Morris talks Monarchs

In this morning’s New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester Monarchs coach Mark Morris talks about the upcoming season, including which players he thinks will stick with the Kings and what he hopes to see from his team in the upcoming season. The article mentions Brian Boyle and Teddy Purcell as two players Morris believes “proved they belong” in the NHL. Here’s the full story…

Watching baseball, talking hockey with Monarchs coach

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  • Anonymous

    with a journalism degree i will say that this article was painful to read. And everyone wonders why newspapers are downsizing….

    glad to se purcell and boyle are the real deal.

  • wavesinair

    Since it’s the ‘year of going young’ all throughout the entire Kings universe, (I think the Ontario Reign is going to consist mainly of players from the CIF South Bay Roller Hockey League in San Diego.) I’ll go ahead and say it’s time to let the true ‘goalie of the future’ get his shot… ladies and gentlemen, your starting goalie… Jon Bernier!

  • Anonymous

    So awesome the Mr “journalism degree” didn’t proofread his post

  • socalking

    I do hope the Kings keep Bernier up along with Ersberg, and trade away Labarbra to the overspenders and get a Dman along with a choice pick

  • Anonymous

    Elipses are three dots not four or more as many use. Nice spelling too. Journalism degree huh? From what country?

  • Big Rob in Dallas

    Since it is slow I thought I’d share a non kings story related to the criticism of the journalism quality of the piece. I went to College at Humboldt State in Arcata, CA. I was living in Northridge before hence why I am Kings fan. Anyway, there is a huuge difference in the TV quality of the news reporting that goes on there. The main Town is Eureka and I think there were only 2-3 local stations and the quality sucked compared to the slick LA news reports. Every news person was young and just getting started. Every one was fresh out of college. There were no old-timers there at all. There would be big mistakes weekly like the set falling down behind the reporters on live TV. Just thought I’d share. So I guess being a reporter out of Manchester is kinda like being the news guy for Eureka TV. We all got to get our start somewhere.

  • anthony

    I agree with socalking.
    The team has good depth at the goaltending position, thus DL has the luxury to make a move.
    By far, Ersberg was the best goalie on the team last season. He should compete with Birnier for the starting job. Also have Zatkoff, Quick, and Rowat waiting in the wings. Babs just gives up TOO MANY rebounds. He also hasn’t shown the ability to take over a game and win it on his own. However, Ersberg did show that ability at the end of the season.

    This team needs some veterans to help out the youngsters. I wouldn’t mind DL trading Babs for a D-man with experience. It wiuld also help the team reach the cap floor.
    See, No DL bashing.

  • Robert

    i hope Boyle makes it. when the Kings brought him up, he was awsome! i wonder if they will have Boyle on defense. sorry but see-ya Labarbra. Ersberg did great and i hope Bernier will make it. i hope KINGS sign O’Sullivan, but i think he might do the same thing as Blake.

  • cristobal

    anthony – I think you’re on to something: Babs in net. Streisand would really sell merchandise and stock the arena with blue hairs and divas.

    And, her trade value would be in the ball park with Labarbara.

  • Ciccarelli

    Wow, that’s the first time I’ve read an Anthony post without having to cringe. Why the change in heart?

    It’s a wide open race for those two goalie spots. I kind of see us holdling on to Labs though, until both Ersberg and Bernier establish themselves.

  • cristobal

    Is Brady Murray a perennial AHLer. What about Piskula? Couldn’t one of these guys have fetched Clune instead of Tukonen?

  • newsboy

    Big Rob – funny but I’m a former Northridge guy who has lived in Houston for the past 5 years. Houston is, what, the 4th biggest city in the country and its TV news is like cable access compared to the L.A. market. The Houston Chronicle – main newsrag here – reads like a 6th grade school paper. Honestly, I think it is more about “culture” than anything. But the internet and media parent companies have gobbled up so many big and little papers that they have to cut costs somewhere. Its sad yes but growing up in LA and the SFV, the Daily News was never really considered an intellectual paper and kind of a step above independent media (LA Weekly, etc.) Sorry, Rich but “journalists” are a dying breed – and much of it is their own doing since they no longer have the balls or the integrity to write the ‘real’ story – only the one’s that sell or those permitted by the parent company. Thank goodness for blogs – except for the fact that we can’t censor certain individuals (anthony).

  • Pat McGroyn

    Wavesinair,

    “The Ontario Reign is going to consist mainly of players from the CIF South Bay Roller Hockey League in San Diego.”

    I will abide to that ONLY if they are coached by the legendary Joe Noris of Skate San Diego!!!!

  • yesitscal

    I think you said it–the station was in Humboldt. We all know what they’re doing up there before they go live! Other people are assuming that teams would be lining up to trade for Labarbera, but if you guys don’t want him what makes you think an NHL club would want him? The only thing he’s ever proven is that he’s an AHL all-star. So what!

  • Duckhunter

    I think Anthony is into S&M, because the fact he keeps coming back with a smile, after all the whippings and beatings people bestow upon him is incredible. I think your great Anthony, keep the posts coming. Just kidding on the S&M of course. :-)

    I concur, if we’re going with the youth movement, might as well stay consistent and have Ersberg and Bernier as the two net minders. Might as well have the whole core together as they take their lumps and bruises, so they can grow together.

    cristobal, my friend, get over Tukonen. He just didn’t fit in or mess with the Kings. He’s gone now, lets move forward.

  • me

    “I will abide to that ONLY if they are coached by the legendary Joe Noris of Skate San Diego!!!!”

    Joe rules! He still sends me emails to invite me back eventhough I moved back to LA. Tell him whats up from “me” when you see him.

    And Ersberg/Labs will be a good goalie tandem. Surprisingly, the goaltending is not really something I’m worried about this season. There. I said it.

    The defense…no comment.

  • Jet

    anthony – great post, congrats

    While I agree with you in theroy (let the kids gain experience), I do have concerns about a 20 year old facing 35 shots/game. While I am sure Murray will harp on the forwards to play smart positional defense, I believe that it will takanthony – great post

    While I agree with you in theory (let the kids gain experience), I do have concerns about a 20 year old facing 35 shots/game. While I am sure Murray will harp on the forwards to play smart positional defense, I believe that it will take a couple of months for them to really get it. We may want to sacrifice Babs confidence and then move him at the deadline to bring up Berner for a dozen games or so. He will have an additional 45 games under his belt and we should be out of the playoff race by then. This will minimize the pressure to win. The new defense will also have had 50 games to work on communication. What do you think?
    e a couple of months for them to really get it. We may want to sacrifice Babs confidence and then move him at the deadline to bring up berner for a dozeon games or so. He will have an additional 45 games under his belt and we should be out of the playoff race by then. This will minimize the pressure to win. The new defense will also have had 50 games to work on communication. What do you think?

  • anthony

    Jet,
    I think you have a point.
    But what if Babs screws up and has a bad season. No team would trade for him then.

    Ersberg is the man and Bernier is ready.
    I say let them fight it out. Winner gets the the #1 job.
    I’ll put my money on Ersberg.

  • EJ

    While I agree with most that Ersberg played pretty well at the end of last season, and that Bernier was great last September into early October, the thought of letting the goalie with the most experience go is a bit disconcerting. True, much of Jason’s pro experience is at the AHL level, but it is still a whole lot more than Ersberg and/or Bernier. If Ersberg or Bernier play their way onto the roster, that’s great. But I don’t see how you can just dismiss Labarbera out of hand before camp even starts.

  • JDM

    I too, would love to see an Ersberg/Bernier combo. I never much cared for Labs, but he EJ makes a good point, he still has a place and a role on this team. I don’t care much if the return for Labs isn’t great, he really should be traded for a role player, Dan Cleary type guy, or packaged with Calder at the deadline for a team looking for a good backup and some scoring / grit depth on their 3rd and 4th lines. Then perhaps we’ll get a decent return in a good player whose been having an off year, whoever that turns out to be this season, as there are also several like that.

    Ideally, I think it would be best to let Labs have the number one, with Ersberg backing him up. Let Bernier dominate as the number one in Manchester for half the season. Throughout the season I think Ersberg will slowly steal the number one from Labs, and around December or January trade him to a team that expects to make the playoffs but is struggling a little bit, hoping for a turnaround. Then bring up Bernier and have him kind of split the number one with Ersberg, but with Ersberg getting a few more games, say in the last 35 games of the season, Ersberg gets 21, Bernier gets 14. Some good experience, but not being relied upon. Then the following season I believe Bernier will be ready to take the number one, or at least have a Fernandez/Roloson type tandem from a few years ago, where they both play ~35 games, with Zatkoff getting called up for some action. So that 3 seasons from now, one of our other prospects like Zatkoff, Quick, Taylor or Rowat are ready to be a solid back-up, and Bernier will have ~70 games in the NHL, and be ready to handle a 50-60 game season, which is what this team really needs. Having the same goalie night in and night out really allows the d to get some solid communication with the goalie going, but they have to really trust that goalie as well, which is why no one but Labs is really going to get that trust until atleast half way through this season.

    Then again, Bernier will most likely light it up in camp, and not giving him credit where its due if he outplays everyone again could be more harmful to his confidence than seeing 35+ shots a game. He’s a competitor, the 4.03 GAA or whatever it was didn’t get in his head last year, getting sent down did.

  • wavesinair

    Pat, you got it, he’s hired. I’ll even drive out to Ontario to watch them play.

  • jet

    Points well made and not taken lightly, but Ers and berner are both slight. I am concerned how they would hold up throughout an entire season. If you read between the lines, this is what DL is saying (“Ers has not proven he can be a full time G”). If I were playing the Kings next season and found my team down a goal in the 3rd, I would lay some wood on either of them to see if they would fold. I realize there are more Kings who will stand up this year, but the initial shot will still be taken, no matter the retaliation or threat there of.

    On the trade issue, I believe most teams will think they have a better D than the Kings and that Babs will perform better on their team. Especially, if he steers clear of the personal issues. His trade value may even be better with a better read on him. Mature, low cost, won’t question being a backup.

  • Renbe

    I think this article truly states it like it is Kings fans. Lombardi’s initial 3 year plan is now a 5-6 yr plan…if we’re lucky???? I understand we need to rebuild but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to win now, especially when we’re 27 MILLION DOLLARS UNDER THE CAP!!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/columnists/bernstein.html

  • nykingfan

    Cristobal,
    what is your fascination with Tukonen? Are you really him blogging under an alias?
    Please show me what he has done during his time in the Kings organization to make you think he has a future?
    His point total was pitiful. His work ethic from everything you read, was pitiful. He was passed over on the depth chart by a lot of other players coming into the system.
    If your argument is that he needed more time to get acclimated to the North American style of play, that’s pure hogwash. Unless you are him, how the hell do you know what his problem was?
    Just because he was a 1st round pick doesn’t make him a future star. The road is littered with former 1st round picks who were never good enough to make it.
    From what little I’ve seen of him and from what I’ve read about him, he’s one of the many 1st round carcasses along that road.

  • metalmaster

    Trade LaBarbera at deadline? LOL
    Burke could not trade Bryzgalov last year
    Bryz is actually good and Babs is not
    Kings goaltending is deep in prospects
    prospects=suspects until they prove otherwise

  • metalmaster

    Trade LaBarbera at deadline? LOL
    Burke could not trade Bryzgalov last year
    Bryz is actually good and Babs is not
    Kings goaltending is deep in prospects
    prospects=suspects until they prove otherwise

  • cristobal

    nykingsfan – i really don’t think anyone wants all that brought up again, but since you ask. Lombardi made comments to the press about not trading young players. tukonen is a young player. there is a precedent of young players being traded and finding a place to fulfill the promise they were drafted high for: a la – brett hull, martin st. louis, js giguere, daniel cleary, daniel briere, bertuzzi, etc….

    the kings organization has a poor history of fitting young players into a winning system. they just fired a coach because he was unable to work with the young player (remember him leaving J Bernier in for 7 goals against Boston last year?), and they have just hired a new coach who they claim works well with young talent. i’ve never called tukonen the next selanne, but sometimes its worth hanging on to a player who has skill you just cannot teach. if Lombardi wanted clune badly, i’m sure he could have been had for the likes of Piskula or B Murray or P. Kanko. I’ve never seen a Monarchs game, so I have no idea what the team concept is, but I doubt its a european puck control style of play from which tukonen came. That is the direction I would like to see the Kings go, and why I had at times DREAMED of LA hiring LARIONOV to come in and coach this team. If Larionov and Makarov were able to bring puck possession and competitive hockey to San Jose in the 90′s, they could certainly accomplish it here, and i believe tukonen probably has the skills to be able to play that brand of hockey. I also have said this many times, but if you’re battling for high draft picks, what does it matter if you play a young guy like tukonen and he doesn’t produce? he’s keeping you high in the draft order and answering questions at the level at which it matters: if he can’t play in the NHL after 60-70 games, then give up on him. I don’t know where the Kings gets off telling someone they aren’t good enough, you know? Finally, what is the point in trading someone in the middle of July at their absolute lowest trade value? He could have been packaged with the likes of Stuart or Modry last march to try and lure more high picks. Colorado and Buffalo both traded 1st round picks away in march (colorado did it for Foote).

    So now I sit back and get trashed by the other commentors for talking and debating tukonen again.

    just remember people, nykingsfan MADE me do it.

  • yesitscal

    Damn! If we would have packaged Tukonen with Stewart we might have gotten the Wings first-round pick! Damn, damn, damn! Lombardi is “so” stupid!

  • KingzzFan

    cristobal, I’ll be the first. This is where you have a problem. DL never said he wouldnt trade young players, he said he wouldnt trade away any of our young talent. Huge difference, Tuk was way low on the depth chart being passed by many players. He had more than enough time to get used to the style of play. He was not in the category of “Young Talent” or even a Core Player. And why would LA go out and hire coaches for one player that can’t acclimate his game to our style? I don’t see many other players having difficulties. They made the right move for LA. That’s all that matters at the end of the day.

    Now let’s put this to rest

  • Quisp

    Cristobal — it’s okay. You get a free pass.

    I agree the Tukonen topic has been well-covered. But to answer one of your points: I think the reason he was dealt in July was to prepare for training camp, to get a body we can use now. The problem with waiting till the trade deadline in order to maximize Tukonen’s trade value is that this assumes Tukonen is going to do something this year in the AHL to cause his stock to rise. I’m guessing DL has already decided that’s probably not going to happen.

    It is 70 days, 4 hours, 44 minutes and 44 seconds until Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 7:00:00 PM (Los Angeles time)

  • cristobal

    quisp – i meant last year. what could stuart and tukonen packaged have gotten from detroit? or colorado? Modry and tukonen packaged to philly? i don’t know, but its interesting to speculate.

  • cristobal

    blake and tukonen package last year to san jose?

  • JDM

    You can’t blame DL for not trading Blake… he tried, and back then Mr. Fickle only wanted to go to Colorado… until Colorado didn’t want him in FA that is.

  • cristobal

    JDM – i’d only believe that if i heard it from blake himself….

  • JDM

    I’m not sure which part you distrust? Do you think DL was lying when he said that he asked Blake to waive his NTC and Blake agreed, but only to go to Colorado, who got Foote first and didn’t want Blake after that?

    What would the truth be then? He never asked Blake to waive the NTC? He asked and Blake said sure, trade me wherever? Blake asked to be traded to SJ but DL didn’t want to? DL asked and Blake said hell no?

    While there are always things going on behind the scenes we can’t know, something like that, especially considering that Blake had every opportunity to refute DL’s assertion in the media but didn’t even mention it, I just don’t see why DL would even bother mentioning it at all during the trade deadline when all this went down. Regardless, it’s the only insight we have whatsoever. Usually a player will address allegations against him in some way, and all I ever remember hearing from Blake at the time was first that he would waive his NTC, and then DL said he got permission to try and swing a trade with Colorado.

    Man… we sure know how to drift off topic.

  • yesitscal

    You’re assuming that clubs in trade talks with the Kings would have even wanted Tukonen. If the Wings really wanted him, I’m sure they could have gotten him thrown into the Stuart deal. Dallas seems to be the only club who wanted him, and all they were willing to give up is a third- or fourth-line grinder, but maybe Tukonen will come into his own and win the Calder trophy this year on his way to leading the Stars to the Stanley Cup…

  • nykingfan

    Actually you brought him up AGAIN!

    “cristobal said:

    Is Brady Murray a perennial AHLer. What about Piskula? Couldn’t one of these guys have fetched Clune instead of Tukonen?”

    I’ll keep this a lot shorter and its July so who really gives a sh**. The fact that we’re talking hockey the beginning of August is amazing.

    So your think You think just because we sucked last year that should be a good enough reason for playing Tukonen all year? You earn your playing time in the NHL. Lazy and unproductive players don’t get the chance to play in this league.
    Why does a player like Tukonen deserve to play 60-70 games? Shouldn’t we be saying the same thing about Brady Murray? How come we didn’t bring up Piskula to play 60-70 games? Trevor Lewis was a high draft pick. He also should have been given 60-70 games last year.

    Do you see my point? We can go thru the entire Monarchs roster and find players playing better than Tukonen who deserve to play 60-70 games with the Kings.
    You earn your playing time in this league. Just because you were drafted in the 1st round, doesn’t guarantee you a spot.

  • Quisp

    He was given 60-70 games with the Kings. In Manchester. Place your bets now for how many career NHL games this guy plays. I’m going to say 50.

    It is 69 days, 23 hours, 25 minutes and 37 seconds until Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 7:00:00 PM (Los Angeles time)

  • cristobal

    nykingsfan – all the kings have been ‘earning’ the past 2 years is near bottom finishes. i look to the past and i see guys come up (think connor james, noah clarke) and they put effort and some skill into their opportunities, yet they were always sent back down while guys like chartrand, zeiler, and guiliano were retained, despite their obvious disparity in “upside”. I hate to appear to harp on these particular players, I respect that they are good players, but not at the NHL level. I never understand these types of moves. Tukonen was rated where he was because he has access to a certain set of skills, whether he uses them all is up to him. He may not have shown anything yet, but its important to remember these are kids we’re talking about, and sometimes they find a way to grow up and realize what an opportunity they have.
    Go look at the case of what his linemates from the WJC (both drafted after Tukonen in the first round, same year) Petteri Nokelainen and Lauri Korpikoski.

    Finally, when i go and look at Tukonen’s numbers in Manchester, i don’t see how they’re that bad. More like a Pahllson than a Selanne, but that’s not bad.

  • yesitscal

    I think all teams, and all GM’s, will tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to high first-round picks and give them plenty of rope before giving up on them. Just because you’re a top pick doesn’t entitle you to X number of games to prove that you weren’t a flop. Why does everybody seem to have a sense of entitlement these days? Why not root for Dallas then.

  • Anonymous

    Cristobal,

    The only thing Pahlsson Tukonen have in common is Scandinavian ancestry. One is a hard working two way shutdown defensive forward who’s role helps his team win. The other has a poor work ethic and doesn’t have what take to make it in the AHL much less the NHL. I’m SURE the Ducks would’ve been happy to trade Pahlsson straight up for Tukonen if DL just would’ve made the offer at the trade deadline. Have you actually ever watched a hockey game? Your insights and and comparisons seem to suggest otherwise.

  • nykingfan

    These were his career AHL numbers:

    GP 185 G 36 A 67 PTS 103 PM 74
    His clutch playoff numbers 6 gms 0 goals 3assists

    Those are numbers to hang your hat on. Somehow you see talent in those numbers. I guess it’s like a lot of guys who play hard, kill penalties..and those things don’t show up in numbers. Unfortunately for Tukonen, and your argument, he doesn’t work hard or play PK. He’s an offensive forward. The only thing offensive are his numbers.

    I don’t know how old you are, but if you remember back in the early 80′s…the Islanders not only had the Bossy’s and the Trottier’s, they also had guys like Bobby Nystrom…He’s the guy that scored the GW OT goal in game 6 to clinch the cup against the Flyers…Not bad for a guy who had limited talent, but worked his ass off and was rewarded. The Islanders had more skilled players in the minors at the time and even on the roster…guys who were scratched many nights, but Nystrom got the ice time because of his worth ethic and his leadership. He developed himself into one of the best 3rd line wingers in the history of the game. He’s a hockey legend on Long Island. Something Tukonen’s not, probably even in his own home.
    It’s not always about the skill upside of a player that makes him valuable to his team.

    I pulled up Nokelainen’s numbers in the NHL..
    72GP 8G 4A 12PTS -1 53 SOG

    This is your example of what we can expect from Tukonen?

  • Pat McGroyn

    Rich,

    I read in the other newspaper today a little bit about the service for Matt McHale. It sounds as if the memorial was unique and special in celebrating the memories of Mr. McHale. My condolences on the passing of whom I presume to be a very special co-worker and friend at the Daily News…

  • Anonymous

    I think that teams will err on the side of patience when it comes to high first-round picks, whether or not they’re the current regime’s selection or the previous one’s. Giving up on a player doesn’t look good for the organization, and the last thing they want is for him to flourish with another team who might take a chance on him. Just because you’re a high pick doesn’t entitle you to anything, escept maybe more of a chance than a low-round pick, but this sense of entitlement about how players should be put on a top line on the big club to get their chance is folly. You have to earn your keep, and if you don’t then you’re gone.

  • Quisp

    In any case, DL did Tukonen a favor. Now he has a chance to start over somewhere else, prove DL wrong, etc.. And of course we will all get to see who was right.

    It is 69 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 54 seconds until Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 7:00:00 PM (Los Angeles time)

  • cristobal

    nykingsfan – i actually do remember Bobby Nystrom though its hazy. I really first came to love hockey as a kid (born in 70) and one of those years I had pnemonia. I really only had eyes for american football up to that point, but a new station called espn had the stanley cup playoffs on and being confined to the house for over a month, i started watching. The Islanders were amazing and Nystrom was incredible. I hope you aren’t comparing Gulliano and Zeiler to him because that would be insulting.

    Anyway, back to our subject. I went and looked up statistics and perhaps this is where everything is being confused. Its easy to sit and look at numbers, as it is to say Tukonen is supposed to be a scoring winger, but where in Tukonen’s career, even in Finland, was he a scoring winger? The MAJOR point is that Finland especially play a much different game than traditional north american hockey. It’s puck possession and team-work, don’t make mistakes, capitalize when you get a chance. You bring up Tukonen’s playoff numbers, and this year he played two games and had zero points. He was also 0 in the plus/minus while Moulsen and Purcell were both minus – 9.

    We could debate numbers all day but a point every other game for a guy like him is not bad, and that’s what he’s averaged. If you looked at Nokeleinen’s numbers, he was traded from the Islanders and played 57 games for the Bruins last year, netting 10 points. Not great, but that’s how some guys start out. As for Korpikoski, he was brought up for the Rangers final playoff game and scored a goal although they were eliminated. I hardly think the Rangers and Bruins are giving up on these guys like Lombardi’s given up on Tukonen. I wouldn’t mind a Pahlsson type on the Kings. His numbers are nothing to warrant hall of fame, but he’s a huge contributor to the team. Tukonen may not be Esa Tikkanen, but the Kings aren’t exactly the Oilers of the 80′s. By the way, look up Tomas Holmstrom’s numbers and he didn’t really start to score more than a point every other game until a few years ago.

    Talk to ya later,

  • nykingfan

    Cristobal,
    No i’m not comparing Giuliano to Nystrom, just the styles of play. Guys who are willing to work hard every shift, every game. Guys like that aren’t going to average a point a game, but they will do the little things to help your team win. They are a little piece to the big puzzle.

    So Tukonen’s not a scorer…exactly what is he? A puck possession player? That’s funny…who is he getting the puck to, when he has control. Nobody around him is putting pucks in the net. He doesn’t have many assists.
    The phrase that is constantly used to describe his play by scouts is poor work ethic. That’s a major flaw in a pro athlete.
    Can Tukonen turn his career into someone like Brett Hull? Sure…and it’s not too late for me to get my tour card on the PGA tour. I’m still breathing…That’s what I have in common with tour players and Tukonen has in common with Brett Hull.

    Wouldn’t you think a player, who by your own admission..and his stats, isn’t a goal scorer, would work harder than others to succeed? I would think so…but not in Tukonen’s case. He made himself expendable by his poor production and his poor work ethic. A point every 2 games in the AHL is good? For who? Not a former 1st round pick who doesn’t work hard.
    You can make any comparison in the world you want, but until you can convince someone that a players work ethic isn’t important, your argument will not work.

    BTW..the only other team that drafts worse than the Kings is the Rangers. If Korpikoski is anything like every other Ranger draft pick, he’ll suck too.

  • cristobal

    Good point about the Rangers being poor at drafting, I think your comparison to Brett Hull is more pertinent in the case of Pavel Brendl. That is why you don’t understand Tukonen. I keep telling you he’s a fin, and that they generally play a different game than the north americans (remember sweden winning in the olympics and the wings winning the cup with a highly swede team). Tukonen comes from a league where fighting isn’t part of the game. I’m sure the AHL is still highly dependent on fighting and dump-and-chase. I gave the example previously of mathieu schneider going to detroit. My friend knows him and said that when he got there they were admonishing him for dumping the puck in. That isn’t part of the proposed game plan. So take a guy like Tukonen, put him in the AHL, and you’re probably going to have a fish out of water. Show me how the Kings and Monarchs are producing effective hockey. I pointed out that moulsen and purcell were both minus – 9 in last years playoffs (and i throw in the fact that bernier was basically 3 gaa in 3 playoff games) and you choose to ignore it. Hockey is not all about scoring, as many have pointed out about Cammalleri.

    Another thing you fail to address is the fact that Crawford was fired for his inability to work with young players. Here is a young player who would possibly benefit from having a new coach like Murray. Why do you ignore this? Finally, I’ve also pointed out that there are players Tukonen is much more comparable to who help there team and pitch in with goals on a semi-regular basis like Pahlsson. Go look at Fernando Pisani’s numbers and tell me they are overwhelmingly impressive, and he’s 31. But I would take him in LA in a heartbeat. The fact that you think Zeiler and Guiliano have something to offer an NHL team makes me wonder about you. And like you said, who did Tukonen have to work with in Manchester but a bunch of borderline AHL players?

  • JDM

    Well… I wanted to stay out of the rehash of the Tukonen argument… buuuuuut….

    One thing. While I agree with you cristobal about Crawford not working well with young dudes, Tukonen spent most of his time being coached by Morris, who has been frequently hailed and applauded for his work with young, developing players.

    Also, Zeiler and Guiliano do have roles to play effectively in the NHL… just not both at the same time on the same time. Every team can, and does use a guy like Zeiler or Guiliano on their 4th lines. Our problem is we are flooded with players like that, Brady Murray and Ellis and such. I also always liked chartrand… I thought of him as Belanger light.

  • Quisp

    Also, it’s not as though it’s a choice between Tukonen and Zeiler or Guiliano. Both of those guys have an uphill fight even to see time with the Kings this year. The comparison is between Tukonen and Purcell, Moulson, Boyle, Moller, Parse, Lewis and Simmonds. To name a few.

    It is 69 days, 2 hours, 3 minutes and 26 seconds until Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 7:00:00 PM (Los Angeles time)

  • -J

    Not that I want to get dragged back into this, but cristobal, how much have you seen Tukonen actually play? Do watch a lot of Monarchs games? I doubt any team in the AHL goes primarily with a simplistic strategy like dump-and-chase. You talk a lot about the style of his game and (paraphrasing) how he wasn’t given a chance to prove himself in Manchester because of this or that, but what are you basing this on? Stats, web articles, what?

    As for Tuk not being a scoring winger, he was projected by all scouting reports to be a power forward, which means he’s expected to put up numbers. For a guy ranked as high as 3rd overall in pre-draft rankings, he sure fell short of expectations. Hell, ISS even projected him as a potential 1st line power/sniper forward. These projections were not baseless- he put up 11 points in 6 WJC games, tied for 1st most overall, and 3 more than Malkin did in the same tournament.

    How’s Dany Roussin doing these days? Do we really need players that have to have better players around them to be good?

    The simple fact is Tukonen showed little if any improvement over three years and got passed over in the depth chart by guys who were seizing their own opportunities. That is why he was expendable. I hope he comes out of his shell and plays great for Dallas, but most likely, he’s gone at the end of his contract.

  • yesitscal

    That Roussin pick was one which really came out of left field and, I think, surprised everybody because he wasn’t very highly thought of at all. Will he even make the Monarchs this season?

  • http://hbshakes.blogspot.com Shakes

    i would like another weird topic about a minor league player move resulting in 40+ responses about how the franchise is going down the tubes. that’s fun.

  • Duckhunter

    cristobal, I didn’t think it would get to this point, but this is worse than the Blake situation.

    If the fact that Tuk didn’t do enough to earn a spot isn’t good enough, let me bring up another point that nobody has mentioned yet. You say yourself many times that he’s a Fin and would benefit from European style hockey. One, this isn’t a European league, this is the NHL. He needs to make the adjustments, not the other way around. 2nd, and most important, when have you ever seen the Kings play that style of hockey. So the Kings are going to adjust their system to one player. No, the player has to adjust to the team, and it didn’t seem he was able to do that. Bottom line ,he just didn’t fit into the system, it’s that simple. This isn’t about skill as much as fit.

  • cristobal

    I think Duckhunter did more to prove my point with his last few sentences, than i’ve done in the past 2 weeks. My friend, THE KINGS DO NEED TO ADJUST THEIR PLAYING STYLE, ITS A NEW NHL. Do you not recognize the kings are a dump-and-chase team and that that’s all Zeiler and Guliano and Chartrand can do? If you didn’t notice, the redwings won the cup with a highly ‘swede’ team. They do it with puck control. Go look at what the Penguins have to say about facing them; they couldn’t get the puck.

    1 WJC, J, is not what you draft players based on. That is not why he, or his linemates from that team were drafted in the top 20 or so picks.

  • Quisp

    I’ll say this: From now on, I certainly will enjoy watching Tukonen’s continued development or lack thereof. Before this thread, he was just another prospect I kept forgetting to put down in my own personal depth chart. His full name was usually, “oh yeah, and Tukonen.”

    It is 68 days, 19 hours, 31 minutes and 19 seconds until Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 7:00:00 PM (Los Angeles time)

  • -J

    Cristobal- I didn’t say he was drafted based on 1 WJC performance- the point of that whole paragraph (which you completely missed apparently) was that guys who analyze prospects for a living, unlike you or me, touted his offensive potential and projected him as a scoring winger, something you said Tuks wasn’t. Also, don’t kid yourself, Tuks draft position was heavily influenced by that WJC performance.

    Also, about this dump-and-chase thing- the Kings last year were not a dump and chase team, and i don’t expect them to be this year. For one thing, dump-and-chase is not employed as a first/sole means of zone entry by any NHL/AHL team. There is too much speed and skill at these levels for it to be effective on a regular basis- it’s more suited to rec and high school leagues (the first and last place i ever played it). That’s not to say they won’t ever use it (it’s part of the game), but the top lines definitely are focused on entry in the zone with possession. As for energy/pest guys like zeiler, giuliano, etc… dumping the puck in deep allows them some extra shots at the other teams D, so, seeing as their main roles are to agitate/punish the other team, it’s a tool of the trade.

  • Duckhunter

    Cristobal, your points are well taken and make sense, but the Red Wings didn’t win it all because they have all Swedes, they win because they have a system that they employ throughout the entire organization. They have the pleasure of developing the youngsters into a well oiled machine. The most impressive thing about the Red Wings is that their forwards play defense. When two of your top offensive guys are up for defensive forwards of the year, you have to take your hat off to them. That’s what helps the Red Wings with puck control. Yes it’s the skill of some players, but it’s also the fantastic defense they play. Is that European hockey?, or just good all around hockey players that put fourth an effort to improve them selfs and the team.

    There is no doubt we are a dump and chase team. that’s usually what happens, when you lack skill players. Thats whats exciting about the direction we’re going in. You can see the skill level going up. Long way to go with our young kids, but at least we are improving our odds. And when more and more talent evolves, we can then slowly change our system. But it’s a slow change, not a change for an individual, but a team and organization.

    What is the “New NHL” anyway? Smaller, faster more skilled players? Give the NHL two more years and you’ll see the defense catch up to the offense again. I promise you, in a couple years there will be new schemes, traps and technique’s to stop the offense. Thats how all American sports teams work. Defense wins championships. IMO thats why Detroit is so good, they play team defense.

  • Duckhunter

    Cristobal, your points are well taken and make sense, but the Red Wings didn’t win it all because they have all Swedes, they win because they have a system that they employ throughout the entire organization. They have the pleasure of developing the youngsters into a well oiled machine. The most impressive thing about the Red Wings is that their forwards play defense. When two of your top offensive guys are up for defensive forwards of the year, you have to take your hat off to them. That’s what helps the Red Wings with puck control. Yes it’s the skill of some players, but it’s also the fantastic defense they play. Is that European hockey?, or just good all around hockey players that put fourth an effort to improve them selfs and the team.

    There is no doubt we are a dump and chase team. that’s usually what happens, when you lack skill players. Thats whats exciting about the direction we’re going in. You can see the skill level going up. Long way to go with our young kids, but at least we are improving our odds. And when more and more talent evolves, we can then slowly change our system. But it’s a slow change, not a change for an individual, but a team and organization.

    What is the “New NHL” anyway? Smaller, faster more skilled players? Give the NHL two more years and you’ll see the defense catch up to the offense again. I promise you, in a couple years there will be new schemes, traps and technique’s to stop the offense. Thats how all American sports teams work. Defense wins championships. IMO thats why Detroit is so good, they play team defense.

  • Duckhunter

    Sorry for the double post.

    -J, your right, last year we did drastically improve in that area. But years prior to last, we did dump and chase quite a bit.

  • yesitscal

    Many years ago, virtually all teams used dump-and-chase because it was the best way to get around the trap defense. With the opening up of the game, it’s provided more opportunity for teams to be able to carry the puck up the ice and into the opposition zone.

    Better teams, such as Detroit, give kids extra time to develop simply due to the fact that they don’t feel the need to rush them to the NHL in order to try to have an impact on their team. Tukonen would have been given more time in Detroit, but on the other hand he could have been buried so far down that no other NHL team ever would give him a second chance. Just my humble opinion here.

  • nykingfan

    cristobal

    I can appreciate the fact that you probably are a Finn and are proud of it…no problem, but you can’t state that since this player is from that country, he must be as good as all the others and deserves more of a chance than other nationalities. That’s ridiculous. I’m an American and I know that not all Americans play the style that Dustin Brown plays…nor are all Americans potentially just as good as Brown..they don’t deserve any extra looks or time just because they’re Americans. This is the NHL..if you can’t handle the style of NHL play, there are always leagues in Europe he can go play for.

    You constantly reference other players, but never talk about Tukonen and why he should be compared to other players. What of his play over the last 3 years gives you the impression that he’s worth more of a look? please don’t use the fact that he’s European. Many Europeans have made the transition a hell of a lot quicker..see Kopitar!
    As for puck control..see Frolov. That my friend is puck control. Tukonen’s no Frolov.

    Bringing up +/- is ridiculous. It’s the most meaninless stat in all of sports…except the save in baseball.
    If your goalie lets in a 70 ft shot, how is that the fault of the other 5 guys? The running joke was that Modry would skate off the ice just before a goal was scored against, and would jump on just as we were scoring. It was the only way any of us could figure out how he was a +.
    By using the ridiculous +/- you are criticizing Kopitar as well.

  • Quisp

    Leaving Tukonen aside (hopefully for good), I don’t think +/- is a meaningless stat. I do often wish, though, that we could see all the numbers going into it, as in: (GF) – (GA) = (total +/-). Sometimes I just want to know who’s on the ice for the most goals (or goals against).

  • yesitscal

    I wonder what all the scouts, coaches and managers missed about Tukonen? Could they all be that clueless, I wonder?

  • Dbacks

    Very interesting talk about Tukonen & all, but more importantly when do they start training at the Toyota Sports Center? Should be next month maybe? Then we’ll have plenty to talk about.

  • yesitscal

    plus-minus doesn’t really give an accurate picture because if you’re on the ice and do your job well, you’ll get penalized for someone else who may have blown their coverage.

  • cristobal

    I can give you guys (duckhunter, quisp, J, NYkingsfan) all credit for being correct in many of the things you say; kopitar is a great player, and he and frolov are especially good at entering the zone under control. Kopitar is in only the beginning of his 3rd season and, yes, hopefully the rest of the team will be built around him and dump and chase will become an occassional tool. But I HAVE told you that I believe Tukonen’s 1 point every other game is good enough to warrant keeping him and going forward with giving him a chance to find a place on the team with other decent players.

    J – I have never seen him play in Manchester. Have you? I fail to see how 6 point in 35 games the year prior to being drafted shows him to be a scoring winger. There is a good description of him at the stars prospects page, maybe you’ve seen it as it was probably on the kings prospects page at one time. I do agree that sometimes a player is moved up in rankings because he impressed scouts with one performance or a good prospects game, but think Tukonen was drafted high because he showed skill and the ability to play with the men when he was just 14-15 years old. He has the talent to score goals when the opportunity comes, but is not described as a player that goes from the blue line to the net and scores goals for a living.

    NYKINGSFAN – I’ve stated twice now that I believe 1 point every other game is right where this guy should be; and, i believe plus/minus is a telling statistic. Minus – 9 in 4 playoff games for moulsen and purcell tells me they leave the rest of the team wide open for counterattack. I think you are right that taken over a short series of games like a playoff series, these numbers can appear skewed. Modry was not the Kings problem and I don’t feel he should be mocked or jeered. Even though I don’t believe in Z and G, i don’t want to disrespect them. I think the Kings fans that do this to players on their team should shut it. Also, I’ve brought up his linemates from that year because they have done nothing monumental, but are being brought along and worked into the teams they play for.

    Hey guys, I like debating this stuff. I don’t know why people come on and complain, its not like we’re taking up a terminable amount of space. Anyway, talk to you all later, and if you want me to shut up, just don’t reply. Otherwise….on to the next point…..

  • Bruce McNall

    In case you missed it, here’s an interesting article by Larry Brooks of the NY Post yesterday on AEG’s shady deals, disinterested ownership and possible NHL sanctions:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/08032008/sports/sportsshorts/switches_brew_122765.htm?page=0

  • -J

    Cristobal-

    I’ve only seen him play a couple of times for Manchester- they were in a different conference than the team where i was living before (back east) so only came to town occasionally. As i said before, i liked him but i’ve got no problem with this move, for the kings or him.

    I agree his pre-draft numbers could leave you scracthing your head as to how he could be touted as a scoring winger, but then again, euro leagues are lower scoring. In case you’re interested, i dug up some old scouting reports online from that draft (http://www.redlinereport.com/redlinereport_jun2004DG.html ; http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/7000/international_scouting_services_top15_for_june2004/).
    Power forwards historically have taken longer to develop/reach their potential, but i can see why the kings had felt they no longer needed him in their pipeline.

    also check out this HF post-draft review (http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/7086/kings2004_draft_review/), the part about how he was played on the fourth line and didn’t get to show his O skills even when he was back in Finland. So that leads to this ?- if he’s only really showed significant offensive flair in one WJC tourney, and isn’t all that spectacular defensively, what exactly would we be waiting for him to develop into?

    It’s fun debating this with you; I certainly don’t always agree with you, but i can tell you’ve got substance to back up your opinions, unlike many other posters who just come here to spout off like jacka$$es on their far-fetched assumptions. And i agree, if other’s don’t like the discussion, don’t read the comments. No one’s forcing you to.

  • JDM

    Good article Bruce,

    I don’t know much about business or by-laws or whatever, but perhaps AEG trying to sell a minority share is in some way a defensive preventative posture move in the case that Bettman does come crashing down on them. I wouldn’t mind them being forced to sell… so long as the Kings stay here. I don’t think one fan would be sad to AEG go.

  • nykingfan

    cristobal
    I know you’ve stated multiple times that you feel 40 pts over an 80 game AHL schedule is right where a former 1st round pick should be….based on your calculations..how many points would he average over a full NHL season? Now factor in that he plays no defense, and doesn’t work all that hard whether its during the games or practice. I don’t think it would look all that appealing.

    I’m not dissing Modry..in fact I like the guy and what he brought to the team in terms of leadership…his mentoring of JJ etc..It was an odd site to see that he was the only one for a long while that wasn’t a minus.

    But I have to disagree with you guys. +/- is a meaningless stat. There are some goals that are caused by the breakdown of a unit of 5…SOMETIMES
    There are also times when its because the goalie completely blows the play. Everyone may have been in position but they all get blessed with a -. Sometimes it’s one guy who blows his defensive assignment causing a goal. The other 4 still get blessed with a -.
    You can be skating off the ice at the end of a shift and a goal goes in. Maybe a 75 foot shot that beats your goalie.
    Teams that finish near the bottom of the standings generally have poor +/- figures.
    Take a look at Preissing. He had an incredible +/- number in Ottawa. Anyone here see that type of play from him last year? Did he lose it all in one year, or is it because when you play on a team that doesn’t play well in its own end and doesn’t have a goalie to make the big save to bail you out, they’re ALL getting blessed?

  • cristobal

    J – those are some great sites you found. Its funny, but I choose, i guess, to go with the 1st evaluation that projects him as a “Potentially dominant 2-way power winger.” I’ve constantly brought up Pahlsson and think he’s a perfect comparison. If you can get these guys together with the same types of linemates, you have players that can get control of the puck, force the other team to chase in their own end, and take the goal with their skill level when its presented. Pahlsson’s numbers are nothing special, but I know the guy can capitalize on an opportunity because he has a great shot, good instincts, and enough physical presence to make it happen. I would be happy if he had been able to turn into a Pahlsson with the potential of being Fredrick Modin. As I said, though, I’ve never seen him play and I realize there are first round busts all the time. Really, I don’t think the Kings can afford to have a player move on to potentially fit in with another club, especially right now.

    NYKINGSFAN – You’ve seen Tukonen and I haven’t so I don’t know what was going on. I just hate to send a guy away when there is potential unrealized. There are plenty of busts: Bonsignor, Brendl, Svitov. It will really p*ss me off if Tukonen surfaces with another team that knows how to use him. I’ve been very critical of Lombardi and think he has stripped too much from the team too quickly. I’m tired of seeing Lilja, Sydor, Blake, Kaberle, Rheinprecht, and others go on and do really well in their careers despite not working with the Kings. I’ve often supported Dave Taylor, but have to admit, he made some bad moves. Why trade Huet for Garon? (Not to mention he threw in Bonk and a draft pick) But getting back to this, as I’ve said, I just don’t see the need to trade him. If he never develops, nobody will remember. But if he turns it around, the Kings will once again have egg on their faces. Remember this too, the guy sounds like he’s been through some injuries that would set anybody back (shoulder surgery) and if he was able to put up a point every other game, he may have been better once completely healthy again.

    Cheers guys, love the debate and the angles we consider with all of this.

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