Initial transactions

After last night’s games, the Kings returned forwards Bryan Cameron, Matt Fillier and Geordie Wudrick to their junior teams and released forward Olivier Legault from his tryout agreement. Cameron returns to Belleville of the OHL, Fillier to Montreal of the QMJHL and Wudrick to Swift Current of the WHL. That takes the Kings down to 56 players in camp, not including Patrick O’Sullivan, of course…

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  • Tim

    Hey Rich,

    After watching the interview of Terry Murray regarding Labs what did you think of Lab’s performance last night?

    A friend of mine was there, and said that he looked HORRIBLE.

    Thoughts??

  • MS

    Ersberg….LaBarbera playing like crap consistantly all last season, and his first game of this season shouldn’t be surprising anyone.

    Stats or not, it’s things like giving up bad goals that kills his performance.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding Labs, Bernier won the job the last year and there is no reason why he couldn’t do it again this year.

  • Paul

    It WAS only the first preseason game, but I predict the goalie tandem for the Kings will be Ersberg backed up by either Bernier or Quick. I think LaBarbara will be moved, waived, released etc.. It seems to me this will be the camp that decides his future with the Kings, and looking bad on your first preseason start is not the way to impress out of the gate.

  • http://windows Richard Ness

    I think Moller is just about ready if not ready for the big stage. He is fun to watch a really good. If he doesn’t make it this season, he definitly needs to get in his 10 games. Re: Simmonds, I believe he already earned his spot. The Kings haven’t had a guy with this much heart on their roster in a long long time. Simmonds is all heart and the Kings need him. Thanks Rich for all your info…

  • Quisp

    re LaBarbera:

    I wasn’t there. It sounds like he sucked. Certainly, reading between the lines — Murray sounds pretty happy with the team defensively — Murray must not be impressed with him. Otherwise, you would have gotten one of those, “we didn’t play well in front of Jason” quotes. I think it’s likely Ersberg or Bernier will be the starter this year. And, as I’ve said before, if Bernier is the best goalie in camp, he will get the nod. DL obviously has to keep an eye on his development, but how many times can you send your best goalie down without hurting his development? I therefore cross my fingers and hope for a Bernier/Ersberg tandem.

    Re Moller: as I am his biggest fan (tied with a thousand other Kings fans, I’m sure), I would be so happy if he was ready (you know, Kopitar ready) for the NHL this year. That would be the good news that Kings fans have been waiting for. Also, it would vindicate me slightly regarding the Nordstrom trade, which I liked and many others did not. If he continues to have a great camp, I think it will be hard to send him back to Chilliwack. I do wonder, however, what the effect on the lineup will be; who gets bumped (Richardson — haven’t heard how he’s doing in camp; Moulson; Purcell?) or traded/waived (Armstrong, Calder?).

    Re Simmonds: in my own super-nerdy back-seat-driver-ish utterly-uninformed depth chart, I had always been hoping for Simmonds to be ready by ’09, when he fills out and looks more like a grown-up instead of a skinny kid. I totally agree with you, Richard, about his heart, etc., and every time I get caught up imagining the possibilities. Simmonds in ’09 is easy to picture because, for one thing, Calder and Armstrong would likely have moved on by then. I still think it’s likely Simmonds won’t make it this year, but if you’re right and he does make it, look out. I will be really interested in seeing which veterans and which other prospects get bumped.

    The thought that Simmonds, Moller and Clune might actually make the team this year is oh-so-slightly earth-shattering.

    Brown / Kopitar / POS
    Purcell / Stoll / Frolov
    Moulson / Boyle / Moller
    Clune / Handzus / Simmonds
    Ivanans and Ellis

    No Calder, no Armstrong, no Richardson? Five rookie forwards? Rationally, I have to say this just can’t happen. It would essentially be icing the projected ’09 forward line-up one year early.

  • nykingfan

    I also wonder if the young kids continue to impress, if that gets Sully worried a little? Nothing like losing your job by sitting out. His absence is going to give guys like Moller and Simmonds the extra ice time needed to impress.
    I haven’t read anything about Quick or Zatkoff from the KC game….The only thing I saw was that Quick had 30 saves.
    I think you guys ar right…if Barbs continues to play like cr@p, he will find his way on the waiver wire…or trade bait as a backup on some team with an injury.

  • nykingfan

    Quisp,

    Richardson got the game winner in KC on the power play.

  • Quisp

    nykingsfan —

    LaBarbera doesn’t have much time to right his ship. And first impressions are hard to erase. He’s left an opening for the other goalies.

    re POS: absolutely his negotiating posture is weakened if DL feels comfortable dressing Moller in the regular season. I would say, at this point, Moller stands a good chance of getting his ten games at least; if so, this means that DL can just wait out the POS situation.

    If the opposite situation had occurred — no prospects looking even remotely ready in camp — POS’s position would have benefited. As it stands (and as you already said), POS’s absence benefits all the Kings forward prospects, as they all get key ice time in top six and power play situations.

  • WhoThePuck

    Per the announcement (30 forwards, 18 defensemen and eight goaltenders).
    Can anyone help me figure out who is the 18th Defensemen?
    1 Tom Preissing
    2 Peter Harrold
    3 Drew Doughty
    4 Denis Gauthier
    5 Jack Johnson
    6 Matt Greene
    7 Joe Piskula
    8 Thomas Hickey
    9 Viatcheslav Voynov
    10 Colten Teubert
    11 Andrew Campbell
    12 Alec Martinez
    13 Eric Werner
    14 Davis Drewiske
    15 Mike D’Orazio
    16 Josh Kidd
    17 Drew Bagnall
    18 ?

  • Paul

    Here’s a thought to ponder….

    If LaBarba continues to suck, trade him to Chicago along with a pick/prospect for Khabibulin. Let Bernier start in the AHL this year. Khabibulin starts, Ersberg backs up, the Kings solve their salary floor issues, the Hawks get their backup goalie.

    Speculation continues to swirl on the talk shows I listen to that there’s NO WAY Chicago can go into the season with $12M dollars tied up in 2 goalies, one of which is in a contract year and won’t be happy splitting time. Send him to L.A. to play out his contract and give Bernier 1 year in the AHL. It’s a BIG step to go from Canadian juniors to the NHL.

  • Quisp

    85 Paul Crosty D 6-2 220 Edmonton, AB 10-13-82

  • ryan oliver

    Quisp, your lineup you have there regarding what it should be this year is absolutely bang on. If they arnt going to make the playoffs, which wont happen, why not ice a young team and let them grow together? They bring up young ballplayers and let them play together, why not hockey? Losing wont stunt their growth, letting them play in a league where they get bored does.

  • Quisp

    Ryan Oliver –

    I don’t know why not. I seriously don’t. I do see the wisdom in bringing talent along carefully. I especially think it’s necessary not to put players in situations that their bodies are not ready for, in terms of physical maturity.

    DL and Terry Murray are going to have a number of pretty interesting decisions to make in the next couple of weeks. A lot depends on what happens or doesn’t happen in the next couple of days with Schneider and MacLaren (who I see is being held out of training camp now, apparently because a deal is imminent). I keep mulling over the following:

    1. Will Calder, Armstrong or LaBarbera be moved before opening night?
    2. Will any of Moller, Simmonds or Clune crack the line up to start the season (and if so, at whose expense? Moulson? Richardson? Calder? Armstrong?)
    3. Will Schneider or MacLaren or another veteran defenseman (the Wings are also looking to deal one of their D, Lilja maybe) come to the Kings by trade?
    4. If not, which Kings D prospect (Hickey, Martinez, Teubert) will make the roster?
    5. If Bernier is the best goalie in camp, will he stick?
    6. POS

    My guess is, Calder traded, LaBarbera waived, Armstrong hangs on for dear life, Moller and Clune make it, Simmonds and RIchardson to Manchester, MacLaren traded to Kings, Schneider to the East somewhere, Hickey/Martinez/Teubert not yet, yes to Bernier, and POS will sign before opening night.

  • Paul

    Quisp said:
    “My guess is, Calder traded, LaBarbera waived, Armstrong hangs on for dear life, Moller and Clune make it, Simmonds and RIchardson to Manchester, MacLaren traded to Kings, Schneider to the East somewhere, Hickey/Martinez/Teubert not yet, yes to Bernier, and POS will sign before opening night.”

    I pretty much agree with all those guesses. I also heard the MacLaren rumors this morning and I think he’s a much better candidate for the Kings then Schneider. I think Moller and Clune have already secured their spots. And I think POS and Bernier will stay with the team, provided a trade for a goalie isn’t made as I suggested in my last post. And I can’t for the life of me see how Armstrong continues to take a spot on this team when there are so many young players who are better. Army was great 2 years ago. He was invisible last year.

  • Maverick

    I think it is most likely that Labs will stay with the team, at least till the deadline, backing up Ersberg. Bernier only stays with the team if he is #1 and getting major playing time of the likes of 40+ games this season. He may get bumped for Quick as backup but likely I see the tandem going Ersberg/Labs and Ersberg truly having the #1 clinched for the majority of the season.

  • Quisp

    Maverick –

    Yeah, your scenario makes a lot of sense to me. I can totally see it going exactly that way. There are so many different ways the goalie situation could unfold, I genuinely have no idea what will happen, except to say that (1) if LaBarbera has a bad camp (and he’s off to a fine start if a bad camp is what he’s shooting for), there’s a good chance the Kings will just cut bait now, and (2) if Bernier has a great camp (like last year), I hope they keep him up here for good.

    I am harboring a secret fantasy that DL and Terry Murray both will feel confident enough in the Kings’ improvement that keeping Bernier up would seem like the best decision. Not that they would tell anyone this; got to keep expectations low and all.

  • deadcatbounce

    Not only does Wayne Simmons have heart, but he has hard fists and very soft hands!

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