I finally got some more definitive word about the Dan Cloutier situation. For those who haven’t been following closely, the Kings bought about Cloutier’s contract but Cloutier filed a grievance, basically alleging that he’s injured and therefore should have the buyout voided. According to the Kings, the league has agreed that Cloutier’s buyout should stand. Officially, Cloutier is considered bought out. His $1.033 million for this season will count against the salary cap. At some point, an arbitrator is expected to address the issue, but that could take weeks or perhaps months.
Former Kings coach Marc Crawford has been hired by CBC to be a game analyst on its Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts.
“I couldn’t be more excited to begin my second tenure with Hockey Night in Canada,” said the 47-year-old Crawford. “I’ve coached from coast to coast in this country and I have a deep respect for the place that hockey holds in the hearts of Canadians. I relish the opportunity to be a part of the Saturday night tradition.”
Here’s the story from the Vancouver Sun…
We had some blog server issues the other day but we’re back up and running…
I talked to Jeff Solomon, who handles contract stuff as the Kings’ director of hockey operations, about the two major remaining restricted free agents, Patrick O’Sullivan and Jarret Stoll. Nothing groundbreaking, other than that the re-signing of Stoll, in Solomon’s view, is much closer to becoming a reality. As for O’Sullivan, this will hardly qualify as breaking news, but the issue continues to be what Solomon calls “comps,” or comparable players. The key is finding where exactly O’Sullivan fits, in terms of other players’ age, statistics and salary. There’s really no way to gauge “progress.” Talks are ongoing.
I also asked Solomon about the potential of signing Doughty and Teubert soon, and whether Tampa Bay’s signing of Stamkos creates any type of “domino” effect in terms of draft picks signing. Given the fairly restrictive nature of entry-level contracts, it’s not so much of an issue. A player such as a Stamkos will automatically get the maximum in terms of salary and bonus money, and the players drafted below will fall in line. Solomon said he has already had talks with Doughty’s agent and will soon begin talks with Teubert’s agent.
Hello everyone…it’s back to work after two weeks of mildly relaxing vacation, and somewhat surprisingly, there’s not much news to report. The most interesting item of the morning comes from Howard Berger of 590-AM in Toronto, who blogged about all of the NHL teams’ upcoming third jerseys. Here’s what he had to say about the Kings’ jersey:
“The Kings will unveil a predominantly black jersey with the letters “L A” inside a pencil-point logo on the front. Broad white stripes will adorn each arm. A thin white stripe will run horizontally on each side of the jersey, just beneath the shoulder. There are no stripes at the bottom of the uniform. The color purple – widely evident in the Kings’ primary jersey – will likely be featured in the number outlines of the alternate, though the photo copy I have doesn’t clearly show it. A better idea would have been a reprise of the Kings’ original purple and gold uniforms from 1967, but the club marketers are apparently not bent on tradition.”
I have yet to see the jersey but I had been told that it would incorporate aspects of all the Kings’ previous jerseys. This is still a little hard to picture, but I’ll post pictures if I should acquire them.
Don Fulton tracked down Jack Johnson for an interview, in which Johnson talks about his summer, his recovery from his injury and his thoughts about his rookie season, which included his first NHL goal (seen below).
Here’s the interview…
For those who haven’t seen it already, the Kings today traded winger Lauri Tukonen to Dallas for winger Richard Clune.
It seemed increasingly clear that Tukonen had fallen out of the Kings’ plans. Here’s what the Kings’ press release had to say about Clune:
Clune, 21, was selected by Dallas in the third round (71st overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 38 games with the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season and recorded eight points (3-5=8) while finishing second on the club with 137 penalty minutes. Clune, a 6-0, 195-pound native of Toronto, also skated in 19 games with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads this past season and registered 10 points (1-9=10) and 41 penalty minutes.
Clune finished third on his team in goals (32), assists (46) and points (78) and led his club in penalty minutes (151) while skating with the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Barrie Colts during the 2006-07 season. He also led the Colts in postseason scoring with seven points (3-4=7) and eight penalty minutes in eight playoff games that year. In addition, Clune appeared in one game with the Iowa Stars that same season, recording two penalty minutes.
The Kings have signed restricted free agent defenseman Peter Harrold to a three-year contract. I’ll try to get the money on that at some point but I’m still out of the loop this week.
Also… the Kings are not trading Anze Kopitar. Please, folks, just stop this stuff. All you’re going to do is give yourselves ulcers. It’s just absurd, as are 98.4 percent of all rumors.
OK, here’s the last part of the question-and-answer session. Once again, major thanks to Jim for volunteering his time to give me an outstanding feature on the blog. One of the best parts of hanging out in El Segundo is getting to chat with Jim, get his insights and trade opinions with him. I hope everyone enjoyed the special “open forum.”