Here’s the last of them. Thanks again for all the great questions…
Question: Is the upcoming prospect camp open to the public? Like to bring my son maybe at some point if it is…
Answer: All the practices are open to the public in El Segundo. Someone can probably answer this: do they still charge for
the end-of-camp scrimmage? I seem to remember them selling tickets in advance. But that’s the only part of the week that
would be restricted. I’ll publish the week’s schedule when I get it.
Question: Of course it’ll be up to the new coach, but does Lombardi REALLY see this team moving forward with LaBarbara in
goal? And who would be the backup? Knowing DL, I highly doubt he expects Bernier to make the lineup next year, so what do
the Kings intend to do? And are they planning on re-signing Ersberg? I could live with him starting in goal over LaBarbara.
Answer: The plan, at the moment, is to go with LaBarbera and Ersberg. That’s not to say that one of the young guys couldn’t
surprise them in training camp, but the Kings don’t go into training camp counting on that to happen.
Question: “But I came to find out that the market really wasn’t conducive to what Lombardi was trying to do. He really
wanted to get back into the top 15 or so, to get Teubert, and teams that held those picks just weren’t budging.” WHAT? Come
on Rich, Vancouver was willing to deal the 10th pick to the Kings.
Answer: And Tampa Bay probably would have been willing to give up the No. 1 pick if the Kings wanted to send over Kopitar,
Johnson, Brown, O’Sullivan, Bernier and the deed to Staples Center. I’m not sure I understand the point. When I say they
weren’t budging, it means they weren’t budging off their high demands. Every team is “willing” to trade, for a price.
Question: Is it possible that Rob Blake could be a candidate for the head coaching job?
Answer: No. Don’t spend any time worrying/thinking about that one.
Question: Who will be the captain of the future? I believe that is the one intangible ingredient that we are sorely missing
now. Maybe Jack Johnson in the future, but he’s too young still. So my question is, who? And do you believe like I do that
it’s a crucial element to this team’s future success?
Answer: It’s a fun question to ask. I think, right now, you can look at three guys at the NHL. I’d say Brown, Johnson and Kopitar are three potential candidates. They’re all a little ways away. Brown and Kopitar need to be a bit more vocal, but they’re getting there, and Johnson needs some more experience and more time in the room, but he’s getting it. We’ll see how some of the prospects fit in when they arrive at the NHL level.
Question: Can you find out what the deal is with Tukonen? I’ve heard rumours he’s leaving to go play in Europe. I hope
that’s not the case. If so, what a terrible waste of a 1st Rd pick, and waste of an asset. Frankly I wouldn’t blame him
much if he did leave.
Answer: The feeling, within the Kings, is that Tukonen hasn’t done much developing at the Manchester level, or at least enough to earn a spot in the NHL. They’re still hoping to see some type of dramatic turnaround, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Question: I’ve recently heard a wild rumor a former Ducks advertising employee is spreading that there is talk within the
organization of NHL expansion within the next 2-3 years. Have you heard anything along those lines within the Kings
Answer: No, I actually haven’t heard anything in the NHL about expansion in quite some time.
Question: How would you grade this years draft?
Answer: I don’t have a scientific formula or anything, but I would say B+. The first-round moves seemed very solid, but like most I’m still curious about the Richardson trade. I think the Kings made some good gambles late and some strong picks early.
Question: When are the Kings going to lock up Bob Miller long-term? I know he has a contract through 2008-09 plus an option
for 2009-10. If anyone deserves to see the Kings win the cup it is Bob Miller, but it appears his contract may expire right
when the young Kings start to hit their stride. Any word on getting Bob locked up after 2009-10, and if so, would he want
to keep at it?
Answer: I don’t think you have to worry about Bob Miller going anywhere. The job is his for as long as he would like it,
and there’s no indication that Bob is even thinking about retirement. Why should he? The guy looks even younger and more
engergetic than he did five years ago! Amazing. But again, the choice to return will always belong to Bob.
Question Please comment on the following rumor: Former Grand Rapids Head Coach Mike Stothers name has surfaced as a
possible next Head Coach of the LA Kings. Can you do any time of story on him? Possible? Heard of him before? Know anything
Answer: Usually, nothing makes me grind my teeth more than commenting on rumors, but this one at least passes the smell
test, if only because of the Kings’ connection to Owen Sound, where Stothers coached before he went to Grand Rapids.
Michael Futa, the Kings’ co-director of amateur scouting, was the director of operations for five years. No doubt, he got
to know Stothers very well during his time there. Something to keep an eye on.
Question: What do you think of Igor Larianov as a head coach or as a consultant for the younger players. He has a great
head on his shoulders and is a great student of the game. I’m not sure if he would make a good head coach or not but just
wondering others thoughts…
Answer: Head coach? No. Some time of consultant? Interesting, but probably not. But Lombardi says Larionov has taken an
interest in Voinov, in a mentor sort-of way, so maybe we’ll be seeing Larionov around. He’s apparently big into wine, so he
would have a lot in common with one of the Kings’ broadcasters!
Question: just a point of clarification: Bob Miller and Jim Fox are not employed by the Kings… right, Rich? Nick and
Daryl actually are, but Bob and Jim work for Fox Sports Network.
Answer: Actually, we’ve joked around about this before, but the checks that Bob and Jim get come from the Kings, not FSN. T
be honest, I’m not totally sure how that works. I might have to pull in our media columnist, Tom Hoffarth, for some
clarity, or have Jim do another stint as a guest blogger next month!
Question: Do you think DL has any interest in free agents like Ryan Malone or Steve Bernier? or will it be one dman & that’s it for free agency?
Answer: I don’t think Ryan Malone is looking at a West Coast team and Steve Bernier is a restricted free agent and I don’t see the Kings going the offer-sheet route.
Question: Somewhat of an off-topic question, but just curious how the “hits” on this blog compare to some of the other Daily News blogs, which I imagine the SC Football and Laker blogs being the most popular.
Answer: Actually, our UCLA and USC blogs are almost always get the biggest hits out of anything on the website. The Kings blog is consistently third, although this weekend, with all the draft news plus the fact that it’s a down time for colleges, the Kings blog was far and away the most-visited thing on the website. Friday’s numbers were record-setting, by a large margin. So to that I say, thanks again for all the great support!