Forum answers V

The next round of answers on a Wednesday morning, as hopefully temperatures around the Southland continue to drop a little…


Question: Where do you see Erbserg fitting in? I would imagine he is penciled in as LaBarbera’s backup at this point.

Answer: Yes, that’s correct. Things can always change of course. We saw that last year, when Bernier proved himself to be the best goalie in training camp and earned that early-season tryout. But the plan right now is to go with LaBarbera and Ersberg unless/until one of the young goalies proves himself ready to go. By virtue of his experience and — when healthy — his fairly steady play, it’s safe to say LaBarbera enters training camp as the favorite for the starting job.


Question: Did Frolov have to have surgery for his groin? I remember hearing there was that possibility. Is he expected to be 100% for training camp?

Answer: I personally didn’t talk to him, but word is Frolov talked at the draft party about having surgery. Seeing as how there’s still a little under three months until training camp, I wouldn’t think there’s any concern about his readiness for training camp. It’s not like Blake’s deal last year, where there was basically a six-month recovery period.


Question: What’s the status on Ersberg and is it in his plan to sign him to a deal?

Answer: Ersberg is a restricted free agent this summer and I would expect him to sign a short-term contract.


Question: Dean stated he would like to get younger on the back end, did he mean in the future or this upcoming season? also, if we are looking for some veteran d, saying we re-sign Rob Blake, would it be smart to sign another vet d, such as Bret Hedican, or Commodore? if so, do you think that is in Deans plans?

Answer: Both. Certainly in the future, but the defense will also get younger next season. That’s why you’re likely to see either Doughty, Hickey or Martinez in there, maybe even two of those three depending upon how things go in training camp. And yes, I believe it’s wise to sign another veteran defenseman. As we’ve discussed here, Brad Stuart is probably at the top of the list. And, don’t kill the messenger here, but don’t be surprised to see Jaroslav Modry’s name pop up again.


Question: Just curious, where is DL’s (and the rest of the kings front office) physically located? Is it at Toyota Sports Center or at Staples Center?

Answer: All of the front-office people who work solely for the Kings are based out of El Segundo. The offices were recently expanded, out into where the old Team L.A. store used to be.


Question: Just wanted to ask what do you think our D will look like next season.

I figured




Answer: That’s a good guess, with a free agent filling your question-mark spot, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Peter Harrold or Alec Martinez filling that Preissing spot, on a part-time — or maybe even full-time — basis.


Question: i live in the IE and am not sure if i can get the daily news, there is a newspaper called the daily bullentin and i find your articles in it if i subcribe to that one will any money get back to the daily news for it? And if not can i special order the Daily News in my area as a sign of support for this great site. And kings related: How does one go about getting an interviem with DL? Do you apply for an NHL coaching postions or does he call you? And did you put in your apllication or recieve your phone call yet :)?

Answer: The Daily Bulletin is one of the “sister papers” of the Daily News. There’s also the Daily Breeze, the Press-Telegram, the San Gabriel Tribune, the San Bernardino Sun and the papers in Whittier and Redlands, I believe. I’m probably forgetting one. Anyway, to answer your question, a subscription to that paper doesn’t help the Daily News directly but it does help our parent company. I appreciate the thought. As for the coaching search, it seems for now that it’s been limited to those who have contacted Lombardi. It’s a very tight-knit community, so Lombardi is well aware of who’s available and who’s interested. He will start with a long list and start to narrow it down. I have not yet put in my application. I don’t think I own enough fancy suits, for one thing…


Question: In one of Lombardi’s post-draft interviews he mentioned that a couple defensemen in Manchester might have a chance to make the big club next season. I was wondering if you knew who those guys are, or who you think might have the best chance of a promotion.

Answer: Well, Peter Harrold played 49 games for Manchester, so perhaps he was talking about Harrold. Other than that, I’m not really sure who he would have been talking about. Alec Martinez didn’t make it to Manchester and I think Harrold, Martinez, Doughty and Hickey are the most likely young defensemen to make the NHL cub.


Question: Do you think the fact the Kings have kept all their assistant coaches (at least for now) is a sign Dean Lombardi wants to go with a rookie NHL head coach, rather than a retread, since a veteran NHL coach would presumably have more leverage to bring in their own staff? I imagine whoever gets hired will have some latitude to bring in his own people, but is Lombardi committed to maintaining the assistants from this past year, or at least most of them?

Answer: No, I believe it will be entirely up to the new coach to determine his coaching staff. I think it’s fairly likely that the new coach would keep at least one member of the old staff, if nothing else for the sake of continuity, but I don’t think Lombardi will force anyone on his new coach. The assistants are still serving a purpose here. Mike Johnston is obviously a candidate for the job and don’t forget, the prospects camp is coming up. Jamie Kompon and Nelson Emerson — and I imagine, Bill Ranford — will be doing the lion’s share of the coaching and work for the camp.


Answer: Is there any chance he interviews Kopitar’s dad for the position. I mean it would be way out of left field, but look how good of a job he did with his son. I mean Anze has a lot of natural talent, but some of what makes him great was instilled by his Dad’s coaching as well.

Answer: Yeah, it’s an interesting thought but it’s a little too far out of left field. It’s one thing to hire a rookie head coach but you’d have to think that the job requires at least a little NHL familiarity. It’s a fun thought though.


Question: Justin Azvedo, Does he have the skills to make it next year if he works hard and learns to play D, or is he going to take a couple years in manchester to try and figure that out ?

How much younger are we going to get ? How many Rookies, both on defense and at forward ? Bernier’s pretty young…what about him ?

I’m fine with the team getting younger and tanking it next year against a very strong pacific division, and my other question is yeah where does he see richards and why did he make that trade versus take another prospect ?

Would DL be willing to tell us any of the players he hoped would fall to him or he wanted to get but wasn’t able to, such as Gustaffson or another center/winger they were hoping fell to them.

Why Voinoiv, a third right handed defenseman, over Deschampes or however you spell that forward who was ranked in the first round that we passed on with the 32nd pick?

Answer: 1) Azevedo making the NHL roster this season would be downright shocking. He has talent, but there’s also a reason he went in the sixth round. He’s a project. They’ll send him to the minors and see what they can make of him.

2) You’re probably looking at at least three rookie forwards — Boyle, Purcell and Moulson — and at least one rookie defenseman (either Doughty, Hickey or Martinez). That’s not to say other guys can’t step up in training camp. They’re not looking at Bernier as a guy who’s going to earn the job out of camp. That’s not to say he couldn’t force his way into the job with a tremendous camp, but it’s not the penciled-in plan.

3) I would presume that he wanted someone who could play center at that point and saw Richardson as more NHL-ready than any of the center prospects out there.

4) I doubt it, honestly. It really doesn’t serve his purpose. And even though this might sound strange, think of it this way. If Lombardi talks about Player X, who went in Round 3 or whatever, what’s that saying about the kid they got? The subtext is, “We really wanted Player X, but we settled for this guy.” So that’s why he’s unlikely to talk about the ones that got away.

5) Well, I suppose Lombardi’s will to add young defensemen was very strong, stronger than even I envisioned. Voinov was also a guy who was on the Kings’ radar at No. 28, so that tells me they were happy to still see him there. I really don’t know what they thought of Deschamps, but I do know that rankings don’t mean a whole lot when you’re sitting at the draft table.

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  • Anonymous

    Heat must get getting to you- it’s only Teusday;)

    Thanks for all the hard work!

  • Jonny

    Rich.. I wouldn’t mind having Modry back at all. I think he played very well last year, and got the praise of his coaches, teammates, and other coaches/gm’s. Jack Johnson had some great things to say about him. I’d rather have Modry then Preissing.

  • Bob Bobson

    Dean seems very secretive about most things so I really doubt, even in the aftermath of the draft, he would be willing to share who he hoped to get. Richardson is still a prospect, plays well on the PK and may still have some offensive upside. FWIW, COL fans seem to think Joel Quenville drastically underused him.

  • Anonymous

    Rich…I wouldn’t mind seeing the temperatures in LAS VEGAS drop a bit…

  • Anonymous

    “The next round of answers on a Wednesday morning, as hopefully temperatures around the Southland continue to drop a little…”

    Ah, isn’t it Tuesday?

  • nykingfan

    I think that Modry is actually a really good idea. Think back to what JJ used to say about him. He helped him out a lot. I’m sure he’d do the same for Doughty and the other young guys.

  • Damen

    I’d take Modry over Preissing too. Just look at the PK ice time, it’s a 3 to 1 ratio in favor of Modry. And that’s what the Kings need right now.

    But I think the Kings need a long term veteran, someone for two or three seasons. Who knows if Blake returns for 2009-10 and if he does not they’ve got vets in Preissing & Lubo, whom they have to shield from the PK (esp Preissing), along with JJ & a bunch of kids. The PK will still be among the league’s worst. Experiance, not potential kills penalties.

    In a perfect world I’d say move Preissing, add a vet for two or three seasons who can kill penalties & try to break in two rookies while you still have Blake.

    And thanks a million Rich and Don for putting in more work on the Kings in the offseason than anyone else in LA does during the season. This blog has turned LA’s most neglected fanbase into kids in a candy store.

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