What would you do?

It’s no secret that since Kings president/general manager Dean Lombardi was hired two years ago, his main focus has been on improving the Kings’ defense. It seems as though a crucial point has been reached. You might remember that in my last interview with Dean Lomardi, he debated whether now was the time to go “all in” with the Kings’ young players, perhaps even at the risk of exposing them too early.

Consider the Kings’ situation on defense. Right now there’s basically Jack Johnson, Lubomir Visnovsky, Tom Preissing and a bunch of holes. The reserve list is starting to fill up with players such as Peter Harrold, Thomas Hickey, Alec Martinez and whichever defenseman the Kings select with the No. 2 pick this year (most likely Drew Doughty or Zach Bogosian). Is now the time to start playing those guys at the NHL level? Or would the Kings be better served by holding off a year on a player such as Hickey and going with a “bridge” player, a veteran who will fill that spot for one more season?

What are the factors here? Consider baseball. On one hand, there’s C.C. Sabathia, who made his major-league debut at age 20. He won 17 games that season, has never thrown fewer than 188 innings in a season since and won the Cy Young Award last year. On the other hand, there’s Edwin Jackson, considered the top pitching prospect in 2003. Jackson made his major-league debut on his 20th birthday and outdueled Randy Johnson. The next year, almost assured a spot in the Dodgers’ rotation, he struggled. He now has a career ERA of 5.30.

Would you play a young defenseman, such as Hickey or Martinez or the draft pick, next year? There’s the excitement of watching them play for the Kings, and the ability to watch them learn the NHL game, as Jack Johnson did last season. On the other hand, there’s the risk that they might be overwhelmed, might start to doubt themselves and have their long-term development harmed.

So here’s the question. You bring a prospect to the NHL next season, and there’s a 50-50 chance he will either succeed or have his development stunted. Or, you wait one year, and there’s a 90-percent chance he will succeed and a 10-percent chance he will have his development stunted. But during that year, that roster spot is filled by a nondescript veteran plugger.

What do you think? Feel free to add to your answer with an explanatory comment…


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  • anthony

    My answer is none of the above or choice C

    Let the prospect start the season on the team’s roster and wait 10 games to dertertmine whether to keep him on the team or send him back to juniors.

    Consider Jonathan Bernier and Sam Gagner of Edmonton.
    Both started the season with their respected teams.
    Gagner assimilated to the NHL better than expected and played out the rest of the season with the Oilers.
    Bernier wasn’t so fortunate and was sent back to juniors before being further ruined. Had he stayed with the kings any longer, he’d be damaged goods.

    But this situation with Lombardi (our gentle GM) is a catch 22. If the prospect is returned to the juniors, then the spot would be filled by DL’s Patented Free Agents. And we all know DL’s track record on free agent signings (injury prone – no trade clauses – outrageous figures – over the hill – has beens).
    Either way, we’re screwed.

  • jack handy

    sign a ‘character’ plug or bridge guy[s].

    if that plug or bridge gets beat out at the nhl level before the season or during, at least he can serve to help develop/mentor the youth in the AHL.

  • Harry

    Anthony,
    How are “we” screwed?
    Dude you have no patience.

  • Anonymous

    It’s sort of a loaded question.

    If a prospect is NHL- ready, “earns” a spot on the team, and proves he can hang in the NHL Brian Boyle . Then DL should let his game develop in the NHL.

    If he comes up and fizzles, and has a lot of work to do then he should be down in the AHL, ala Patrick O’Sullivan two seasons ago.

    Just because a player is in the NHL, it does not mean his development stops. The kids should play where ever they can be challenged but still be competitive.

  • nykingfan

    You would have to be crazy to choose anything other than plan B…..If you can guarantee me that by leaving the player in the minors or junior for the year and tell me that the following year they’ll be NHL ready, why would I not choose that? To think we’ll turn this nightmare around in 1 season is a pipe dream. Let the players get the minor league seasoning and get them up here when they’re ready to contribute. If I have to sit through another year of Dallman, so be it. As long as after that, the cup is within our reach.

  • Bob Bobson

    Bringing up a 1st year defenseman will not really improve our standings. Not worth the risk so let DL sign a Free Agent. Anthony, the Kings only get crappy free agents b/c crappy free agents are the only ones that will come here. Or the good ones will want to be overpaid dramatically.

  • OC King fan

    I have some patience, but this is year 3 of the DL era. So far, he has produced ZERO.

    I want the newly drafted player to play here next season if he is up to it. We are talking about a #2 pick, not a #10 or higher. I’m no hockey expert (who of us is?), but all this talk about how great this upcoming draft is re defensemen, but if the top 3 or 4 players can’t jump to the NHL, are they really that good? This team’s D is so bad, how hard can it be to make the team? Seriously.

    But I also don’t want the upcoming #2 pick to go all Sydor (a #7 pick) in L.A. and lose his game, get booed out of town, and then become an allstar elsewhere… (Good God his last year here was terrible! He couldn’t even skate out of the zone, the fans were on him so much)

    Aaarrgghhh!!!! I’m tired of waiting for improvement in this team!

    This team had better not be out of the playoffs race by Christmas 08, or I’ll, I’ll still watch… (damnit!)

  • Matt George

    Rich,

    I haven’t read the earlier posts so my apologies if this has all ready been addressed BUT,

    WHAT criteria are you basing a NINETY PERCENT success rate for waiting another year?

    I’d be willing to bet that it’s much more like 65-70 …

    for that i’m going with send them up now.

  • ryan oliver

    Who cares. The Kings suck, the Dodgers suck. Why cant one of my teams win a championship while I am still young enough to actually care.

  • JB

    I’m surprised at the trend towards waiting a year but I guess I did’t read that carefully your premise that playing them immediately would be 50-50 vs waiting one year being a 90-10. If that’s the assumption I guess I would change my vote to wait a year.

    But I don’t buy that assumption. Jack Johnson was better than 50-50. He played decent, progressed and got good ice time. So if Hickey or anyone else are at least equal to or near where Johnson was one year ago I say play them w/ the big boys. If one bad year stunts their career and they can’t rebound I’ve got news for you. They will eventually have a bad year.

    Plus it’s not like anyone expects us to win a cup next year so how much pressure is there really? With guys like Handzus, Lubo and Preissing having bad years this year are the fans really going to lay the blame on a 20 year old kid in his first year? The last couple years have shown that LA Fans can tolerate quite a bit.

  • JKWONDACHEF

    We’re officially the Clippers of the NHL.

  • Beavus

    Ryan, I’m in that Kings-Dodgers boat with you, but it won’t fade with age.
    You will save money on broken remotes etc. though as you get used to it.

  • philbert

    I think it depends on the individual, though I would say that more times than not 18 year old defensemen are not ready to play in the NHL. Examples: Larry Murphy came in and had a great rookie season, and he was 19 at the start of the 1980-81 season. Alexei Zhitnik was 20 at the start of his first full season, as was Daryl Sydor. Steve Duchesne and Rob Blake were 21 in their first full seasons with the Kings. Jack Johnson was 20 when he debuted with the Kings, though he played 2 full seasons of college hockey first. So it would seem that having Doughty or Bogosian play with the Kings at 18 years old is a real longshot. Most likely they would need 1 or 2 years of development at the junior hockey or AHL levels.

    On the other hand, it’s conceivable that Hickey (he’s 19) could come in and and at least be given a long hard look. Alec Martinez is 21 and has played 3 years in college, so he is more mature and (likely) developed than Hickey is. On the flip side, even if Hickey and Martinez come in and are on the roster, it is not likely that they will be impact defensemen their rookie years. Therefore, the Kings may have no choice but to sign/trade for a veteran defenseman that can have an impact on the team.

  • psycho

    few things…

    anthony – you’re still an idiot.

    ryan … you’re young and don’t know any better – championships are not everything – its about creating something for the long run not a single championship

    OCkingsfan … it took the Penguins arguably 4-5 seasons to get where they are and they have a “core” of good, young players who will not only improve individually with time but will also improve as a “team” with time. This is the right way to rebuild – so 3 years is still ahead of time and I see it starting to jell in a season or two.

    Also OC … you’d be surprised who actually posts here! Some of “us” do actually play and at levels you wouldn’t expect!

    NYKings fan … you’re right. Next season is too soon to expect miracles and these players (Boyle, Moulson, Bernier, Hickey, etc) will benefit tremendously from playing every night, learning the pro game and “maybe” getting a few games in LA to see where they are …if it works and they are a hit – Great! But we CAN’T put those expectations on them. The 19-20 year old NHL ready player is not the norm and many of those don’t last either.

    Guys … for those of us who have been through this with other organizations, be patient. The payoff will be better than you ever expected. DL knows what he is doing – the foundation is now here, all the players, staff and management are ALL on the same page “now” and if you ask hockey people in other cities, they all say the Kings are a few players and 2-3 seasons from being a “long-term” contender.

  • anthony

    A believer in Lombardi?
    You must be PSYCHO.
    The name suits you perfectly.

    But you’re definitely not a San Jose fan. Those people are thankful to see DL leave town.
    HAH.

  • Brian S

    DL’s office is inviting season ticket holders to small question and answer meetings this week. I’m told only a few people are being invited. Does anyone know anything about this?

  • Moondoggie

    Psycho and NYKings fan….Right on. Patience, patience, patience. I know it’s tough, I’m a 67-68 Kings fan, right from the very beginning folks. Yea, there’s been a lot of lean over the years. Quick fixes have never worked, just ask ol George Maguire (former Kings GM who used to love trading draft picks for players way past their prime….). The core or nucleus of young players is there. A plug in or two on D, let some of the kids come up and play…Shoot, let them stay if they’re playing well (see Boyle, Moulson or Purcell). And I know many will be offended but if they can get Blake at a reduce rate for a one year contract to fill one of those holes they’d be doing well. We need about one more year, after that we should be ready to compete.

  • Anonymous

    Usually young defenseman is always paired with a solid veteran player that can teach him the game at the NHL level. However this team does not have that caliber of a player to do just that. And if the kings are banking on Blake for that role. Please DL dont bother keeping the youngster up with the big club, he will be a damaged goods for sure. Send him down and let him get anther season in the juniors.

    Roger

  • Anonymous

    Only time will prove if DL does actually know what he is doing. This is the same GM that gave up a 2nd and 3rd round pick for DAN FREAKING CLOUTIER. Hopefully
    his drafting will turn out better than his FA signings.
    The jury is still out on that.

  • PowrrrPlay

    That is quite a huge under taking of a request and no simple answer. I will take a shot at it. Sticking to hockey and first focusing on where the Pens are and how they got there, well, sure, when you have a Pick like Syd the Kid, he is going to play as an 18 year old in the show. But you also have to applaud the Pens organization for finding an 18 year old Staal and getting him early experience along with another youngster up front Armstrong who ended up being part of a package deal to get Hossa.

    The Pens flirted with danger getting Fleury early experience but it was managed tremendously over the past few years. After being trounced early last year in the playoffs the Pens were gaining more experience and we all know what happened in the first 3 rounds of the Stanley cup playoffs. They were like a steam roller, 5 games, sweep, 5 games landing themselves in the final. Here is where the cracks on the back end started to show and some immaturity on the front end, but hey, they are in the Stanley cup finals.

    Fleury held it together and made a rather average defense look amazing. Whitney was an awesome 25 year old monster back there and what seems to be highly over looked is another shining star, 20 year old Letang. Wow. The Pens are officially in Stanley Cup tweeking mode.

    I am going to switch over to the Oil then the Hawks then come back to the Kings.

    When it comes to the Oil and Gagner, you knew from Oiler’s management that they were prepared to take their lumps this year. Gagner put in the hard work and determination to earn his team mates respect and it was literally hours before the clock expired that the Oil offered Gagner a contract. Right after final practice. Word even leaked to the other players in the change/dressing room about the contract, well a loud cheer came from the players. Sam was getting his 10 game try out and would be the youngest player in the NHL that year, having only just turned 18 the previous month. Gagner was having success but after all he was just 18 and still not physically a man. Hence Oiler management protected him as much as they could with line setups and even held him out of the lineup in their first meeting against the dreaded Wild, fearing a character like Boogaard might take amateur liberties on the kid. As the season progressed the defensive game of Gagner was really hurting but the last quarter of the season the whole team came on like gang busters and almost made the playoffs. And who was helping to lead the charge – GAGNER.

    Taken 6th over all Gagner’s game really came together by the end of the season; he is now handling centre on his own and was defensively responsible. Meanwhile, during the season Oiler Prospect Rob Scremp is getting no opportunity. At one point during the season Oiler’s call up Scremp from the east coast, fly him to the west coast, he dresses and rides the pine the whole game. Not one shift. The next morning Mac has him back on a plane heading cross country back to the east coast and says, Schremp is not ready. WTF, not even one shift and ex team mate, 2005 CHL defenseman of the year Syvret has been traded to Philly.

    Sounds like risk management to me. Oiler management can take a risk on Gagner but not on Scremp. So hand it to the Oiler’s for all their team building skills. Sounds like they have an excellent group of players going forward.

    How about them Hawks. Great goal tender. Maturing “D” and an arsenal of talent up front, all young. Oh and hey, did I mention that rookie Pat Kane took the same route to the show as Gagner. Actually you could say Kane blazed the trail. But the Hawks management did the same thing with Kane that the Oil did with Gagner, put him with skill and protected him. To boot Hawks 2006 first rounder Toews is ready for the show. There is approximately six months in age difference between these two 19 year old rookies. And had Toews not met up with some unfortunate injuries that kept him out of the lineup for approximately 20 games over the season Toews may have battled Kane all the way to the wire for rookie of the year honours. Has to say something about drafting the best player available and taking skill Huh Dean.

    Looking at the Hawks depth chart on forward, all these guys have character and real accolades for the Hawks to work with. With the Hawks barely missing the playoffs this year I am sure management is prepared to take that as a team learning curve although you know they wanted to be there. I can’t see anything really changing there as I expect Tallon to continue to use his team building skills to find the one thing they feel they need, a solid late late late 20′s “D” man to complement Kieth and Seabrook. Bravo Dale.

    Teams go up, teams go down. The farther down you go, well with good management you should get a better bounce/spring back up. I have not sold the farm yet on the Kings but I am starting to get nervous. I am not seeing a big bounce coming off the floor. Eerily reminding me of the Calgary Kings, or is that the LA Flames? The “D” is a mess. Now that JJ has a full year under his belt, does he look like he can compete at Phaneuf’s level? The good thing is management had the foresight to get him into the show and develop him up there. Its going to be a lot more work than they originally thought.

    Still working on the back end, I can see and appreciate all these smaller quick highly skilled “D” management is trying to find. I am sure they are just looking for one good one. But the question is, which one is it? I think you can only figure this out developing them at the NHL level. It’s the bigger guys with the slower feet that you develop down in the AHL. So now the other problem the Kings have is too many purple smurfs on the back end.

    Up front the team is looking good but development wise they still are far behind and HF has the team rank dropping. Forwards have to learn how to play in their own end before going to score goals. Anze is going to get better and better; Kudos for getting him in there early to develop those skills at the NHL level. I can’t see how you take a prospect like Kopitar, Kane, Toews, Gagner, etc etc and have them really reach their true potential if they toil in the AHL or CHL.

    If your top forward can’t dangle at the NHL level, you aint getting a cup. Who is going to push Kopitar at center? Tough to say what is really going to happen but after this past Kings season, Lombardi should have had Hickey in there.

    Understand this, when you are the door mat of the league, teams do not come into your building inspired to play you, so your going to see some remarkable plays out of your team. As well recognize that some of the wins the Kings earned were because of this uninspired feeling. The play offs are a whole different animal. Winner takes all, no prisoners. Next year every team entering the Pens barn is going to play out of their minds, its not going to be easy for them next year.

    Hind site is always 20/20 so if the Kings pick second, defense man or not, I expect that player to be in the show next year learning because I see the Kings peers leaving them behind. Lombardi now has his base team with fifteen picks he can’t possibly work with at the 2008 entry draft. He has cash and a pile of maturing prospects in Manchester that are all third liners, second at best.

    Time to make a move Dean; find that extra mature Whitney and bring him in, and find someone to push Kopitar. With only a first over all pick, a third round, fifth round and 4 more picks in the sixth/seventh round, a 29th ranking on HF, Tampa is a mess and needs prospect help.

    Can the Kings club de hockey dangle? Right now I think not and I do not see it in the future. Without the moves and the serious changes I spoke of the Kings may as well change their colours to red and black and put a flaming crown on their jersey.

    Cheers.

  • DellaNooch

    PowrrPlay and Anthony – You’re comparing forwards to defenseman and goaltenders, that’s not a fair assessment. It’s been well noted that developing these roles take time. It’s much easier to take a risk on a forward….and PowrrPlay, we did not have a shot at Pat Kane, so don’t take shots at DL for that one…I’m with the patience guys, 2 years is not enough time to put a shattered team back together.

  • BringBackKingston

    that’s why DL and the coaching staff get paid big $$ to make difficult decisions like this. no matter what happens, be it trade, FA signing, playing prospect(s) (frankly, no one knows which of these ways will be better for the team), if Herrold is on the team as a top 6 dman then we are in a world of hurt next year.

    as of right now, I would say the pairings are as follows:

    1st pair: Johnson + X
    2nd pair: Lubo + X
    3rd pair: Preissing + X

    most people assume DL will reach an agreement with Blake. Given the talk about reducing his minutes, he would most likely play on the 2nd pairing.

    everyone’s hoping DL can swing a trade or sign a 1st pairing dman. if he does that, it leaves 1 spot open on the 3rd pair. In order for this team to do better, DL has to find either a current NHLer better than Harrold or one of the other prospects better outshine him. If Harrold returns, that’s 5/6ths of the same unit that sucked last year. THAT doesn’t sound promising to me.

    Harrold taking Dalmans spot as the rotating 7th man is fine. If he is in Manchester next year, that probably means our D is a lot better.

  • voice of reason

    Is it possible the dman we select in the first round jumps straight from juniors to the NHL? Sure, but it’s unlikely. Jack Johnson, for instance, was (is?) considered a can’t-miss prospect, a sure fire perrenial all-star. He had two seasons of college hockey (at Mighican, no less!) under his belt, plus 5 games in a no-pressure NHL environment. At times this year he looked great, at other times he looked sorely overmatched.

    Consider someone like Ryan Whitney, drafted 5th overall. He spent a year in the US Development Program; a year at BC; he got drafted; spent two more years at BC; experiened an AHL post-season; spent an entire season in the AHL; started another season in the AHL and got called up when a player on the NHL roster was injured. Whitney also happens to be a beast of a man, surely making the transition after years of seasoning a little easier.

    I think a player making the jump is dependent on two factors. Obviously, the ability of the player. No dman is going to skate the entire season in the NHL just so he can experience getting lit up. I urge you all to take a peak at an AHL game, or better yet a junior game so you can get an idea of how much faster the NHL is. That is the thing everybody comments on about getting to the NHL; the pace of the game is ridiculously quicker, and there are fewer mistakes made. Secondly, I think a player jumping straight to the NHL is largely dependent on who he might be paired with. Is it fair to ask a teenager or 20 year old to skate with Lubo or Preissing or Jack Johnson or an aging Rob Blake? Probably not. If we have a shut-down veteran dman then DL might be more inclined to let the player learn on the job.

    Bottom line, this year’s team is not going to win the Stanley Cup. Period. Under any circumstances. Hell, this team might not even make it to the post season. So if one of our prized prospects would be terribly overmatched at this level, is it really worth screwing with his head, rather than letting him get a little more seasoning before skating against the best players in the world?

  • nykingfan

    thanks moondoggie and psycho. Sometimes after reading the crazy sh** that comes from Anthony its nice to see others preaching patience as well.

    I live in NY and see the way talk radio fuels demand for immediate change when things don’t go well. Its ridiculous that people can’t wait for good things to happen. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Kings certainly have no shot to rebuild this organization quickly. We’ve been a dysfunctional franchise since its inception. Prior to DL, can anyone tell me one other GM we’ve had that actually had a plan? So we’ve suffered for 40 years and can’t wait another 3 years? It’s completely irrational.

    It’s not that we’re drinking DL’s cool-aid, its that we see someone with a long term plan that seems to be working and let him continue on to see if the progress continues. Progress in terms of building the infrastructure of the organization. You can’t consistently win unless you have a strong infrastructure.

    I also realize that DL didn’t draft Kopitar, but he was sure smart enough not to trade him. I’m sure DL had some crazy offers for him. Think back…didn’t another Kings genious GM trade Larry Murphy?

    One other point….Kopitar didn’t play the first year after the Kings draftec him….Does anyone now have a problem with letting him mature that extra year?

  • PowrrrPlay

    LOL, DellaNooch.

    What, now you can’t criticize the President, ummm, I mean GM? Chew on this…

    The way Lombardi is managing the Kings is what finally got him fired in SJ. I am thinking a “seasoned” CHL champion GM would have been better off in LA. CHL GM’s are always building and turning over personel.

    Anyhow, I hate talking about players that do not have one solid year under their belt in the NHL but I am going to break my rule.

    Lombardi went off the board to get Hickey at the No. 4 spot and after a little pre season fun most definitely Hickey had to go back to Seattle. After the draft the Kings immediately signed Hickey and he got his signing bonus and the T-birds got their share of dollars too! The Kings own his a$$.

    Shortly after Christmas the Kings went on an 8 game loosing streak and they were out of the playoff run. My point here is that right then and there Lombardi should have had Hickey in a Kings uni. He should have been treated just like his first year in the WHL. Ride the pine, watch, learn, develop and be grateful for every shift you get. The Kings aint no prize right now princess.

    So what happens next; Hickey gets hurt in the WHL playoffs and will be rehabbing all summer. Then after Kings pro camp this fall he will be further rusting away in the WHL. Hickey is not destined for the AHL.

    Management and coaching staff know this and they know how to protect him. Unfortunately I feel management is doing a better job right now of ruining him then developing him. Hickey’s development was stunted right when the Kings stumbled. Terrible management, too old school and that is why the Kings can’t compete with the Hawks and the Oil. No Vision.

    Cheers

  • anthony

    nykingsfan, moondoggie, pycho,

    If you guys think your beloved Lombardi is all that, then why was he ranked 27th overall amongst GM’s.
    Why was he dumped by San Jose.

    Often I browse through San Jose threads (supporting & defending my beloved Kings). Most Shark fans are very thankful to see DL gone. Others were outraged with his transactions and blamed him for sub-par seasons. Now they’re very happy to see him land in L.A. And they’re hoping we sign him to a 20 year contract.

    nykingsfan, moondoggie, psycho, I want the same things you want. A contender. What’s wrong with holding people accountable for their performance.

  • andre norway

    Its hard to tell what is right and what is wrong to do with a young guy. I will let them battle it out at training camp and then make a decision. I would love to keep Hickey as the no 6 or 7th defenceman and let him play around 10 min a game and see how he is doing. Regarding doughty I think he needs another year under his belt but I havent seen him play either so its hard to tell if he is ready or not. Some young players has the tools to play at 18 and some need some more years to mature but everyone need to learn the game at the highest level. Im all in for bringing in Boyle and Purcell this season and let them start at the 3 or 4 line and let them learn the game and play themselves up the rank. Remember they are not sid the kid or alex the wis. I truly trust DL on this matter. He has seen those kids the whole year, talked to them and knows who is up for the job. Regarding Kopi so did he play on the next best league in the world – the swedish elite league for a season and that made him ready to play in the nhl and he also has the tools to go with it.
    GO KINGS GO

  • metalmaster

    powrrrr play
    You bring up some interesting points. To me it is very interesting how DL brings in Johnson straight into LA
    with no problem and he gets huge minutes yet older guys
    like Boyle, Moulson, Purcell and Harrold are brought
    along way too slowly IMO.DL has his own unique way of
    doing things and may have to answer to management for it if Kings are bottom five again.

  • nykingfan

    I have to disagree with you powerrrplay about Hickey.
    How can you possibly develop your game while sitting on the bench? When has anyone succeeded in doing that?
    He was doing fine in WHL. He made the Canadian Junior team as an 18 yr old defenseman. How could bringing him up during the December disaster have been beneficial to him? If playing in Juniors or Minors is a detriment, explain how Sully’s game developed?
    The fact that he got hurt in the WHL playoffs has no bearing on anything. He could have just as easily gotten hurt while playing with the Kings or the Monarchs.
    If Hickey was in this years draft, I read where he would have gone in the top 5. From all accounts, the guy has a high ceiling. Let him develop at his own pace. There’s no need to rush him.
    I remember during last years draft how people were screaming that the Kings should draft the Russian guy Alexei Cherepanov. the Rangers took him. Ask them how negotiations are going to get him into the NHL…He’s threatening to play in Russia for more $. If and when the Rangers sign him, he will kill whatever remains of their cap structure.

  • PowrrrPlay

    nykingfan, I was expecting a lot of flack; no problem. But here is something for you to chew on as well…

    Do you think there is politics in picking the Canadian world U20 team and most importantly:

    With the Kings sitting in the cellar for the rest of the season do you think Hickey could have benefited more from playing against his lesser peers in the CHL or practicing every day with guys in the NHL and taking some shifts in a pro game? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    I will just leave it at “you don’t get it and you never will”. DC

    Cheers

  • anthony

    Metalmaster,
    To answer your question. (JJ’s minutes)
    Its called favortism.
    DL loves JJ.
    That’s his boy.
    Most of Taylor’s boys are gone.
    Don’t be surprsied if he’s signed to a $5 Million a year contract.

  • nykingfan

    powrrrplay

    No, lets not leave it at just that.
    You may have an opinion, and thats all well and good, but don’t for a second think you know it all.

    There may be politics in picking the Canadian junior team..same as any amateur team, but what makes you think Hickey was part of this conspiracy? And if you think that’s the case, then tell me why Hickey?

    As far as playing for the Kings or Seattle…is it possible that at this stage of his development he’s not ready for the NHL? Whether that be physically or mentally. Also, why wasn’t Kopitar playing for the Kings the year we drafted him? The competition in Europe is certainly not on the level of the NHL. Did we stunt his growth?

  • PowrrrPlay

    nykingfan,

    The intention of my postings regarding my comments on this subject to you and others seems to have come at quite an opportune time. Yes, I am not a fan of MC.

    A little “verbage” berating is only a fraction of what the young kings experienced from their past coach. An indirect point I made but what I typed to you and others on this thread really was not called for to make my point about MC style.

    I hope you and others I berated on this topic can accept my apologies. DL gave me my meds and I am better now.

    Cheers.