIW, I think the organIzation is thinnest in terms of depth at the wings. There are a lot of talented young defensemen in the pipeline, including Johnson, Harrold, Boyle, Hersley, Piskula, Fast and Likens. Maybe Frannson. Passing on an opportunity for a pretty-close-to-can’t miss winger @ #4 in favor of bringing in a journeyman defenseman would be a mistake in my book. That pick won’t get you another Jack Johnson. And will #12 next year be as good as #4 this year? I find that hard to believe.

  • Fletch

    Thanks, Rich. I think the fact that the Kings are throwing a draft party this year means SOMETHING is going to happen on draft day for us. I would be pretty shocked to see us trade that #4 pick though. I guess we’ll have to wait and see :)

  • BBanzai

    Its not obvious that Blake gets the C. He has done nothing this year that makes him getting it, and seeing as the team votes on whos the captain it not in his hands anyways.

    As to goldtending, if Wong can right the check and jettison Yashin, i think we can do the same for Cloutier. This experiment is a dismal failure from start to finish. I said this before the season started. i really hope someone finds the “pictures” that Cloutier must have over Deano that got him to sign that extention.

    Keep up the good info rich, excellent job.

  • puckboy25

    i disagree with the thought of not bringing Giguere here because Dean wants to fit the kids in the fold in a few years. Bernier will not be ready for 5 years…..what are we going to do for 5 years while we wait for him to develope…..we can sign giguere to a 4 year deal and go after Drury and a top 4 Dman this summer……Dean hired a “cap specialist” to work these things out……We missed out on Luongo, lets not miss out again…..

  • Brian

    I don’t think DL will trade the 4th pick. Our ‘best’ RW prospect is Tukonen, and at this point, while he can’t be considered a true bust, he hasn’t shown he’s capable of being a top line NHL winger, as he was hyped to be during the ’04 draft (remember, he was our first pick!!). He’s admittedly still young, but the Kings would be best served by getting another solid wing prospect. Voracek may still be available at #4 (looks like the top three will be kane, turris, and jvr), and if he is, my bet is DL will take him, rather then trade the pick.

  • Mike

    If Dean is not interested in Giguere I strongly disagree. Theres no clear cut guy who can get this team into the playoffs for at least 4 years (Bernier and Zatcoff). Cloutier in Manchester makes good sense. He gives our propsects on the Monarchs solid goaltending and it wipes the mistakes off the salary cap books. With all of the mistakes Kings upper management has made since inception they should give Lombardi one Mulligan.

  • GMatsuda

    Rob Blake will be the next captain of the Kings, based on all the rumblings I’ve heard from the team since late last season after Norstrom was traded. And the captain isn’t voted on by the players. The coach selects the captain.

  • CBGB

    If Dean is looking to “build the reserve list” then why would he trade the #4 pick?

    It might be a weak draft but we STILL HAVE THE #4 PICK.

    I’ll take Voracek or Alzner or Cherepanov or Turris or Vanwhatshisname even if there isn’t a transfer agreement… yet.

    At least Al Murray isn’t here to screw things up anymore.

    Any word (other than the bio’s) on the dynamic duo Dean recently hired?

  • Charley

    JS Giguere = Barry Bonds of Hockey

  • The Winner

    JS Giguere-Clutch
    Dan Clouter-Not worthy of even trading an icehouse for, icehouse would reject the trade.