More answers… I’ll do one more round to pick up some of the questions that made their way onto the other posts…
Question: What did you think of the draft party? What were some of the highlights? and/or disappointing moments? What was the crowd reaction like?
Answer: The draft party was at a much better venue — the Nokia Theatre is fantastic, for those who haven’t seen it — and having Bob Miller and Jim Fox hosting on stage was a good idea. I didn’t see much of it, as I was mostly backstage in the makeshift “media room” watching the broadcast and trying to get interviews, but I heard quite a good response for Drew Doughty and, in general, people seemed happy. The only disappoining moments were the long food lines. The workers there seem friendly enough, but they’re slowler than a train being pulled by a donkey.
Question: Is there any chance of Ersberg (assuming he is resigned) straight up taking the #1 starting goalie spot? I know people cite his inexperience, but just in the 12 or so games he played at the end, I saw more consistency and reliability in him than Labs has ever shown me in even just 3 or 4 consecutive starts… spread out over 2 seasons (he never seemed to recover after missing a slew of games for a ‘family related emergency’), which brings up another, perhaps past-due question – what was that emergency? Perhaps knowing what that was would shed some light on why he hasn’t been the same goalie since.
Answer: There’s a chance, sure. Ersberg absolutely will get a long look during training camp and by no means are the Kings married to the idea of starting LaBarbera 65 times a year. The reasons the Kings aren’t completely sold on Ersberg are that a) he had a small sample to go by, and they want to see how he would hold up during an entire season and b) he seemed to play better in the NHL than he did in the AHL, so they want to see some overall consistency. Of course, the point you’re making is also valid. LaBarbera has yet to show that he can be a No. 1 goalie for an entire NHL season, so basically the Kings still have two unproven products in goal. LaBarbera’s problem that year involved an illness with his then-girlfriend. The issue did not impact LaBarbera at all last season.
Question: Looking at the Monarchs, and the open spot in the top 6, I see Purcell, Parse or Moller as perhaps the most likely to make the team. Who do you think would have the best chance? Is Moller still too young?
Answer: Add Brian Boyle to your list as well, in addition to those other two. And yes, Moller is probably a year away, I would think.
Question: Wich player in the training camp will suprise the most in your opinion,tnx for all the work for us Slovenians
Answer: First of all, you’re welcome. It’s always fun to hear from readers overseas. And that’s a difficult question to answer, because if we could predict it, it wouldn’t be a surprise, right? But I think Alec Martinez might be the player who is “off the radar” to some fans and will get more attention than some expected.
Question: Can DL take a look at Wellwood? he is a little soft on D, but has an accurate shot and can set up his wingers.
Answer: I’d be surprised. I don’t think he’s what they’re looking for exactly.
Question: In reference to the Richardson trade, I’m curious as to how a deal like that transpires? Did Colorado approached Dean to get the ball rolling or vice versa? Does Colorado specifically offer that 1 player or several to choose from? Is Richardson a player Dean has had an eye on (“his type”)? Do GM’s keep a data sheet of other teams prospects for these types of situations? If not, how do you suppose the Kings make that deal if they don’t have a lot of background on said player? Do they look at stats and roll the dice?
Answer: Trades like that can go down in a lot of different ways. More than likely, the genesis of a trade like that takes place days, weeks or even months in advance. Might have even been back at last season’s trade deadline, for example. A player’s name will come up, a GM will mull it over and even though that particular trade doesn’t get done, the players’ name will be in the GM’s head. The GM and his staff will do research. It’s not like a fantasy football trade, where someone sends you an e-mail and five minutes later you have a new quarterback. They’ll put a lot of research into this, talk to scouts, etc. This is what I presume happened here. I don’t see Lombardi as the kind of guy who just grabs a player on a whim, especially for a draft pick, something he values greatly. Chances are, the two sides talked about Richardson at some point in the past, in some context.
Question: I’m not sure you’re taking anymore questions, but I’m curious on your opinion on Lombardi versus Taylor. It seems as though you’ve had an indepth look at the franchise, so could you offer an opinion on the differences under the hood? On the outside, their philosophies were not that different. They both sought after character players, both built from within, and both emphasized scouting as the cornerstone to the franchise. As excited as I am about our prospects now, I remember being just as excited at our prospects when seeing Grebeshkov, Steckel, Brown, and Frolov in the fold. What do you feel is the reason why it fell apart and why, even after accumulating so many good prospects, did the team never really succeed.
Answer: My main criticism of the Dave Taylor era came in the last handful of years. It seemed as though Taylor made trades, particularly close to the deadline, in order to be “just good enough,” as in, just good enough to make the playoffs. Trading for guys such as Martin Straka, Cliff Ronning and Anson Carter, just to name a couple off the top of my head. And he didn’t hit on enough of his prospects. Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov and Lubomir Visnovsky were home runs for the Kings. Brian Boyle? We’ll see. But not enough of his guys hit, especially on the blue line and in goal. That will be the ultimate test for Lombardi. He’s the “build from within” guy. Well, now is just about the time for him to put his cards on the table. Let’s see how many of his guys hit at the NHL level. Or will he just be the next Dave Taylor?
Question: What is your individual opinion on hiring Dale Robert Hunter for the vacant Kings job?
Answer: I think it’s an interesting thought, but from my understanding, it won’t happen.
Question: Any chance Lucky Luc could be a candidate for coach? Does he have any interest in the job?
Answer: I think the answer is no, on both questions.