Kings, Reign make deal

AEG has purchased a majority interest in the Ontario Reign, the Kings’ ECHL affiliate. Barry Kemp, whose company founded the team after previously owning the Long Beach Ice Dogs, will retain a minority interest and will continue to run the team. The Kings are expected to supply more prospects to the Reign in the future, but right now goalie Jeff Zatkoff is the only Kings prospect in Ontario.

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  • Anonymous

    Cool…they can run that franchise into the ground too.

  • DellaNooch

    Sweet, a different team for AEG to move to Kansas City!!!

  • nykingfan

    On another topic

    Apparently, the glass breaking at Staples center is not something unique to the Kings or entirely due to the cheapness of AEG. the glass broke during the Bruins game and 4 people got hurt.
    This is something the league needs to look into. I guess now that they will probably get sued, Bettman will investigate it. Good job Bettman..never one to be proactive.

  • Brad

    Zatkoff is kicking ass and taking names. 2-0, 1.50 GAA. home opener is only two days away!

  • cristobal

    nykingsfan – even Jim Fox was pretty up front about saying something needs to be done about the staples glass because it’s been an issue in every home game so far. We’re lucky Matt Greene didn’t get hurt on that check through the plexi by D Tucker. It was a nice, clean hit, there’s no reason the plexi should pop out on it though.

    Isn’t it unbelievable that Bettman is still employed by the owners? I don’t get how they haven’t taken at least some cue from the fan’s opinions. The salary cap is in place, there’s nothing much more he’s going to do to move the game forward. Just because these owners are gazillionaires doesn’t mean they’re the brightest light on the block, however.

  • Kngcussion

    Hopefully someone from the Kings goes down there and watches Chavira. No need to draft him.

  • cristobal

    Zatkoff was profiled on a THN list of prospects to watch for that included Teubert. I’ve not seen either play yet, but they also profiled Kulemin who is playing for Toronto and looks like an extremely talented player. Could it be Zatkoff who’s the netminder of the future and not Bernier?

  • Duckhunter

    Cristobal, that’s also a question I ask myself. It’s interesting to me that everyone (fans) just gives the job to Bernier. We have many good solid prospects in goalie, how do we know it’s Brenier that’s going to shine. His numbers right now are not overly impressive. You never know.

  • Maverick

    There is a difference between the AHL and the ECHL… I am not proclaiming Bernier the Chosen one, but the numbers don’t speak for everything. A lot of the elite goaltenders of the league have very poor numbers right now only 5-7 games in. It is a team effort and I personally believe if Bernier was in net for the Kings we would be doing even better with a good defense in front of him and less rebounds going to the opposition. I really hope Murray puts in Ersberg or DL calls up a kid soon to get some experience.

  • cristobal

    duckhunter – I too believe that “goal” is an entirely unpredictable position. A friend of mine has kind of convinced me that its never a good idea to spend a high draft pick on a netminder. They usually take years to develop and in the mean time most clubs find a “franchise” guy anyway. Also, there are always teams like New Jersey or San Jose who find tons of No. 1 guys, while teams like the Kings only seem to find a short term answer every other decade. Personally, I think we should have brought Sean Burke back again. He’s aged, but he’s in great physical shape, I think.

  • Quisp

    Duckhunter and Cristobal re Bernier v. Zatkoff:

    It’s what you call a champagne problem. Bernier, Zatkoff and Quick are all excellent prospects. It is of course possible that Bernier won’t be the one to emerge from that battle (we should include Ersberg, as well). Bernier was spectacular for Lewiston, has international experience; Zatkoff was a college star, which is generally considered to be less impressive as a testing ground, but who knows? (answer: maybe nobody.) The main thing about Bernier is that his game is generally regarded to be technically flawless. Zatkoff, on the other hand, has (drum-roll) problems with rebounds, which (see LaBarbera) tends to be something that gets magnified at the NHL level.

    I do think it’s a good idea to keep our eyes on the dark horses in these various races (I never expected Moller — who I love with all my hockey heart — to jump ahead of Purcell this year). But I wouldn’t put too much stock in Zatkoff’s numbers in Ontario or Bernier’s numbers in Manchester, especially when you’re only talking about a handful of games. And remember, Bernier is not only the Kings’ highest rated prospect at goaltender, he’s the highest rated goaltending prospect in the entire league, and #8 at any position (Doughty is #2, Hickey is #19, I think).

    Any way you look at it, the Bernier/Zatkoff/Quick/Ersberg situation is going to work out great for the Kings. Two years from now, two of those guys will be fixtures for the Kings, and the other two will likely have been moved. Which two? That’s what makes being a fan fun, right? We don’t know… (This is also why all this talk of trading for a #1 goaltender just seems like idle b.s.; but maybe it’s just me…)

  • cristobal

    Something’s fishy with this buy in.
    AEG had nothing to do with a team called the Reign before this?
    I wonder if the attendance figures will resemble those at Staples?
    Is the ice in Ontario actually frozen?

    This on a day when it could be announced that Goldenballs/Beckham is being “loaned” to AC Milan. AEG just keeps plugging along despite horrible marketing and bad business decisions. They remind me of the spoiled rich kids I went to high-school with. If they wreck the car, daddy just buys them another one.

    I’d imagine there’s a ton of fans dying to attend Ontario Reign games. What’s a ticket cost? Or rather, what will a ticket cost now that AEG’s a partner?

    Hey, I’ve got a marketing idea…
    How about building small ice rinks in neighborhoods all over LA County and providing gear to the kids? You’d not only help local kids develop into future nhlers, you’d be building fans yourselves. I wonder how great a marketing ploy Wayne Simmonds could be in Los Angeles? I wonder how many potentiallly great hockey players have never been inside a rink and could never hope to afford even one pair of skates?

  • cristobal

    Quisp – The champagne problem is a good one to have. Yes. I understand what you mean when you say college is not regarded as the place to really see players develop, but damn if the college ranks haven’t been grooming some good players. Kariya, Vanek (who’s tearing it up), Jack Johnson, Turco (who I’ve never really liked but he is a no. 1 no doubt, at least until the playoffs). The crazy thing with netminders, though, is that all of them could be potential no. 1’s, but they could ALL fizzle out too. I like the idea that there is a few really strong candidates, however. If none of them turn into very good NHL netminders there must be an LA curse or something.

    As much as I’ve been defending Labarbara, I did want to see Ersberg get the nod to start the season. Sometimes these kids come along and fly under the radar but really turn into solid goalies. I don’t remember any hype about R. Miller, H. Lundquist, or even Carey Price, though admittedly I haven’t paid as much attention to prospects around the league until recently.

    On another note, are you familiar with Robbie Earl, the Toronto prospect? He played at Wisconsin.

  • Duckhunter

    Cristobal…on AEG buying majority….maybe that’s why Metallica is playing there in a few weeks. I don’t believe Metaliica ever played where the Ice Dogs did.

  • Quisp

    Oh, I wasn’t saying anything negative about college players; just offering up the usual comparison between leagues/levels. I share your enthusiasm for Zatkoff. I won’t complain if he outplays Bernier. Whenever anybody says they know anything about goalies, I always think about Montreal in 1971. I remember this pretty well because I was a Bruins fan and the Bruins were considered to be unstoppable, having won the cup the year before. Montreal had their franchise goalie, a guy named Rogie Vachon, who without a doubt was going to be their goalie in the playoffs. With a couple of weeks to go in the season, the Habs brought up a rookie who had never played an NHL game, just to get in some playing time. The kid was just out of college and had been okay in the minors before the call up. He proceeded to win a half dozen games for the Canadiens to close out the season, playing beyond expectations. Going with the hot hand, the Canadiens started him in the playoffs and he knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs, going on to win the cup for the Canadiens. He was playoff MVP and the next year he was rookie of the year. That was basically it for Rogie in Montreal. The next year he was traded to LA.

    Not quite related: A little Dryden, Robinson, Gainey, Murphy and Bob Miller


    Labarbara starts tonight and what sucks is that Ersberg could start tomorrow and it’s not going to be televised at all.

  • Quisp

    Robbie Earl, I’ve never seen him. Supposed to be potentially great. From Los Angeles, right?

  • GoKings09


    I agree with most of what you say but in regards to Turco to say he is a number one goalie until the playoffs is no longer accurate. Turco is one of the best and most consistent goalies not just now but ever. His career GAA in the regular season is 2.15 with a save percentage of .913 which is better than all-time greats like Patrick Roy with a career GAA of 2.54 and Martin Brodeur with 2.20. Also, the knock for a long time on Turco was his performance in the playoffs but his GAA and save percentage the past two seasons in the playoffs has been 1.30 and .952 in 2007 and 2.08 and .922 in 2008 with 4 shutouts in those two years as well. His career playoff stats are now GAA of 2.17 and save percentage of .914. Personally, Turco is one of my favorite goaltenders and I love the way he plays the puck but he is also one of the best goaltenders if you look at his statistics in the regular season and playoffs. Two years ago he had an amazing postseason where all three of the Stars wins in their series against Vancouver came from shutouts from Turco and 3 of the teams losses were in OT with two 2-1 losses as well.

  • Anonymous

    Jack Johnson does not belong in that list of good players who came from college just yet. He has a lot to prove and improve to get there. I hope hes using his time wisely during his recovery and learning more about playing solid defense in his own zone.

  • cristobal

    Yes, from Los Angeles, Robbie. I wonder if the Leafs are sour on him and if he’s starting to lose faith he’ll make it in the NHL. I notice he’s back with the Marlies and hasn’t started off hot. Wouldn’t mind the Kings acquiring him.
    I know what you were saying about college hockey not being regarded as highly in terms of player prospects, I was just saying its funny how some of the best NHL players DID develop in college. I still can’t get over how well Vanek is doing.
    The Dryden story is a good one and proves that its hit and miss. Its funny the way one guys life (Dryden’s) can have so much effect on something so far away (Los Angeles hockey). Vachon is a huge part of Kings history seemingly for the better (even though he was ripped as a GM the other day by some).

  • jet

    I am just wondering if I am going to have to listen to ‘Purple Rain’ played through every warm up?

  • cristobal

    GOKINGS09 – Those numbers are pretty impressive. Maybe it’s the Stars who haven’t built enough around him to get to the finals. He does seem to give up some horrible goals at bad times sometimes, but you can’t argue with those numbers. If you’re goalie is keeping the puck out of the net, the team needs to support him with goals. Beyond Modano and Lehtinen, Dallas has been pretty average when it comes to producing good forwards. I’m sure I’m forgetting some scorers they’ve had recently, but pure goal scorers don’t seem to be their “thing”. Despite that, the Kings always have problems with them.

    Anonymous – I am of the opinion that Johnson still has much to prove, but in the one game I saw this season its evident he’s got all the tools and determination to be a great player. If he fails, its either mental or because of injuries. He seems pretty strong mentally, though.

    just a thought – maybe mark Parrish would come to LA pretty cheap right now. We don’t necessarily NEED him, but if he got on that 1st line I think he could score like crazy. If he’d come for 1 mil. for one season, would it just be taking time away from the young guys, or would it help the Kings win some more games? Or, would he just be too slow and Calder-like? I think he’s much better than Calder, honestly.

  • Quisp

    Cristobal, re Parrish:

    I’m going to stick my neck out and say, I don’t think the Kings need anybody right now. I do think bringing in veterans of any stripe would be, as you said, taking time away from the young guys. I think/hope Calder’s days are numbered (even if we see, starting tonight, a Calder resurgence). Even the often-mentioned thinness on defense might turn out to be a blessing, if Doughty and Quincey continue to get 22 minutes a game and play their asses off. What I want to see (and the reason I’m disappointed by the Calder first line announcement) is the steady game-to-game improvement in Moller and Simmonds (and the rest of the kids) and the reawakening of Brown and Kopitar. I think once everyone hits his stride, we’ll be seeing an extra goal or two per game, which makes all the difference in the world.

    I think what the Calder thing shows is Murray’s belief in giving his players a chance to succeed (as opposed to burying Calder on the fourth line) and also his belief in balancing the lines. I would say Murray’s assessment is that the second and third lines are doing well, and the first line needs work, and he’s addressing the first line problem without changing the other two lines. As a strategy, I like that. He’s not sacrificing what’s already working. And also he’s sending a message to Kopitar and Brown that they need to take it upon themselves to play better. Not that they need to be told.

    Bring up Purcell.

  • cristobal

    Quisp, no argument from me on that reasoning. I DO think there is a possibility he could fit in REALLY well, but I’m fine sticking with the youngones right now.

    Are you participating in the live blog during games? Is there a live blog tonight?

  • -J

    Earl’s not from L.A. Just saying…

  • nykingfan


    I think Parrish signed with the Islanders. I think on a minor league deal.
    I didnt like him when he came here. I think he might have been injured, but I still wans’t impressed with his play.

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