The offers

Well, that didn’t take long.

The Kings have tendered qualifying offers to Michael Cammalleri, Peter Harrold, Petr Kanko, Jason LaBarbera, Richard Petiot, Matt Ryan and John Zeiler.

That means Barry Brust, Yutaka Fukufuji, Greg Hogeboom, Jamie Lundmark, Joey Mormina and Shay Stephenson have been cut loose.

I’m mildly surprised that Lundmark didn’t get tendered, but other than that it went pretty much as I expected. Anyone surprised by any of this?

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  • Fab-Five-Hole Freddie Chabot

    My guess is that Lundmark’s too rich to be a fourth line center, and that role is opening up for one of the kids in the ranks who may be ready to step in.

    They are also clearing up a bit of room to make a significant free agent center who will share the top line center duties with Kopitar, shifting Armstrong to center the third line.

  • Scott

    Thanks, Rich! I am mildly surprised by Kanko, Lundmark and Ryan, but certainly not shocked.

  • Fat Elvis

    They may be looking to upgrade the center potition by not tendering Lundmark. I thought he played well enough though. Looks like Drury or Gomez could be of interest? Dig Rich, Dig.
    Keep up the great work.

  • kozak

    Like Scott, I’m mildly surprised at keeping Kanko but I really thought that Lundmark was a keeper.

  • Hec27

    Hi Rich, just recently started reading your blog, and I have to say, It’s awesome that there’s someone out there that’s dedicated to writing about the Kings, and giving us the inside info. Keep up the good work.

  • Rich Hammond

    I agree with the theory that cutting loose Lundmark indicates that Lombardi will go after a center next month. Of course, it’s not that simple. A lot of teams have heard of those guys named Drury and Gomez. It all comes down to money and where those guys want to play.

  • Ken

    Does this mean next year Cammy will be a UFA? If so why not try to sign him to a long term contract now. I do not want to lose this guy next year or even have him test the market.

  • Rich Hammond

    Ken…if the math in my head is correct, Cammalleri would also be a RFA next summer. He would be unrestricted in the summer of ’09. The Kings have talked about signing Cammalleri to a multi-year deal. Tendering him a contract doesn’t prevent that.

  • Mattias Norstrom

    Rich, what do you know about where the Kings stand with Aaron Miller? Maybe they are waiting to see who they can land July 1st before they make a decision? Absolutely shocking that the guy played injury free last year…would like to see him back.

  • Rich Hammond

    I definitely think there’s some interest in bringing back Miller. What I don’t know if how much else interest there is in him, league-wide. All things being equal, he’d probably like to stay.

  • Karl

    Rich, Does not qualifying Lundmark prevent the Kings from signing him during the UFA period? Could this have just been done as a cost cutting measure to see what the market is for Jamie and then re-sign him once it is established? I think that he performed oretty well for the Kings. I’d be sorry to see him go, unless an upgrade is imminent

  • Aaron DeVandry

    How expensive would it have been to tender a contract to Lundmark? I didn’t think he was making much. He can also play on the wing if they really wanted another center. Strange.

  • Rich Hammond

    Lundmark’s cap number was only $575K last season, which would lead me to believe that they just decided to go in a different direction.

  • Aaron

    Bob McKenzie says “the Los Angeles Kings are going to be major players for a centre, preferably Briere or Drury, but the San Jose Sharks are said to have eyes for Drury, too.”

    I would assume Lombardi would view either of those guys as “builders” but I wonder if the bidding is going to get too crazy for his blood.

    Lombardi keeps referencing his San Jose days and I have a feeling the Kings could end up with both Stuart and Hannan come Sunday.

  • Steve

    I also would like to see Aaron Miller back. But we don’t know what DL is going to go after on July 1. Lundmark being let go sends a signal that DL is after a C. Drury? I hope so. The cap space is there, and a multi year deal would put us in the right direction. It was good to see Cammi get an offer, thank God for that. Cammi can play and we need to lock him up long term.

  • Dave

    At first I was surprised about Lundmark because of McCauley being bought out. Then I remembered Brady Murray coming back from the Swiss league and I pretty sure the 4th line center is his to lose now. Kanko & Ryan a both a bit of a surprise too, although both are good for the Monarchs. Maybe Kanko can finally put it all together and be the replace for Avery and be the “pest” on the team.

  • Simon

    Great blog! Keep up the good work.

  • Marko

    I would have kept Lundmark, at least through training camp, as insurance against injuries, etc. Hate giving up an asset we had in hand. And wasn’t h part of Conroy trade, so that devalues that trade. I like giving Kanko opportunity as 4th liner

  • Chris H

    I’m looking forward to when signing or not signing these kind of players will be the least of our concerns.

    Might be an interesting Sunday for us Kings fans. Hopefully DL makes a bit of a splash but doesn’t spend like a drunken sailor.

  • EthanH

    Sorry to see Lundmark go…although it sounds like something exciting is in the works.

  • Marc Nathan

    Whether something is “exciting” or not, Lundmark’s two assists in twenty nine games at center certainly didn’t inspire a whole lot of offensive confidence. And, honestly, although he scored seven goals, I recall at least two of them that were complete flukes. A goal is a goal, but he really didn’t shoot the puck into the net much more than a few times. Oh well. Just another ship passing in the night.

  • Ex-Sportswriter

    Lundmark: Let’s be honest, he’s a checking center not worth $575,000. Wouldn’t you rather give that money to Cammy?

    Drury: This is the guy to get – he immediately makes everybody else on the ice better. The Kings’ young guns will look up to him, and we need a LEADER out there on the ice!

    Defense: Adding 1-2 more quality D-men will upgrade the goals-against and PK (hopefully). Please don’t tell me Aaron Miller will play back-to-back seasons without a major injury (back, concussion, etc.) — that’s not going to happen.

    Goaltending: Sayonara, Fukufuji, and Bye-Bye Brust – would any other NHL team even have put these two guys on the ice last season? Doubtful anybody else could be that desperate. Let’s bring in Manny from Minnesota and let him and LaBarbera battle it out next season for playing time. Maybe Cloutier can wash DL’s car?

    Even though last season was disastrous, Lombardi has a proven track record and don’t be surprised if the Kings are the most improved team in the Western Conference next season – they could jump as high as 4th or 5th with a couple key additions. Look at recent history – worst to first happens all the time now in pro sports if you add the right ingredients to a winning recipe.

    Now, go shoot some pucks and leave me alone!

  • JB

    Other than loyalty I don’t see any reason to keep Miller. Nice guy and great that he was healthy this past year but I wasn’t impressed w/ his movement and inability to isolate guys in the corners. I hope DL picks up some solid dmen but not Souray. We’ve already got guys w/ booming point shots and Souray gets beat too often for a team like LA that has shaky goaltending.

  • Ex-Sportswriter

    Rich, old friend – can you ask one of the Kings front-office types if they know where Roy Story is today? He was one of the early-early-early Kings play-by-play voices, and his trademark phrase was, “The puck is FRO-ZEN against the boards!” (Or something close, to that effect.) He was either pre-Jiggs MacDonald or just after him … he was fun to listen to, but nobody compares to Hall of Famer Bob Miller and Jimmy “Is That Your Real Hair?” Foxx!

  • Fletch

    I agree completely with JB. I really see no reason to keep Miller around. I would rather see his spot filled by someone a bit younger (a Vet, however) and more mobile.

  • Andy Glas


    Though it would be nice to add Fernandez, Drury, one two D-man, where is the cap space? Fernandez and Drury will need $6M each. Another $3-5 for each D-man. Cammy will get his $5-6. The numbers don’t work.

    Lombardi won’t sign a long term deal with an established goalie since we have so many young prospects. I would guess either Drury or Briere and another mid-cost D-man.

  • JB

    I’ll be shocked if a Drury, Briere or any of those top $ guys come to LA. There are plenty of teams willing to throw money at them that are closer to a Cup than LA which is still rebuilding. And reading DL’s 2-4 year plan it doesn’t seem he’s looking to throw big $ and long term contracts. What we need are some wingers. What about Jason Blake? Handzus may be cheap given he’s coming off an injury but then there is that too. Be realistic and think 2nd tier free agents.

  • Ex-Sportswriter

    Reply to Andy:

    Screw the cap space! The guy who owns the Kings lights his cigars with $20 bills! He gave Beckham the UNIVERSE to play a few lousy soccer games at a small arena/venue! Spend the money, put a winning product on the ice to reward all us life-long Kings fans who are tired of listening to everybody talk about the Ducks!

    Cammy will NOT get $5-$6 million since he is not yet in his walk year. We need a goal scorer, a puck stopper in net (note to Andy: do you think what we have in goal right now for next season will win?) and a standup D-man.

    Get real, pal!

  • Dean Lombardi

    Cammy to receive 5-6 million?? Good God, Andy.

  • Brian Burke

    DL has already stated he’s looking for ‘builders.’ A player or two that knows how to win and teach the kids coming up. Who better right now than Chris Drury? I’m not saying that Drury would or should have any interest coming here, but I can guarantee DL is gonna make a pitch.

  • Hec27

    I know what we have in net right now will help us win. Why?? Because what we have in net is what helped win two seasons ago. Except, now we have Cloutier. And No, you can’t blame the goaltending two years ago for our horrible finish(that was a team effort all around).

    UNfortunately we got Cloutier, and sent Labarbera to the minors. I still beleive that Garon and Labarbera, as a tandem, can solve our Goaltending situation like it did two seasons ago. Just send Cloutier to the minors and let him recover from his surgeries and get back into shape there.
    Also, for all those who are praying for Drury to come to L.A., keep in mind that San Jose is his first choice. Being realistic, I think DL will end up getting Gomez.

  • Nick

    Garon is an UFA and all signs point to him walking. LaBarbera was shaky at best after his tremendous start to 05-06.

    You can’t blame the goaltending in 06, but you can’t leave those guys blameless either.

  • Ex-Sportswriter

    GOALTENDING: If you are convinced LaBarbera is the answer (and Garon will NOT be back next season, mark my words), then I have some swamp land in Pacoima awaiting your signature. Jason’s a good player, he just will not get you to the Promised Land. Unless you are of the opinion that he has the qualities of Hasek, Brodeur, Giguere, etc., and is going to make the big stop that wins us a Cup.

    What address do I send those Swamp documents to so we can close escrow?

  • Hec27

    I believe that with Labarbera, we can atleast make it to the playoffs next season. Not necessarily win the cup, BUT, if he proves himself this next season, which I strongly believe he can if he’s given the opportunity, then YES, he will eventually get us the the “promise land”.

    Nick-he had a shaky season after he had that “family emergency”. I don’t know what this “family emergency” was nor do I remember ever hearing anybody mention anything about it. I wonder what the mistery was all about. But it had to have been something tragic that it affected his performance for the remainder of the season. But he had an amazing season in the AHL, which has to account for something.

  • JB

    Dear Ex-Sportswriter:
    Unfortunately you seem to wish for the throwback days where the Kings spent their draft picks and prospects like they were going out of style to pick up injury prone or B-list players. Read the part of interview w/ DL where he talks about who he was checking up on in Manchester. It was like 4 guys but other than that they had no bodies to call up.

    I’m tired of hearing about the Ducks too and I live in the OC so believe me I feel the pain. But they didn’t go out and spend like madmen. In the course of 2 seasons they made one big free agent signing w/ Nied, one chance signing that paid off w/ Selanne and then traded for Prongs. The rest were guys that came up their system. The Kings aren’t at that point yet but will be in a couple years.

    There are no free agents out there right now that will turn the Kings into a Stanley Cup team. There are 1 or 2 that may get us into the playoffs finally and give us a longshot chance.

    Gomez will likely stay in the East Coast and as someone said Drury will go to San Jose if he comes out west. Anyone think DL would make a play for Jason Blake? Started out w/ LA, had a good year and been a 20+ goal scorer for a few years. Plays gritty, is fast and can be a two way winger. He’d look good on a wing w/ Camalleri.

  • Chris Pronger & Zdeno Chara

    Hey JB, if the Kings could sign J. Blake to play with Cammalleri….maybe they could get ‘Mini-Me’ to come over too and fill out the line! TEEHEE

  • Chris Pronger & Zdeno Chara

    Hey JB, if the Kings could sign J. Blake to play with Cammalleri….maybe they could get ‘Mini-Me’ to come over too and fill out the line! TEEHEE

  • JB

    Selanne and McDonald aren’t exactly giants nor were Selanne and Kariya and both those combos worked well. Holmstrom-Datsyuk-Zetterberg are all under 6’0 and 190. Just need one decent sized guy on the other wing. Heck put Brown on w/ them as both Brown & Blake play a physical game.

    Or put Blake on Kopitar’s wing. Blake doesn’t play like he’s 185.

  • steven B

    Haha @ “Mini-me” comment.

    Why so sure Drury will go to SJ?

    And why so sure that Babs cant take us to the playoffs?

    stranger things have happened

  • Ex-Sportswriter

    If your goal is simply to make the playoffs, then you need to set your goals a bit higher, friends. Making the playoffs and losing in the first round sucks.

    When I said LaBarbera won’t take us to the Promised Land, we’re talking Stanley Cup contenders, folks. If any of you dare mention Jason’s name in the same breath as Giguere, Brodeur, etc., then you need a dose of reality. Get serious here.

    Let’s face it – the best years for Cammy, Fro, Kopitar, et al, are the next 4-5 years – after that, you need to start re-loading (again).

    Winning is about now. If you are asking me, as a lifelong Kings fan (30+plus years), to AGAIN be patient and wait for another 5-6 years of rebuilding, then I give up my club membership. I have been through these promises way too many times. We won’t be fooled again!

    I will never, ever convert to a Ducks fan, but this long stretch of below-average play caused me to cancel my season tickets behind the goal at Staples a couple of years ago. Too many false promises, baby.

    The biggest problem last season was stopping the puck – keeping it out of the net. If you are riding next year’s chances on LaBarbera, then you are seriously kidding yourself. Do you really think he is the saviour for this team? Get real. Do you think the Ducks would have won the Cup if LaBarbera was their first-string goaltender? C’mon, be serious. If you really believe that, you know nothing about hockey.

  • BobMillersHair

    Hey Rich. I need you to help me out. I am desperate. I need another fix. What do you got. I need you to front me something to get me through till Sunday. Love the coverage. You got me hooked. Need some more of that H. We have never had it so good.
    Keep up the great work!!

    By the way, Kings use to have a plethora of prospects in the NCAA.
    Who do the Kings have left playing at that level?

  • Rich Hammond

    I’m supposed to talk to Lombardi tomorrow, so I should have a lot of new stuff to report. Then again, I was supposed to talk to him today. And yesterday. And two days ago. And…

  • Ex-Sportswriter

    Rich, you are the expert for us – is LaBarbera the answer in goal? Tell us your opinion?

  • Rich Hammond

    If I’m the GM, here’s how I handle the goaltending issue: I wait about two weeks and see how successful I am on the free-agent market. If I’m able to acquire at least one TOP-TIER forward (maybe even two) and at least one TOP-TIER defenseman, then I go out and make a trade for a top-notch goalie.

    If not, I sit and wait.

    Because if you don’t land those big free agents, there’s no real sense in adding a top goalie to a team that’s not otherwise ready to contend. Why give up draft picks and/or young players to get a top goalie unless you’re on the cusp of contending?

    This is different for Dean than what he had in San Jose. He’s mentioned, several times, that he had adequate goaltending when he started in San Jose. It was a different story when he started here, so it’s been a different process.

    If the Kings can add two or three top-level skaters, then they should make a play for a goalie, because then I think they wouldn’t be too far from the type of surprise the Ducks pulled in ’05-06. Otherwise, go one year with LaBarbera and Cloutier and see what happens next summer.

    I will offer one defense of LaBarbera. His ’05-06 season was wrecked because his then-girlfriend has serious health issues, and I’m not sure he responded well to Andy Murray’s now-you’re-in, now-you’re-out system. I’m not saying Andy was right or wrong…I’m just saying I don’t think Jason responded to it well.

  • Hec27

    Let’s be honest. Giguere did not Break into the NHL out of nowhere. He had a fair chance to develope into the great goaltender he is today. Remember, he’s close to 30.In fact, he just turned 30 about a month ago.And had he broken into the NHL as the superstar he is now, the Whalers would have never traded him to Calgary, and Calgary would have never traded him to Anaheim.

  • Ex-Sportswriter


    Jason is a good goalie, don’t get me wrong.

    But if you are saying he will develop into a Giguere, then you are fooling yourself. Please read Rich Hammond’s answer about what he thinks. If he thought LaBarbera was the answer, wouldn’t he had said that? Sometimes you have to be honest and take a more practical and objective look at the situation.

    I like LaBarbera. He’s better than what we had last season. But he is not a “franchise” goalie. Giguere was the 13th overall pick in the 1995 Draft. There just aren’t too many of them out there.

  • jb

    Rich makes a good point about waitng to pull the trigger for a goalie until you’ve got the other pieces together. But even then who would we get? Manny Fernandez aint’t a franchise guy either.

    Unless we get into camp or preseason and it’s obvious that Barb, Cloutier or Ersberg can’t compete then I’d make a trade. Otherwise the goalies out there are just as big a questionmark as what we’ve got already.

  • JB

    ESPN is saying Drury & Briere will both be in SoCal area on Sunday but they also say that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily signing w/ LA.

    So why else are they out here? Are their agents LA based? Could Dean actually pull off signing both? I’d be happy w/ one of them but I didn’t believe it before as I had my “realist” hat on. As Sunday approaches I’m starting to dream of the potential for the Kings. Arghh the suspense!

  • Hec27

    All I’m saying is, give the guy a chance. A real chance. None of this “you’re in-you’re out” stuff either. I mean a real chance like he had in Manchester. That’s all. I’m not gonna complain if we get a top-tier goaltender, but considering who’s available as a UFA, I would rather take my chances with Jason.
    That’s just my opinion.