Open forum

Thanks to everyone who participated in the live chat last night during the game. It was fun and we’ll try to make it a regular thing as the season gets going.

A lot of stuff has happened with the Kings recently, so I thought I’d throw it open with an “open forum.” Feel free to ask any questions you think I might be able to answer, and I’ll start with the answers today. Thanks!

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  • doctorgonzzzo

    Rich-
    Do you know how the Kings feel about Alec Martinez after training camp? I know he was highly touted coming in, but I didn’t really hear about him too much during camp. Was his being sent down a reflection of his play in camp, or were other guys (who made the team) just playing better? Given are lack of depth on D right now do you think we might see him at some point this season, or are Bagnall and Piskula ahead on the depth chart? Thanks.

  • nykingfan

    Rich,
    What do you think the Kings thought process is regarding Oscar Moller? I like the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the table.

    Any thoughts on why didn’t the Kings consider bringing up Martinez or recalling Hickey when Johnson went down?

  • jet

    Rich

    Good column today.

    Quick started the first game in Manchester. I was wondering if he was named number one?

  • ryan oliver

    I know this is early, but in what range in terms of money do you think Jack Johnson will get this next year? Around 3 mil?

  • Paul

    The obvious 2 questions to me are:

    1: What are the Kings going to do about their defense? I can’t believe they don’t think they need to acquire a good defenseman now the JJ is out for a while.

    and…

    2: Does Terry Murray still intend to relay on LaBarbara for a while? I think he played a little better last night, especially late in the game, but he still doesn’t look like an every day #1 goalie to me.

  • Crash Davis

    Rich,

    As always thanks for the incredible work Jill and you do!

    1 – With the Kings at the moment 14 for 14 on PK this season, how much of that do you attribute to Mark Hardy? As followup, what do the individual coaches bring to the Kings this year that seems to be working (for now)?

    2 – What did DL see in Brad Richardson at the summer draft that was worth swapping a 2nd round pick for?

    3 – Throughout Toyota Sports Center are large pictures on the walls of a fired coach (Andy Murray), a former King great who left for $$$’s (Blake) and long ago players like Josef Stumpel and Glen Murray. What do these past images say about a group that should be focused on a new culture and attitude without throwing away some important players and milestones with this franchise? Shouldn’t these pics be changed with great past Kings players (Goring? Dionne? Gretzky? etc)?

    4 – Do you see, even at this early stage, the young Kings buying into TM’s approach?

    5 – Lastly, I am still a believer in Mary Ann over Ginger? You too?

    Crash aka Craig

  • lunchboxap

    Do you see oscar moller or wayne simmonds being sent back down? if not then what do we do with guys like Calder, Richardson?

    Also when Jack returns from his injury, what do you predict will happen to the defense? like does Harrold, Quincey, or even Gauithier get sent down?

  • Kozak

    Rich –

    I can’t say it enough, thanks for everything you do on the blog. My question may be off topic but…

    How is Matthew Kreidel doing since he was laid off? Has he landed someplace else?

  • Tony

    What’s the deal with the inflated attendence figures. Not so much this year (yet) but last year it seemed like they report that a game is a sellout and there tons of empty seats. I understand that the premiere seats are sold whether bodies are in them or not, but I remember last year “sellout” games where large chunks of the 300′s were empty. Why are these figures being inflated and what good does it do them?
    Tony

  • Tim

    Hey Rich!

    The chat was fun last night, thanks for adding that to your kick A$$ blog!

    With JJ out for the next 3 months, do you think that the DL and his group will try to do his contract now. It seems like this would be a good time to do it.

    What kind of numbers would you guess that he would be getting, to me 4 yrs, @ $16m.

    Now this is a long shot, but, if the Kings were in the playoff hunt say in Dec/Jan, do you think they would put a offer in to Mat Sundin (if he isn’t already signed by then).

    Thanks for everything!
    Tim

  • deano

    Hi Rich,
    I wanted to ask you your thoughts on the status of Lombardi.

    1. Do you think he will complete his term as GM
    2. If so, do you think he will be extended
    3. Do you see any merit in the rumored Luc vs Lombardi conflict

    Personally I am a fan of what Lombardi has been doing, and I like that he’s given this team an identity. There is a ton of synergy towards the team concept, and the players all seem to not only like each other, but want to play for each other. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that kind of conviction in a Kings team.

  • JD

    Rich,

    I believe O’sully should be on the #1 line with brown and kopitar, he brings a ton of speed, pucks skills, and a great shot. With him skating with those two, it will also give him a little more room to work with. Do you think this change will occur?

    JD

  • DP

    Heidi is hot.

    Curious to know how LA will use their ECHL team in Ontario in terms of prospects. I only see Jeff Zatkoff as presently being the lone prospect on their roster.

    Heidi is just great to look at.

    The new camera angles are interesting. Are they trying to give viewers more of a feeling of being at the game? I’m glad they are at least trying to make it better to watch on TV, more people may stay home and save the extra scratch than go to the game IMO.

  • old man

    I thought the on ice cameras were awful. Please Rich tell the big brass to leave things alone. Thank`s again!

  • Anonymous

    Rich,
    what do you think of Thomas Hickey…he was our 1st round one year back… why isnt he being considered for a roster spot?? was there big hype about him in training camp?? how is his development coming along??

  • sense13

    Rich,

    Do you think Boyle is playing primarily on the 4th line because Murray wants Boyle to establish his physical game first?

    Can Richardson be sent down without clearing waivers?

  • Decker

    Rich – during the live chat last night the vast majority of us were complaining about the FSN camera angles they were trying out. Just wondering if you have had an opportunity to check with FSN West to see what their complaint volume looked like.

  • sense13

    Who’s the best ping pong player on the team?

    Who’s the best beer pong player on the team?

  • Anonymous

    Great job as always Rich. Here are my questions:

    1) What are the chances that this Kings team surprises everyone and qualifies for the playoffs?

    2) When I watch the Kings play, LaBarbera always seems a step or two slow compared to the other team’s goalie. He has incredibly poor fundamentals. I’ve never thought he’s a No. 1 netminder. Wouldn’t it be better to let Ersberg have a lengthy trial run instead since he is fundamentally sound with a quick glove, and he semmed to inspire his teammates when he played last season? With your years of covering hockey, do you agree or disagree, and why?

    Thanks in advance …

  • Irish Pat

    Any insight regarding the Kings plans for Moller, Simmonds and Doughty? If they click are they for sure going to stay or are they headed back to junior regardless of performance?

  • wavesinair

    now that you got us addicted to king smack, how do you intend on helping us reduce our dependency on you? will there be a kings anonymous program anytime soon?

    wait…forget I said anything. I don’t need help! I’m fine! I can quit anytime I want to!

  • Sandy

    Rich, great job as always. Thanks for all that you do for us loyal Kings fans. I also read the Times, and noticed all summer long there were letters practically every Saturday from angry Kings fans imploring AEG to sell the team. The Times thinks there are no hockey fans in town which is how they justify their reduced NHL coverage every year, yet that is obviously not the case.

    I never hear AEG respond or anything at all from Leiweke or Anschutz other than their interest in developing more arenas throughout the world. Do you think AEG is at all interested in selling the Kings to a local group that is committed to winning?

    Why would AEG continue to want to own the Kings if they claim they lose money every year? Just curious if AEG ever notices the angry fan sentiment since there are never any media interviews with AEG brass unlike with other local owners such as Buss, Moreno, Sterling and McCourt who all make themselves available to the media and seem to understand the benefit of selling the sport to the masses. I fear AEG really has no clue when it comes to what is best for the Kings. Or even worse, they know but do nothing about it.

  • paul

    DL is a bad gm.

  • Boris

    Rich,

    Can you find some more info about Lombardi’s “cash budget” for each season? When he first came to the Kings, he said that he was very excited and that the MAIN reason he came here was that AEG promised to stay away from hockey decisions and that they were willing to spend up to the cap each year. Now, this season, he said that he now has a cash budget for each year. What gives? I understand that there is no point to spend up to the cap THIS season, but I hope that in future seasons that AEG won’t butt-in. Also, I hope that since this season we are barely at the cap (and probably under since Doughty is not likely to meet all of his bonuses), that in future seasons, we won’t hear AEG crying about losing money.

  • wavesinair

    …but seriously…

    at the beginning of last night’s broadcast, they replayed the hit on johnson. guess what? it was in HD! obviously the game was shot on HD cameras, but it was broadcast in standard definition.

    do you know why?

    just broadcast it in HD if the camera’s are already set up. what’s the bfd?

  • Bob Bobson

    Rich, do you think Dean Lombardi can manage the cap well enough to keep together all this talent for years and years ? Or do you eventually see Frolov moving on to make room for someone like Loktionov ? I know contract amounts depend on each player but how realistic do you think it is for Dean to keep all his potential star players ?

    I think the more successful we are, the more we can convince the players to take a “hometown discount”. This makes success really important in the next two or three years when the Entry Level Contracts for guys like Doughty, Teubert, Moller, etc expire.

  • Captain Material

    Rich,

    Any chance you could get an interview with Dave Taylor and get his opinions on the direction the Kings are going now? I’m curious about what he sees and what his feelings are in retrospect about the team and his parting ways with the organization.

    I know it’s not terrribly likely, and sure he has plenty more important concerns regarding the team he is currently working for, but would be interested in hearing what he’s thinking about the Kings nowadays.

  • Mike

    Rich: If trade deadline comes and the Kings sit in 9th in the Conference…

    What do you think DL does?

    What would you do?

    Get assets for what you will lose after the season and trade Armstrong, Calder, Ivanans and/or Gauthier? Or do you keep them and only make trades if there’s a more than semi-gain?

  • Brian

    I like the pick up of Quincey but my question is why? Just because? Does DL think we aren’t deep there? Will Quincey be a starter or a 6th or 7th D man this year?

  • Brian

    I know this is a ticky-tack question or statement. But I thought one of the classiest things the Kings did (that the Ducks did not do) was give their sticks away to the crowd after the “stars” of the game took thier bow. I noticed that so far this year they are not doing that. I wonder if it is a cost saving move?

    This is also my first year as a full season ticket holder & the first year I discovered your website. My son & I are hockey crazy & you are responsible for my lack of production here at work. I love it!

  • LB

    Please explain Jack Johnson’s contract situation. As I understand – rookies are signed to 3 year entry level contracts. This is his second year playing for the Kings, so shouldn’t his contract extend into next year? Why is he already a RFA after this season?

    Great job as always Rich!

  • brianguy

    “3 – Throughout Toyota Sports Center are large pictures on the walls of a fired coach (Andy Murray), a former King great who left for $$$’s (Blake) and long ago players like Josef Stumpel and Glen Murray. What do these past images say about a group that should be focused on a new culture and attitude without throwing away some important players and milestones with this franchise? Shouldn’t these pics be changed with great past Kings players (Goring? Dionne? Gretzky? etc)?”

    at least Andy Murray is the winningest coach in history, but for having a huge poster of him in the building, and other guys who are on the cusp of being almost completely forgettable (Glen Murray comes to mind), yeah it’s just a little weird. time to update it with pictures of the guys who have their jerseys retired by this team (Rogie, DT, Gretz, Luc) and maybe the current coach assuming he can keep us in the positive direction. and probably a few team glory moments, like the Miracle on Manchester, beating Toronto in ’93, or Deadmarsh scoring his winning goal vs. the Red Wings. might even have a picture showing the electricity of the “Royal Rebound” so you can tie it into something notable involving some of the current members of the team and crowd going nuts.

    get Blake outta there immediately unless it’s some kind of montage of all the captains in Kings history… embarrasing.

  • Joey

    Any interest in Kyle McLaren?

  • The Dude

    Rich-

    Have you ever seen George Parros and Yanni at the same place at the same time, or know anyone who has?

  • Anonymous

    Do you think that DL will be looking to acquire another veteran D now that Johnson is out or just run with what we have?

    Will Sean O’Donell be resigned after this season? I love his presence out there, so calm, physical and just makes smart plays. So far a great mentor for Doughty and our young defense. He deserves an extension!!

    Do you think this is Labarbera’s last year as starting goalie now that we have a better defensive system in place for Bernier?

    Do you think the big contract and the “A” are having a Lubo-like effect on Kopitar so far this season?? He seems to be getting frustrated more and not as aggressive and dominate as he usually is.

    Are Derek Armstrong’s days numbered or will he stay for his veteran presence and versatility??

    Are you surprised by how well the new kids are playing? Doughty, Moeller, Simmonds

    JJ4Pres

  • brianguy

    a followup to JJ4Pres asking about Labs, my question is, when has the coaching staff indicated they’ll give Ersberg his first start. any chance of Friday vs. Carolina? I think any later than this would be a mistake.

    I know the coaching staff looks at Labarbera as a proven NHL goaltender but I think if they don’t plan to work Ersberg in to about 35-40% of the games, Labarbera is going to start to break down awful quick this season.

  • cristobal

    brianguy – I think one of the problem areas for the LA Kings over the years is the tendency of the FANS to jump on the goaltenders when the team is struggling. I saw Garon live in ’06 and he was awful, but he seems to be doing decent in Edmonton.

    Perhaps Kings fans need to quit undermining our own goaltenders and support them. We need to understand that this season’s goals are to improve, gain confidence, gain experience, and take individual skills to the next level. Maybe if Labarbara gets a steady diet of minutes and is able to avoid injury, he’ll gain confidence and start stealing games for this club. There’s no point in running him out of town with negativity and abuse. Let’s just give him this season and praise him when he does well. He’s the first to know when he makes a mistake. Let him deal with the mistakes himself.

    cheers

  • Darren

    I’ve noticed a lot more pressure on incoming forwards this year, during penalty kills and normal play.
    Last night outside of Selanne’s goal, every time he touched the puck he seemed to immediately have someone on his back. I guess going back to the Mark Hardy issue, will the Kings continue to push the “pressure” issue rather than passive defending, and if so how will this affect the growth of the young boys back there?

    Also, if you could pick a theme song for wayne simmons, what would it be?

  • brianguy

    Is there a reason the Kings changed the numbering on the jerseys, at least on the black home versions? especially because they never mentioned it anywhere that I heard of?

    there are two changes from what I can see:
    The numbers appear “white” on TV, even though they’re silver. Is this just because they’re a bit more shiny than the old material? Or they really as white up close as they look?

    the arm numbers also have the same whitish silver outline now, where before they were a purple outline.

    what was the reason?? anything else I missed about this?

    I thought this was just for the preseason, but yet they seem to have them for the regular season now. I thought they looked bad preseason, and I think they look bad now.

    compare –

    this season (on-ice version):
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/photo?slug=f2c23ae3a0deda67b7e0603f02577fde-getty-82625286hh010_anaheim_ducks&prov=getty

    last season (on-ice version):
    http://cdn.nhl.com/stars/images/upload/2007/11/la_niskanen250.jpg

    last season (replica style): http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2654313

  • cristobal

    brianguy – I disagree with you. I also think the jersey should lose some of the purple and silver and become more Black and White. What’s the general view on the state of the uniform?

    I’d like a more classic black and white look for both home and away – along the lines of Penn State’s uniform or (though I’m a raider hater) the raiders. I do prefer the white uni’s to the black, however.

  • JB

    What’s the deal w/ Moller? I know no straight answer will be coming from Kings staff but is it your sense that he’s getting his 10 games and then going back to Juniors. I am right that he can’t under any circumstance go to Manchester right? Or do you think he may stay pass the 10 games and be allowed to develop at the NHL level?

    Second what’s been your impression of Handzus? I think he has looked great these 3 games. He’s been in front of the net screening shots, responsible defensively and making good passes w/ Frolov. Do you agree that he may be back to his true pre-knee surgery form?

  • Gord

    Question: Would it be a stretch to see O`Donnell stay with the Kings through the trade deadline and be re-signed for at least the next year? So far he`s playing pretty well and I think another year alongside Doughty or another young defensemen would be a pretty good idea.

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