Roster update

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.

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  • gumlegs

    Rich
    Thanks for the update. AEG is touting this as a rebuilding year for its kings. In truth we have seen little rebuilding activity and an apparent unwillingness of behalf of AEG to spend what is required to a competative franchise.

    In analyzing the direction AEG is taking the kings one glaring truth emerges: That AEG is intent on running this franchise on the cheap and is unwilling to spend what is necessary to build a quality NHL franchise. The present version of the kings is expected to have a payroll near the Salary Cap floor. In an attempt to make this fact more palatable to kings fans, AEG has cloaked this cheapness under the mantra of rebuilding. AEG would have us believe that cheapness and rebuilding go hand in hand. Such is not the case.

    In analyzing the recent (in)activity of the kings it should be obvious that dollars and not rebuilding are paramount to AEG.

    1. The retention of young talent within the organization. This is both cheap and is necessary to rebuilding.
    2. The trading of Cammi. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. Cammi is the type player you want to keep. Young with a tremendous up side. He has been criticised by some of the readers of this blog as selfish for doing what he is supposed to do, shoot the puck. He is a goal scorer and would have helped the kings. The signing of Cammi to a reasonable contract would have been an asset to the kings not a liability.
    3. The trading of Lubo. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Lubo is an established NHL defenseman with strong offensive and puck moving skills. The kings had him signed to a long term contract at a very reasonable rate. Again, Lubos contract was an asset to the kings not a liability.
    4. The unwillingness to lock up young talent to contracts at reasonable terms. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Buffalo has signed Ryan Miller to a contract extension; Philadelphia has signed Joffrey Lupul to a contract extension; Tampa Bay has signed Mike Smith to a contract extension; Pittsburgh has signed Evgeni Malkin to a contract extension, etc. Now is the time to lock up Kopi, JMFJ and others to long term contracts since the total dollar amount of these contracts would be averaged over the total number of years of these contract to determine the contracts value for salary cap purposes for any given year. The kings have no salary cap problems this year and it only makes sense to absorb some of the salary cap hit this year thus freeing up cap space when, if you believe AEG, it will be at a premium in the future. Many will point to the signing of Dustin Brown to a contract extension last year as running contrary to this argument. Reasonable is the key. I do not believe that the terms of Dustin Browns contract extension are reasonable. Contracts at well below market value such as Browns bode ill for the future.
    5. The failure to sign any meaning full free agents on a team that even AEG admits will have difficulty making the playoffs. Cheap, cheap, cheap. I accept AEGs pronouncements that top tier free agents are not attracted to the kings losing ways. AEG, through DL, has pejoratively referred to players who may have been willing to entertain short term offers from the kings as bridge players whose signing would jeopardize cap space and its rebuilding efforts. This is simply not true. One only needs to look to Brad Stuart and Jaroslav Modry to see that such players not only can and do bring an improved product on the ice but also serve as mentors to younger players. These bridge players are assets and can be dealt before the trading deadline to teams who, unlike the kings, are in the heat of the playoff race in exchange for draft picks and young players as Modry and Stuart were last year.
    6. The trading of many of this years draft picks for future draft picks. Cheap, cheap, cheap. You take a chance at later round picks like Detroit did with Zetterberg and Datysuk if you are rebuilding.
    7. The trading of Laurie Tukonen. Cheap, cheap, cheap. As a restricted free agent and former no. 1 draft choice his contract will be more expensive than the player the kings received in the trade. In my opinion it is too early to close the books on Tukonen. Much the same as it was too early for the kings to close the books on David Steckel and Olie Jokinen.
    8. The signing of a new coach who has been fired multiple times by other franchises. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

    AEGs persistent claims that many of the above moves are necessary to free up cap space down the road are disingenuous. The signing of players such as Kopi and JMFJ to contract extensions now would free up Salary Cap space in the future since the salary cap hit in any given year is the average of the total value of the contract. Players signed to reasonable contracts, bridge players or otherwise, are assets that can be traded if or when cap space is necessary. The recent trades of players with no trade clauses should only reinforce this conclusion
    .
    Perhaps the most troubling of all is that, even if you accept AEGs contention that residing on the floor of the NHLs salary cap is in the best long term interests of kings fans, you only have AEGs word that when Kopi, JMFJ etc become unrestricted free agents it will be willing to spend the money necessary to enter into long term contracts with these players. We already know when that time came for Cammi a bitter arbitration ensued and a trade followed a year later.

    I love the kings. Im exited about the young talent in the system. I want the kings to rebuild with young talent. AEGs lip service alone may make some fans feel better but it will not rebuild the kings. Much may change before the start of the season. May be I should take AEG at its word (Tim Lie-who-wickie?). We will see. But for now the behavior of AEG is that of an owner seeking the sale of the majority interest in its franchise and not that of an owner intent on improving the franchise. Or maybe Im only dreaming.

  • EJ

    Rich, thanks for the update, even though there’s little to report. (Unfortunately, for some “fans”, this will mean the sky is still falling, and the team will still have to move to KC to escape the catastrophic Kopitar trade.)

    There’s still a lot of time for contracts to get done.

  • CBGB

    Gumlegs… this is what we have LGK and HF boards for. Holy mother of God!

    Rich, welcome back – you’ve been missed.

    POS should look at what Vermette signed for as well as what PM Bouchard signed for – Hopefully, we’re not looking at another Cammalleri situation here.

  • anthony

    With Leclaire, Vermette, Bauwmeester, Svatos, and Filpulla signed to contracts, Andrei Mazzaros, Sully, ans Stoll, remain highest ranked RFA’s not signed yet.

    Doesn’t anybody else find it interesting that two of those players play for DL. That alone shows that DL is out of touch with the rest of the GM’s. The player best compared to Sully is Andrei Kostysten. Same age. Same draft. Same stats. Same potential. But that would mean Sully would get paid more than Dustin Brown and Dumbo wants no part of that.

    Now I know that most of you Lombardi worshipers are gonna come to his rescue and claim that its all the agents fault. RIGHT.
    Then ask yourselves. Why are other GM’s signing their highly ranked RFA’s and DL isn’t able too?.
    The answer is that DL thinks he knows it all and he doesn’t like to be second guessed or told what to do.
    Ala – Lord Cammi, Marc Crawford, etc…
    It’s either his way or the highway.
    I bet these RFA’s can’t wait until they are UFA’s

    It’s not always the agents fault.
    If Sully would have been offered a Brown like contract sooner, he would have been wrapped up like Mike Green and Corey Perry.

  • anthony

    Oops, forgot to mention Pierre Marc Bouchard too.
    C’mon DL, put down the pipe and wrap up Sully already.

    I seriously believe that Sully will compete with Kopi for the point scoring lead on the team.

  • pat

    I think Brad Richardson is an RFA also?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Gumlegs, get out of the house much? you should get together with Anthony, between the two of you, you should be able figure out why DL planned the 911 attacks as ruse to keep from signing his RFAs in “JULY”. You both need to Simma down now

  • -J

    gumlegs- i give you props for spending so much time on that analysis. Unfortunately, there’s many holes in the underlying reasoning, not to mention several self-contradictions.

    Justing picking one- Tukonen is in the last year of his contract and is due 886K this year; Clune has two years remaining on his contract at 625K each year. So the Kings are potentially due to pay out more money to Clune over the life of the contract= not cheaper. Now here’s the real point- those are the amounts they would be paid IF they were in the NHL. Their AHL salaries are going to be far and away less, and even closer to each other. The other thing you are neglecting to consider is that Tukonen has been passed over by other offensive prospects and there really isn’t a place for him in the Kings plans, now or the near future, as a result. Not so with a guy like Clune.

    How about another, 8- With the exceptions of maybe a few of the greatist coaches ever, what coach hasn’t been fired by a number of organizations? That’s the nature of the job. This is an unrealistic judgement you are levying against Murray, who is generally well regarded in hockey circles. Also, how does this relate to being cheap? Do you even know how much he’s getting paid?

    Or how about this one “6. The trading of many of this years draft picks for future draft picks. Cheap, cheap, cheap. You take a chance at later round picks like Detroit did with Zetterberg and Datysuk if you are rebuilding”- You don’t just throw away picks because you’ve got them. If there’s a guy there you want, you take him, if not, keeping the pick is the ONLY smart move- it allows you to use it next year on a guy you want or as currency in a trade package. Would you agree that it is beneficial to have as many picks in play as possible when a draft is projected to be unusually deep? Yes? Well, next year is projected to be such a draft, much deeper than this. Also, how does this in any way affect how much AEG is spending?

    “when Kopi, JMFJ etc become unrestricted free agents it will be willing to spend the money necessary to enter into long term contracts with these players. We already know when that time came for Cammi a bitter arbitration ensued and a trade followed a year later”

    That is exactly the point of keeping things low for the time being- have enough money to lock up your key young players to long 5,6,7 year contract extensions so they don’t become UFA’s for a long time. Cammi took the Kings to arbitration, if you remember and it was the Kings that opted for the two year contracted. Cammi was/is not worth what he was asking back then, and was not interested in being locked in at a reasonable contract for any length of time (reasonable goes both ways).

    Anyways, I don’t trust managment to be forthright with everything, but i think it’s premature to think that the rebuild is being done primarily for the sake of $. Now if they don’t shell out for Kopi, JJ, etc, then well see some true colors. got to run.

    I suggest you look at the cap #’s of a team like Pittsburgh, that has their core young players locked up for years to come and see what it’s costing them. That will give you a real idea of what the kings need to be able to spend to keep a core of young players together for years to come. Also look at a team like Anheim, which has it’s top younsters locked up for years, but nothing beyond that (only 3 players are locked in for more than 3 years- getzlaf, perry, kunitz). They’re over the cap at this point and have 14 guys who are going to be UFA’s at the end of the year, including all but one of their D. They could be in for a complete overhaul at the end year and don’t have anywhere near the quality and depth of young developing players in the minors and juniors that the kings do.

  • nykingfan

    Gumlegs

    Your points are way off base.

    You talk about the Kings being cheap with Cammi and should have signed him to a reasonable deal. The whole problem was that cammi was being unreasonable in his request and coming off the year he had last year, he certainly wasn’t worth what he wanted. That’s not cheap..thats a smart move on the Kings. He was leaving UFA.

    You talk about trading guys we’ve given no trade clauses to you. Could it be the fact that they don’t want to be boxed in if they want to move a player? No trade/move contracts are bad business. Look at Handzus!

    Tukonen? What about his game gives you reason to believe he was going to be another Jokinen? The fact that neither produced while they were Kings? He showed nothing in both the AHL and the NHL. Its time to cut bait. Why waste the $$ a former #1 pick will cost when he’s producing like an undrafted player?

    Trading picks for more picks next year is a bad move? How the heck do you know what’s coming thru the draft next year..especially late round picks? How the heck do you now what was available with the picks they’ve traded, that will turn out to be the next Luc?

    Last..and most of all..least Don’t hire a coach who’s been fired…Which coaches in hockey history have never been fired??? That’s the MOST ridiculous statement of all!!

    Sorry for being so long.

  • nykingfan

    Anthony

    Its almost too ridiculous to respond to..but then their would be no fun.

    How many games have you seen Kostysten play that you can determine he is of the same skill level as Sully?

    The object in the cap era is to keep your salaries as low as possible so that you can keep as many of your core players as possible. Brown is worth a lot more than he’s getting, but that’s what he and the Kings agreed was fair. He chose the long term security over the $$. The more room you can save with each contract will help you later on down the road.

    Now you’re in love with Cammi and Crawford? Good God, you couldn’t wait for them to be gone. It’s DL’s way or the highway? You’re right!!! He’s the boss.

    The agent thinks his player has a certain value and the GM has his own value on the player…Why is the agent right? If DL would have said yes to Cammi’s request, where would the Kings be..with an overpriced player on a long term, expensive deal and not scoring or playing well. Like he did last year?

    I want to see Sully signed, but for now, I’ll let DL handle it in his own way. If he’s not signed by the time the season starts, I’ll be pissed off. Not before then.

  • KingzzFan

    j & nykingfan;

    You beat me to it, well said. This is deffinatly an exciting time.

  • Pat McGroyn

    Maybe we could talk about something else besides how dumb Anthony is for a change? If you don’t like his posts, by all means, don’t read them….

  • Yog S’loth

    More of this “we’ll start soon” nonsense. They’ve obviously been so busy as an organization throughout July that they still haven’t started talking contract with the draft picks. Y’know, busy doing all that… stuff… they’ve been doing.

  • Anonymous

    I hear from an super reliable source that POS is living in a hotel at the beach. Maybe it’s just me but that doesn’t seem like a plan for a long term living arrangement.

  • Bryan

    As much as it pains me to agree with Anthony, and everyone else bashing the organization, you have to admit their point gets stronger the longer things remain unsettled. There’s a little more than a month before training camp starts…the top, remaining, non-arbitration RFAs appear to be O’Sullivan, Stoll, and Mezzaros (sp?). I’m not sure what the team’s tactic is here? They should have enough information to decide what, or “who” for that matter is a “comp” to both O’Sullivan and Stoll. The world of information is not going to change drastically in the next 30-45 days; the market is not going to crash. The longer this takes, the more it shows how much the organization is not serious about one of it’s stated “core” players. It’s unsettling to all the holes that the organization has…and their lack of “proactivity” to plug them. Sigh…’tis the madness that is being a Kings fan behind the Orange Curtain.

  • JDM

    Even if that source is as ‘super reliable’ as you say, and POS is living in a hotel by the beach, consider two highly probable explanations.

    A – Vacation

    B – Waiting to see how much he’s going to make for how long before he goes out drops a few mill on a home. Anyone who buys a house without knowing how much money they are making is a numbskull. Depending on his contract, he could buy a $1 mill place or a $3 mill place. Maybe if he ends up only getting a 2 or 3 year contract he might want to rent a home.

    Either way, assuming that means he doesn’t want to stay or he doesn’t think he’s going to stay is a stretch in my book.

  • Me

    you do realize jokinen was traded for ziggy palffy, and NOT given up on. he wasn’t a throw in, he was a centerpiece of that trade, and most would be foolish to think the kings lost that trade.

  • Anonymous

    What exactly are we rebuilding? Did we have something built? I feel like a Clippers fan.

  • TeamHasHoles

    I agree and have been saying for weeks, that Andrei Kostitsyn is the closest “comp” you’re going to find to O’Sullivan as far as age, stats and service time. You’re not going to find a “perfect comp” because no two players are EXACTLY alike. O’Sullivan is a better defensive player, takes faceoffs and will get more icetime than Kostitsyn… knowing all this, and understanding the key to the success of this franchise is about locking up their young core players, you’d think a contract would be workable, but so far…

    Leads me to wonder if term is more of an issue than money.

  • cristobal

    I know there is a core group of Kings fans that can’t stand to bash lombardi, but how can you stick up for him? If he ends up trading PO’S for draft picks will you then say that he was asking for too much money and had a bad attitude? I agree also that even players on contract of the quality of Kopitar should be locked up for as long as he’ll sign for. You’ve got this year with no worries of cap space, why not use it?

    As the team with the lowest payroll, did Lombardi think there were no viable options in the free-agency market? Wouldn’t it have made sense to take a run at Bouwmeester with your #1 pick next year if you didn’t believe it would be #1 overall?
    Do the Kings fans posting here believe there are enough loyal fans of the Kings to last 3-5 years at the bottom of the league? Do you think AEG will continue in their ownership of this team if they are not able to profit with the lowest payroll in the league?

    Why is AEG building arena’s in Kansas City, and lending money to guys like “Boots”?

    Couldn’t Lombardi found the equal of Greene and Stoll in the FA market without having to trade Visnovsky. (not that i’m not happy for visnovsky) Zyuzin and Mark Smith are still waiting to be signed.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/cap-central/

    Above is a good sight for salary cap info, salaries of players, and Unrestricted Free Agents.

    Final question – Does anyone really trust Lombardi to sign free agents based on his history here so far?

  • yesitscal

    Would one or two UFA’s really have meant a cup this season? I think not, and just because you throw millions at a guy doesn’t mean he wants to come here.

  • Anonymous

    Trust?

    Um… I don’t know if its an issue of trust with this one. I expect him to sign one vet defenseman in the next 2 months. Do I trust him to? If that’s what he wants to do, then yeah, I guess I ‘trust’ him to do something he wants to do.

    If he doesn’t sign PO’S, I’ll be friggin angry, no excuses. Will I lose all faith? Probably not. Depends what happens. There’s always two sides, usually more, to everything.

    I guess if there is anything about Lombardi that I trust, it’s that I trust he personally wants to build a winner here, and he is going to try and do that with the constraints he’s given. If he goes behind AEG’s back an makes them mad, he’ll get canned, something that won’t exactly help him build a contending team. It’s kind of a catch 22 in my eyes. He wants to help, AEG doesn’t help him, but if he doesn’t help AEG, he’s out of a job and can’t do any good.

    Taking a run at Bouwmeester is stupid IMO. I believe that JayBo will do one of two things. Either he’ll sign long term with the Panthers if they have a solid season, or he’ll test UFA. Even if he is traded at the deadline, I still believe he will reach the UFA market. Why give up a 1st round pick? The number 2, 3, 4, 5 and on picks are still highly valuable. There are supposed to be several potential stars heading into the next draft. Why trade it away a full season in advance unless we’re the Red Wings? Why just toss out picks and assets (no one will aqcuire JayBo, rental or not, without giving up some pretty good players, 1st round pick or not), when the guy will most likely be UFA this time next year. I expect, or ‘trust’ Lombardi to go after him big time if he reaches UFA, still doesn’t mean he’ll be able to sign him.

    As far as this years UFA’s, aside from the few top players, there were only a handful of mid-top level players (Mark Streit for example) who were worth while, and they all signed pretty quick. I’m really not cut up about losing out on this UFA market, it was overpriced and undertalented for me.

    I think the fan base is one of the strongest in the NHL. I’m not worried about that. Even if the Kings lose some fans over the next few years, as soon as they make it to the playoffs again those fans will be right back, and more with them.

    I don’t think I ‘stick up for’ Lombardi, rather I try to point out alternative explanations to whistle blowers and naysayers. Sometimes I feel strongly in Lombardi’s favor, other times I’m just making arguments for arguments sake.

    I PRAY that AEG will give up controlling share in the coming years.

    I don’t know why they are building an arena in KC… most likely to make some money. If the Kings ever move out of L.A., I will never forgive whoever is responsible, but AEG owns arenas all over the place and has their hand dipped into so many facets of sports, business, real estate, etc. that a non business analyst like myself really has no chance of sorting out what the hell they are doing. Maybe that’s a cop out, but I just assume all of their mactions are motivated by money, and I also don’t believe that in the big picture they are losing money on the Kings. The books may say one thing that their wallets another.

    I despise that they spent more money on one lame soccer player in a country where soccer really isn’t nearly as popular as it is in the rest of the world, than they will on the entire Kings roster. I think AEG are like some fans, ticket prices go up (UFA’s) and they back out, but as soon as the team enjoys success, they will jump on the bandwagon along with the fans.

    Ultimately, what’s your point?

    Do you want every fan to be cynical? Do you want the entirety of staples center screaming bloody murder for Lombardi’s head like he was Bettman? I support Lombardi, but concede many valid points against him, whether I personally agree or not. Why does defending Lombardi offend you so?

  • Anonymous

    Logic: Cammalleri takes the team to arbitration after one good season and is an RFA. He’s greedy and a liability! Trade him. O’Sullivan chooses not to go to arbitration as an RFA, still asks for as much money as he can get (like ANYONE would do) and has yet to sign. It’s DL’s fault! Fire him! AEG is cheap! They want to move the team to KC! Sell the team!

    Does anyone else find all this logic a little fuzzy?

  • JDM

    Damn, computer signed me out… sorry if this gets reposted later…

    Cristobal –

    Trust?

    Um… I don’t know if its an issue of trust with this one. I expect him to sign one vet defenseman in the next 2 months. Do I trust him to? If that’s what he wants to do, then yeah, I guess I ‘trust’ him to do something he wants to do.

    If he doesn’t sign PO’S, I’ll be friggin angry, no excuses. Will I lose all faith? Probably not. Depends what happens. There’s always two sides, usually more, to everything.

    I guess if there is anything about Lombardi that I trust, it’s that I trust he personally wants to build a winner here, and he is going to try and do that with the constraints he’s given. If he goes behind AEG’s back an makes them mad, he’ll get canned, something that won’t exactly help him build a contending team. It’s kind of a catch 22 in my eyes. He wants to help, AEG doesn’t help him, but if he doesn’t help AEG, he’s out of a job and can’t do any good.

    Taking a run at Bouwmeester is stupid IMO. I believe that JayBo will do one of two things. Either he’ll sign long term with the Panthers if they have a solid season, or he’ll test UFA. Even if he is traded at the deadline, I still believe he will reach the UFA market. Why give up a 1st round pick? The number 2, 3, 4, 5 and on picks are still highly valuable. There are supposed to be several potential stars heading into the next draft. Why trade it away a full season in advance unless we’re the Red Wings? Why just toss out picks and assets (no one will aqcuire JayBo, rental or not, without giving up some pretty good players, 1st round pick or not), when the guy will most likely be UFA this time next year. I expect, or ‘trust’ Lombardi to go after him big time if he reaches UFA, still doesn’t mean he’ll be able to sign him.

    As far as this years UFA’s, aside from the few top players, there were only a handful of mid-top level players (Mark Streit for example) who were worth while, and they all signed pretty quick. I’m really not cut up about losing out on this UFA market, it was overpriced and undertalented for me.

    I think the fan base is one of the strongest in the NHL. I’m not worried about that. Even if the Kings lose some fans over the next few years, as soon as they make it to the playoffs again those fans will be right back, and more with them.

    I don’t think I ‘stick up for’ Lombardi, rather I try to point out alternative explanations to whistle blowers and naysayers. Sometimes I feel strongly in Lombardi’s favor, other times I’m just making arguments for arguments sake.

    I PRAY that AEG will give up controlling share in the coming years.

    I don’t know why they are building an arena in KC… most likely to make some money. If the Kings ever move out of L.A., I will never forgive whoever is responsible, but AEG owns arenas all over the place and has their hand dipped into so many facets of sports, business, real estate, etc. that a non business analyst like myself really has no chance of sorting out what the hell they are doing. Maybe that’s a cop out, but I just assume all of their mactions are motivated by money, and I also don’t believe that in the big picture they are losing money on the Kings. The books may say one thing that their wallets another.

    I despise that they spent more money on one lame soccer player in a country where soccer really isn’t nearly as popular as it is in the rest of the world, than they will on the entire Kings roster. I think AEG are like some fans, ticket prices go up (UFA’s) and they back out, but as soon as the team enjoys success, they will jump on the bandwagon along with the fans.

    Ultimately, what’s your point?

    Do you want every fan to be cynical? Do you want the entirety of staples center screaming bloody murder for Lombardi’s head like he was Bettman? I support Lombardi, but concede many valid points against him, whether I personally agree or not. Why does defending Lombardi offend you so?

  • Steve

    If they dont resign Sully then I am done as a Kings fan until AEG sells the team. This is not because I am huge O’Sullivan but it will prove to me that they are not building a winner but putting together a team on the cheap and lying to the fans.

    Why this deal is not done is beyond me. You have all of the comps you need (see Kostitsyn and Flippul) I have been a fan of this sh*t franchise for almost 40 years and I am sick of the bullsh*t. All this sh*t about term is crap, it is about money. They are obviously low balling the guy

  • cristobal

    JDM – Defending Lombardi doesn’t offend me. You especially make some good points and i don’t blame you for just being a positive fan. I guess it’s debate I crave. In places like montreal i hear the entire sports page is centered on the game and individual performances. I like to be critical of Lombardi because i feel he’s made some big mistakes and I don’t know if he’s capable of building a winner.

    David Beckham may look like a waste of money from the outside, but AEG owns 2 MLS teams (los angeles and houston) and has a share in others i think. Beckham has made them more than they paid already. Football is global, and AEG can profit off of what Beckham brings more than the Kings could ever hope to, as far as I know.

    I think your take on Bouwmeester makes a lot of sense.

  • Duckhunter

    cristobal, you bring up the very reason why I feel AEG is the problem. They have their hands in to many cookie jars. If I owned a soccer team I would bring in Beckam also, but why doesn’t the same effort go into the Kings My goodness everybody knows you put a winner in S.Cal., Corp. bandwagons are everywhere. If the Kings make the playoffs next year, tickets are in the high hundreds, if not thousands. Thats how it works in this city. The effort just isn’t there when the Kings are involved. We need a owner thats livelihood is on the line if he doesn’t win. Just look at what Arte Moreno has done with the Angels. Shoot even “Parking Lot Attendant”(from T.J.Simmers) in Dodgerland is at least trying to make his team better. We just need a owner that wants to win.

  • JDM

    Yeah, I can aknowledge that bringing Beckham over here was smart… it’s one thing I took more personally than anything… for the reasons Duckhunter expressed.

    No worries cristobal, I know the debate crave well. I can drive people nuts because I have a tendancy to point out holes in arguments I have no real feeling about one way or another. But hey, it’s fun, and the best way to keep sharp.

    I’m glad you brought up the montreal paper, I have heard similar things. It has bugged me for years the lack of coverage. As much as I love Rich and this blog, ideally the information he provides would be in the Times and on the news every night. I remember when last we were in the playoffs the basketball season wasn’t there yet, just playing regular games, and the Kings were tearing it up against Detroit and that yutz Fred Rogan spent 5 minutes literally talking about Shaq’s toe, and then he glossed over a great Kings game. “And the Kings beat the Red Wings tonight, in other news…” Ah, makes me so mad. I know part of it is our culture here, not everyone is into the game like in Canada, but hell, there are regularly 15,000 people who spend good money to watch a team they know is going to lose… so I don’t buy into the “People in L.A. just don’t care about hockey enough” argument. In fact, most sports fans in L.A. are so rapid about sports, they’ll watch anything on ESPN. Duckhunter is right, if the Kings do well, the rest of the league and the Fred Rogan’s of the world are going to do a double-take when they see the bandwagoners and fans clammoring for goals and hits come crawling out of the woodwork.

    It all goes back to AEG though. They don’t make the same effort with the Kings. At the very least, I’m counting on my hope that Lombardi is sticking so dangerously close to the floor this season so as to get in their good graces, so that when he pushes them next year for Kopi and JJ, they’ll shut up and let some cash flow.

    I guess I always cut Lombardi a little slack because he has possibly the worst owners in hockey behind him. Samueli may be a scum bag in some regard, but I don’t care how sleezy the behind the scenes are, so long as that sleez cares about the team on the ice and the fans in the seats.

  • cristobal

    JDM, Duckhunter, Quisp – We are getting down to the nutshell of the problem. AEG. While Anshutz is a multi billionaire, he owe’s a lot to his daddy who got him started. Having the money to become a land and oil baron by buying up property doesn’t necessarily make someone a good businessman. If you look at MLS and know anything about football, he’s got it all wrong. He is trying to run one of the only leagues in the world that is split into divisions/conferences, he created the MLS without a system of promotion and relegation, and he has a salary cap. There was a player on the Galaxy that retired last season because he couldn’t afford to live off his salary of under 30,000 dollars. There are reports of teams having to take staff out of the front offices in order to have opposition in training. Not to mention, how do you have a genuinely competitive league with one owner having multiple teams.

    The fact is that this guy bought while the NHL was on the rise. Since then, the new ownership and Bettman, have completely destroyed the progress the NHL made between 85 and 94.

    If anything, the success of the Ducks in winning the Cup probably harms the Kings because, despite winning, they probably lost money. And Philip Anshutz is in business, not a competition. I believe his interest in the entire endeavor is wearing thin, I wouldn’t be surprised if he relocated the team. He doesn’t understand what he’s involved in. Does Lieweike?

    I would also bet that Lombardi is or was on thin ice. If he succeeds in somehow getting this team to interest fans despite how pathetically thin they are, he’ll get to keep rebuilding. If the team is horrible and the attendance looks thin……look out. Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, Seattle Supersonics, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Cardinals…..

  • cristobal

    by the way….look up AFC Wimbledon on wikipedia for an interesting story of club movement in the English Football Association. Club Movement over there is generally unheard of, but…..

    also, do you know anything about Liverpool FC and the problems the new American ownership is having there? Tom Hicks (dallas stars/texas rangers) and George Gillette (montreal canadiens)

  • Anonymous

    JDM just one issue with your argument about LA and hockey

    “People in L.A. just don’t care about hockey enough”

    not enough people care about hockey. the fans that do are hardcore. there is no winning culture. hell half the fans on the boards are fans because of the 93 run. put together a solid playoff team for 10 yrs and and the kings will outdraw the lakers without a question.

  • JDM

    Anony,

    If you look closely, I said that I DON’T BUY the argument that “People in L.A. just don’t care about hockey enough” I went on to make the same point you just made. Get us to the playoffs and everyone who thought no one cares about hockey in L.A. is going to be in for a huge surprise.

    cristobal,

    Valids points. Man I hope your wrong.

  • cristobal

    The Kings uniforms and image are, perhaps, being underestimated in terms of marketing and earnings. If the AEG braintrust wants to rekindle sales they would do well to remember the widespread logo of the silver and black days. The similarity to the Raiders and the crossover appeal were amazing, really.

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