Open forum

I get the feeling there might be one or two Kings-related questions out there this week…

Go ahead and fire away and I’ll do my best to answer/clarify any questions that are out there. It’s much easier than trying to go back through the posts and answer questions.

Fire away!

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  • Aaron


    The focus has been on defense, but do you see the Kings looking at any of the remaining forwards out there? Jagr, Shanahan, Fedorov, Naslund?

  • Gord

    Hey Rich, at this point would you go after Jay Bouwmeester, via trade or offersheet, and why or why not?

  • Ziggy Stardust


    What is the likelihood of an extension being signed by Kopitar and Johnson this summer?

    Is there any indication if any of the players who were qualified will be accepting their qualifying offers?

    If Lombardi does add another left handed defenseman, are they still planning on bringing Rob Blake back?

    Say they do sign another dman, in addition to him they will have 7 defensemen with Johnson, Doughty, Preissing, Greene, Gauthier and Harrold. Add Blake and that brings it up to 8. Do you sense that Preissing or Harrold will be moved or is it possible that Blake does not come back?

  • Eric K

    Again, thanks for all the hard work.

    What seems to be the appropriate price range for Patrick O’Sullivan?

    Does Lombardi have any more SPECIFIC targets, even if it’s just an “i like this guy, he could fit our plans”?

    Can you do a quick sum-up of our cap situation?

    and finally, have you heard anything about Oscar Moller and whether he has any feelings about Lombardi’s refusal to give him up? That seems like the kind of thing that would really motivate a guy…

    thanks again!

  • anthony

    How are the negotiations going with Sully and Stoll.

    Are you aware of other teams offering a contract to Sully.

    Do you see DL making any more trades to improve the team.

    Do you see him making any trades to reach the minimum cap requirement.

    What’s the situation with Cloutier.
    Are we stuck with him next season.

  • Anonymous


    I read on another message board that the ticket reps for the Ontario Reign and telling people that the Kings are dropping the Reading Royals as an affiliate. After checking the web for any kind of confirmation this was found…

    Any idea on this?

  • mcpuck

    Why the contract delay on O’Sullivan? Does Lombardi let Jeff Soloman do most the negociation? When does Dean get involved? Soloman’s title is director of legal affairs and hockey operations. How does his role break down? How much is legal and how much is hockey? Lombardi seems to rely on him a lot for CBA and salary cap issues for the team. But most fans do not know who he is, but he seems to provide a crucial role in palyer contracts.

  • JDM

    I’ve never been to the prospects camp. When and where is it and can I just show up?

    Any whispers of coach’s names in the air? I remember DL saying at the draft that he would interview Johnston again soon. Did that happen (assuming I remember correctly)?

    Who do you see making the jump from juniors or Reading to Manchester this next season? It seems like if a few or all of Martinez, Purcell, Boyle and Moulson get promoted that leaves that team a great deal weaker.

    Speaking of Reading, someone posted a rumor that the Kings were going to drop them as an affiliate. Any truth?

    Thanks again for your dedication Rich. I love that it seems on slow news days you get bored just like us and open up your time to our questions. I never imagined this kind of access so easily, and its great to know its coming from someone who is as intensely immersed in the team as we all are.

  • Someone

    I’m curious how many words per minute you type?

    What is your feeling about Kings ownership and their commitment to the youth? I am fully on board with the strategy of building a team the right way, but with Lombardi talking a lot lately about ownership pushing even more to the youth movement, I can’t help but feel they might be really pushing for the “cheap” movement.

  • Kings in SF

    Rich, any chance that Maxim Kuznetzov is the “bridge” defenseman Lombardi is looking for? Haha, yeah right. And just as ridiculous an idea as those who think we’re in the hunt for ‘insert $5+ mil defenseman’s name here.’ Except for Blake, of course. Ugh. Anyways, in all seriousness, when do u think the rebuilding plan will start bearing fruit? This year, next year or beyond? Is part of Lombardi’s plan to not be active in the UFA mkt bc he wants to not only give the kids a chance, but also to put us in a position for a top 5 pick in next year’s draft as well? Thanks for all you do!!

  • Anonymous

    It seems obvious the Lubo trade was a salary dump despite the BS about Stoll & Greene being key pieces of the team’s future. Is DL under pressure from AEG to cut costs?

  • Kevin Allen

    Hey Rich,

    We all know about the needs the Kings have as far as a Veteran D-man goes, but what about finding a UFA veteran top-six forward? When you look at the top six, it’s hard to find a true second line winger to join Stoll and Frolov, as Sully/Kopi/Brown are the 1st line. Are they looking at Pavol Demitra or Brendan Shanahan as possibilities? Maybe signing them to 1-Yr contracts?

  • im sure this will get asked alot & im sure its hard to get into your own opinion about things, but what are your feelings about the lubo trade?

  • Mike

    You’re the man, Rich!

    1) Do you see Armstrong as a possible trade opportunity for Lombardi?

    2) If you could pinpoint one reason why Lubomir Visnovsky was traded, what would that be?

    3) Lombardi is far too smart to think the possibility of Sully getting an offer sheet isn’t great. Do you think his passive attitude towards getting Sully re-signed asap is an invite to other teams to go ahead and offer one since he a) loves draft picks and b) wouldn’t mind the team to do the negotiating for him if he decides to accept the sheet?

    4) If Blake wanted to retire a King, wouldn’t he have had no problem accepting a paycut? His $6M days are way over. Even in today’s market.

    5) Out of the following prospects, who would you give the best chance of making the club opening day? And how good are his chances? Oscar Moller, Wayne Simmonds, Trevor Lewis, Marc-Andre Cliche, Bud Holloway, Kevin Westgarth, Colten Teubert.

    6) How much do you think it would have helped The Kings to get Brooks Orpik at the price he wanted? Do you think it would have hurt The Kings in the long run?

    7) How shocked would you be if you saw Lombardi sign Jay Bouwmeester to an offer sheet at a price Florida probably wouldn’t match?

  • psycho

    is there any truth to the rumor that “Anthony” is really the spirit of Bruce McNall haunting the LA Kings for all of eternity?

  • CaptnObvious

    Hey Rich,

    How many of the same questions you have already answered are going to appear on this list??

  • El Guapo

    1. With all the signings / trades, how do you think the power landscape of the league, western con and pacific div specifically have changed? Where do the Kings stack up right now?

    2. Who do you rate the winners and losers in the FA / trades, and why?

    3. You think the stink over Lubo’s trade has anything to do with certain targeted FA’s opting elsewhere? Will this be an endemic problem? How can DL deal with this potential perception issue?

    4. Is the front office in any kind of anxiety or ‘panic mode’ about the lack of FA’s choosing LA, Blake being still unsigned, Sully’s negotiations ongoing, etc?

    5. Right now the team is looking even more North American than in the past (only exceptions being Kopi, Zeus, Fro, Ivanans, Ersberg), even though we just drafted a couple Russians; do you sense a Brian Burke-esque move away from Euros?

    6. Detroit didn’t seem to really NEED Hossa; was this an uncharacteristic ‘vanity move’ by Holland?

    7. Think Avery will be successful in Dallas like with NYR? Who do you think can keep him in check like Shanny did?

    8. People said JJ looked pretty huge at the draft party- is this what you saw? What do you expect different from him this season, and did playing under Crawford inhibit his aggressiveness or confidence?

    9. Assuming Blake comes back as captain, who do you expect to be wearing A’s this season? If negotiations somehow don’t pan out with Blake, who gets the C?

    10. Which FA’s, in your opinion, were the most overpaid?

  • Starlight

    So, questions, hmm… hard to find any good ones that haven’t already been asked or answered 😉 This is a great place for all sorts of information you might never have thought of if it weren’t for seeing it here.

    Any chance of getting interviews with some back office staff here in the off season (well, once the draft/free agency/prospects camp situation dies down a bit), like Luc Robitaille or so? Or a follow-up with the scouting team post-draft, maybe even post-prospects camp?

    Time to get to work, maybe I’ll think of something more there…

  • Jonny

    Hey Rich,
    Thanks again.. Not much of a question here, but I’d like to get your take. Pretend your the GM.

    1) Do you make a pitch to get Khabibulin sooner or later….You know the deal.. 1 year left at over 6 mil, not a big deal in my book.

    2) GIven the remaining players out there, via UFA, and Offer Sheets (I guess) What would you do? What players would you go after? I know we’ve all thought about this.

    Thanks Rich!

  • Pezeveng

    Rich, with Holmgren announcing today that Jason Smith won’t be returning to the lineup, doesn’t Lombardi think he’d provide tremendous leadership especially now that we lost all 3 assistant captains, and our captain is being lame?

    Granted Smith is a right shot dman, but the guy is one of the best captains in this league and I’d love for our defense to learn from him. Leader by example all the way. Plus he will be reunited with Stoll and Greene.

  • Jonny

    Sorry Much… One more question…
    I investigated the D-men on your list of UFA left handed shots. Do you think DL will go for an “offensive” guy now? or stick with the Big, Defensive guy.. because both are on the list… I would like to have kalinin, especially because the minutes that he can take up, but some of the lesser known names like mezai or McCarthy, could fit as well… What do you think?

  • Steven Smith


    Which contract that was signed the past two days would you say was the most crazy? Jeff Finger, Sean Avery (with limited NMC), Wade Redden, Brian Campbell or other?

    Why hasn’t Bettman crawled back to ESPN yet?

    Who do you think will finish the year as the Kings #1 starter? LaBarbera, Ersberg, Bernier or Quick?

  • Hrudio

    Just one question, Rich: How can we buy you a beer or offer you some token of gratitude for your outstanding work? I can’t be the only one who’d like to be able to do this.

  • Mute Math


    As a fan, are you happy with the teams direction? Judging by interviewing DL daily how would you grade his time with the Kings so far?

  • Anonymous

    Rich, assuming If the kings are to promote Boyle, Purcell, and Moulson for next season. Are they going to have any room for them on the team? And what line combinations do you foresee for next season, barring any further trades. Here is what I came up with.

    Brown / Kopitar / OSullivan
    Frolov / Stoll / Purcell
    Ellis / Handzus / Calder
    Ivanans / Boyle / Moulson

    Richardson ______________ as extras.

    I am not going to even attempt at matching defensive pairings. It looks like that has to be decided at the training camp. Also, do you have any idea what plans the kings have for Josh Kid and where his strengths and weaknesses are? He is a big tough kid that came out of college last year and seemed to have a positive impact in Manchester.

    As for the goalies. Its going to be interesting as to who is going to emerge as the #1 goalie next year.


  • B

    Rich, just wanted to say that you’re AMAZING! Please keep up the great work. I think I’ve refreshed your blog about 5,000 times over the past 2 days. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes, one more question: There were so many goalies out there getting signed over the past couple of days, I didn’t realize even half of them were available – do you think any of them were in talks with the Kings? And what goalies are available still, if any? I’d prefer for Ersberg to get a chance to prove himself after the end of last season but if Bernier isn’t ready yet a proven goalie on a short contract might not be a bad idea to make the Kings more of a contender for that last playoff spot (which I think most would agree is the best goal to strive for at the moment).

  • lunchboxap

    If you could choose a free agent(s) to sign, which one would it be and why?
    also, whats the deal with the offers for Moulson, and Erberg?

  • Starlight

    Bah, don’t know what is wrong with the comments system but it seems to log me out half the time I post a comment so it comes in as anonymous and is held for approval…

    Re-posting as myself:
    Ah yes, one more question: There were so many goalies out there getting signed over the past couple of days, I didn’t realize even half of them were available – do you think any of them were in talks with the Kings? And what goalies are available still, if any? I’d prefer for Ersberg to get a chance to prove himself after the end of last season but if Bernier isn’t ready yet a proven goalie on a short contract might not be a bad idea to make the Kings more of a contender for that last playoff spot (which I think most would agree is the best goal to strive for at the moment).

  • Ed


    My question has to deal with the salary cap. Right now, the cap grows year after year, and that’s great.

    But, what if the cap decreases? Can the cap decrease? What happens to the players that signed huge $$$ contracts, how can the team off load the players and their contract if the cap should be lowered.

    Thanks for all you do.


  • MacSwede

    It seems that everybody understands DLs way of keeping the team young next season, and I dont think the team has so much expectation on them. But what if we do another bad season and finish 29-30? What do you think will happen? Will DL keep his job, will the fans go crazy, and would the expectations for the season after that be enormous? If we at least have a shot at the playoffs this year, and sees some improvement, I think the team will be in a much more comfortable situation a year from now. Do you think DL sence this and therefore is a little paniced about getting some more (and maybe older) roster players to insure some improvement this season?

  • kingskicka$$

    Hey Rich!

    1) Do you think that Anthony is actually a Kings fan or maybe an undercover Ducks fan sent to your blog to make all our lives miserable?
    2) How can Anthony give props to Deano for certain decisions (Cammo/Lubo trades) and then bag on him for the same decisions just days later??
    3) Do you think that Anthony actually believes that he knows more about “GM’ing” an NHL hockey team than DL?
    4) Do you like the nickname “Bulldog”? (That one is for Crash)
    5) Why do I feel like this entry is going to be deleted???

    Once again…YOU ROCK RICH…BULLDOG…if you like it!!!

  • kevco

    Can you any info on if there is going to be a rookie game? When and where.
    I understand that it happened in the past but was dropped last year due to the England trip
    Thanks for all the hard work and good info.

  • Chris

    Damn, Rich, you are one sexy blogger! Thanks for all the awesome coverage. You’re a true hero for us Kings fans. Keep up the great work!

    Now — getting away from the free agent frenzy, the RFA drama, and even the excitement of the entry draft, I can’t help but be hung up on the coaching situation. Let’s forget for a moment that DL is renowned for his emphasis on drafting and developing. It seems that the most crucial order of business this summer is finding a coach that is going to be able to guide this team to fulfill its potential. Filling this key vacancy is going to be KEY for the future of the system as it now stands. Considering Lombardi’s past as a GM in SJ, considering the promise of our young players, and considering the opportunity that awaits our next coach, how heavy do you think this is weighing on DL? Coaches may come and go for many teams in this league, but the elite teams are almost always led by special coaches who come along at the right time. I have no doubt that DL is trying to build an elite franchise. Can he find a coach who will deliver on the promise? What sort of qualities would characterize that coach?

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Kenneth

    Hey Rich,

    1A) With the team getting younger, where does Calder and Armstrong stand?

    1B) With the addition of Stoll and the strong likelihood of Boyle playing next season, does this mean Armstrong shifting to the wing? Our top 4 centers appear to be Kopitar, Stoll, Boyle, Handzus.

    2) When Matt Ellis was picked up off of waivers, it was speculated that it might have been with the intent of using him as a veteran leader in Manchester. Is this still the case?

    3) Without Cammy, any chance of Frolov-Stoll-Purcell being our 2nd line? Or is it more likely for a FA pickup taking the place of Purcell?

    Thanks again Rich!

  • John

    How much of a sure thing is it for Purcell and Boyle to be with the Kings and stay up with them?

  • Paul


    Keep up the GREAT work! Do you believe that the Kings aren’t interested in Khabibulin, and if not, why not?

    And if it’s not Khabibulin, and the Kings are still looking for a “bridge goalie”, who do you think they’re targetting?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Rich,

    Great work as always. So, what do you think of the moves so far?

    As far as Lubo goes, this is the 2nd or third time that a player has been upset with Kings management? What do you think the consensus is around the league with DL and crew? Do players want to play for them?

  • lakingzfan

    Im sure you are sick of hearing it, but you are the most awsome kings reporter I have ever known! I just pray that your bosses dont see how spectacular you are and assign you somewhere else!

    It doesnt seem that many UFA’s that we have attempted to pursue this summer have come through. With all that has gone on with the Kings this last year (ie. cloutier, the horrible seasons of last summers UFA’s signings, belabored contract negotiations (cammy, sully, now blake) Do you have any feeling that there is a sense around the league that coming to Los Angeles is bad for their career? And also along those lines, do you think DL has been pressed by ownership to play hardball with our contract negotiations due to their proclaimed economic woes?

    As I see it, we were expected to compete for a playoff spot last year, and as it stands right now, some could argue our roster is weaker now than it as last year. Also, now that we have lost 2 of our top players, with basically only unproven players lined up for next year to take their place, where do you see the Kings finishing next year as the roster stands today? Are we going to have to suffer another horrible year?

  • B.


    Thanks for the great work.

    1) Do you think it was a smart move to trade Lubo. Considering the trouble Dean has had landing any top free agents since he has been hired, starting with Chara, Drury, Gomez, and now Oprik. He seems to only be able to sign second level free agents that he has to overpay.

    Here was a player who was happy to be here, signed for five years and was one of the top players at his position. Stoll will be a UFA after this year and Greene after 2 years.

    2) Do you think Dean focuses too much of his time on drafting/prospects at the expense of the other parts of the GM’s job. I have noticed that the Kings have drastically reduced their pro scouting staff, it now only has four scouts. Do you believe this is contributing to the less than stellar pro acquisitions? I can’t remember one player that Dean has acquired that was not a prospect that worked out. It struck me that when he talked about the Stoll acquisition, he talked about scouting him three years ago, when DL was a scout with Philly. Stoll was a different player back then before his concussion, shouldn’t DL have scouted him last year?

  • BallPointHammer

    Any word on recent draftees Voinov, Loktionov, Azevedo and Campbell being signed soon as they are eligible to play in Manchester this upcoming season?

    Also, has DL discussed this scenario. Say Doughty signs his 3 year entry level contract, plays the first half of the season with the Kings and is then sent back to his CHL team for the rest of the season. Since he is eligible to play in Manchester in 2009-10, would it be that big of a deal to have a year come off his contract?

  • Nick

    Rich, Lombardi has talked about youth and said over and over Moulson, Boyle, and Purcell are going to get a shot.

    The line-up as I see it stands….


    Looking at those number of guys, we have too many forwards. Zeiler is on a one way. Is he going to trade a forward or two to clear up space…? This is going to make it tough on all 3 guys to get an everyday spot.

    Same with defense….Preissing, Johnson, Gauthier, Greene, Doughty, Harrold. That’s 6 D without Blake or another UFA. A #7 D is guy who rides the pine most of the time and I don’t see any of those 6 being that guy.

  • John

    Hey Rich,

    1)Can you get DL’s thoughts & breakdown of the Gauthier deal & how he sees him being used?
    2)Is Boyle definitely going to be a center or could we see him at wing on the 2nd line with Fro & Stoll?
    3)Can you handicap Moller’s chances of making the big club this season? I love this kid!

    Thank you Rich!!!

  • steve


    1. why wont Lombardi lock up Kopitar now. He is the rock that this team will be built on and contracts for players like him are getting mor expensive by the day

    2. Dont you think that O’Sullivan will be looking at the Kostisyn deal in MTL and say I am worth the same amount.

    3. My worry with Lombardi is that he was blown out of town in San Jose because of the Nabakov deal. He has a history of not being able to sign his top players. I am worried that we are starting to see this happen in LA (eg. Cammy)

    the only way that these nightmare process works is if he can lock up the core, I see no indication that he is doing that — Am I being unfair to Lombardi

  • steve


    1. why wont Lombardi lock up Kopitar now. He is the rock that this team will be built on and contracts for players like him are getting mor expensive by the day

    2. Dont you think that O’Sullivan will be looking at the Kostisyn deal in MTL and say I am worth the same amount.

    3. My worry with Lombardi is that he was blown out of town in San Jose because of the Nabakov deal. He has a history of not being able to sign his top players. I am worried that we are starting to see this happen in LA (eg. Cammy)

    the only way that these nightmare process works is if he can lock up the core, I see no indication that he is doing that — Am I being unfair to Lombardi

  • SS

    Standard operating procedure these days (for good reason, IMO) seems to be the GM’s approaching players the summer before they are UFA’s and trying to get extensions. Lubo’s contract extension was a classic example this, with all the assurances that he was a big part of the future of the team. Given how Lubo was dispatched to Siberia 2 days before the extension kicked in, will this have a negative impact on Dean’s ability to get extensions signed in the future?

    Lubo’s situation is somewhat unique in that he had a really poor season last year. Nevertheless, if I’m Frolov next summer and DL approached me about an extension there is no possible way I would sign one.

  • Hrudio

    Rich, sometime back I remember hearing a report that Lombardi had a handshake deal with someone to sign here, but Lombardi said he couldn’t discuss it due to tampering rules. Do you have any indication of who that was? I’m guessing it’s someone who already re-signed elsewhere (Stuart) or retired (Norstrom), but maybe you could speak to that and possibly find out what Lombardi might say about it if it’s someone who decided not to come (back) to L.A.

    Thanks, Rich!

  • malachi crunch

    With the recent moves of Cammi and Lubo does it send negative vibes through the locker room? Especially that of the young guys as they may feel that words are really cheap with this club.
    Also what is Dean’s definition of “CORE” and who does he have listed in it for the next five/six years? And last, why does DL keep removing players with the King’s logo tattooed on their ass, when that’s all he preaches?

    Thanks for the amazing site and the job you do. I’d be useless without it!

  • Bob Bobson


    1) Do you know if Dean reads your blog to see how fans feel ? Not that he would listen necessarily but just to get an idea about what people are thinking about the team.

    2) As a follow-up if Dean does read this blog, do you think Anthony is just Dean playing devil’s advocate with bad ideas so his real-life ideas play out ? Just kidding Anthony, I much prefer having a fan that cares (even if we do not agree) than not having a fan at all.

    3) Now that we have traded away two assistant captains who do you think the new assistant captains will be ? If they cannot resign Blake who is their new captain ?

    4) Do you know if they cannot resign Blake any idea what their backup plans are for another filler or bridge ?

    5) Any idea on what made Brooks Orpik skip on the Kings ? Was it b/c his first choice was to re-sign or did Dean balk at the term and cost of the contract ? I am glad they did not sign him for that much and I would rather use the money elsewhere.

    6) It seems the cap is growing very quickly as are player salaries again. Do you think the cap can continue moving up at the same high rate ? I think once the Canadian dollar stabilizes the cap should grow at a slower rate.

  • deano

    I have a few questions about Manchester.

    Firstly, is Simmonds going to be able to play for the Monarchs next year, or is he going to have to play a final year of junior.

    2- Do the Kings plan on signing Kidd, or are they going to sign him to an AHL contract like Meckler last year?

    3- With the trade of Hersley and some holes to fill on D, is it likely the Kings will sign Niclas Andersen to play in Manchester/Reading/Ontario?

    4- With the glut of bottom six centers in Manchester, who do you think gets moved to the wing? (Azevedo, Gauthier, Murray, Lewis, Meckler, or Holloway)

    5- Is Tukonen coming back, or do you expect to see him moved or return to Finland?

    Thanks for all your hard work, I can’t get enough of this blog

  • smhcpa

    Dear Rich

    Why do the Kings not trade for Khabibulin?

    Why do the Kings not trade for Schneider?

    The Kings could send Preissing and LaBarbera to Chicago. That would dump Preissing’s future salary for Khabibulin’s current salary.

    The Kings could send Calder to Anaheim. That would dump Calder’s salary.

    The Kings would get to the salary cap floor, have a bridge goaltender, a bridge left shot defenseman and dump future salary.

    I usually hate to read these proposed trade threads, because they are so one sided or just plain dumb.


  • Dave K

    With Lubo and Cammi gone, who’s gonna wear the “A” this season? I vote for Army and Brownie. Although Dustin is low key, I see him as an emerging leader within the young core. And Army is a true vet who deserves the “A”.

    How about team captain — if Blake doesn’t come back, who wears the “C”? That’s a tougher one. Any thoughts or predictions?

  • Tompa

    Do you think the reason why Kings will be around the salary cap floor this year is to cut expenses and perhaps turning a profit? We know they were losing quite a lot of money last year. It would explain why they wouldn’t want to pay Visnovsky’s front heavy contract.

  • Sydor25

    1) Can you confirm that AEG has given Lombardi an operating budget will below the salary cap?

    2) Lombardi talks a lot about locking up the core young players, yet only Brown is signed long term (because he wanted security for his wife and newborn). Do you think that the players are the one hesitant to sign long term deals with the Kings because of the cost cutting?

    3) Have you spoken with any of the players since the Visnovsky trade? Do they view it as a positive move?

  • ChrisH

    Rich – great job.

    First – if Blake is trying to drive up his price do you believe DL will just walk away and not sign Blake?

    Second – for the d-man to sign, don’t you think it’s all about the assets and DL should sign the one guy he thinks he can get the most for at the trade deadline? Same applies to Khabibulin – why not take him and a second rounder and then move him at the deadline for another second rounder? Makes sense to me. As long as you are drafting well and acquiring good prospects, these extra draft picks are very valuable.

    Third – who will have a worse +/- in Edmonton this year – Lubo or Souray?

  • Marc Nathan

    Rich, since you included him on your roster in a previous post, am I the ONLY one who thinks that Denis Gauthier is Manchester-bound? Seriously, coming off a season where the Flyers were 30th in the NHL, this guy couldn’t and didn’t make the club (that granted, was rebuilt) and was never recalled, in a season that saw the Flyers even acquire Jaroslav Modry fer crissakes 😉 — I know that it could have been a “waiver/recall” situation ala Jason LaBarbera circa 2006, but still, is this guy someone whose NHL footspeed years are behind him?

    Also, any word on where Kevin Dallman is going to land? The guy gets crapped on by a lot of Kings fans, but he was actually a bright spot over the last portion of the season, and has been a close friend of Dustin Brown for a very long time. Ever notice how they always come on the ice one in front of the other? Call it superstition, but Dallman belongs on the Kings as a depth defenseman.

  • Mama let your babies grow up to be hockey players!

    A quick theory: Players want to know what coach they will be playing for. It’s obvious some coaches are liked more than others, and some players hate playing the hockey style that some coaches employ.

    That said: How much does NOT having a coach in place influence free agents to not sign with the Kings (or any other team for that matter)? Yes, contract decisions are money-driven, but if a player knows he can play for a Cup contender being coached by a successful head coach who knows what he’s doing – how can we blame him to sign elsewhere? Perhaps the timing of Crawford’s firing was done by design to keep the payroll low?

  • Here’s a question for Lombardi.

    This is a “what if” type of question that requires the use of a time machine.

    If Bobby Orr, in his prime, was going to play for the Kings in 2008-09, how would he perform given Lombardi’s vision for our future coach and the players that surround him? What are the chances he would put up the kind of stats that he really did back in Boston?

  • Todd H

    Hi Rich,

    I understand about the youth movement thing. Doen not having a coach right now have any baring on signing FA players, even our own RFA’s?

  • nextyear

    Is there any word on the coaching front? What would be a potential deadline for the hiring? Any front runners?

    Thanks for the hard work…..

  • brian

    Rich, thanks a bunch for the excellent Kings coverage! I’m starting to look beyond the free agents and I’m thinking coaches. With the current players, do the Kings need a coach that teaches or keeping competitve? Both are important, but I’m not sure the direction for this upcoming season and I think it would be sad if it is mid November and the “Tavares” sweepstakes start being called for. I see the defense still below average and goaltending as weak. Who ever coaches is going to have plenty work to do.

  • Cup B4 I Die

    Since Dean has been GM of the Kings, he’s preached the need for offensive, puck moving defencemen in the ‘new NHL’. Signing Preissing, Modry, extending Lubo, drafting Hickey, etc. This year he seems to have changed his philosophy quite a bit with the acquisition of Greene, Gauthier, and Tuebert. It’s seems to be obvious to most people that you need a good mix of offensive and defensvie d-men to be successful.

    Why did it take Dean 2 years to figure this out?

    Why do you think he’s changed his philosophy over the past year?

    Is the answer as simple as it just wasn’t working? Or is there more to it?

  • Andre

    Who would you like to see as the next head coach of the Kings?

  • brianguy

    I posted this about a week ago but didn’t expect it to be answered right away… here it is,

    Rich I have a question (finally thought of one I can’t find anywhere): for the Kings this season, is there any chance that we might see a few more games on FSN West or even Prime Ticket? last season was a really hard one from a viewership standpoint, with so many random games not being shown on TV. are they going to improve the back to back situation at all? it seemed like when the Kings did a home-and-home with a close opponent, be it San Jose or Phoenix they wouldn’t show the road game because it was too much work.

    it’s especially rough when the games not televised are road games not available on any national network, which is so common since the Kings tend to appear on Versus and NBC oh about twice a year, combined.

  • brianguy

    here’s a question from yesterday’s “non update”…

    Anonymous said:
    I prefer that the kings do not bring back Rob Blake for next season. But if they do, he should come in as the 7th defenseman. Just to have his veteran presence in the locker room and teach the younger players the game. Last year more than 80% of the games he played in, he was a no factor. He turned over the puck on a regular basis. He was out of position almost all the time. His plus/minus was horrible and he showed no veteran leadership on the ice. He made more mistakes than the rookies out there. If he is being brought back to teach the rookies and set an example, I think he is the wrong person for the job. Let me know what you think Rich. Because, I really would like to know.


  • Why did I have to grow up a Kings fan?

    For the first time, Dean has talked about a “bridge” goalie. Clearly, there must either be doubts about Ersberg, or he’s asking for too much money. Do you know the real reason Dean is suddenly thinking in these terms?

    As much as I’d like to see one of the kids take a shot in net, I agree their long term development will be better off playing every game in the AHL or ECHL. What percentage of games do you think the Kings would want them to play if one of them made the big club?

    There’s a lot of talk about Khabibulin, and obvioudly the Kings could take on his salary. I wouldn’t have a problem with it if the also go a pick or prospect for helping Chicago out, but I sure wouldn’t give up anything to get him. The one name that no one seems to be talking about is Emery. I’d worry about bringing a cancer like him into the locker room, BUT… Wouldn’t a one year deal to a guy who’s looking to rebound be worth it? Seems to me he’d be on his best behavior because he wants to prove the Senators wrong, plus he’d be playing for a big contract with another team. What are your thoughts on Emery?

  • Anonymous


    While the Kings might not come out and say it, they’re in full re-build mode. On paper 2008-2009 could be tremendously worse than last year.

    As I increasingly wonder why I renewed season tickets this year, can you give me any reason for hope and/or entertainment for the current season, other than “we’re stock-piling young players and building our core for the future”.
    My one hope will be seeing the Kings finally play some physical defense. (see Greene and Gauthier).
    That quote “forwards may go by the Kings defense this season, but may get a concussion for doing so” could be the only thing to look forward to!
    I’ve become incredibly fearful we may not be able to retain the Kopitars, O’Sullivans, and Johnsons of the world 2 or 3 years down the line anyway, as these league-wide player contracts get higher and higher. (what faith can I possibly have that the kings will meet demand when these contracts are up anyway?) I thought last year and that prior were the re-building years. The 3 year plan has become a 5 year plan, which I fear may become a 7 year plan.
    Will this season be one of the worst in Kings history?

    Re-build, Re-build, Re-build, as I watch my hard-earned cash go down the drain. Who’s the real “mark” here??

    All the best and thanks for all your hard work. This site is fantastic!

  • Paul

    Here’s another one for you. Do you think the Kings could try to trade for Dan Boyle from Tampa? There are rumors he’s available because the Lightning are over the cap.

  • El Guapo

    1. What happened to the questions I submitted last night?

    2. What do you think of Brian Burke’s contention that Kevin Lowe is responsible for inflated salaries for young players that eliminates the “second contract” and takes kids right from entry level to mega-deals?

  • KingsFanInRI


    as a Kings fan who lives 3,000 miles away, I want to thank you for your dilligent work. It’s my best lifeline to the Kings and I know I will always get my best info right here.

    My 2-part question is this…

    when will the schedule be announced and do you have any kind of advanced idea as to whether the Kings will be coming to Boston in 08-09?

  • Bryan

    I haven’t gone over every comment/question, so this might be repetitive, but what about the other RFA’s…everyone seems concerned when O’Sullivan (and possibly Stoll) will re-sign, but has there been any communication, hints, information regarding the rest of these guys (most notably Ersberg and Moulson)? It seems that they will form an integral portion of this team going forward for the next year or so.

    Thanks for the stellar coverage.

  • hapa

    You should really add this site to your links list, especially for those interested in cap #’s.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t it make sense to begin aggressively working on Kopitar’s and Johnson’s extensions the minute we were allowed to do so? Wouldn’t this show more commitment to these key players and maybe even make it easier to re-sign guys like O’Sullivan? How much direct interaction does Dean have with our players? Do you think he does a good enough job making our key players feel that they are important to the Kings?

  • Dominic Lavoie


    This may sound like it is written in jest, but…

    Do you think the Kings, as currently composed, have an NHL caliber defense, or that of an expansion team?

    Jack Johnson has game but is not yet a top pairing defenseman.
    Tom Preissing is a third pairing guy and power play specialist.
    Matt Greene was a third pairing guy (I think) for Edmonton last year.
    Peter Harrold was a reserve/third pairing guy last year.
    Alec Martinez was a junior in college last year -don’t know what to expect this year.
    Drew Doughty probably is the second best defenseman on this roster.
    Thomas Hickey could probably play next year – might not be the best thing for him.

    In a few years these guys – plus Teubert, Voinov and maybe Campbell will be a good defense – just not so sure they fit the bill now. Could be a tough year for JLB and EE….

  • Jim

    Great job as always, Rich!

    1) If Bernier wins the job in camp do you see DL having the “vision” to let him stay in LA the whole year regardless of the D in front of him?

    2) Do you think the acquisition of Stoll, and his ability to win faceoffs, will help improve the PK?

  • Joey

    How is this team ever going to reach the floor of the cap? How is this team going to go into the season with less scoring, younger d-men and the same goalies and not expect to be last?

  • Jimmy Crack Corn

    What’s DL’s current feelings about Handzus? Is it too late to buy out or trade him? Would he garner any interest? Hate to be pessimistic but does anyone think he provides the experience, leadership, grit, scoring, (fill in the positive attribute here), to justify his salary? I heard a lot of talk at seasons end about him “bouncing back” but he’s got a long way to bounce. Hasn’t the acquisitions of Stoll kind of made Handzus obsolete?

  • cdtkings9614

    Hey Rich,
    Thanks for filling my summer with Kings news. You may have already gotten this question but where do you see Gauthier fitting into the line-up? I was a little surprised by this move. Does take away a chance for any of our young guys?

  • Gary

    I believe they have an to wait and see who the Kings are able to obtain. Then, if both want it to happen it will. If not, Blake will retire.

  • Anonymous


    Two questions..

    1. Is Purcell going to be the 2nd line guy replacing Cammy? I hope this is not the case, I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the 3rd line, working his way up to the 2nd line, much like how Sully started on the 3rd line last yr, and finished the season up on the 1st line with the Cammy Injury.

    2. I have a fear that after all these losing seasons, guys like Frolov,Kopitar, Brown are going to get fed up with the losing and demand trades to a winner. Should I be worried that in 2 yrs, if the Kings are still 27-30th in the league, these guys will be on the market?

  • Anonymous

    1.) Do you think we’re having problems signing Top-End free agents ala Briere, Drury last year, and I wouldnt say top-end but Orpik because LA doesnt have a winning tradition and also not having a coach yet this year.

    2.) Do you think DL is making the right moves to get this team in the right direction? If Rich Hammond was the Kings GM what would you have done at the draft/free agency? Trade Cammy? Sign Richardson?

    3.) Will the Lubo situation hurt us with future signings/trades?

    4.) How likely is it that Calder and/or Handzus will be either traded or bought out later this season if they dont put up respectable numbers? Pretty pathetic when your 3nd line center is the top paid player on your team.

    5.) Where do you see us in the standings by the end of this next season? I think we’re gonna be close to the bottom or somewhere near a playoff spot but definitely not in and probably picking somewhere between 4-8.

  • SJKingsFan


    It’s starting feel like a stalemate has occurred with the Kings and Rob Blake. With all of the youth on the Kings blue line, more veteran presence is needed – whether it’s Blake or someone else. From Blake’s standpoint, besides a paycheck, I am not sure what he gets out of playing on a team that is unlikely to compete for anything – and if the paycheck is not big enough, why should Blake play for the Kings?

    While I believe Blake may have turned down an opportunity to go to San Jose previously, a 2 year deal @ $4.5 – $5 million per year in San Jose would make sense for both Blake & the Sharks. The Sharks get a solid veteran defensemen and would not be tied to a long term contract. Blake would be on a competitive team located 1 hour away from his So Cal home.

  • m

    My questions are regarding Manchester.
    Today, TSN reported Dallas signed 4 players to 2-way contracts, thus solidifying their minor-league squad.

    Last year, Manchester was left hurting for a couple more veterans for their squad.
    Are Richardson and Gauthier possibly the vets to be there?
    Isn’t Manchester left with even more holes as a number of players will be moving up to the Kings?
    And who is going to fill those holes for the Monarchs?

  • red7261

    Do you think Petiot or Tukonen will ever crack the line up? Have they missed their window?

  • Jerry Bruckheimer, where are you?

    Watching Donald Sterling wake up and actually sign a quality free agent in Baron Davis has reminded me how much I can’t stand AEG and their insulting attitude toward us fans. Rich, have you ever met Phil Anschutz? If so or not, what are your impressions of him as it relates to the Kings? I don’t care so much about Leiweke because he has already proven himself to be nothing but a salesman whose knowledge of the NHL is limited at best, but does the top guy really care about the team and want to succeed? Or is the bottom line more of a concern than the blue line? For if he really cared about winning and we are now entering Year 15 of zero success, wouldn’t he sell by now? Doesn’t that prove that it’s all just a real estate play and nothing more? Does he at all care that the public perception of him and his company fall somewhere between used car salesman and trial lawyer?

  • Anthony’s Mom


    First, you’re awesome, thanks for all the effort to keep the readers informed.

    So far I like the way DL has drafted, but as free agency goes he doesn’t seem to be too effective. Realities in the market dictate what a player will make in salary. He thinks that salaries are too high, but it doesn’t really matter what he thinks, salaries are what the market will bear. I don’t like $5. gas, but what choice do I have?

    From the looks of things the ’08-’09 Kings will be no better than last seasons squad. LaBarbara is not an NHL qualified goaltender, and now we have lost out on any ability to upgrade our defence. Rookies aren’t the answer if you’re talking about improving the club.

    I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this subject Rich. I know that you don’t normally give opinion on the state of the club, but being closer to the action than the rest of us I was hoping you could project what you see for next season. Playoffs or no?

  • Jet


    It seems that DL has tried to pick up all character players, but an 18W season can be mentally difficult to recover from if improvement is not readily evident. Will one of the required characteristics for the new coach to have a proven ability to keep young players level-headed when the going gets tough?
    It appears that there are at least half a dozen teams with cap trouble, is DL holding back on Bulin to extract a first?
    Will Lombardi bring in a coach that will be very defensive minded to keep the games close or as competitive as can be? Or will continue with the entertaining game. I suppose this is directly dependent on AEGs long term commitment?

    What was Gauthier’s attitude with being in the AHL last year? If willing, it sounds like he could be terrific role model for the new boys in Manchester next year.

    Has DL spoken with Hedican? It seems like a perfect fit. Price 1.75M, he is with his wife most of the year, works with the young ones for four months, plays on the 2nd pairing with a rookie, traded for a third in Feb. Win-win and a happy wife.

    A side note: Lubo may really enjoy playing for a playoff team while he still has some wheels. Those wheels will spin no faster than they will in Edm. He should have an incredible year.

  • Irish Pat

    As always, my fellow Kings fans are on the ball and have already asked the questions I would have posed. However, I thought I’d go a different route this morning and ask a few personal questions to help us all get a little more aquainted with our favorite journalist.

    Rich Hammond, what is your all time favorite:
    1.) Movie
    2.) Band/Album
    3.) Book
    4.) Hockey player
    5.) …and if you knew tomorrow would be your last day on earth (grim, I know) what would your last meal consist of?

    If stuff likes this makes you cringe, just let us know and we’ll keep it hockey related. No harm, no foul intended. Just thought I’d stretch the boundaries a little. Thanks again for all the hard work.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Rich,

    One more question from me..

    With AEG crying so much on how much they are losing money with the Kings, do you think they would sell the team? I love to see Jerry Bruckheimer buy the team. If they want to sell the team, they are doing an excellent job dumping salary, lowest payroll in the league as we speak.

  • JonG


    1. Is it reasonable to think that we will be competitive in 2008/09 given our inexperience on defense, or are we in for another bottom five finish?

    2. Seriously, what is your favorite charity? Since (presumably) you aren’t making any money on this blog, I’d like someone to benefit from your efforts.

    Thanks so much for everything you do.

  • voice of reason

    I know prospect camp has not yet happened, but you see these players more than any of us do. With that in mind, who do you expect to join the NHL club this season and make the biggest impact?

  • Quisp

    The speed with which information travels on the internet, compared to — say — the old days of having to wait for the 10 o’clock news, has made it possible for fans to get literally more hockey news more quickly than any GM working in the NHL 15 years ago. I certainly enjoy being able to check out this site and TSN and Spector and find out literally what just happened fifteen seconds ago. It’s great and it’s addictive.

    However, it’s madness to check for news every fifteen minutes and decry the “lack of movement” on the part of Kings management (or whomever, pick your team) because they haven’t done anything THAT MORNING. This is the classic “watched pot that never boils.” Re Blake: check back in a week or a month. Or check every fifteen minutes, but resist drawing any conclusions from the lack of news.

    Yes, the first week of July is a time of much movement for teams in the free agent market. The Kings aren’t in the free agent market really, except maybe to add a player here or there, as has been noted elsewhere. But those players may not get signed for a couple of MONTHS. Or they might not get signed at all.

    Also, there seems to be a rash of comments about the Kings/AEG more or less screwing the fans by intentionally putting together a cheap-ass team of nobodies (thus, I suppose, the lack of big name free agent signings and the trading away of Cammy and Lubo). DL doesn’t need AEG to tell him to keep payroll down below the CAP. All he has to do is project salaries for ’09 and ’10 and ’11. The goal is to keep the core together. Not to sign a bunch of celebrities who drive up the salaries of our core not this year but next year and after.

    To those who insist on negotiating trades on behalf of the Kings and other teams, unless you are trying to be funny, it’s probably not a good idea simply to make a list of everyone you don’t like and trade them for a superstar on another team. e.g. Preissing, Handzus and Armstrong for Schneider and the Bulin Wall.

    The comment that Stoll makes Handzus obsolete misses the point. Handzus was no good last year. But he is a top-six power forward. Stoll is a third line center character guy with great faceoff skills and who can play the point on the powerplay. He’s a Swiss Army knife. Handzus is an axe. You need both.

    If you want to trade Handzus because you think he’s overpaid, remember that the Kings need his salary to reach the floor. I happen to think he will earn his salary this year. I’m hoping for a Burtuzzi signing for one year so that he and Handzus and Frolov can scare the s**t out of people for awhile. But probably Burt will have better options. Anyway…

    Blake: If he’s asking for too much (money, years — more than one, icetime guarantees — PP, PK, etc.) then I think you will see this drag on, because DL will be waiting to see what other options reveal themselves (via trade or free agency) and Blake will be doing the same (seeing what other teams might care about him and if so for how long). I think Blake will NOT find anyone willing to give him more than a year, but he might find someone willing to give him more money than DL would. DL, on the other hand, has more options than Blake. And the downside isn’t worrisome. It would not be hard to upgrade over Blake of last season.

  • Anonymous

    Rich, thank you for always taking the time to keep us fans posted on all the inside scoop with the Kings. It definetly makes the off-season easier to deal with.

    I read an article today on TSN (, where Burke blames Kevin Lowe directly for the current state of the FA market and the inflations of all these contracts that we are seeing today.

    I wanted to get your personal take on that, but I do have to say that the NHL seems like its going to be in trouble again when guys who score 15 goals a season are signed to 5-6M deals, or defenseman that get signed to deals worth only less then a 1M then that of a star like Crosby or Malkin.

    Based on that, DL is doing the right thing for the Kings organization, we will be in good positin finacially to afford not only our up and coming stars, but to add pieces to the puzzle in the future….

  • El Guapo

    Rich, this blog is awesome- keep it up! Questions:

    1. Do you think the stink over Lubo’s trade had / has an impact on us losing out on certain FA’s? If so, will this perception last, and how could DL defuse it?

    2. Who do you rate the winners and losers from the FA / signings?

    3. How do you think the power landscape of the league, western con and pacific division have shifted now?

    4. Think Avery will be successful in Dallas? Who do you see keeping him ‘in check’ like Shanny did in NYC?

    5. Who do you think overpaid the most for FA’s?

    6. Are DL / front office in any kind of ‘panic mode’ about losing certain FA’s, Blake still unsigned, Sully still unresolved?

    7. There was a lack of veteran presence in Manchester last season- which roster guys do you see spending a lot of time there?

    8. Detroit didn’t seem to really need Hossa- was this an uncharacteristic ‘vanity move’ by Ken Holland?

    9. With the various departures and arrivals, how do you expect locker room chemistry to be different next season?

  • Ryan


    I don’t understand how DL can just lose 3 out of our top 4 defenseman. One of the main identifiable weaknesses was to strengthen from the back, and so far this season, we’ve only gotten much weaker. We have lost 4 starting D from last year, 3 of which were, in my mind, our Top Defenders. Now we’re left with the hope that Doughty and Teubert can fulfill at least one hole. It’s very frustrating that Blake, Vis, and Stuart are all gone, with NOBODY worth as much coming back. I’m being very critical because it all just came to me that Lombardi is not doing such a great job after all.

    – Frustrated

  • El Guapo

    Have to ask about Blake now:

    1. Was he just not interested in a youth movement, and being a mentor?

    2. Is there any acknowledgment from the front office that the tactic of waiting until the last minute has bitten them in the rear end?

    3. With little on the FA list, this surely increases the likelihood of a trade- do you think we’re interested in Dan Boyle, and how much would it take to get him?

    4. Who do you think gets the C and the A’s?

    5. Do you think it’s fair to characterize this, as many of the fans clearly are, as a money grab and disloyalty?

  • brianguy

    follow up from my other one,

    are the Kings going to get a decent radio flagship this season? their station sucks. there are few conflicts (pre-empting or delayed games) but you can’t even pick it up in OC without a huge antenna, which is just adding insult to injury since they are so frequently missing from the TV.

  • JamesB

    Lombardi has constantly spoken of waiting for players to become the best they can be rather than just able to play in the NHL. With the trades of Cammalleri and Visnovsky, are the young players ready or is Lombardi shifting his view? Do you think we will see extended stretches from Simmons, Trevor Lewis, Boyle, Hickey, Bernier, and Doughty in Kings uniforms next year?

    Also Lombardi often mentions how he dislikes building through free agency. Was last year’s signing of 4 free agents sort of a hedged bet that they might make the playoffs? Is this the year that Lombardi is going fully into developing from within? If so, why wait until now?

    Thanks for all your work, I can’t think of any sports writer, or writer period, in news that interacts this much with the fans and the organization.

  • m


    I’ve supported Lombardi since he got here. But what is bothering me the most right now is his apparent lack of multi-tasking abilities. As of right now the Kings lack a head coach, lack 1/3 of their top line from last year in O’Sullivan, lack any veteran presence on D (Gauthier doesn’t count).

    Why is it that Lombardi seems to be focused on one thing at a time while his fellow GMs are able to sign coaches, get ready for the draft, sign their RFAs, and be ready for free agency? Where are his multi-tasking abilities that any great GM should have?

  • AJ

    When Lombardi came in, he claimed one of the reasons he chose the Kings was because they had a good ground and he didn’t have to do a full rebuild to get the team where he wanted. What do you think made him look at the franchise and made him believe that a full rebuild is the only way to restore the franchise after having so many good young players on the team?

  • Fyz

    Thanks for the Blog Rich, I think you’ve made it easier (or perhaps harder) to be a long suffering Kings fan!

    My question is about the prospect camp. Why no Brady Murray? What about prospect Matt Fillier? Is there any reason for any of the Kings’ prospects to be missing this (aside from injury)?

  • Baumgartner22

    if management goes to arbitration with Sully, do you think it ends with a strained relationship between the two like it did with cammy? if so, is there any way to avoid and/or repair that strain?

  • Rich here; can Phil talk?

    Rich, have you ever actually put in a request to speak with Uncle Phil? Does he just decline to speak publicly on all matters unless forced by subpoena to comment on litigation as was done with his Quest misdeeds that caused so many so much hardship? Compared to the other local owners in Buss, Sterling, Moreno, McCourt and Samueli (even with his SEC problems), Anschutz comes in so far behind in both performance and character that it is a wonder Kings fans haven’t revolted under his reign of error. Does even spinmeister Leiweke not care that the Kings have fallen off the main sports blotter because of years of pathetic perfomance both on and off the ice?

  • Thomas

    Rich, now that Blake showed his true colors, do you honestly believe the Kings will STILL retire his jersey? Can you do a poll and show just how many Kings fans honestly don’t want to see this guy’s jersey retired?

  • Could you help me. Peace is when time doesn’t matter as it passes by. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: Electronic evidence discovery. I found only this – discovery channel. Discovery, what i am aging is that the value you have to understand is one within yourself. Discovery, sampling such a torques from return is about bad, besides being plane video in institute. :confused: Thanks in advance. Rhea from China.

  • Good post, thanks

  • Thank you for a great post