Wow, I guess I didn’t realize how many questions there were. It’s like trying to get to the bottom of the Super Big Gulp. You just keep getting more soda… But I love the questions, so here’s another round….
Question: How near in the future can you see kings get it all together? Do you think the core we have now with Kopy, Sully, Brown, Frolov will have their highest peak at the same time as Doughty, Hickey, Johnson, Bernier? Or is there a risk that the “new” young talents will take too much time to develop so our “current” core will be getting older and going the other direction? (Sorry for my Swenglish, hope you understand what I mean)
Answer: No problem; I understand exactly what you mean. The goal is to get a solid core together, and then to have the “reserve list” strong enough so that when a guy retires or walks away in free agency or gets traded, there’s a young, talented guy in the organization ready to step into his place. Obviously, the Kings aren’t there yet. If you’re optimistic, you can see how it’s starting to fit into place. There’s a core of guys who are all 26 or 25 or younger. If you believe the experts/analysts on such things, none of those guys have entered their athletic primes yet. So, again, if you’re optimistic, you figure that core of players you mentioned has many years to play and grow together. The flip side is, will enough of them develop into top-level players to make this work? And can the Kings keep them all in the fold, financially? It always looks good on paper. We’ll see how it plays out.
Question: Who do you think will play in Manchester next year of the young talents: Bernier, Doughty, Hickey, Teubert, Voinov, Czarnik, Campbell, Wudrick, Loktionov, Azvedo, Roe? It will be interesting to follow these guys..
Answer: Well, don’t forget the CHL/AHL agreement, in which a junior-level player can only jump to the AHL when he either a) turns 20 or b) completes four years of juniors. So the vast majority of the guys you mentioned fit into this category. The Kings did draft a couple 20 year olds, I believe, and obviously Bernier was in Manchester at the end of last season so he would start there if he doesn’t make the Kings.
Question: I am wondering now that Dean has drafted Doughty do you think that there is any pressure on JJ to preform better them Doughty
Answer: No. I’m not sure why there would be. There’s six spots on the active roster every night and Jack Johnson is absolutely assured one of them. If anything, it might increase the pressure on a guy such as Peter Harrold.
Question: Can you see Rob Blake take on a role as player/assistant coach???
Answer: No, not really. I’m not sure Blake even has that desire. If he does, he’s never talked about it. But it’s hard to see a rookie head coach taking on a super-green assistant.
Question: Who blew Dean away at the Combine? Please tell us it’s someone he was able to draft!!!
Answer: Again, I think the obvious answers are Doughty and Teubert. I’m sure he was impressed with a lot of people, but he was only able to draft two in the first round and he’s obviously a huge fan of both defensemen.
Question: The Kings declined a trade for Cammalleri to Vancouver for the 10th pick. GM Gillis was Cammy’s former agent. Which now begs the argument: Did DL want Kyle Beach? Which “prospect” do you believe DL was not willing to part with that ultimately cost him the 28th pick.
Answer: Seems as though the prospect was Oscar Moller. And no, I don’t think they were targeting Kyle Beach. They were targeting Teubert all the way and needed a way to get back into the top 15 or so in order to get him.
Question: One last comment: it looks like Klemm has signed with a German club. It’d be nice to have a few vets down with Manchester this year. Looks like those vets will be young vets…
Answer: That’s a very important point, one that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s good to have a lot of kids learning in Manchester, but they also need some veterans to show them the way. Klemm did a good job of that, an underrated job. It has to be the right fit. It can’t be a veteran who is bitter about playing in the AHL and thinks he’s better than that. It has to be someone who understands and embraces the role and who has the respect of the young players. You raise a good point, and it’s something to keep an eye on during training camp, to see which players get assigned to Manchester.
Question: Did any of the players that were discussed in the meeting between the scouts that you sat in on, get drafted by LA?
Answer: No, there were only two who were discussed in great detail during that particular meeting, and the Kings didn’t draft either one. I saw a long list of players ranked, but I don’t remember the names and since it essentially was an off-the-record meeting, I didn’t write them down. But as for the two players heavily discussed, no.
Question: ESPN.com is reporting the Rangers are likely to pass on Avery, and the Kings might be willing to take him back now that Crawford isn’t behind the bench. Have you heard anything about this? Seems to me the guy is a cancer that you don’t want to expose to a locker room full of youth, no?
Answer: No, and, correct.