• Irish Pat

    Rich,

    Did you ever get the impression from Crawford that he was pushing for more veteran help? And by the organization possibly going even younger, do you have any perspective on whether or not Lombardi would be willing to trade Visnovsky or even Frolov for youth?

    Thanks again for all of your hard work. Considering where this team is at and the patience we all have to have for now, your hard work and dedication to this site makes being a King’s fan enjoyable.

  • Jay

    Rich-

    Did you see this coming?

  • romy

    DO YOU THINK MARK MORRIS MIGHT BE VIABLE OPTION,CONSIDERING THE RELATIONSHIP THAT HE HAS WITH THE YOUNG PLAYERS

  • Bob Bobson

    Do you think it is a mistake to say NHL experience is not a necessity for the next coach or that DL is ok not having a coach by development camp ?

  • http://aqueenamongkings.blogspot.com/ Connie

    I know the Kings arent opening up the coaching position too far yet, but has Craig Hartsburgs name come up in any conversations? As Im sure everyone knows, he coached Team Canada at the WJC with some of our prospects… they obviously want to go younger with the squad and Hartsburg has experience with developing young teams in high pressure situations.

  • Paul-Cat

    Hey Rich,

    First of all thanks for all your hard work on the site in the last 24 hours. To get as many updates on it considering that other LA team is in the Finals says a lot about your commitment to this site.

    I had a question that I have been wanting to ask for a couple of weeks now but in light of everything that went down yesterday it’s changed in its scope a little.

    My original question was based on your meetings with Dean and the scouts and if you felt there has been a trade already in place for a while now. I know Dean has mentioned that at the deadline that they had something close but it fell apart. Do you think that trade still on the table or a variation of it that he is just holding off until the playoffs werec ompleted, all the buyouts took place, etc.?

    Now with Crawford’s firing, it seems like Dean is going young. How do you feel that impacts potential trades down the line? With a new coach coming in, do you feel Dean has to do something drastic defensively with trades and/or free agency in order to give the new coach a chance to succeed? It seems it’s a lot easier to win when you have a strong defense and goaltending than without one.

  • Jerod

    It’s funny because I was going to ask last week when Tortorella got fired if Crawford’s job was safe. In hindsight I should have written, maybe I would have been seen as prophetic. This has John Tortorella written all over it.

    I think if Hartsburg were a real possibility, Crawford would have been fired months ago. Hartsburg is a nice choice, but he’s not the guy.

    The real question is whether Tortorella would want the job. Rich, what do you think?

    Also, the Kings’ model is starting to look a lot like the Clippers’ model. Get young (i.e. cheap) for a few years and see if they can win together. If so, then sign the core to long term deals, if not, then blow it up and start over. This scares me. However, the plan of balancing youth and veterans hasn’t worked either – so what the hell?

  • Anonymous

    1.) Is there any turth to the rumors that the Kings are interested in Filatov or is it just posturing?

    2.) Is Lombardi on the hot seat?

    3.) Any word on where they are at with Sully’s deal?

    4.) Whos is this target under 30 defenseman?

  • Daniel

    I think in the conference call Lombardi made it clear that during his recent meetings with prospects and their families, he began to see a different psychological landscape. In other words, his eyes opened up to the Facebook and Youtube generation. Kids dont respond well to spankings as well as they do to positive feedback. Given this, coach Crawford and his bark had to go. So, Lombardi seems to have made this decision after weighing new information.

    My question is Does Lombardi have a solid mission statement for this team and organization?

    I keep hearing they want to change the culture, which they are, and that they want players on this team to WANT to be on this team. He has made the tattoo on their ass reference many times, almost to the point of awkwardness. But what tattoo is that? Is it just purple and black? Is it a tattoo of loyalty to the organization and a willingness to take less in pay to play in LA? (Which, by the way, doesnt make logical sense as LA has one of the highest cost-of-living indexes in the world.) Or is there a constant thesis that he defends when issues such as payroll and player development comes up with ownership?

    For example, why hire Crawford and then trade Demitra and NOT trade for Luongo? Crawford would have been great for THAT team, which would have lasted one season. But Lombardi hired Crawford and then went semi-younger. Now he is going full-blown younger. There is adaptation and there is waffling. Which one is Lombardi best at?

  • Mike

    Rich,

    Knowing how gunshy Dean has been with overprotection our prospects, how much do you think things will change next season in regards to the holes we have? Do you think he’ll ALLOW the kids the opportunity to grab the spots in camp or do you think he will opt to sign more filler free agents as a safeguard but essentially block the opportunity for the more talented, yet less experienced kids. My fear is that Dean will continue to go after strong character, less talent guys who we hardly noticed last year (Willsie, Thornton, etc.)

    Between 0-100 (0% No chance / 100% No way they’ll trade him), what percentage do you feel we’ll see Cammalleri at the start of camp in El Segundo?

    Do you think Uncle Phil’s new tax woes will affect the Kings in any way?

    Were you surprised to read this comment by Helene Elliott? “Leiweke declined to comment, letting Lombardi be the Kings’ voice.”?

    Inevitably, what was the biggest thing you attribute to Crow’s not coaching the team anymore?

    Do you think the Kings will ultimately hire a recently fired coach, a coach with little or no NHL experience or In-house?

  • Drew

    Rich,

    Any feeling at all that Dean’s just not tipping his hand about his intended coaching target? Given the fact that several other teams are looking for coaches, and the fact that Dean is more than willing to display his poker face, might he just be trying to keep his search under the radar?

    Also, what are your thoughts on Paul Maurice and John Tortorella? Maurice seems to be the “communicator” type Dean would like, while Tortorella coached Sully and Brown at the Worlds.

  • nickarino

    Rich,

    Can you find out when the prospects camp is. I am wondering if I will have to change my July travel dates

  • NMKingsFan

    Thanks Neil for the long diatribe on Lombardi’s discourse. I am sure proper medication will make everything all better.

    Rich—after the last few weeks of hearing the King’s monetary woes, it brought to mind Crawford’s salary, which I am sure didn’t come cheap. Do you know Crawford’s salary? I look for the Kings to hire from within (probably Johnston) on the cheap and not replace that assistants position as they seem to have alot of positions already.

  • Joe Masterson

    Rich,

    You do a great job of reading betweeen the lines. Can you do that with either your interview with Dean or the Conference Call and give us your interpretation of it. Or at least your interpretation of the major points Dean made?

  • Matt George

    Rich,

    Thanks for all you do. I make sure to hit this website even if it hasnt been updated just to ramp up your hits!

    Can you shine some light on the EXACT situation that led to DL being fired in San Jose?

    I saw some posts earlier that suggested this philosophy of his was what ended his career up there, I’d like to know if that was true… and IF NOT .. then what was it?

    I must say I will be more patient about building for the future now that I’m not paying for it (canceled season tix).

  • anthony

    I’m with you Matt George.
    But unfortunately, I’m still stuck with sharing my suite with a bunch of Laker and Clipper worshipers for another season. $27,000.00 And I don’t even go to all the games.

    FYI, you should have seen the Shark fans celebrate after DL was canned.
    That day can’t come soon enough.
    He contradicts most of what he says.
    Anything he touches, turns into crap.

  • Vahe

    Rich,

    Shouldn’t the Kings be hiring their coach before July 1st? I would think potential free agents would want to know who the coach will be and what type of system they will instill.

  • BringBackKingston

    How do you think getting younger will affect FA signings? Seems to me that if it was difficult to get top tier players there is no way there will be any coming over.

    Do you think this is was a smart decision?

    If DL’s expectation this past season was for something better than out of the playoffs by Dec, what do you think his expectations will be this coming season for a team that will be younger?

  • andrea

    Rich, here’s a question for ya. What are the fans supposed to believe now? The Kings finished 29th, had the audacity to raise prices under the false impression of a rising payroll and now all of a sudden we are told that we are getting even younger which means an even lower payroll. Have the last 2 years been for naught? Are we back at square 1 with rebuiding? Does AEG really have a plan for the Kings other than just collecting the revenue from the 41 home dates? And why did DL hire MC in the 1st place knowing he was a screamer and not great with kids considering DL planned to bring in youth as he did in SJ?

  • Bob Bobson

    One more question, is it fair to credit MC primarily for the development of guys like Brown and O’Sullivan ?

  • Daniel

    Rich,

    Is anyone at your paper looking into this? I think it’s much deeper than Boots and fraud:
    http://www.bayareanewsgroup.com/multimedia/mn/news/boots_aeg_delbaggio_061108.pdf

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_9543284?nclick_check=1

    “”I believe Boots and his group will step up and get an expansion franchise if there is one to be had,” Tim Leiweke, AEG’s president, told a Kansas City reporter last month. “In the meantime, we’re going to try anybody and everybody that ultimately is in trouble. We’re willing to be used a little bit if that’s the process it takes to get Kansas City a team.”"
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2920111

  • BringBackKingston

    for those interested in reading some articles about DL’s firing in SJ:

    Gaff hooked: New owners sinking Sharks
    http://espn.go.com/columns/ratto_ray/1525823.html

    Sinking Sharks fire GM
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2003/03/19/SP126372.DTL

    One-timers: Sharks in hot water, Pens melting down
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/columnist/montgomery/2003-03-25-montgomery2_x.htm

  • Eric K

    Random question alert! Bob Miller has his top 10 playoff goals in Kings history up on the Kings website, which got me thinking. What is the most memorable Kings goal you’ve ever witnessed? And just for kicks, do you have a most memorable Kings fight?

  • Anonymous

    Is there any chance of us trading up in the draft (Dallas pick) to have two picks in the top 15 (preferrably top 10)???

    I’d be comfortable with Doughty at #2…not so sure about Filatov…but still feel that he’s a top 5 talent despite the lack of a transfer agreement between the NHL and Russia… I feel that our biggest need is on D…not quite so much at the forward positions or in nets…and this would be the second reason why I wouldn’t go after Filatov at #2…

  • JDM

    Is it naive to hope that all this talk of ownership giving DL the green light to go younger and their “commitment to the plan” simply means that for once the Kings intend on developing good players and then keeping them once their price inevitably goes up?

    The thing I’ve always had the biggest problem with was the Kings letting players go once they out-developed the price they were initially sign to. I am definately wary of this just being another way of saying CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP on AEG’s part, but I want to hope they are willing to suck, and (apparently) lose money for a while to build a winner. I guess my question, ultimately, is how optimistic about “the plan going forward” are you? Someone asked earlier if you could read between the lines for us, and this is essentially that. Do you see management and ownership sticking to this and giving Sully, JJ, Bernier, Kopitar, Boyle the big multi-million contracts when they deserve it in 2-6 years?

  • BerniernextRoy

    Rich,

    I know the recent developments of the coaching change…couple questions I have to ask regarding the impact of the coaching change.

    1. What kind of style of hockey do you think Dean looking for? We know he wants a coach that has success with young hockey players.

    2. What impact does the coaching change have on Cammy and Cloutier situations?

  • Dan

    I was wondering if you guys could find any players and get their reaction on what went down with crow? Maybe even thoughts on what things they would look for in a coach? or what they think the team needs from a coach?

  • Matt George

    I just read part of the lawsuit you linked to above here Daniel and I must say,

    I’m now a fan of Boots.

    heheheheh

  • Duckhunter

    What do you think about drafting Shenn? He’s the type of defenseman the Kings need. Is he worth the 2nd or could we trade down?…….Now that we don’t have a Nordstrom or Miller you see how important a shut down defensemen is.

    What top defensemen do you see fitting in with this team? (draft)

    Just found your site. Love it……Keep up the great work

    I have the same thought as another person that posted earlier……….Is Lubo to old for this team now that this youth movement is under way…. He deserves to win. I don’t want the same thing to happen to him as Nordstrom. Is he staying? or is he going?

  • PSP

    A friend of mine posted this in the morning, but it was deleted due to inappropriate language. I think the points he raises are important, so I cleaned up the offensive parts, but left the rest:

    After reading all the quotes from Lombardi, are you any more clear today on why Crawford was fired? I mean for the 80,000 words he’s spoken about “reviewing the analytics” and then prefacing almost everything he says with “this is the truth” or “I know it sounds cliche-ish”, has he provided any clue as to what he’s up to?

    Really what I want to know is “why”, “why now and not at the end of the season or last January” and “what are your plans for replacing him”.

    His answer to “why” is “gut instinct and we are getting younger”. That totally makes no sense, particularly considering Crawford is credited with utilizing Kopitar, O’Sullivan and Brown so as to enhance their value. He is said by some to have been “instrumental” in their development. And it further makes no sense when he says the search for a replacement is not geared toward a guy that has a reputation for working with young players. This reason is pure bull dreamed up by Lombardi pulled right out of his butt.

    How hard would it be for Lombardi to say “we just finished in last place. we expect more from our players and our coach and we did not see the in-the-standings results we demand.” Isn’t THAT the truth?

    As to “why now” Lombardi goes through this big long winded condescending deal about “doing the analytics” and then going to management and asking them if they wanted him to pursue trades or stick with a youth movement (actually that’s the most shocking thing about this deal, that Lombardi ADMITS the fabled plan is subject to change!) and they said stick with youth therefore that meant fire Crawford? Are we really to believe that Crawford’s job depended on the decision not to make any big trades or free agent deals? Wasn’t Crawford the guy given the job BECAUSE you were just gonna be treading water for a couple of years until the “infrastructure” produced several Stanley Cups? Can’t you just tell the truth?

    As to the “what next” well that again is shocking. He’s either lying or he doesn’t have a plan. For you Kings fans I’ll hope and send positive energy out that he’s a BIG FAT LIAR cause if he truly doesn’t have a coach in his pocket this was fing stupid to be sitting around picking at your butt for 2 months and calling it “doing the analytics” while coaches are being fired and hired left and right. You are sleeping on the bus stop bench while the 4:27 to Wilshire/Western drives by you.

    Listen, I understand that it’s real bad form to have waited around to see if so and so got fired so that you could fire your coach and hire that guy. You can’t go out and admit it. First of all it’s just a crappy thing to do to the current coach and no one will every work for you if you pull that crap, but more important lets say he says “well yeah, I am gonna hire Barry Melrose” well if he does that Barry Melrose just tripled his demand! I GET that. But you don’t have to be so full of crap either. Just say “Hey, we finished in last place, that’s the burden you carry when you get millions to be the head coach of an NHL team. Crow is a great guy and a good coach but he is in the line of fire. We wish him well. As to a replacement, we have several people in mind but aren’t gonna jeopardize our negotiations by blurting out the names before we have the contracts signed. It’s a fairly long process and it might take a month. We’ll see. Any other questions?”

    “The analytics”.

    Whatever.

  • Anonymous

    Since DL doesn’t necessarily need someone with coaching experience, how about making Rob Blake the coach? Since the Kings held on to him for his experience, it might be put to better use as their coach.

  • Ryan

    Do you foresee any future trades coming besides a defenseman? What would be a trade you, yourself, would consider making? Any chance of Pitkanen? Hear any news of Rob Blake resigning? I assume Cloutier will be bought out as soon as that period begins? What prospect are you looking forward to seeing next season? Do you expect this 2nd pick to start playing for the Kings this year?

    Thanks!!

  • Jeff

    Why would a team that’s “losing money” choose to pay two coach’s salaries next season?

  • Anonymous

    In art there is a saying that limitation breeds creativity.

    So, my question is this, do you think that Lombardi is limited by the fact that he doesn’t seem to have any limitations? I mean, it seems like he has been able to buy his way out of mistakes — MacCauley, Cloutier, Crawford — or throw money at players and hope something sticks — Nagy, etc. I mean it seems like he is one of the few GMs that can spend to the cap and has just for the hell of it.

  • B.

    Rich,

    Am I correct in thinking that Visnovsky’s no trade caluse on his new contract does not kick in until July 1 of this year? If so, do you think he is on the trading block, considering that he is the only vet with any value, and the fact that Lombardi said that the team is going even younger next year.

    Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Will the rookie tournament (with the Kings, Sharks, Ducks and Coyotes) be back this year?

  • Jimmy Crack Corn

    Albeit last minute, this is more of a far fetched idea rather than a question regarding a possible coach but I think might be interesting to consider.

    We know 2 things, the Kings in all likelihood will take a defensemen with the #2 pick in next weeks draft and will be bringing in more youth/prospects to fill the roster this fall, especially the holes on the back end.

    Supposing the Kings pick Zach Bogosian @ #2, He has family ties to Mark Morris, current AHL coach who also coached at Clarkson University. Maybe a strong argument as a candidate with no NHL pedigree but plenty of experience developing prospect type players (?).

    Sticking with the Bogosian connection, He also attended high school at Cushing Academy who’s assistant coach at that time was non other than Raymond Bourque. Who better to bring up a budding, young defensive corps than an NHL legend and HOF’er? Not knowing of his interest or availability but it certainly would be turn heads around the league.

    The connection to one person/player wouldn’t be enough to make it realistic but potentially might open an avenue of communication to start a dialog.
    Probable? not really. Far fetched? Absolutely but while talking hypothetics why not shoot the moon?
    Interested in your thoughts or run it by DL to give him a laugh.

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