O’Sullivan and Stoll

I understand that everyone is clamoring for some type of update on Patrick O’Sullivan and (to a lesser extent) Jarret Stoll, but there simply isn’t one to give right now. The word from the Kings today is essentially the same that I reported three weeks ago, that they feel they’re closer on Stoll and not panicked by either situation. Should they be more panicked? You can decide for yourself… As far as O’Sullivan, the only real update, from a team official, is that while there is still no agreement, “nothing bad has happened, there haven’t been any steps back.” I’d like to tell you more, but that’s all I can give you right now. Understand that neither side is going to be motivated to tip their hand as far as negotiations. As much as I, as a writer, might like them to negotiate through the press, they know better…

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  • Quattro

    I have a BAD feeling about this

  • yesitscal

    There are still four weeks until training camp, so I’m not overly concerned yet. Hopefully things will get done and O’Sullivan and Stoll will both report on time.

  • Pat McGroyn

    The update is very much appreciated, Rich. Keep up the outstanding work!

  • JDM

    Thanks for keeping on top of it Rich. I imagine it’s just as frustrating, if not more for you.

    Any chance you will get a chance for an interview with Lombardi like the one you did with Murray before training camp?

  • Chris

    It’s almost September. COme on guys!

  • lentz

    rich, say training camp comes along and he isnt signed. does he just hold out and not show up?

  • Tompa

    We haven’t heard anything at all about Richardson, what’s the deal there? I’m guessing it’s a similar situation but it’s a little discouraging not to hear a single thing about the guy.

    No comments on why they traded for him, no comments on what strengths they see in him, no comments on where they see him in the organization, no comments on his contract situation.. Not a darned thing.

    Maybe Inside the Kings could interview him? That’d be cool and a nice read in this long off-season. Besides it’d be his first interview as a King I’m sure.

  • Mr. Fabulous

    My only concern is arbitration. We all all saw how that affected Cammalleri’s status within the organization and his mind.

    Rich,

    Are any of the unsigned RFA’s arbitration eligible?

  • EJ

    Arbitration is already over for the upcoming season.

  • Anonymous

    This is exactly what happened with Cammy last year (except he went to arbitration)..They gave him a 2 yr deal and shipped him out..I guess that is what is going to happen to Patty O..Good job AEG

  • me

    arbitration has already passed. and sully didnt qualify for that. i’m not sure if stoll was eligible or not.

  • Rich Hammond

    To follow up on the questions here…

    – JDM…yes, I’ll be getting an extended interview with Lombardi soon. I figure it’s better to wait until camp is a little closer, to make it a bit more relevant. I’ll let people know when it’s coming.

    – lentz…yes, in that scenario I believe it would be a holdout situation, unless there’s some fine print in the CBA I’m unaware of.

    – Tompa…good idea on interviewing Richardson. I simply forgot to mention him in the update. Seems as though in terms of getting him signed, at this point he’s less likely than Stoll and in the same general neighborhood as O’Sullivan, I’m told.

    – Mr. Fabulous…the arbitration boat has long since sailed. All of the cases have been filed, heard and resolved, so that’s no longer an option.

  • Hemorrhage

    I’m happy that they aren’t going through the press we don’t need another Cammy on our hands. However at the same point, I’d like to see something get done. We need O’Sully & Stoll locked up, Richardson to a lesser degree, and Dean needs to bring in at least one of the two left handed shot dman already. IF we can bring in Schneider or Kaberle or even both I’ll be able to live with our defense.

  • Anonymous

    I’m 100% on board for DL’s plan, but this whole off season feels like crap.

  • JDM

    Awesome Rich, as always! Thanks for answering.

    For some reason I’m still confident we will hold on to Stoll and Sully for atleast 2 years each. Hopefully longer. I’m usually pessimistic about contract negotiations, but like Hemorrhage mentioned, part of that is because Cammy and some others in the past have been in the press. Stoll sounded positive enough in his interviews when traded, and he’s got extra incentive to stay in L.A. with his soon to be wife. O’Sullivan has learned so much and grown so quickly with the organization I can’t imagine him being a whiny pants money money win win boy quite yet.

    But yeah… at some point enough is enough and there needs to be some definitive action or word one way or the other.

    Schneider for no more than a pick or two would be ok, same for Kaberle.

    Hedican… Hedican… please just sign Hedican to a big contract for one year. Left shot, as experienced and battle proven as they come. And best of all, asset addition without asset subtraction. Then people can also stop worrying about hitting the floor. Who cares if Dean tosses Hedican $3 or $4 mill for a year, he may not be WORTH it, but he’s EARNED it. It’s just for a year and everybody’s happy…

    except for AEG >:(

  • ryan oliver

    Wow, could you imagine this team without Sully, or Stoll. Yikes. But seriously everybody. DL will sign them, because they are so far under the cap, they have to sign them, or they cant ice a team. Which, come to think of it, might be better on my blood pressure

  • Quisp

    Brown/Kopitar/Frolov
    Purcell/Stoll/Calder
    Moulson/Boyle/Ellis
    Ivanans/Handzus/Armstrong
    Richardson and Lewis

    Just kidding… No doubt they will both be signed.

  • Quisp

    Whoops. I forgot to take Stoll off the roster in my little nightmare/joke scenario. Should be:

    Brown/Kopitar/Frolov
    Purcell/Handzus/Calder
    Moulson/Boyle/Ellis
    Ivanans/Armstrong/Richardson
    Lewis and Clune

    There you go.

  • voice of reason

    So will Sully become the new whipping boy when it is revealed that he turned down a long term contract and insisted on a short term deal with hopes of soon testing the free agent market? Or will people find a way to blame DL and AEG?

  • Tito Jackson

    Rich, please tell me more about this “arbitration boat” you speak of.

  • DekstorG

    It’s becoming obvious that Dean Lombardi refuses to pay competitive salaries to his young players.
    Next year Anzy Kopitar will be a restricted free agent and I expect the crosstown rival Anaheim Ducks to make a serious offer to Kopitar that he won’t reject.
    After next season the Ducks will be well below a salary cup and, unlike the Kings, they are not shy to offer good salaries to good players.
    I think it would be good for Southern California hockey fans to keep this talented young forward in local market rather than let him go somewhere else.

  • Quisp

    Rich -

    This may be beyond the scope of this blog, but: would it be possible to add a menu of definitions and/or guidelines for topics like arbitration, waivers, draft lotteries (odds, etc.), salary cap ceilings and floors, age limits for juniors and minor leagues, etc.? It occurs to me the work could be farmed out to your readers and then posted for comments, resulting maybe in a wikipedia-style entry that would be easy to click on in the margins of your blog. Come to think of it: wikipedia probably already has such entries, which you could link to, or — alternatively — if they don’t, we could create them at wikipedia and you could link to them. Like I said, probably beyond the scope of the blog, but I do find myself forgetting the details of, for example, how waivers work, and I’m just lazy enough to want your blog to be a one-stop-shopping experience for all things Kings.

    Now I’m going to go to Wikipedia to see if they already have what I am looking for.

  • Cobra Simmons

    Not that I’ll miss him at all, but they weren’t panicked about Blake either. I think that with a (supposed) core player that the team is building on that they should er on the side of generosity. Give the guy the money and sign him. These days, GM;s that do that end up looking like geniuses anyway. There is no doubt that O’Sullivan will become a star.

  • anthony

    There are three notable RFA’s left.
    Mezzaros, Sully, and Stoll.
    I don’t care much for Richardson.

    The fact the DL hasn’t been able to sign either of his best RFA’s concerns me.

    Most players are lookng to sign for big money and to compete for the Cup. Not particularly for security or long term contracts.
    And most players don’t want to play for teams that are constantly rebuilding. Which is where this team is headed under DL.
    I’d like to say more, but I don’t want to provoke any of you DL worshipers.

  • Model 62

    Discouraging.

    Signing the young up and comers is key to Lombardi’s long term plans for the club. Those signings make the team more competitive on the ice — and in the Free Agent market. If these negotiations work out, Lombardi rebounds from the reputational hit he took with Visnovsky and Blake. But the longer it takes to get things done, the worse it looks.

  • Duckhunter

    Quisp, that nightmare/joke scenario is making me cringe. That would be beyond ugly wouldn’t it? I’m not sure, but I think it’s illegal to be that bad! I’m thinking DL will sigh both players no matter what, simply because he has to. What other choice does he have.

    Cristobal, you asked me a few posts a ago who I’m excited to see. Well I’m kind of a party pooper on this subject. I’ve been around this sports scene for awhile, and know many things have to go right for young players to be successful at the next level. I’ve seen many “sure shots”, not make it for one reason or another. It being either a mental, physical,or”smarts” thing that holds them back. Then Ive seen many young men who I thought didn’t have enough “gifts” to make the next show, play their souls out and contribute is some way. My point being it takes more than skill to succeed at this level(most of the time), so I don’t get to excited about paper players till I see them play for a while.

    Having said all that, I’m looking forward to seeing O’Sul play. I personally have never seen anybody improve so quickly and so drastically in such a short period of time. Not saying he’s great, just saying, from where he started to where he finished was astounding. If he can make those same strides in the next 2-3 years he’ll be one hell of a player.
    I’m also looking forward to watching Boyle. He seems to have the “gifts” and “tools” to be successful in the NHL. If he blossoms into the player he’s capable of being, the Kings have themselfs a gem. The one that intrigues me the most is Stoll. Has anyone looked up his stats from last year. I know stats aren’t everything, but he had 14 goals. 8 of those were PP goals, 3 were shorthanded. He had as many shorthanded goals as he did regular strength goals. Whats wrong with that picture? He had only three regular strength goals last year!! Army had more than that! I watched him interviewed and he seemed genuinely embarrassed about his play last year and said he’s got something to prove this year, so I’m interested to see where this leads. These are the 3 I’m interested in seeing.

  • guidedbyvoices

    This is a truly touchy situation. Patrick O’Sullivan, if he were to think about it, really has this team over the barrell and could, if he wanted, destroy Lombardi and AEG. If he were to refuse to sign and hold out, the Kings would risk finally alienating the fans. If he and Stoll were to maintain that they are worth six or seven million each, could the Kings really refuse to sign them? They would be devoid of resources to improve the team and the only way they could attract a trade would be with the newly drafted prospects. I doubt these two are interested in doing this, but it does show that management is counting on the good faith of their players to get them through this horrible period. If not for Anze’s great character and his dedication to honoring his contract, there would be a much bigger problem facing the club.

    AEG currently manages the LA Galaxy under a league salary cap that totals under 3 million. They’ve been able to tweak the rules of MLS (because Big Phil basically owns it) to pay Beckham. But, there are players on the Galaxy reportedly earning less that 20 thousand dollars a year. And, they’ve been supposedly guilty of actually pulling from the office staff in order to field reserve teams the Galaxy players can train against.

    http://worldhockeydaily.wordpress.com/

  • mrbrett7

    Anthony…is there anything in life that doesn’t concern you?

    Buffalo is stuck with overpaying Vanek by about 3 million/season…that concerns me…do you want that?

  • anthony

    mrbrett7,

    Vanek is a potential 40 goal scorer. And he’s only 24 years old. Last season he had 3 hat tricks.
    A lot of teams would love to have that kind of player.

    You made a poor analysis sir.

  • voice of reason

    Anthony my previous question was largely directed at you. So I’ll ask you, and anyone else, again…

    What if word gets out that DL has offered O’Sullivan 5 years, $20 million? What if O’Sullivan is adamant that he wants a short term deal and would much prefer 2 years at $5 million because he wants to test free agency sooner rather than later.

    Will this whole situation then be DL’s fault?

  • guidedbyvoices

    duckhunter – i agree with your excitement for Boyle. I hope this guy can really come in and become a great 2nd or 3rd line center. Remember Big Joel Otto? I think he could have that sort of impact, but be better with his hands, like a Penner or (wish) Nash.

    mrbrett – i wish the kings could be overpaying Vanek.

  • anthony

    Voice of Reason.

    It’ll be a combination of both being at fault.
    The numbers you threw out are descent and Sully would be crazy not to take the longer deal.

    DL makes himself look bad because he’s running this team as though it will be rebuilding for a long time.
    And notable players like Sully are not gonna want to play on teams that are constantly rebuilding.

    I’m glad we can have a debate in a civil matter.
    Thanks

  • Quisp

    Stoll is coming off a sub-par season and doesn’t have much bargaining power, or doesn’t have AS much as POS. But as far as the POS negotiation goes, I imagine the reason it’s taking as long as it’s taking is not that there’s a problem but that it’s a very delicate negotiation.

    If DL gives POS too much per season, this is going to be the new benchmark for every subsequent player of his calliber. Who are these players? Kopitar, Frolov, Johnson, Doughty, Hickey, Teubert, Bernier, Brown (someday, when his contract is up), Boyle… Same as with Cammy, the calculus is: pay POS too much and the excel spreadsheet of Kings 2011 falls apart. The POS deal has to be structured so that the other players can be retained. POS needs to believe that the team will still be together and he will be on it if he takes a deal that makes this work. Does this mean taking less money? Not necessarily. It has to do with how the deal is structured, what the bonuses are, etc.. The reason Cammy had to go was he revealed his cards. He believed he was worth more than the Kings could afford and especially so in the coming years.

    The other thing POS has to be careful of is Lubo Disease, the big contract that weighs so heavily on your fragile psyche that you suck the next year and get traded. It’s better to be a bargain (a la Brown, the future captain).

    I don’t think POS is Cammy. I think he will sign a deal that works for everyone. DL’s position has to be, sign a deal that works for the Kings or I will trade you. That has to be his position. DL has demonstrated that this is precisely what will happen to POS if he doesn’t accept what the Kings can afford, again, not now, but for the future.

    And I don’t think POS really wants to put himself in a position of being under the big contract microscope.

    I think we can all count on DL to stick to his plan. I’m sure he knows exactly what he can pay POS and keep the plan on track for the next 3-5 years.

    My question for the (message) board is, if POS or his agent want more, should DL pay it knowing that if all goes otherwise according to plan, we’re going to lose a number of these guys when THEIR contracts are up?

    DL made the decision that Cammy was NOT more important than POS, Kopitar, Brown, Frolov, Bernier, etc.. Who is POS more important than?

    I think the jury is still out on how good POS is and/or will be. Don’t get me wrong, I love him. But he is not an established star. He’s a rising star.

    I think he will sign accordingly.

  • Anonymous

    Paying a 24 year old 8 million/season on potential?

    No thanks…I wouldn’t ink him to that deal for anything. The kid…yes kid, has put together ONE good season. Has been benched numerous times, and once he had to be the man, hasn’t done squat to earn that money. The minute he didn’t have Brier and Drury to hide behind, he couldn’t hack it.

    Yes, he scored 40 goals, and then proceeded to get benched in the playoffs during the most important games of the season…but please, pay him 8 million.

  • cristobal

    Vanek wasn’t hiding behind Drury, Briere, Dumont, and Connolly, he was working with them. Buffalo has the AEG sponsored salary cap to thank for ‘helping the small market teams’ so much. Instead of challenging for the cup last season, they were nipped in the bud by the cap and the accepted structure of contracting with players. Much like Kopitar or O’Sullivan, Vanek is a very good player very much stranded on his own to a point. Much like Cammalleri, he’s proven he can score goals in this league, and that is a valuable asset. You don’t think the Kings could have used 40 goals last year? or 40 less goals against?

  • cristobal

    Just did some looking and Handzus is actually making pretty much the same as Brendan Morrow, Jere Lehtinen, and more than Mike Modano. Whew.
    Arguing salary structure when it involves the Kings is a real non-starter. They just don’t make sense. They’d do better to trade handzus for maltby and absorb the contract money because on the ice, maltby would be a better contributor (he makes less than a mil.) to the team.

  • Tired of Waiting

    To me the O’Sullivan situation is a watershead for Lombardi and the Kings. I feel that way not because I believe that POS will be the next Guy Lafluer (although I believe he has the potential to score 40)but because to me if they dont sign POS Lombardi’s plan is bs. They will not be able to sign the core and that all of this waiting for these young kids is a waste of time because when they arrive this crap franchise wont lock them up.

    Some of you act like this is rocket science. The market for POS is set. Look at Kostitsyn and Flillpula and you see what the market is for POS.

  • Quisp

    Tired of Waiting –

    I agree. It is a watershed. Not just for Lombardi and the Kings, but for the whole idea of a total rebuild. Maybe it will turn out not to be possible. Lombardi clearly has his eyes on the cap for future seasons. One of the reasons I think he gravitates toward prospects who are leaders/captains/etc. is that he thinks they will be of the right mindset to understand building a TEAM, rather than holding out for the biggest contract and jumping to a pre-made winner. But maybe the market forces are too powerful and the players will not in the end be able to resist bolting for proven winners.

    I don’t think POS will hold out. His position is too tenuous, his personal history too tumultuous.

    But I don’t think a failure to sign POS would mean DL’s plan is BS. I don’t think even DL knows if it’s really possible. Not that he can come out and say that. It’s simply never been done in the “cap era.”

    If he doesn’t sign POS, the rebuild might still work. But if he overpays him, the rebuild WILL fail.

    Nobody really knows. Me, I’m going to roll with it.

  • David

    Webster’s defines the following…..

    AEG: Cheap, Stingy, Tight, Low Priced, Chintzy.

    DL: Dumb, Stupid, Moronic, Thickheaded, Foolish.

    A recipe for disaster!! God help all of us Kings Fans!

  • Robert e Lee

    God, why did I suddenly get a lump in my throat as I read “tired of waiting” ‘s comments first mentioning Guy LaFluer and then: “I don’t think POS will hold out. His position is too tenuous, his personal history too tumultuous”…and it has Sean Avery written all over it? Suddenly I am taken back to the early years when Kings players were like us, and they had to work in the off-season-and, in general, they got screwed later on in life and had to find new careers…and now, it has all gone full circle and they have become greedy little primadonnas, awash in themselves. They play a couple of years in L.A. and must buy their homes down in Manhattan Beach to play amongst the rich and famous. I’ll bet none of you remember when seats down front, at the Forum were around $6.50 per ticket and a flag pole seat cost you $1.50 and you could walk right down into an empty seat during the game. How many remember when you could walk right up to Jiggs or Roy or Dan (Avey) and sneak a brief question in while they were on break? Or you could wait right by the tunnel on the Hollywood Park side and 99% of them would sign an autograph and even smile. In fact, so did the opposing teams…
    So am I wrong to remain on Lombardi’s side only in that there is a standard to be set and the brunt of our young players have yet to have earned that increase? Kopi is well on HIS WAY to becoming an elite; and watching Dustin Brown grow up has been truly a wonderful experience in a hockey [talent] starved town like L.A. I will miss Cami and I think he would have truly evolved into a great talent. In fact, he will likely continue his improvement on a line with Jerome Iganla
    But thus far, no matter what, I’ve spent more time tracking the players we have traded under Dean Lombardi, and quite frankly, I think the record speaks for itself. Aside from Avery (whom many of us liked), frankly, none of the rest have even managed to hang around one team for very long. They played fairly well for us, but none ever transitioned beyond a certain level. And I’ll completely withhold my opinions of a fattened Jeremy Roenick showing up to become the next Carson (not Jimmy!) and then losing the weight when he went to Phoenix-screw him! It’s like they come to L.A. and expect to become Magic Johnson just by sticking their stupid heads out the window. Most of us work our…butts off to survive out here. Why shouldn’t they do the same?
    Better stop there…critobal’s gonna get on me for ranting
    best to all RL

  • Tired of Waiting

    Robert e Lee I do remember those long ago days. My first kings fav was Mike Byers (google that name) That is why I am tired of waiting. At the end of the day this is not about Lombardi – it is about AEG and whether or not they are committed to winning.

    My belief is that they are not. (14 years and only 2 playoff appearances.) The Kings are the LA Clippers they have an owner who is not committed to winning end of story. Blake, Lubo and Cammy are all starting to look like salary dumps. That is why I believe POS is a watershed, to me the onus is on the Kings to show that they are willing to pay market value to build a winner. The market for POS is set (see Kostitsyn 3 yrs at 3 mill) Why would POS take any less – he would have to be an idiot – would any of you agree to take less money than a guy who was doing the same work you are doing

  • Quisp

    Tired -

    Yeah, $3MM for 3yrs sounds about right. I’m guessing DL wants more years and POS wants fewer. We’ll soon see, one way or another. The Sundin domino will fall and then the others…

  • Anonymous

    RL and GuidedbyVoices– good points. Hard to feel sorry for players getting paid 1 million a year plus to play a game, when probably most of us would give a body part to play the game for free.

    To GbyV–I am worried about AEG and what its doing here and elsewhere. Anschutz may be rich but he is not going to just keep losing money. If the POS signing doesn’t work out, I would just say where to cast blame is not clear as we (or at least I) do not know who is making the decision or who (if) decided to cut back the Kings budget–is it Uncle Phil? Tim Lieweke? or Lombardi b/c he feels players are asking for too much? I don’t know. I do know from people who worked for directly for Lieweke years back that he is a blow hard with bad judgment. But who knows if the King’s budget was cut by Uncle Phil b\c he’s tired of losing money(a reasonable guess but a guess) and that would explain a lot, such as why Blake is gone or why the Kings appear to be dumping salary.

    The rebuild idea makes sense but its crap if the young players do not stay–and that means paying them enough for them to take long term contracts.

    I thought O’Sullivan played well and showed promise to improve. On the other hand, playing one solid year for a last place team is promising but probably does not warrant a long term deal for super big bucks. Not a question with a clear answer, which is why the O’Sullivan contract may be taking so long. Hoping O’sullivan\Kopitar\et al sign and stay around for a long time…

  • Lord Stanley

    Where to start?

    I dont know the exact date but it was about 8 weeks ago that Dean said that he was going to start talking/negotiating with POS. He said that getting this done would be no big issue and that it is common to wait. Well, it seems that it is a big deal and the fact that a deal is not done is cause for concern. Many other players of less, equal and greater caliber have been signed in less than a 24 hour period. Both RFA and UFA have been locked up. Dean may have vision but it appears he lacks what it takes to bring his vision to life. I can appreciate what is trying to do but it seems he is continuously failing at it.

    First, he says that he wants to grow a team and build from within. Well the 2 players that were drafted by us that have worked hard and made it to the NHL as top players were traded this year. Both were casualties of contract negotiation with DL. Even though there are two sides to negotiations, DL was not able to make it work. Blame who you want but the bottom line is that it is DL who is responsible for getting it done.

    Second, If there were no issues with signing POS and Stoll, then it would have been done by now. If there are issues, then I believe it is his fault for waiting until the off-season to try and get it done. He should have locked up POS during the season long before these other players were getting big contracts. If he has vision then he should have seen this coming.

    Third, he has preached how important veteran leadership is but has a team that lacks this exact thing.

    Fourth, He wants to do things differently to build a team for the long run and although I have no problem with this, if he wants to go against the grain he needs to be at the top of the standing not the bottom. He wants players to have faith in what he is doing and ignore what other teams are doing for their players. And if they do buy into DLs plan, they become the under paid or are traded away. The way it looks is that DL wants to do this his way and that his way has proven to put our team at the bottom of the standings. Although we have good draft picks, we are starting to have too many prospects that will be playing at an NHL level and not enough places for them on our team. We need a team that is continuously in the post season and then we can ask players to forgo the big contracts to be a part of this. Put yourself in this position. If you work for a company who is ranked at the bottom amongst your competitors and wants to offer you less than what your can get from a competitor for the same job you would be crazy not to take it. DL has no real bargaining power at this point and by staying the course it will cause us to loose the players we need. I not saying to over pay but he needs to pay the players for sticking it out. We are not the only team who has talent in the farm teams. We are not the only team who has potential future stars. We have good players who need to be rewarded for sticking it out until we get there – and that is how we will get there. What is the motivation any rising star has to stay with this team?

  • Robert e Lee

    To GbyV & Annonymous,

    I too am worried about AEG and their thinking. I remember some years back the supposed accountant’s sheets talking of how the Kings weren’t making money and I can understand even the richest of folks expecting profit. But then, they cannot expect us to continue supporting a team that comes and goes on a yearly basis. Heck we don’t keep players long enough to even develop a following for them; is this part of AEG’s idea for keeping their salaries down? I thought I understood why Sean Avery was traded-when he “finally?” made himself worth something on the open market. So now I wonder if they were only anticipating his wanting more money and deciding to jettison him? I’m not saying it might have changed our game plan, but if that was the thinking, I would definitely be finished with the organization until new owners bailed US out! As others have pointed out, Cammaleri’s departure might have been such a situation; then again, he was also a big part of our team? For Blake and Lubo, I respect them for their years of hard work, but they were “-”/minus figures on defense last year. No one takes all the blame, but this may have been a chance to give the youngsters a chance to step in. Yet, with what so many others have said (including “Tired”, “Annonymous” and “David”), well, if they’re right, our new coach may have been brought in to fatten up the stock for early slaughter? Gees, I sure hope not.

    I really am looking forward [hopefully] to Sully’s return < ???> and to seeing what Boyle and Teddy P. can do. In fact, it would be great to see Martinez and/or Doughty break into the lineup. I know they are hard workers and could bring even more exuberance to our “kiddie corps.!”

    Finally, I completely agree with what Lord Stanley said. But throughout such cynicism, there is a.) the hope that DL actually does know what he is doing b. trying desperately to both manage current salaries while preparing for the obvious increases ahead c.) aware that some players will require a bit more money/enticements than others d.) the rest of the league (esp. guys like Kevin Lowe) are watching & lickin’ their lips e.) until we are actually in the playoffs, high priced real estate won’t be enough to convince anyone to play in L.A. f.) oh, forget it, this list could go on forever!!!
    Good luck to Terry Murray. Maybe he can pull off another Kings miracle? (I see we got Mark Hardy back-always gotta have one “Miracle on…” around for good luck???) RL

    p.s. Hearing the name Mike Byers takes me back to my Kings scrapbooks. They may not have been a great team, but they sure had some unbelievable wins. I hope some of you were around to have seen or heard them. Was anyone listening (1971?) when they scored three goals in 33 seconds against the POWER HOUSE Montreal Canadians-I think Phil Myre was in goal for that game. It was something today’s King teams can bank on pride! There was a final game of the year against Vancouver we won 11 to 1. Paul Curtis scoring his first NHL goal on the last day of the season and then celebrating as if they had won a Stanley Cup ~ Hey, there were a lot of moments-and it didn’t take Gretzky to bring them about either!!!
    p.s.s. Please give Jason “BARBED-WIRE” LaBarbera one last chance to make it this year. And I vow to finish off the poster we have been working on for him/to encourage him onward. I really want to see him make it. Meanwhile, that would give Ersberg backup and Bernier another year in Manchester to hone his skills. I really think we have some real good prospects both for the coming year as well as for years to come. If you really want ta help out, tell your friends to sign up for more cable service.

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