Open forum

This is something that works well on our other blogs, so it’s definitely worth bringing over here. We’ll make this a weekly feature, in which you can post questions and I’ll answer, or try to find an answer for you if I don’t have it at my fingertips. Obviously there are some questions I can’t answer, like, “Who will the Kings sign this summer?” but to the best of my ability, I’ll answer anything. Post away!

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  • Deelo

    Who will the Kings sign this summer?
    :)

    I’d like to know at this point how management ranks the defenseman in the upcoming draft.

    Schenn, Doughty, Pietrangelo, etc…

  • Buck

    I think this is a great idea! Very interactive. Okay, I’ll ask a simple, yet not very simple question. What in the world do you think DL may do with all those draft picks? If we finish last, do you think he’ll pick twice in the first round or maybe wheel and deal some? Thoughts?

  • http://www.letsgokings.com Rinkrat

    Rich, How do you see the future of the newspaper industry? Do you think they will have move to 100% online content or maybe morph into something else, or do you think they can survive reporting on yesterday’s news?

    Where is this all headed?

  • Love USC

    Rich, your hard work and dedication are much appreciated. I would like to know, how realistic is it to expect Bernier to be the No. 1 goalie next season? Or is Ersberg the more immediate future? Or should the Kings go out and sign or trade for a No. 1 goaltender? In my estimation after watching 30+ years of Kings hockey, this seems to be the No. 1 problem that needs to be solved to turn around this team’s fortunes. Your thoughts?

  • John

    Why are the Kings calling up Jon Klemm, when there are so many kids in Manchester that can use NHL experience?

  • anthony

    Need a goalie now. I don’t think waiting around for Bernier is fair to the fans. How many more losing seasons do we have to go through. Jose Theodore would be an option.

    DEFENSE is a must. I haven’t seen a list of the free agent defenseman for next season (except for Suart and Modry).
    Can anybody inform me as to which D-man would be a good pick up.

  • metalmaster

    Why is Cloutier still playing? At his best he was
    never good enough to get this many chances. Why should Ersberg not play the
    last 15 games to see what he could do especially since the kings have a tough remaining schedule.

  • Anonymous

    what is the kings plan for the rest of the season? since they sent all their young talent back to Manchester, I guess they believe they are better served down there than at the NHL level? can they not stay up here, then go beck to the AHL once the NHL season is over? What are they planning on doing with Cloutier? He obviously is not NHL material anymore and cant even play well in the minors, can they just cut him?

  • Jim K

    I believe Matty Norstrom is available. I think he would be a good pick-up. The Kings definitely miss his toughness.

  • DP

    Have they started contract talks with O’Sullivan, JJ and Kopitar?

    What’s your opinion on what DL will do if they get the #1 pick overall?

  • deelo

    For Anthony, here is a list for you. Some of these guys have already extended like Dan Boyle.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Norstrom back. We lack a stay at home presence.

    Nicklas Lidstrom 37 DET $7,600,000
    Wade Redden 30 OTT $6,500,000
    Rob Blake 37 LAK $6,000,000
    Adam Foote 35 CLB $4,600,000
    Mattias Norstrom 35 DAL $4,250,000
    Dan Boyle 30 TBL $3,625,000
    Brad Stuart 27 LAK $3,500,000
    Darius Kasparaitis 34 NYR $3,116,000
    Paul Mara 27 NYR $3,000,000
    Aaron Ward 34 BOS $2,750,000
    Teppo Numminen 38 BUF $2,600,000
    Oleg Tverdovsky 31 LAK $2,500,000
    Marek Malik 32 NYR $2,500,000
    Bret Hedican 36 CAR $2,432,000
    Michal Rozsival 28 NYR $2,300,000
    Dmitri Kalinin 26 BUF $2,250,000
    Barret Jackman 26 STL $2,200,000
    Keith Carney 37 MIN $2,100,000
    Dick Tarnstrom 32 EDM $2,000,000
    Jason Smith 33 PHI $1,976,000
    Nick Schultz 24 MIN $1,850,000
    Brian Campbell 28 BUF $1,750,000
    Mark Eaton 30 PIT $1,600,000
    Brent Sopel 30 CHI $1,500,000
    Bryce Salvador 31 STL $1,500,000
    Aaron Miller 35 VAN $1,500,000
    Andrei Zyuzin 29 CHI $1,475,000
    Glen Wesley 38 CAR $1,400,000
    John-Michael Liles 26 COL $1,400,000
    Karel Rachunek 27 NJD $1,400,000
    Richard Matvichuk 34 NJD $1,368,000
    Mike Commodore 27 CAR $1,300,000
    Jim Vandermeer 27 CHI $1,225,000
    Nolan Baumgartner 31 DAL $1,200,000
    Jaroslav Modry 36 LAK $1,200,000
    Petteri Nummelin 34 MIN $1,200,000
    Jan Hejda 29 CLB $1,000,000
    Andreas Lilja 31 DET $1,000,000
    Ron Hainsey 26 CLB $900,000
    Chris Chelios 45 DET $850,000
    Branislav Mezei 26 FLA $850,000
    Steve Montador 27 FLA $800,000
    Steve McCarthy 26 ATL $725,000
    Bryan Berard 30 NYI $725,000
    Kurt Sauer 26 COL $719,000
    Joe DiPenta 28 ANA $700,000
    Magnus Johansson 33 CHI $700,000
    Patrice Brisebois 36 MTL $700,000
    Alexei Semenov 26 SJS $650,000
    Sandis Ozolinsh 34 SJS $625,000
    Mark Streit 29 MTL $600,000
    Matt Walker 27 STL $600,000
    Mike Weaver 29 VAN $600,000
    David Hale 26 CGY $590,000
    Nolan Pratt 31 BUF $550,000
    Rory Fitzpatrick 32 PHI $550,000
    Jassen Cullimore 34 FLA $535,000
    Alain Nasreddine 31 PIT $535,000
    Freddy Meyer 26 NYI $525,000
    Rob Davison 27 SJS $525,000
    Bobby Allen 28 BOS $500,000
    Jeff Jillson 26 COL $500,000
    Sheldon Brookbank 26 NJD $500,000
    Andrew Hutchinson 27 NYR $500,000
    Jason Strudwick 31 NYR $500,000
    Luke Richardson 38 OTT $500,000
    Micki DuPont 27 STL $500,000
    Andy Wozniewski 27 TOR $500,000
    Kevin Dallman 26 LAK $490,000
    Jeff Finger 27 COL $475,000
    Allan Rourke 27 EDM $475,000
    Sean Hill 37 MIN $475,000
    Mike Mottau 29 NJD $475,000
    Matt Carkner 26 OTT $475,000
    Ryan Caldwell 26 PHX $475,000
    Brad Norton 32 SJS $475,000
    Doug Janik 27 TBL $475,000

  • Gord

    Do you think Cammalleri will be traded, either by Draft Day or by next the Trade Deadline?

    Do the Kings feel Brian Boyle has solidified a roster spot for himself next fall?

    I have been impressed with Matt Ellis thus far, not necessarily by his skill but by his work ethic. How does Lombardi feel about him? Is he an option next season?

    Thamks

  • Bob Bobson

    Rich, what do you think DL will do to address the goaltending ? Keep Cloutier and LaBarabar up ? Or send one or both of them down to Manchester ?

    Similarly, how will the defense be addressed ? Is it really that hard to get Free Agents to sign in LA ?

  • Landon

    Is there any word anywhere that you know of that the NHL will finally go back to home white Jerseys?

    Dallas darks say ‘Dallas’ on the front in big letters while their whites just has the basic Stars logo. The Wild darks say ‘Minnesota Wild’ but their whites also display their basic longtime logo.

    It is widely known that NBA home teams always where whites and those jerseys display the team name while most but not all teams dark away jerseys display the city they are from. Same as baseball. Any thoughts or knowledge on this subject?

    I also read at CBS Sportline a while back that Pavol Demitra intends to re-sign with the Kings in the offseason which makes sense because he signed a 3-year deal and wanted to stay. Know anything about that.

    I hope these questions aren’t a reach.

    Thank you Rich. Nice work finding ways to improve the site overall.

  • Irish Pat

    Rich,

    Earlier this year the Kings signed Wayne Simmonds to a contract but he isn’t playing for Manchester. Is this because he is ineligible due to age or his commitment to his junior team? Are they burning a year off of his entry level contract or does it kick in once he dons a Kings/Monarchs jersey? If this is the norm, why the wait for Oscar Moller or Thomas Hickey? Thanks

  • BobMillersHair

    What are the plans for Brenier after QMJHL wraps up? Manchester?
    Is there, was there, concern of Bernier’s average numbers in the Q this year?

    Who are the worthy UFA goaltenders expected to be available this year?

    What are the plans for NCAA standout Goalie Jeff Zatkoff?
    Let him finish out his senior year or sign him to play in Manchester next year?

  • brianguy

    I like the new banner. looks sweet! plus it doesn’t have a picture of Willsie anymore… but anyway I digress. nice to have you back Rich – talk about wealth of coverage, I feel spoiled now (as opposed to any other site on the net with 1 or 2 exceptions).

    and so Matt? any more contributions or permanently reassigned? he seemed to be hanging pretty well in here with the frequent updates it was one of the most updated Kings hockey sources on the net.

  • jkwondachef

    What this team needs is some toughness on D! We are too small and get pushed around…a lot. I wouldn’t mind seeing Mike Commodore or Andreas Lilja or even Kurt Sauer on this team.

    Kurt Sauer, 6-4 220, 26 $719,000
    Mike Commodore, 6-5 228, 27 CAR $1,300,000
    Andreas Lilja, 6-3 230, 31 DET $1,000,000

    They are also affordable.

    Current Kings Defense:

    Rob Blake, 6-4 225
    Kevin Dallman, 5-11 195
    Peter Harrold, 5-11 195
    Jack Johnson, 6-1 215
    Tom Pressing, 6-0 198
    Lubomir Visnovsky, 5-10 188

    A little more size wouldn’t hurt us.

  • anthony

    Very Impressive Deelo.
    Thanks for the list.
    Mike Commodore & Micheal Rozival seem like good pick-ups.

  • deelo

    lol…wasn’t too much work. Just a copy/paste from a site.

    John-Michael Liles and jason Smith are 2 more guys I think could fit. Bryce Salvador too.

    There should be plenty of options in the off-season.

  • sense13

    Any word on whether Petiot will get a call up or have they already decided to let him walk after the season?

  • sense13

    Any word on whether Petiot will get a call up or have they already decided to let him walk after the season?

  • Moondoggie

    Deelo, nice list….

    Rich,

    I pretty much have the same question regarding goaltending, tough to figure out where we’re weakest, the defense needs major help too. I was looking over the team stats for the University of Miami and goalie Jeff Zatkoff is having a phenomemal year:

    http://muredhawks.cstv.com/sports/m-hockey/stats/2007-2008/teamcume.html#TEAM.IND

    How do you see the Kings goaltending shaping up for the future? Will we see Bernier again this year? What about Zatkoff? Manchester next year? Do you see him and Bernier fighting it out for the No.1 job?

    Also, as deep as this draft is this year how do you see the Kings drafting? We have a ton of picks, however it appears the top player is Stamkos. The conventional wisdom is to pick the best player available. Is it still possible to pick Stamkos and fill the defensive needs with the other high draft picks? Your thoughts on what direction DL may take.

    Thanx again for all you do for the team and it’s fans. Great to have you back!

  • FroFan

    Question for Dean Lombardi and/or Hextall: why did they leave Dan Taylor off the Monarchs playoff roster? He’d been the best goalie in Manchester this year, so the move doesn’t seem to jibe with their desire for the other players in Manchester to go deep into the playoffs.

  • Anonymous

    If the Kings draft a goalie that’s projected to be the next Dan Cloutier this year…does that mean that kid is going to never reach the NHL???

  • anthony

    Deelo,
    Would it be to much to ask for the list of goalies who are availble.

  • Gord

    hey deelo,

    courtesy of spectorshockey’s list of free agents?

  • Dan

    Word on the street is Labs is out for the rest of the season. Any chance you could find out whats going on with that?

  • Paul

    Everyone’s going to ask about defense & goaltending, so I won’t bother asking again.

    What I’d like to know is what the Kings think of Handzus, Calder, & Armstrong, and whether they’d consider moving them in the offseason?

    Thanks Rich!

  • anthony

    Paul,
    These 3 players you listed have been disapointments.
    But I don’t think Handzus and Calder can be moved with their overpaid salaries.

  • ryan oliver

    After watching alot of these games this year, what department is the most to blame for this abysmal season. Forwards, defense, goaltending, the defensive effort of the forwards perhaps? Thanks.

  • deelo

    Here are the goalies as requested. Bryzgalov has already been extended.

    Jose Theodore 30 COL $6,000,000
    Olaf Kolzig 37 WAS $5,450,000
    Cristobal Huet 31 MTL $2,750,000
    Dominik Hasek 42 DET $2,050,000
    John Grahame 31 CAR $1,400,000
    Ilya Bryzgalov 27 ANA $1,363,000
    Johan Hedberg 34 ATL $1,150,000
    Johan Holmqvist 29 TBL $1,000,000
    Patrick Lalime 32 CHI $950,000
    Chris Osgood 34 DET $800,000
    Jocelyn Thibault 32 BUF $760,000
    Stephen Valiquette 29 NYR $635,000
    David Aebischer 29 PHX $600,000
    Alex Auld 26 PHX $600,000
    Curtis Sanford 27 VAN $600,000
    Jean-Sebastien Aubin 29 LAK $525,000
    Fred Brathwaite 34 ATL $500,000
    Jordan Sigalet 26 BOS $500,000
    Wade Dubielewicz 28 NYI $500,000

  • Paul

    Anthony,

    I agree that Handzus & Armstrong have been disappointments. I’m not sure what you expected from Calder, but I think he’s been pretty good.

    I agree that Handzus & Calder would be hard to move, but I don’t think impossible.

    And I think the Armstrong experience needs to be over in LA. I know some of you wanted him to wear the C this year, which I don’t understand for the life of me, but he’s been a ghost since game 1.

  • bk8

    Lombardi is amazing – he talks about building a defense and yet we’ve dumped – Norstrom, Miller, Modry, Stuart, Sopel within the past 12 months. Yes I know about the picks and reserve list but between Cloutier (insulting) and no decent defenseman what the **** has DL really done to improve the team? I guess we need to suck long enough to show everyone how “smart” DL is! LOL

  • anthony

    Paul,

    Agreed, especially about Armstrong. I can’t stand that player. All those power play minutes for NOTHING.

    Deelo,

    Thanks again. You’re better with computers than I am. Never was good with that cutting and pasting stuff.
    Theodore, Kolzig, Osgood, & Huet seem enticing, but I would bet that DL will go with the kids in the minors instead.
    Thoughts.

  • Matt George

    Hey Rich..

    I JUST posted the other day about the internet hitting news media and television hard right…well i work at THE CW and they are laying people off right now…

    it’s 5:18pm and they’re still calling people in…

    wow

  • socalking

    It makes sense for the Kings to trade Cammy for a D-Man. I think moving him to the Caps for Alzner and a pick or two would be great for the Kings, and the Caps need good affordable forwards. JJ, Alzner, and Hickey would be a great young D core. Sign Matty and Blake to coach them.

    Just some thoughts

  • Burt

    Rich,

    Does management, coaching staff or players know about the blog?

  • JB

    Hey Deelo thanks for that list. I was wondering about goalies too. Isn’t Lehtonen in Atlanta also available at the end of the year or did he re-up? Other consideration is goalies that aren’t RFAs but could be on the block if they (or their) teams don’t do well in playoffs.

    What abuot Turco? If he comes up short in playoffs again the team may look to go another direction.

    And it’s likely Gerber or Emery will be available as I don’t see Bryan Murray wanting to go another year w/ the drama of having two #1 guys.

    My question to Rich then is do you see the draft picks we’ve stocked this year and maybe a roster player being moved in a deal for a goalie? Do you think Cammy could be that roster guy?

  • Calculator

    Hey Rich,

    I was reading hfboards earlier today and an interesting post grabbed my attention and had be thinking…


    “Yes. yes he did crap in my wheaties. Where were you in ’01? Or do you just not remember him going to the press with his dirty laundry, creating a major distraction for a team that was trying to make the playoffs, ripping of his C, forcing a trade while claiming that he would DEFINATELY not resign with whatever team he was traded to to purposely hurt his trade value (which he didn’t even live up to), then taking us out of round two with his new team.

    You know there’s actually a reason he wasw booed everytime he touched the puck for 5 seasons straight.

    Then we pay him 6 million dollars (while he’s still gouging Colorado for 2 mil) to show up out of shape and consistantly use the first half of the season to get back into shape.

    Meanwhile he’s the worst captain a team has ever had, on the WORST team in the league. He doesn’t motivate the team. He shows up when he feels like it. He doesn’t stick up for his team (except the one little slap fight while dude was on the ground for Labarbera).

    Another reason to hate him. Nabokov has had 5 SO’s this season and leads the league with 20 wins.”

    First thing that came to my mind was remembering how pissed I was when Lombardi signed Blake and said he’s a “King at heart” or something to that effect. I said to myself, he doesn’t deserve to be a King. All he’s done is use this organization. While he may have given back to the community, all he’s done for the Kings is use them. He used the Kings to turn him into the player he became. And when he hit his prime he threw his fit and spent most of his best years with another franchise. And now that he’s on his decline and is practically pathetic out there and only shows up for half a season now, he’s back prying $6 million from the Kings.

    What will bother me the most is if we retire his name and number up in the rafters with the other 5 King greats. Frankly, he isn’t even in their league. Do you think the goal of the organization is to do this? What percent would you give it and would the organization realize that a ton of fans would be outraged by this?

  • boylefan

    I would like to get the Kings impression of the foreign prospects.It’s easy top monitor guys in the AHL and CHL but what about guys overseas. I would like to know the progress of guys like Valtteri Tenkanen, Mikhail Lyubushin, Niclas Andersen, Johan Fransson and Constantin Braun.

  • brianguy

    retire Butch Goring first, then Blake. meanwhile anyone who says he’s the best D-man in the franchise history is wrong. not that we’ve had a ton

  • CBGB

    Rich will confirm that NORSTROM IS NOT COMING BACK – He told me he’s going back to his home country to play next season.

  • txkingsfan

    Rich,
    I’m curious as to ownership issues with AEG. They recently sold a large share of their Houston Dynamo soccer team. Have you heard any rumblings about their ownership of the Kings?

  • Kevco

    Are we going to get a discount on our season tickets for next year as a suffering discount for this year? Just asking.

  • Gord

    When (not if) Blake re-signs with us next year, what should the ceiling be set at? I was thinking 3 million max. Thoughts.

  • Big Rob in Dallas

    Rich,

    What’s your take on the locker room chemistry? Do they all seem to get along? Is it old guys vs young guys? Point producers vs non point producers?

    Thanks,

    Big Rob in Dallas

  • Fanny

    Since Reading is not going to be affiliated with the Kings next year, where does that leave Manchester?

  • Mike

    Rich,

    Will we be seeing you at practices again? Will you be covering the Kings on a daily basis?

  • Matt George

    Ok some of you may all ready have the answer to this BUT…

    Exactly how many picks and where do we have in this year’s draft?

    Is the first pick still decided by the balls?

  • Eric K

    early in the season, many on this blog (myself included) were talking about cammalleri as the guy who would be wearing the C in the future. how have the arbitration, trade rumors, and emergence of dustin brown changed that in the eyes of the organization. is cammo still a good bet to wear a letter if he remains with the team, and how good are his chances of leaving LA in the offseason?

    and as an observation, cammo still has 42 points in just 48 games and seems to play with energy and fire. why has he been so roundly criticized this year, and is it justified?

  • Mackan

    I agree with “Eric K”

    I think Cammy is an outstanding player, and I would very much like him to stay in the Kings. But I also agree with you other guys that Kings have to give up something in return for a defensman. We have many young talents, maybe too many, why cant we give up one of them? We have tons of talented forwards..

    What are your thoughts Rich?

  • Paul

    @Matt George,

    If I’m not mistaken, we have 2 picks in the first round (ours & Dallas’), and 2 in the second round (ours & Detroit’s), and 2 in the third round (ours & Philly’s). After that, I’m not sure. And there could be 1 or 2 other picks in the first 3 rounds I’m not thinking of.

    And yes, the top pick is still decided by a lottery. The team with the worst record gets the most ping pong balls.

  • nykingfan

    Rich,

    What is the situation with LaBarbara’s contract for next season? Is he RFA?

    Also, to pick up on Eric’s point about the captaincy….what about the possibility of Kopitar being the next captain of the Kings? I would assume if Blake is back, which I hope he is, he would remain the captain, but just wondering what your feeling is about Kopitar? How is he viewed in the locker room?

  • Preston

    Rich,

    Glad to see you are back, but very sorry to see Matt go as well. That being said I was wondering on the status of Purcell’s contract. I thought if you played 10 games or more you loose a year of arbitration? Can you clarify his situation, and the plans for him in the future in this organization.

    Thanks,

  • KingFan4ever

    Rich,

    What song did hall of famer Bob Miller sing at that Nashville honky-tonk bar?

    …or did he swore you to secrecy?

    ..and did Foxy back him up?

  • Bryan

    I’m curious as to the franchise’s cap situation. With various media outlets predicting that the cap will rise to approximately $54mil, what is the franchise’s current cap number for ’08-’09? How many players are under a one-way contract for the next season, or how many of the players combined are anticipated to be on the roster come opening night? Given the past few years, what is the organizational “temperature” for possible free agent acquisitions this summer…or does the organization feel youth would better be served by staying in house for the start of the year (leaving a larger amount of cap space for the next deadline for a possible acquisition of a “remaining piece”)?

    Hopefully the organization will be able to, or can (or has already) provide(d) some insight as to some of those items going forward.

    Rich – thanks for the time and effort spent to make this blog such a valuable reference for Kings fans.

    Best of luck to Matt. Hope you land on your feet soon dude.

  • deelo

    For people wanting to know our salary cap number, or for any other team this is definitely a site you want to bookmark

    http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=LAK

  • anthony

    Thanks Deelo,
    How does the bonuses come into play.
    Does it factor in the salary cap.

  • John

    Rich,

    Why is it that Lauri Tukonen gets consistently passed over for NHL looks? He’s been up a couple times, but has never really had a long-term shot with the Kings. Have they given up on him, or does the Lombardi regime discount him as an NHL contributor?

    Thanks,
    John

  • TremayneAnchrum

    Do you think Crawford is likely to be retained? It seems there is an awfully long leash with him. What positives does DL see that keep his faith in him?

  • PaulCat

    Rich,

    If it’s not too late to ask (and this may be a question for Dean) but I really think the Kings missed an opportunity to get a potentially strong goaltender in AL Montoya. Worse was that a division rival picked him up and it seems for very little. I’d love your thoughts.

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