Staying in Sweden

You could probably count this as another “almost” for the Kings this summer. The Kings recently talked to Mattias Norstrom about ending his newly announced retirement and returning for one year. Norstrom respectfully declined, and the subject of money never even came up. Norstrom told the Kings he was happy with the way his career ended — with Dallas’ playoff run — and was prepared to move forward with his life. The Kings came away disappointed but impressed by Norstrom’s honesty. So the search for a defenseman continues…

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  • Cal

    Matty is one of the classiest people ever to wear the Kings jersey! Good luck to him in his retirement. I hear he wants to get into carpentry.

  • Chi

    Norstrom = class.

  • ryan oliver

    Now, if the Kings were to retire a defencemans jersey number, it would have to be #14. being a 26 year old King fan, he was the greatest d-man I can remember.

  • JDM

    One of the best captains too. I like that they tried to nudge him but respect his retirement and his career.

  • KingsFanAZ

    Matty was like one of the Spartan Warriors from 300. Strength and Honor, Mattias.

  • JonG

    Oh well. How about Jay Wells?

    Seriously, Matty was a warrior and a true King. I hope they retire his jersey.

  • Duckhunter

    The family of DUCKHUNTER, solutes you Mr.Nordstrom. You have already in this household, earned the highest metals of honor. The retiring of #14 is a must. Happy retirement.

  • Christa

    Yes, Norstrom was a talented player and classy with the press and the team. Still though, all the desire for his number to be retired makes me wonder about some of you people.

  • SuperSonic420

    I too bid a fond farewell to one the greatest hockey warriors to ever play the game. Matty was like a rock on D and I really miss that toughness on the King’s blueline. Nobody could bring it like Matty did, every shift of every game. Number 14 going up to the rafters would be pretty sweet..Make sure it comes with a C!

    BTW, anyone (especially Anthony) who hasnt read this interview of Dean Lombardi should consider it required reading by all King’s fans. Sorry for posting a link to another blog Rich, but we all know your still the best!

    http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/07/a-conversation-with-dean-lomba.html

    There are six parts, so keep clicking on Next Entry. And thanks to Rinkrat at LGK for posting the link.

  • rob

    I was hoping the Kings would approach Norstrom, I’m glad they did. It doesn’t surprise me Matty declined any type of offer tho. He was a warrior for us and a true captain.

  • Anonymous

    Are the Kings really this desperate?? Why stop there? Why not ask Mark Hardy to quit his job with the blackhawks and come out of retirement?

  • JDM

    First off, anonymous, wanting your former (and best, recent) captain back is not desparate, especially when he’s Matty mutha frickin Nordstrom.

    Second, great read Supersonic! What an interview. Seems like DL was really raw there, cussin an jokin and pointing fingers (in a good way). Too many quotes to point out a favorite. That’s one of the first times where no one can say he ‘talks without saying much’ because man did he say a lot and he got very specific. If I wasn’t typing on this stupid little blackberry keyboard from work I’d say more myself…

    Awesome find. I was behind DL more but now I may be in love…

  • Naturallawyer

    Matty is my all-time favorite King. I’d like to see his jersey retired, notwithstanding the stats (he obviously had no offensive role). I remember one of his very first games as a King, he shut down a two-on-one with textbook perfection and drew a nice ovation from the crowd, which realized they had a gem. I have a picture of him with blood streaming down his face in the Colorado playoff series where he was going against Forsberg. He came to battle every night, and he deserved to get a Stanley Cup; it’s a shame the Kings couldn’t give him that opportunity.

    I respect his desire to be with his family in his native land, and as others have said, that decision only demonstrates his class. I also think this shows the Kings’ desperate spot. DL put the team’s D in a really tough position, even if Blake’s departure was unexpected. That said, he’ll probably be able to pick up a veteran defenseman for a 2nd or 3rd rounder in next year’s draft (afterall, Brad Stuart only brought us a couple picks, and our picks are surely more valuable than Detroit’s). If Stuart can be had at the trade deadline for mere draft picks, the Kings can find someone for a couple draft picks. It’s not the end of the world.

  • http://www.product4me.com PRMan

    Not to speak ill of the recently retired, but OK I will. Norstrom is classy, I’ll give him that. He’s a lot classier than Blake.

    But he was by far the WORST captain that we ever had. He led us to what? Non-playoff seasons and first-round exits and completely uninspired play?

    And Norstrom was bad, real bad, for about 3 seasons now. Chasing somebody out to the wall or the blue line while the puck was going in the net behind him. Watch the video. You’ll see it over and over. Dallas fans were shocked when they picked him up, many saying he was their worst defenseman and wishing they had Modry back.

    I thank Matty for his many years of service, and I would never question his effort or his heart, but the years have passed him by. I think we got rid of him at the right time and it would have been a huge mistake to bring him back and teach our youngsters bad defensive positioning.

  • 5 4 Fighting

    How about going after Marty McSorley? ok ok.
    I read Alexi Zhitnik was put on waivers a couple of weeks ago, would he be someone to pick to help mentor the kids?

  • ryan oliver

    Does anybody remember when he dropped to his knees to block a shot and it hit him square in the jaw. I cant remember if he lost any time or not, but what a guy!!

  • JDM

    I do remember that ryan oliver! My favorite thing about Matty is that he single handedly destroyed Forsbergs spleen and kind of his career. He never really came vack for than a stint here and there after that. What’s best is even though we got knocked out of the playoffs, Matty atleast made the fabulous flopping Forsberg miss the rest of the playoffs, unable to play in any of the finals games. God that was satisfying compensation for not getting past Colorado.

  • Anonymous

    Norstorm was a fine player and served the Kings well. No wonder at this point in his life he declined the offer to return. Kings aren’t going anywhere for several years. On the bright side Kings fans, at least you got rid of Blake.

  • Anonymous

    Norstrom was a fine player and served the Kings well. No wonder at this point in his life he declined the offer to return. Kings aren’t going anywhere for several years. On the bright side Kings fans, at least you got rid of Blake.

  • John Smith

    JDM — Not cool. Period, the end. Having a guy lose an internal organ during a hockey game isn’t considered a silver lining or a measure of satisfaction.

    Forsberg is one of the best players every to ever lace them up — if you don’t like him, fine. However, he deserves respect for what he’s accomplished.

    Also, you have your facts wrong — after taking a year off following the spleen injury, Forsberg won the Hart and Ross trophies.

    You are a sick F**K for writing that and ignorant to boot.

  • Anonymous

    For those of you who think he’s a department store, it’s NORSTROM! No “D” in his name, only in his game! RESPECT!

  • brianguy

    From Ducks’ blog (OCR)….

    Mathieu Schneider $5.625 million
    “Virtually everyone expects Schneider to be traded, likely for a draft pick.”

    The Kings have 11 draft picks next year and are looking for a veteran D-man… they definitely do not want to pay more than $4 million a season but if they could somehow arrange it for the Ducks to pay some of his salary that would be ideal.

    most likely, the Ducks would have to pay his salary no matter where he goes, since they’re trading him as a salary dump and he’s not worth $5.625M to any team.

  • brianguy

    Matty was a real warrior and he should be remembered as such. I definitely have a lot of respect for him through everything he did. everyone thinks being a defensive D-man and keeping the other team off the scoresheet is simple and/or trivial. it’s not as easy a role as it seems, and maybe getting becoming more appreciated or valued in the league finally. he was not known for offense which was a little unrealistic to expect, but the rare goal was fun to see.

    he got a lot of flack in his final two seasons with the Kings, a lot of it undeserved…

  • Quisp

    Ted Nolan…a good fit for the Kings or a bad fit? What’s the “scouting report” on him? All I remember was he was great in Buffalo, had some problem with Hasek (or am I misremembering that), there was some other problem between him and management, right (?), then a decade out of work (why?) and back with the Islanders? What kind of coach is he? Does anybody think this changes DL’s hiring plan, or is he not our “type?”

    Viewed from afar, he always seemed like he had integrity. But I really have no idea…

  • JDM

    John Smith,

    Tone down the hostility. I have respect for Forsberg as a top talent, but I dislike the way he plays the game in terms of sportsmanship, just my opinion, you know the one I’m entitled to.

    Perhaps I mistated my meaning. I simply meant that losing his spleen was a sign of how tough Nordstrom played him, which is what I really applaud. Also, factually I may be a bit ignorant, but my memory tells me he took the following year off because of his ankle injury, the one that has plagued him since. And obviously I’m not happy he lost a spleen, but it isn’t exactly the most useful of organs. My statements were merely a reflection as a Kings fan, not a compassionate human being. Part of the fun of being a fan of hockey are the bittersweet feelings, the unjust hate of a player just because he helped kick your team’s butt. Am I glad he has been so injured, no. I want to see the best hockey players play and I wish he was still healthy, regardless of my dislike for him (which comes mostly from the numerous dives he’s gotten away with during his career; I’ve seen that guy stay on his skates with a gorilla on his back, and then moments later flop on the ice from a harmless nudge) anyways, as a jealous Kings fan who loved that season so much and wanted so desparately to see the Kings beat Colorado, yes there was some satisfaction in him missing the rest of the playoffs. However, I would have been just as happy if he had decided he didn’t feel like playing.

    Like I said, irrational jealous fan feelings, if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be such a huge, passionate fan.

    Then again, it was kind of amusing. It was a silver lining that our captian went up against the most talented player in the league and battled him with all his heart for seven consecutive games in one of the most valiant and brutal efforts by a defensemen I’ve ever seen. Forsberg losing a spleen was, like I said, just proof of that. And kind of funny (since it wasn’t some career ending or life threatening injury).

    I am kind of a sick f*** as you say, but what I am not, is an evil f***. Big difference.

  • JDM

    John Smith,

    Tone down the hostility. I have respect for Forsberg as a top talent, but I dislike the way he plays the game in terms of sportsmanship, just my opinion, you know the one I’m entitled to.

    Perhaps I mistated my meaning. I simply meant that losing his spleen was a sign of how tough Nordstrom played him, which is what I really applaud. Also, factually I may be a bit ignorant, but my memory tells me he took the following year off because of his ankle injury, the one that has plagued him since. And obviously I’m not happy he lost a spleen, but it isn’t exactly the most useful of organs. My statements were merely a reflection as a Kings fan, not a compassionate human being. Part of the fun of being a fan of hockey are the bittersweet feelings, the unjust hate of a player just because he helped kick your team’s butt. Am I glad he has been so injured, no. I want to see the best hockey players play and I wish he was still healthy, regardless of my dislike for him (which comes mostly from the numerous dives he’s gotten away with during his career; I’ve seen that guy stay on his skates with a gorilla on his back, and then moments later flop on the ice from a harmless nudge) anyways, as a jealous Kings fan who loved that season so much and wanted so desparately to see the Kings beat Colorado, yes there was some satisfaction in him missing the rest of the playoffs. However, I would have been just as happy if he had decided he didn’t feel like playing.

    Like I said, irrational jealous fan feelings, if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be such a huge, passionate fan.

    Then again, it was kind of amusing. It was a silver lining that our captian went up against the most talented player in the league and battled him with all his heart for seven consecutive games in one of the most valiant and brutal efforts by a defensemen I’ve ever seen. Forsberg losing a spleen was, like I said, just proof of that. And kind of funny (since it wasn’t some career ending or life threatening injury). Its not THAT he lost his spleen, its WHY and HOW.

    I am kind of a sick f*** as you say, but what I am not, is an evil f***. Big difference.