Assistant coaches announced

Mark Hardy will rejoin the Kings as an assistant coach, the team announced today. He will join Jamie Kompon, who has been promoted to assistant coach, and Nelson Emerson, who has been promoted to assistant coach/development coordinator under new coach Terry Murray. Hardy, formerly an assistant coach under Andy Murray, spent the past two years as an assistant coach in Chicago. I heard that he had been in discussions to be an AHL coach, but Hardy’s affinity for Southern California is well known. These new coaches will replace Mike Johnston and Dave Lewis, who have been let go. Johnston has been offered a job within the organization. Bill Ranford will remain as goaltending coach.

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  • anthony

    This GM has got to be the most clueless #3$#$#%*@ in the history of the NHL.
    Not too long ago, didn’t he just interview Mike Johnston for the head coaching position. And now he fires him. Why the sudden 180.
    Not too long ago didn’t he just hire Dave Lewis as an assistant coach because of his ability to communicate with the youngsters. And now he’s fired, after only one season.

    I assume that those 2 individuals will have to paid their contracts along with Marc Crawford, Cloutier and McCauley.
    WHAT A MONEY PIT.

    90% of what this terrible GM has done has either gone wrong or no longer on the team.
    He’s just God awful.

    And one final thing – if Terry Murray is the next coming of Scotty Bowman or Al Arbour, then why didn’t DL hire him instead of Marc Crawford 2 years ago. If I can remember, Murry was still the Ass. coach in Philly.

    All you DUMBO worshipers – don’t forget to come to his rescue. And continue to kiss the ground he walks on.

  • me

    what does nelson emmerson bring to the bench? what did he even bring to the ice in his time with the kings? i just don’t get how this guy stays around.

  • anthony

    So Mike Johnston wasn’t fired, he was still excused from coaching after DL had high hopes of him being head coach.
    What about poor Dave Lewis.

  • KingFan4ever

    I really thought TM would decide to keep MJ for the sake of continuity but I guess Kompon fits that bill? I really got the impression that Dave Lewis is more of a follower than an innovator so I’m not surprised he’s gone.

    Mark Hardy has more than proven he is a legitimate NHL coach, but I am surprised that he is brought back after already serving under the other Murray. It’s good in a legacy stance but it also feels like another re-threading move that we’ve come to know from the Kings and their history.

    Not sure how all of this will work out….

  • vq

    What DL did for Mike Johnston was a courtesy. Nothing more.

    Besides, isn’t that why you interview people? To find out if they’re who you want coaching your team or not?

    What makes you think Terry Murray, the guy he DID hire, didnt want Dave Lewis or Johnston around?

    Who is to say Johnston didnt have some serious sour grapes?

    After the job Hardy has done in Chicago with those kids and having an inexperienced lunatic like Denis Savard as your boss, this move should be welcomed with open arms.

  • Disable comments

    Come on Rich, do the internet a favor and disable comments from your blog. Anthony makes everything sound so depressing.

  • Quisp

    I’m sure Terry Murray has some input into who his assistant coaches are. Just because Johnston was interviewed for the coaching job doesn’t mean that he should be kept on as an assistant to the guy who eventually got the job. For all I know, Johnston has no interest in doing that. I personally have no idea what the internal politics are/were between DL, Crawford, Terry Murray and the assistant coaches, and unless you have some special insight into this, it seems silly (though not surprising) to use this as ammo against DL.

    It is 68 days, 5 hours, 36 minutes and 23 seconds until Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 7:00:00 PM (Los Angeles time)

  • http://vanitydesignstudios.com/ ianmonsta

    Anthony you must be the most clueless #3$#$#%*@ in the history of Kings fans & hockey.

    Are you not aware of the fact that almost every coach will bring in their own staff of coaches who they feel fit their style when they are hired?

    A change to the rest of coaching staff was almost certain to happen and it has very little to with DL. But since DL was so high on MJ that is why he was offered another position in the organization.

    Get your damn head out of your ass and stop trying to find a way to blame DL for every little thing.

    Oh and do us a favor and let us all know your last name so we can make sure to never hire you as a lawter if we are in legal trouble.

  • Freddie

    Am I the only one who thinks that Hardy will be the next Head Coach after Murray is let go in 2 years?

  • Disappointed

    So Mark Hardy has an affinity for Southern California…Hmmm…I guess the GM accepts that as a reason to want to coach here but not to play here. Hardy is a retread who couldn’t control Avery and lost respect for it, now it’s time for round two. I get the feeling Murray was given this group. Maybe it’s even in his contract.

    Is this the best we could do considering all the people available/qualified for these positions? Are the Kings living in a vaccuum? As Staples Center Turns will return after these short messages from our sponsors.

  • Some fan

    Why would Hardy want to leave the Blackhawks?

  • andre norway

    I dont think Anthony can find his own ass even if he had his head out of it. Let him bash DL as much as he wants, I think everybody on this blog just laugh of his comments. It is naturally that the new coach got to say what people he want as an assistant coach and I think that Murray has sat down with the coaching staff and talk to them. That is what he said he will be doing first. Why they brought Hardy back I dont know but I have talked to him a couple of times and he is a class act. And every one knows that Avery can tick off a stone:-))

    go kings go

  • Goon Squad

    It’s not surprising at all that Crawford’s bench coaches would be let go in favor of Murray’s own choices.

    Kompon and Emerson are Lombardi’s guys. It was made known that they were staying in the organization months ago.
    The whole Lewis thing was perplexing.
    As for Johnston, it’s a real stretch to think that he would have been a better choice than TM just because he’s “young and fresh” and I challenge anyone to back up that opinion with facts.

    The surprise – and I would say a real coup for the guy – is that Kompon impressed Terry Murray enough in the past few weeks to get a spot behind the bench. I’d say good for him.

    Oh, and Mr. Disappointed, you are a little off on your facts. Hardy didn’t lose respect for not controlling Sean Avery. In fact, he was the only one who stood up to Avery, kicking him off the ice during practice. This led to Sean’s departure from the team. That actually gained Hardy a lot of respect. Andy Murray was the one who bore the responsibility of not controlling Avery.

    Also, Hardy’s affinity for SoCal was not given as a reason for his hire. It was simply Rich’s explanation as to why he might have forgone a head coaching gig in the AHL.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it seems very strange to believe that a new head coach will not hire some new assistants. And it is also strange to conclude last year’s coaching staff (which would include assistants) did well objectively when the Kings finished 2nd to last in the league. Sure they had some excuses–I think the roadtrip to Europe at the start of the season really, really hurt us–but well 2nd to last is 2nd to last and someone had to go. Surely, the new coach has a right to pick his own folks and he should exercise that discretion to put people he wants in place where he wants them.

    The coaching moves seems reasoned, as he kept most of the staff, they know the players better than him, and the players would be the only ones to know if they agreed or disagreed with the decisions(and if they are smart, they will not say). So I hv to disagree with Anthony and the other DL bashers on this one. Reasonable moves made in a reasoned way and you cannot ask for more than that

    FYI, based on the rant level, DL hate bias,conclusions drawn contrary to the facts available, strange “logic” leaps, and tons of free time to write the posts, 90% chance Anthony is a judge.

    Anthony buddy keep writing as obviously you lv the Kings and Hockey; its fun to read people disagree with you: I’ve even agreed with you once or twice myself.

  • yesitscal

    A coach is only as good as his players. Scotty Bowman or Toe Blake couldn’t have gotten last year’s team into the playoffs. A new coach has the right to bring in and retain the people from a previous regime who he wants. Maybe it’ll be “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”, but at least it gives us something to bitch about…

  • JDM

    Why aren’t people happier about Hardy?

    I was upset that he left in the firstplace. Hardy rules and did this team a lot of good under sour puss Andy Murray. Yay for Hardy! He was second best for me only to Tippet.

    I’ve always liked Nelly, and will be glad to see him behind the bench. He ended his career here and seems to have a soft spot for the Kings. To me, Nelly is and always has been a student of the game, something I think will translate well to assistant coaching.

    Lewis I didn’t care for, and losing Johnston is a bit of a burn, but as some have pointed out, who knows what happened. He may not have wanted to return to assistant coaching, maybe his interviews went poorly, maybe Terry Murray and him clash. It will be interesting to see where he lands… maybe the Islanders will give him an interview and put Crawford on hold.

    Either way, I think we should only bash things for being a retread when they didn’t work out well in the first place. Such in not the case with Mark Hardy. Losing him in the first place was the mistake, very glad he’s back.

  • nykingfan

    Anthony think about it for a minute..you’re crucifying DL over assistant coaches from a previous coaching regime with a last place team, not all being retained. Oh boy!!!

    Unless we all go to the practices and watch what the assistants do during the practice..we are in no way qualified to decide whether they are good or not. I don’t see too much coming from the assistants during a game. The emphasis is on the head coach. Their job is mostly during practice..something most of us are not privy to.

  • Anonymous

    ANTHONY is obviously not a guy for change…especially if it’s for the better….and especially if it’s for someone else. Mark Hardy is a HUGE addition to the young players….I know for a fact Kane and (Teows) are not happy about him leaving because they are not loving Savard.

  • http://yahoo.com George

    Most coaches are allowed to hire their own staff. It appears that Murray ceded this privilege to Brave Sir Deano. Let’s see…

    Hardy: Still has a house locally, accepted hometown discount.

    Kompon/Emerson: Already on staff, accepted nominal raises for promotions.

    Sounds like the cheapest possible alternatives all around. Typical AEG.

    As Larry Brooks said, “(AEG) could not care less about putting a winning product on the ice, instead it’s consumed with manufacturing a scheme that will place an NHL team in AEG’s arena in Kansas City.”

    BTW, thank you anthony. I enjoy your posts and obvious passion for the Kings, as well as your refusal to cheerlead for AEG.

  • JDM

    Last I checked thinking Hardy is a good assistant isn’t cheerleading for AEG. No one here likes AEG, period.

  • cristobal

    I don’t completely concur with Anthony that these moves are DL related directly, but you have to look at what is going on and again see the blunder of Lombardi’s ways. Why did he bring in Lewis in the first place??? Was he eager to work under Crawford after being dismissed by the Wings???? It just shows, I believe, that this guy uses the shotgun theory of management. Unless you really know a guy and believe in him, don’t bring him in. That goes for players, coaches, and trainers. None of us are GM’s and cannot claim to be more qualified for the job, but it doesn’t mean we cannot see mistakes and the apparent “fishing” this guy is doing. We are all hoping to see the Kings do well in the future, but with a poor track record all we have to go on is blind faith now. Anthony gets bashed, as I do sometimes, but do any of you really not understand why? He thinks this team is in the hands of someone that is asleep at the wheel. If Bernier and Teubert fail to fulfill their potential, this team could be in for years of failure, or worse, a move. This issue is only a portion of the disaster.

    Disable comments: why don’t you take your own advice?

    Goonsquad – I disagree about Murray being responsible for Avery. I think the only one responsible for Sean Avery’s immature behavior is Sean Avery.

  • unfiltered

    cristobal – Lewis was fired his head coaching job with the Bruins before joining the Kings.

  • cristobal

    unfiltered – i completely forgot about Boston, i’m sure Lewis want to as well. Maybe i’m too harsh on him though, too. I’m sure he wasn’t respected in Detroit for nothing.

  • DellaNooch

    Cristo – I’ve disagreed with everything you’ve said this point but I do agree with the obvious risks this team faces if this young talent doesn’t work out. With that said, what clear alternative, tried and true, are we ignoring here. Anthony just bashes DL, he has no clear alternative and even when his ideas match DL’s actions (getting rid of cammy, lubo, & blake) do happen, he finds some way to still find the negative. He has no crediblity what so ever and why would you want to follow someone with no creditibly…and don’t even go there with DL’s creditibly, because you’re just plain wrong if you do….so let’s make this fair, you bash DL’s moves constantly, let’s have you be the GM, what would you do? Don’t go cheap on us Critobal and give us some lame answer.

    As for the coaching moves, it was a forgone conclusion about MJ & Lewis, it happens almost every time.

  • cristobal

    della noooooch – I haven’t been on here too long so i don’t really know anthony and his posts. I just see someone who is frustrated with what Lombardi has done. Maybe I’m wrong and he’s a perpetual malcontent that just wants to post his madness. But I feel a frustration similar to his because i’ve seen Lombardi tear a team to peices. Whether he can rebuild it better than its ever been, i don’t know. But I have my doubts. I see too many mistakes already and feel Lieweike should cut losses now, or rather, after he fired Crawford. I feel they should have brought in someone who is driven to win and not willing to send the team back to the stone age in terms of their preparedness to take the ice. I do not doubt Lombardi’s credibility in any way, though I say he lied. As a man i have no doubt that he’s a great individual and a stand up guy. I feel he’s gotten himself into something he doesn’t understand, and that’s not a knock on him. Because if he did understand AEG, i’d be worried. I still question the mental stability of someone who builds an arena out in the middle of nowhere without a tenant. He’s bought that debacle in London called the O2 arena???? Why????? Where is the sport in that???? He’s a billionaire 17 times and he’s interested in managing arena’s???? I doubt Mike Illych bought the Redwings so he could spend the rest of his life managing a marketing campaign.

    I don’t know these people and I really don’t like to talk about people I don’t know. But what is going on in the NHL and on this team are scary. In my view the ‘lost season’ has tainted the league. I feel that the KHL is a major threat to the NHL and that the future of sports is perched between the exibition type league we have here where the owners of the teams essentially own the sport; and the system the rest of the world generally operates by with stratified divisions, promotion and relegation, interleague club competition, free-market club business without salary caps and drafts, and a powerful governing body that dictates to the leagues involved in the games best interest.

    War and Peace, that one.

  • kingskicka$$

    cristobal said: I haven’t been on here too long so i don’t really know anthony and his posts.

    Let me shed some light on this one for ya cristobal. Anthony is a guy who suffers from a severe case of “HEY!!! LOOK AT ME!!!” syndrome. For example… even though 98% of the time he has nothing productive/important/relative/fun/exciting to say, he posts his meaningless dribble anyways just so we can all “hear his voice.” In addition, he has the marvelous talent of contradicting himself without any sense of wrong doing… If there’s one type of person in this world that just drives me nuts, it’s those that insist on being the center of attention…like our “friend” Anthony.

    I appreciate that Anthony is a Kings fan (at least I think he is…), but his level of typical Kings frustration has turned into irrational words and behavior. And, the fact that he is a lawyer that shares a $27,000 suite each season (a fact that he has mentioned more than once….HEY!!! LOOK AT ME!!!) doesn’t justify this behavior for me.

    I hope this helps.

    I have a feeling that this post will be deleted by Rich (I’m assuming because Anthony will see it and might be offended and who needs to deal with that…) But in all honesty, with that train of thought, I feel that most of Anthony’s post should be deleted just because there is usually nothing constructive to say…just bashing of Kings players and management. Just because DL doesn’t read Anthony’s posts and therefore can’t be offended by them, I personally don’t think that warrants their staying power. They offend me.

  • JDM

    I share your concerns about the KHL cristobal. Allow me to spin off your tangent even further…

    Maybe some healthy competition is just what the NHL needs. Bettman is not doing a very good job, and hopefully the KHL will force push to come to shove and Bettman’s job will finally be on the line, forcing him to either do something good for the sport or get out of the way for someone who can. I can’t really say I have the solution, but the NHL certainly could use an upgrade in marketing and PR. Also, if any team is going to move, perhaps this time they could move to a city with a penchant for hockey… you know, not florida or tampa or pheonix or nashville or columbus. Michigan could use another team, or another great lake state. At least they know what the sport is over there.

    It is a shame to lose good players like Radulov overseas. The talent pool is already pretty thin. Although it’s nice to see that there’s a place for aging players who still have gas in the tank but have been demoted over and over again in the NHL (Stumpel and such). If the KHL starts to sign promising North American players then I’ll really worry. Jagr going over there isn’t very surprising, but could you imagine if a guy like Eric Johnson or Jonathan Toews said screw the NHL? That will be a dark day, hopefully one Bettman and the owners can prevent.

    Alas, Bettman can’t even keep track of his cohorts and boardmembers, let alone 30 teams in 30 markets and the respective fans and their desires and hope and for the league.

    It’s such a shame that hockey isn’t more popular country wide. I wish the Canadian dollar didn’t have such an impact over here, or that a big city team like New York didn’t need to be in the finals for anyone to care about the series. This really is perhaps the most dynamic, exciting, enthralling, powerful sport full of finesse and grit, toughness and talent. It’s hard to find where the schism is, maybe its just the skates. People always say that the rules are confusing to most people and that it doesn’t translate on tv well. Well, I’ve been trying to figure whats going on in football for 20 years and I still don’t get it, or care. Watching football on tv is like watching a talk show, baseball might as well be chess, basketball rules and fouls are convoluted and hard to spot, so what’s really holding hockey back?

    I really think the lack of a good tv deal is one of the sorest spots for the NHL. So much revenue is derived from commercial advertisement, and most people still don’t even know that Versus exists. Like I said, I don’t know what the solution is. I know I’m being harsh on other sports, but only to illustrate the point that the excuses for hockey not being as popular in the states fall more in to the category of scapegoats than unsolvable problems. I think if the game were marketed better, and the telecasts were given more zip and pep like they do in every football and basketball game (eg: HOLY COW LOOK AT THAT DOG PILE, HERE IT IS IN SLOW-MO, 360 DEGREES VIRTUAL CAMERA, LET’S ZOOM IN AND LISTEN TO THE REF WHO HAS A MICROPHONE LOUDER THAN GOD HIMSELF), it would do a lot for our beloved sport.

    I may have drifted off topic a bit, but we are all die hard hockey fans here, from all over the world. What do you think is responsible for the lack of overall interest for a sport that gives you the precision, finesse and statistics of baseball, the fast pace and razzle dazzle of basketball and the crushing brutality and scheming of football in a country where all of those sports are adored by your average joe several times over hockey?

    How can hockey be made to fit into popular culture? What is holding this great sport back? Let’s go beyond the Kings for a minute. The situation in L.A. in this regard is simply a microcosm of the state of the sport countrywide.

    I mean come on, I still meet denizens and citizens of L.A. who have never heard of the Kings. “Don’t you mean the Sacramento Kings?”

    Grrrr…….

  • yesitscal

    Hey, everybody has a right to their opinion, and if people enjoy getting flamed for theirs then so be it. Anthony, why don’t you do Cristobal a favor and hire him as your attorney service?

  • wavesinair

    Kingskickbutt,

    You summed up the “a” problem nicely. Very well said about his M.O.

    However, his posts should not be censored. Period. Check yourself. Just because they offend you or are not constructive (in your opinion) is no reason whatsoever to censor someone. Rich can do whatever he wants, it’s his (the daily news) blog, but it would be disgraceful for a reporter and/or newspaper to limit what amounts to free speech.

    JDM,

    I may have drifted off topic a bit. From assistant coaches to how hockey fits into our culture. Just a bit! Ok, so lets go further

    What do you think is responsible for the lack of overall interest for a sport?

    Yes its true, the NHL is not even the fourth sport here, its like the seventh or eighth behind nascar, golf, and college football and basketball. Even xgame sports have better programming than the NHL.

    Many people in the US like other sports more than hockey. Its been that way since the beginning of pro sports. Why? For one thing, we grew up playing organized football, basketball and baseball, not hockey. Remember high school and college? Its engrained in us just like hockey is in Canada. Why? Because Canada is mostly frozen and were mostly not. Kids go outside up there and see frozen ponds. Are they going to play basketball on them? No, they play hockey. Today, right now, young kids all across our city and the country are playing outside in the summer. What are they playing? Hockey? No. Theyre throwing a ball on a field, theyre skateboarding or riding their bike or surfing or a million other things.

    How can hockey be made to fit into popular culture?

    You cant. Its not about fitting hockey in to our culture; its the other way around. Hockey beliefs and attitudes are at odds with whats happening in this culture. Global media, constant information, short attention spans, buy more stuff, feed the economy and on and on and on. Its contrary to what hockey is IMO. Other sports take advantage of this phenomenon, but not hockey. Its not as flashy.

    Since the media age began about 10 years ago, I think that accounts for some of the decline in NHL popularity. I share your sentiments about hockey here in the US, and I hear your frustrations, but ultimately youre just feeling sorry for yourself (and the NHL). Be grateful! Hockey and the NHL have lots of fans. Be patient. The tide will swing back; maybe not as far as you want it to, but it will. Yes, the NHL can be better at marketing and the like, but it will never be what it is in Canada. That ship sailed long ago. But thats ok. Hockey has a good foothold here too. It’s not like we’re the MLS.

  • kingskicka$$

    @ wavesinair:

    Point taken. The only reason that I mention the deletion thing is because I’ve had a few of my responses to the Anthony fiasco mysteriously deleted in the past (nothing that was offensive…IMO). I agree with you, censor no one…or if that’s not possible, censor everyone.

    Rich is the man, and I agree with you that he can do whatever he wants…that’s why I’ve never complained when my posts get deleted.

  • cristobal

    Kingskick – point taken in regards to anthony. I’ll enjoy figuring him out the longer i’m on here. I doubt rich has a problem with someone making waves as long as its just not long profanity-laden attacks at others that post.

    JDM – I love the subject of the KHL. I am looking forward to it as a challenge to the NHL. But, I don’t know whether the NHL can deal with it. They’ve taken something that was booming in the early 90′s and absolutely screwed it up. Whether clubs turn profits off their arena deals is one thing, but the real money is in global television access. I don’t know whether a swede, fin, or belorussian can catch an nhl game on television, but they should be. People forget that in the 80′s hockey was on-again-off-again on espn. I actually owe my interest in hockey to espn and the stanley cup finals in the early 80′s (islanders) and the 87-88 playoffs (highlighted by the cinderella team New Jersey, kirk muller, john mclean, sean burke).

    JDM, i understand that you are not in to other sports too much, but i’m going to let you know when you need to tune in to an English Premier League game. If you watch an entire game and still don’t like it, maybe its not for you. But Football at that level is much like hockey and you can start to see the tactics and skill that are inherent in the game. Also, if you do take an interest (here’s the important part) you will come to realize that in the United States we are ignorant about what is going on in sports outside of North America. You will understand promotion and relegation, why every game is like a playoff game. You will see the most popular sport in the world operate without salary caps, drafts, and trades. It is an eye opener to a lifelong sports fan (me) to see what is going on. AEG is trying to sell north america on a sports league (MLS) that in no way resembles what is going on in the rest of the world. He’s provided the money to get it started, but is blind when it comes to the fact that his league is crap, the system is an abberration in the world of football, and that he’s trying to MARKET it into success rather than follow the existing models of what works. I don’t see why hockey should be confined to “franchise” rights and a frankly “communist” style of operation. If you like to read, check out a book called “the miracle of castel del sangro” by Joe McGinniss. Its about a small italian football team from a desolate and underpopulated area that goes from the beer-league level to the 2nd division of Italian football. This is completely impossible in the North American sports world and I don’t understand why.

    I believe hockey is too expensive for kids to play in areas where there is not free ice. Just a stick can cost 200 dollars these days. Games like basketball, football, soccer take only a ball and some room, whereas hockey takes travel to ice-rinks, costly equipment, late-night or early morning access. It’s just too difficult to get into, really. But the primary knock against its popularity, in my opinion, is that its boring. I have seriously curtailed my hockey viewing since discovering world Football in 2006. The lockout really showed me that this game is being destroyed by a league office controlled by clueless owners. I don’t think AEG cares at all about the quality of the game, they just want profitability. They have not a clue that they’ve alienated an existing fan base to some extent, thinking they can generate new fans. They’re wrong. People want a proper product on the ice. Go check out the prices for EPL (english premier league) games. They dwarf costs for NHL games. Old Trafford where Manchester United plays holds something like 50-70 thousand people, yet it’s impossible to get into a top match against a team like chelsea, liverpool, or arsenal. For the European Club Championship game that was held in Moscow I heard of 10,000 dollar tickets. People will pay for quality competition. The NHL regular season is a joke now. I don’t want to go for free. Look at what AEG thinks about pricing at MLS and it just makes no sense. They should be begging people to attend rather than charging even 25 dollars. MLS i can’t really even get into for free because its nothing like the quality of real football at the top level.

  • JDM

    wavesinair said:

    “It’s not like we’re the MLS.”

    =).

    You’re definately right about the main thing being that in the U.S. people don’t grow up playing hockey. My high school had a hockey team… and only the people on it even knew it existed. Pardon my late night ramblings, and I am very grateful, especially since hockey is about the only sport I follow with any fervor. As you know, July and August are pretty brutal months for us hockey fans; the near equivalent of sensory deprivation torture.

    I like your point about the grains of hockey being in opposition to media culture. While I definately think it can be improved, I think your right about that… though with so many wife beaters skating around on the ice, it’s a shock TMZ hasn’t caught on yet (joke directed at select players from the past, not all hockey players – overall I think hockey players are some of the least flashy, most dedicated athletes in professional team sports). I never expect hockey to reach the popularity of the big guns, all I guess I really want is ESPN back…

    Most of this frustration comes from Bettman. As you said, kids in Canada grow up playing hockey in their back yards, because, well, there’s ice ‘n sh*t, and most all of what we have here is grimy asphalt. But kids do grow up playing hockey in many parts of America… just not in many of the places he has decided to put teams. Hell, I bet people in Washington state care more than in Nashville, why no team there? There are pleanty of metropolitan cities in the US, I just scratch my head at some of the locations of teams. I’m sure the same can be said for Los Angeles, but with this city, so many people are transplanted from all over I think the comparison is negligable. Hell, give Canada another team or two if it will help the league.

    I appreciate your positive attitude though and share the sentiment that the tide will swing back at some point… when Bettman’s gone =).

    Cristobal,

    You seem to have a strong working knowledge of the game both here and overseas. Anything to contribute?

  • JDM

    Scratch the last part ;) .

  • cristobal

    I hope the KHL adopts new rules soon to make Hockey more like european football in structure. I would love to see them eclipse the NHL unless the NHL realizes that they’ve changed for the worse. I believe Bettman is attempting to make the game better, but hasn’t got a clue. Maybe he’s too insulated in his knowledge and has no idea what the NHL could possibly be like.

    I would love to see NHL really take the initiative and embrace the future of sports. The old model has failed. The NHL has lost ground to auto racing, mma, college sports, and even the x-games. People don’t respond to sports marketing, rather sports fans respond to great competition.

    The NHL needs to embrace international club competition. – Go look up the Stanley Cup on wiki and you’ll discover that it is a challenge cup and that legally the KHL is entitled to sue for the right to play for it. It would be better to instigate this change now rather than go through the embarrassment of losing in courts. And isn’t what’s best for the game, best for the NHL? How would it hurt the NHL for the game to expand its fanbase?

    The NHL needs to adopt the worlds model for sports leagues and embrace promotion and relegation. In order to do this they need to stop trying to control everything. Let these be clubs instead of franchises and allow anyone that is willing to build a team access to the highest level of the game. In the EPL and other football leagues there is no denying that even the teams at the bottom produce some of the most exciting competition on the last day of the season as teams try to avoid relegation and stay in the league. Just incredible drama. Compared to a regular season hockey game, there is no comparison. Imagine if every NHL regular season game were like a playoff game?

    The Draft also needs to go the way of the Dodo. Teams should be able to sign whomever they want if they’re not under contract. Look up Lionel Messi, he plays for one of the top football teams in the world, barcelona, and they’ve been contracted to him since he was 11 years old. They actually helped him deal with a severe health issue by signing him and making him a part of the club as he had a growth hormone deficiency. If there is one person in the world who puts his club first, its him. He owes them everything, and he’s not even spanish.

    There should be no salary caps, and there should be a governing body for hockey similar to FIFA. At the moment, the NHL owns Hockey. The league office is owned by the owners. This is a conflict of interest as they are going to do what its best for them, not the Game.

    Dellanooch, forget GM of the Kings, make me the Commish……

  • nykingfan

    there’s no way you can take the NHL internationally and expand the U.S fan base. People in this country have no interest in anything going on in sports that doesn’t directly relate to their own. I’m not saying it’s right, but just the way it is. Example is Nascar vs Indy racing. Nascar has taken off, while indy racing gets very little publicity in this country…except for Danica Patrick..for obvious reasons.
    Soccer will never be a major sport in this country. While it’s played by many young kids, it has never and will never take off as a major sport. Beckham comes over from England….for the most part in this country, its Who cares?
    You can’t sell the sport to the US television networks when games being played overseas do not fit into the Prime time hours. What time would a game be on in LA if its LA vs Sweden? Who’s up to watch that? ok I would here in NY. Nobody in this country will be watching Sweden vs Germany. If yo can’r sell the overseas teams to the fan base in this country, you have no league.

    Bettman and his stooges give a crap only about the bottom line. He could care less about the game as long as his cronies are making money. He comes from the world of David Stern and the NBA. David Stern in real life is PT Barnum. The NBA is a joke and has been since the loss of Michael Jordan. they’ve tried to sell Kobie, Lebron, etc as the next Jordan…it won’t work. Same with Hockey. There will never be another Gretzky, so don’t bother trying to sell it.

    If you did away with the draft and the salary cap..teams like the Kings will never compete because they won’t spend the $$ to compete. The league will be severely divided into the haves/have nots.

  • cristobal

    txkingsfan – all due respect but you have no vision. I’ll remind everyone that 40 years ago the top 3 sports were Baseball, Boxing, and horse racing…..all in that order. Also, you fail to understand what i’m saying about MLS. MLS is nothing like football in the rest of the world. It has a salary cap, it has a draft, it is franchise oriented instead of club oriented (meaning no promotion/relegation). AEG has gotten it all wrong and there are hundreds of thousands of people in north america watching world football. There are 3 channels that carry football from around the world. Why would anyone watch MLS when there is English, Italian, Spanish, Argentine, Scottish, and even Mexican leagues that are real leagues; not just marketing campaigns. Beckham is the equivalent of the Winter Classic. He’s just a marketing effort. The MLS can’t hide its ineptitude from real football fans.

    If the Kings couldn’t compete in ‘my’ NHL, then they’d get relegated and play in the 2nd or 3rd division. Although, what many people dont realize is that despite being the most popular and lucrative sport in the world, football salaries are nowhere near the salaries of baseball or basketball. It actually works to keep salaries under control when there are no drafts or caps. The promotion/relegation aspect keeps teams from overspending on contracts with the players. Transfer fees are enormous (carlos tevez, manchester united, 64 million dollars), but that’s for the right to contract with the player, and it may seem wasteful, but the team that sold him makes huge profits. It would be like the Kings selling their rights to Kopitar for 50 million. Hell, Tevez’s transfer fee is actually MORE than the NHL team salary cap.

    I don’t see how a Detroit Redwings vs. CSKA Moscow game would not be a huge draw on television. I can assure you, if it was at 2 in the morning the least I would do is tivo the thing and watch it when I had time. One of the best things about being a football fan in LA is that I can tivo the Champions League Final on wednesday at 1130 am, and get home without hearing a whisper about the result of the game. Besides, you have all of europe able to tune into the international club competition and i doubt the NHL would be opposed to more and more people in sweden, finland, russia, poland, wherever buying and wearing redwings jerseys or penguins jerseys, or even kings jerseys.

  • Duckhunter

    Quisp, How much longer? This business/political stuff is to much for me. I need a hockey game.

    Do the Kings hold open tryouts? Thought maybe I go in there, rough it up a little and then go home, just to get my fix.

  • Quisp

    Duckhunter:

    It is 66 days, 22 hours, 47 minutes and 49 seconds until Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 7:00:00 PM (Los Angeles time)

  • nykingfan

    There is no chance that your concept will ever fly on this side of the ocean.

    When MLB plays games in Japan to start the season…the draw is big in Japan, but here in the states, nobody was getting up to watch it. I’m a Yankee fan and they played in Japan a couple of years ago to open the season. I wasn’t getting up at 5:00 am to watch the games and not many friends of mine did either.

    The NHL knows that the advertising dollar is coming from the US, not Europe. If you can’t sell it to the American audience you are cutting your revenue to nothing.

  • cristobal

    nykingsfan – you really are stuck in the past, like and most hockey fans. No disrespect, but think about it for a minute. Is Japan signing Ken Griffey type players? Or, even some of the lesser names in MLB?

    The US dollar, in case you hadn’t noticed, is going down the toilet; and even the people willing to pay to go to games is decreasing. Television contracts are where the money comes from. Learn a little about what is going on in the world. Moscow is full of billionaires, not just millionaires. Japan is one country interested in america’s pasttime. Europe is nuts about hockey and 1/2 of the NHL is European, can that be said about Japan and baseball? Baseball is a poor choice as a comparison. I don’t follow Cricket or Rugby, but those are much more popular sports in the world than Baseball.

    Whatever you may think about the way football and basketball leagues are run outside of north america, the NHL has been fishing for gimmicks the past 15 years. It comes down to competition, and the 82 regular season games are little more than revenue generators at this point. SIXTEEN TEAMS make the post season. How does that make for a compelling regular season?

    Again, no disrespect, but if you cannot see how these changes would improve hockey, you have tunnel vision.

  • nykingfan

    Cristobal..its called reality. Europe has its own leagues…same as North America. Why are all the top players in the world playing over here? Their are several washed up and aging players who are willing to play over there for the quick payday, but the best still play here. If the day comes that all the top players stop playing here and start playing in the Euro leagues is the day that the sport becomes a thing of the past to ALL North Americans. We do not follow what is going on overseas as far as sports go.
    People in North America will not be able to see games played in Europe due to time differences. If we’re not looking at the games, where is the TV revenue coming from?
    You talk about the billionaires in Russia..most are from the world of organized crime. Teams being owned by these type of characters will never be tolerated here. Our government would never allow it.

    The comparison wasn’t about baseball and hockey..it was about the fact that people here in the US, where all the TV revenue comes from, had no interest in getting up at an unreasonable hour to watch the game. As for DVR..I hate watching a taped game. Usually at some point during the day, you end up finding out the score. I like live sports.

    You live in a different part of the world. Things are a lot different over there than they are here. The English soccer leagues are successfully run over there, but they draw almost no interest from people here. The interest in soccer is on the school level and a little bit of MLS..or around olympic time.

    It’s a huge longshot that you will ever see teams from North America and Europe in the same league…Not in our lifetime…no matter what the sport.

  • cristobal

    nykingsfan – Listen, you just don’t know what you’re talking about. First, I live in Los Angeles, not Europe. Second, there are 3 channels in this country that are entirely Soccer channels: Fox Soccer Channel, Setanta, and Gol. (in comparison, there is 1 channel that airs hockey, Versus, 1 night a week). Third, have you ever heard of Alexander Radulov or Alexei Yashin? Fourth, Russia’s oligarchy (the billionaires) are rich because of assets like oil, just like your man Anschutz. And finally, you just don’t know what you’re talking about because you know nothing about the world outside your immediate interest. I’ve pointed it out many times, the top 3 sports IN THIS COUNTRY up until 30-40 years ago were Baseball, Boxing, and Horseracing. I doubt those industries would have thought they would be peripheral to NFL and NBA like they are now.

  • JDM

    nykingsfan –

    The rest of the world outside of the U.S. accounts for a HUGE portion of revenue in nearly every media outlet. Just because the U.S. generates the majority of programming doesn’t mean they pay for it. Without European and Asian markets, the revenue for all sorts of television, sports, movies and such would be greatly decreased.

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