Why did it happen?

As I said, I’ll talk to Lombardi later, but for those searching for an answer to the question of “what went wrong?” I can offer this: a member of the organization, who was familiar with the negotiations yesterday, said the Kings’ biggest obstacle was their lack of recent success. Meaning that even if the Kings fielded a competitive offer, a free agent was more likely to go somewhere else, with the belief that he had a better chance to win. I believe (my theory) that this was particularly the case with Drury, who waited for Gomez to sign with the Rangers, then jumped on board. I’m not sure how that factored in with Briere because, well, he chose Philly.

It almost creates a chicken-egg situation, because you need talented players in order to win, but you’re not going to get talented players until you win. Obviously the way you solve that is to win by developing your prospects and making good decisions with second-tier free agents, but that hasn’t worked out for the Kings in a long time.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Thomas

    Still no confirmation that the Kings signed Preissing?

  • Steven

    Rich you are definately the man! Do you think if the kings can make playoffs this year it will help attract more UFA’s?

  • jom

    Don’t you see a travel schedule issue with these signings? The Atlantic division seems to have the best situation for that.

  • Marc Nathan

    Regarding Philly…

    101 points in 03-04
    101 points in 05-06

    I think 06-07 was the aberration. Injuries… let’s start with Nittymaki playing with a torn hip from the start of the season…

    The Flyers have a hell of a lot better chance of having a 100 point season this coming year than they do a 50 point season.

    I have hated the Flyers since forever, but I’m pretty clear on the fact that they will contend in 07-08.

  • Thomas

    I have a proposition to bring the the NHL governing board.

    Every east coast team has to fly to St. Louis between every leg of their road trip to increase the mileage they log. Hopefully that can counterbalance the inequity of travel east vs west.

  • dbushik

    Well, with Briere and Philly, first off Philly is a great hockey town to begin with. Second he had a friend there in Biron who he says did influence his thinking.

    Lastly, I don’t think anyone could doubt that Philly is willing to do anything to win. Looking for high rewards means taking high levels of risks, and I’m sure people will knock Philly for the level of risk they take on, but I don’t think anyone could argue Philly isn’t willing to try.

    From listening to Briere last night on TSN, it was pretty clear he had his mind made up before 7/1, and was simply going through the motions yesterday listening to other offers just in case.

  • Fat Elvis

    Tom Preissing sign a 4 yr 11 mil contract by LA today per TSN.
    Good signing at a great price for a stable puck moving great skating dman. Smart signing by DL.

  • BIll

    Interesting theory of yours Rich regarding Drury. As the day wore on yesterday I got the feeling that the lack of interest to play in LA was a big factor.

  • Golfnut

    The problem with the Kings is you have FORTY years of them not doing anything.

    Why realistically would anyone sign here? When they have to pay higher housing prices, gridlocked traffic, smog, and carjackings and driveby shootings on every corner (the last is the perception).

    If the Kings would go to the playoffs 2 years in a row it would be a start to getting some credibility.

    The benefit of short plane rides home if you are a Ranger or east coast team is also a huge benefit for those with a family. Being able to sleep in your own bed on most nights is a huge benefit of east coast hockey.

  • Fingolfin

    Hey Rich, can you find out if the team is going to give O’Sullivan a chance at the 2nd line center spot (since Drury didn’t work out) rather than stick him on the wing again? He looked much better at the end of the season when he was playing center, IMHO.

    Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  • KingsFan78

    Hasn’t worked in a long time? Yeah, because they’ve never really given that road a shot. The last time they started, they ended up trading Jokinen two years after they drafted him for a short term boost. It got them a few exciting playoff games, but in the end they didn’t have the depth because A) they didn’t give themselves a chance to rebuild their system, and B) they weren’t going to spend tons and tons of money.

    If the fact that the Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 01-02 was the main reason no big name FA’s signed yesterday, that’s good. There is only one way to build a team, and it’s already been mentioned by our favorite journalist. That, or be lucky and have an all-time defenseman’s decent 3rd line brother on your team.

    Great site by the way.

  • mm

    That’s exactly what some have been saying…
    there is no winning environment in L.A. for these star free agents to go to.
    The only way to get them is to overpay more than a winning team would.
    Now we’ll just inch a little bit forward each year, hoping our young guys won’t get tired of playing for this franchise by the time they become unrestricted.
    Sucks being a King fan.

  • TonySCV

    One thing’s certain now – the Kings are going to HAVE to build from within because until they build a winning team, they aren’t going to be able to attract big name FA’s. I guess it’s a good thing DL is going this route – there doesn’t seem to be an alternative. If you build it, they will come. Until then – they’re going elsewhere, and who can blame them?

  • Mike Mazzer

    Great stuff, Rich. I think it is not just that the Kings have not been a winning franchise, but the ownership group does not appear to have a commitment to winning the Stanley Cup. Where Leiweke preaches the gospel of fiscal responsibility, the Ducks get Selanne, Niedermeyer, Pronger, the Cup and oh by the way are more profitable?

    I’m wondering, do you think think Lombardi has free reign to pursue who he wants, or is he hamstrung by AEG?