More on the trade

Here’s the story I filed for the paper regarding the LaBarbera-to-Vancouver trade…

By Rich Hammond
Staff Writer
The Kings’ long quest to find stable goaltending took another twist Tuesday when they traded Jason LaBarbera to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2009 seventh-round draft pick.
LaBarbera, who had a 5-8 record, a 2.83 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage, fell behind Erik Ersberg (8-5, 2.38, .903) on the goalie depth chart and became expendable with the recent emergence of rookie Jonathan Quick (2-3, 1.72, .937).
Quick, 22, who has recorded two shutouts this season, and Ersberg, 26, are considered better long-term options than LaBarbera, 28, who will be a free agent next summer.
LaBarbera’s Kings career was filled with highs and lows. It started in the summer of 2005 when the Kings signed LaBarbera, who had been one of the top goalies in the AHL.
After a surprisingly strong training camp, LaBarbera split time with Mathieu Garon, but after some inconsistency, LaBarbera spent the 2006-07 season back in the AHL.
LaBarbera spent this summer working with a trainer and nutritionist, reported to camp in the best shape of his career and was designatd, by coach Terry Murray, as the Kings’ No. 1 goalie, but after 10 games, he was essentially supplanted by Ersberg.
The move to Vancouver might be welcomed by LaBarbera, who is a native of British Columbia. With No. 1 goalie Roberto Luongo out with a groin strain, the Canucks have been going with Curtis Sanford and rookie Cory Schneider in goal.
Quick is expected to start when the Kings host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Also on Tuesday, the Kings assigned rookie forward Trevor Lewis to Manchester. In the next coupe days, they’re expected to recall forward Brian Boyle from Manchester.

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  • Anonymous

    Tee hee

  • Big Rob in Dallas

    Holy Sh@t!! I can’t believe the punching bag is gone. I wasn’t a huge fan but he could only fetch a 7th rounder? I guess we got something but not much. Not watch him turn into the next Pat Roy. That’s our luck!!

    PS. How long do the cookies last? I know I’m not a huge poster but it is annoying to sign in almost every time just to post my worthless .02

  • anthony

    Now we can get even with the Canucks for the Cloutier trade.

  • Kevco

    Well let’s hope that at the worst next time we face Vancouver it goes to a shoot out 🙂

    I hope he does better up there than here but I’m really glad he’s gone.

  • john

    im glad he’s gone, but i think we could have gotten more.

  • Anonymous

    I wish Jason the best in Van. Rich, do you think the Kings are done trading for now? or can we possibly expect another move before the trade deadline?

  • psycho

    lets remember that this is hockey and the game that we love. There is not one of us who wouldn’t love to be out there on the ice playing this game. I know that I am not alone in wishing Labs the best of luck. This game is hard enough as it is without losing one’s confidence and allowing the mental side of it impact your ability to play. Those who think that we could have received more for Labs must also remember that other teams know what is going on in LA, not just with the 3-4 (maybe 5 goalies) good / great goalies in the pipes and the fact that we probably needed to move Labs. Plus DL has a stockpiled more picks in the first few rounds that we can afford to take a lower round for him.

    Good luck Jason. I hope you regain your form.

  • Danny

    If we could have gotten more we would have.

  • Ciccarelli

    Thanks for the news Rich. Good luck to Jason. If he plays us, I hope we get to a shoot out. 🙂

  • The Man from UNCLE

    This is a fine trade. Labs was given ample opportunity to be a legitimate NHL goaltender and to fit into the plans of a struggling team. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, he didn’t grow with the club. That’s just the nature of the sports beast.

    He has had some stellar games. When I see a player that has shining moments to me it means that he is not playing up to his potential the rest of the time; that signals a deficiency in his mental game. It also means that because of that, he’s just an average goaltender.
    I stand by my past criticisms of his performance, but that doesn’t negate my hope that he will find his game in Vancouver and exercise his potential.

    It’s a good move by Lombardi and co. I don’t think he owes the Kings anything, and I don’t think we owe him anything. Labs has a lot of history with the Kings organization, but it’s clear that he never quite fit here.

  • TeamHasHoles

    Why would you think we could get more for him? The Kings are cheap and don’t wanna pay the $450k he’s probably owed. He was on a one-way deal, so he’d be taking time away from Bernier or would be paid huge money to be an AHL backup when he’s already been a big-time goalie in that league (not real fair to him and that DOES matter to a guy like DL).

    The only solution was a trade and the Kings were behind the eight-ball with Ersberg coming back, not wanting to carry 3 goalies, Labarbera not having a good season and no real DESPERATE team in need of a goalie.

    Vancouver was definitely in a position of bargaining strength, but I’m happy they got anything for the guy and don’t have to pay ANY of the rest of his salary, which if he had been claimed on re-entry waivers in an attempt to send him to the minors, the Kings would have gotten nothing and still would have had to pay a good portion of his salary and have a cap hit to boot (which of course isn’t that big a deal this season, but still…)

    Win-win the way I see it.

  • jet

    After the last two shootout performances, I am surprised that DL could trade him. Labs has played better in games this year. If he can improve at shootouts he will be a valuable backup.
    I just hope EEs groin is 100%.

  • Fernando


    Does this fall under the FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS part of some of the trades that go on in the NHL.

  • Anonymous

    Tee hee hee… It just really sank in…

  • BIll

    I’m ecstatic he’s gone. Now if we could only get rid of Calder we might be getting somewhere…

  • Anonymous

    Bottom Line…Jason only has himself to blame for this. If he’s a professional, he will. I believe he’s a professional that has worked really friggin’ hard and just hit a wall. Our team suffered for it, but they (and especially TM) did not give up on him at ALL! How many times did we all complain about Labs STARTING AGAIN?!?!If the team didn’t believe in him or trust him, they wouldn’t have started him so much and give him time to find his game.

    This comes down to the simplicity that Quick seized the moment as Labs’s hourglass ran out of sand. Erik comes back and the odd man out gets tossed.

    This is the best scenario for Jason IMHO. Traded to your hometown, familiar surroundings, NHL team so he’s not demoted….if anyone has been handed a chance to rebound on a silver platter, it’s JASON LABARBARA. Dean did the best thing for him and Vancouver really. I’d choose Jason over that rookie Cory up there right now. Cory is not ready.

    Don’t feel sorry for Jason, he’ll get his game back, he’s a pro and he’s acting like one. We have suffered here in LA for quite a long time because moves like these were either NEVER done or done WAY too late at the expense of the franchise. This was the right move at the right time and is RIGHT FOR EVERYBODY.

    Thanks for all the effort Jason. Get your damn game back and win a few for Matty Sundin. Ya know, it might be too much Metallica. Listening to too much of ANYTHING they did after ‘..And Justice for all’ could make ANYONE lose their confidence (There is a story there…don’t ask). pop in some Slayer, some Death, a little Testament and you’ll be good as new. Good Luck!

  • KingFan4ever

    Sayonara LaBarbera….. You can’t say the Kings didn’t give him a fair shake. The big question now is if Ersberg will return playing the same way pre-injury.

  • Anonymous

    Man Vancouver’s other goalie Sanford got inured today also which makes me think we could have got a higher pik if we waited a day, anyways it looks like barbs will be starting for them on Thursday at Nashville and he met be the starter till Luongo gets back. Hope he does well, except when playing the Kings.

  • Eat The Poor

    Regardless, the bottom line is he’s not here.

    Wow this is cool.

  • JDM

    I’m so happy he is not a King anymore.

    But I hope he thrives in Vancouver… just not so much as to adversely effect the Kings.

    Congrats to Deano on the itchy trigger finger. This all played out as it should, and Lombardi completely avoided a Cloutier type fiasco. In fact, the last time I remember Labarbera’s (I will now once again capitalize his name since I’ve no more reason to harbor frustration towards him) name mentioned by the Kings, atleast here, was Murray saying he was our number 1 with Ersberg out. So he can feel confident he left here having attained a number 1 job in the NHL.

    He isn’t an old man, and there is no reason that if this move can’t give him a kick in the ass to get his head together and perhaps work on his fundamentals that he could not be a serviceable backup goalie in the NHL for quite some time. As it always has been, his career and success is entirely in his own hands. Now he is on a winning playoff team.

    I am curious to see if he gets a playoff game, you never know he might shine.

    All nice words for him aside, I will admit when I saw he was traded I immediately texted a couple of people ecstatically that “Lasuckra is a Canuck!”

    I feel guilty being giddy, but its a business, I wish him no harm, and damnit I am giddy.

    ERSBERG/QUICK! How cool is that?

    Here’s to one issue being acceptable. Now about that offense…

  • Anonymous

    JDM said: “I am curious to see if he gets a playoff game, you never know he might shine.”

    Are you serious? A playoff game? Not as long as Luongo is the goalie in Vancouver….no chance whatsoever….

  • jediknight329

    i too wish jlb well. i’m never one to go after a player and attack them personally. that is very bad form. i just did not think he was cut out to be a true #1 nhl goalie after watching him during the pre-season and the first 10 games. in my opinion, he let in way too many soft goals. but, all that is now history. it is time to move on with ee and quick.

    maybe i’m conservative, but i still think there is a place in the org for zeiler, richardson, gauthier, preissing and calder. however, if there is a deal out there to be made involving anyone of them, i would not lose any sleep over it. i think preissing could be the odd man out on d after jmfj comes back. gauthier still has some ability and effectively uses his body. don’t freak out about dl’s moves in trading for richardson and signing that bloated contract for preissing. dl was in a weak position when he made those moves. the kids have come a long way this year, much faster than expected. had he known this 1-2 years ago, he probably does not make these moves.

    at the same time, i would like to see lewis, purcell, moulsen and boyle up with the big club. but, i know this can’t happen simply due to the lack of roster spots. there time will come, but full-time won’t be until next season. their development in manchester is critical for them. i would presume that all of them with stick with the kings next year.

    i’m not much of any army fan. i think he wastes a spot when he’s playing. he could be waived. zeiler would be next in line, probably going back to manchester. calder would be next after that either trade or waiver wire.

    i think harrold needs to stay on d. he and gauthier will probably be the extra d-men after jj is back. with voynov and martinez in the wings, harrold will not be around after this year anyway. who knows about sean o’d, i think he’ll be gone as well.

    that all being said, i would not be surprised to see dl make a big trade prior to the trade deadline or during the off-season. or he may try to make a big offer to a ufa to get us that top 3 forward who can be a game changer when he scores. kovalchuk, hossa are possiblities. gaborik, not so much due to his seemingly endless list of injuries. dl may even try to get one of the big three out of ottawa.

    we will not make the playoffs this year, but we will be competitive. 09-10 and beyond, we will be contenders. we have all the pieces in place. just let nature takes its course.

  • Ziggy

    The exaggerated responses to this trade are a bit surprising to me. IMO this was a good trade that made sense for both sides. I am of the opinion that to become an NHL GM you must possess an intellect that is way above average. The hiring process is intensive and competitive and they certainly don’t give this job to anybody. That being said both Gillis and DL had a reason to pull the trigger on this trade. Once we examine the motivations, it will become clear why each team made the move. You are free to disagree with the GM’s thinking, but they are not idiots.

    Preseason, JLB was a proven NHL netminder who could be counted on as a bridge goaltender until the next wave of Kings’ goaltending prospects were NHL ready (a long process in DL’s mind). He came into camp in excellent physical shape, and was therefore given the number one role. He struggled for whatever reason, personally I think he has been overcompensating for a recognized weakness and his game needs some technical adjustments. Also the man gives up way too many rebounds.
    DL was depending on JLB to carry the load so as not to out too much pressure on EE. EE outplayed JLB. When EE got hurt Quick got the opportunity to play (since JLB sucked in the game against Buffalo). The rapid progression of Quick changes the plan that DL had set for the team. Now you have a logjam in goal because DL is very pleased with Quick’s play. Why not send JLB to Manchester? First of all you want Bernier to see a lot of pucks. Secondly, playing in the AHL is not going to boost JLB’s stock. Finally you have two other goalies in the system who deserve a shot at a higher level (Zatkoff and Martin Jones who is having an awesome year). So DL has to get rid of JLB so that the goalie prospects can continue their development. The Kings can afford to lose value for JLB because of the strength of their prospects. THIS IS A GREAT POSITION TO BE IN!
    They need an NHL caliber goaltender to fill in right now. They want their goalie of the future, Schnieder to start everyday in the AHL rather than backup at the NHL level. Schneider isnt ready to be an NHL starter but Quick looks like he is. Luongo may be out longer than expected prompting them to make the trade. The Canucks know they are getting much more out of Labarbera than a 7th round pick. They are willing to take on salary for the short term to make the playoffs. The Canucks cannot afford to struggle now and lose ground in the tight NW Division. Especially with the acquisition of Sundin, the emphasis is on the NOW.

    SO, in summary:
    The Kings clear up their goaltending logjam, get a draft pick, dump salary, and impressively in DL’s case, make a solid trade under a time constraint.
    The Canucks get immediate goaltending help to bridge the gap til Luongo comes back. They get a proven NHL (not a star but an NHLer) goaltender for a 7th round pick (pretty good IMO). They take on salary, but if they can continue their push to the playoffs and make a good run (home ice = more money thus paying for Labs) the deal makes a lot of sense.

    Sorry for the long post, hope it makes some sense. Good deal both sides. Glad to see the Kings have a lot of confidence in their young talent at the goalie position.


    What a sad commentary on American Sports.
    Now EVERYBODY views sports as a business.
    Where is the Chivalry in your souls?

    Labarbara cared, and tried.
    Arguably too hard.
    People are actually excited that he’s gone.
    What happens if Quick gets hurt Saturday night, Geniuses?
    We’ve already seen Washington suit up a blogger as a backup goalie this season.
    Labs hasn’t played in the last 3 games and we lost 2 of them — to phoenix and columbus.
    Labs should have been sent down. If he’s claimed, he’s claimed.
    You don’t just throw backup goalies on the scrap-heap.
    What happens if Quick becomes the best goalie of all time?
    Do we have Bernier the Great as a backup for 15 years?
    No. You’d trade an asset of value and keep Labs as a backup; at backup prices –or at least that’s what I’d do.
    I don’t care if I played him in Ontario, I’ll offer him a job because he DOES have value.

  • Anthony from Seattle

    I’m happy to see LaBarbera go since with his play, especially in shootouts or close games he would let in that easy game and we would loose a game.

    However I do feel bad for him, when he came up with the Kings he was a very good goalie, but once he left for personal reasons and he came back he was never the same. That season he was stuck in the AHL was horrible and I’m sure that played into his head.

    I hope he can find his form again and I’m sure he will turned out like many other previous Kings’ goalies (Legace, Garon, etc), he’ll go out and be a a top goalie.

    Now for me, I really like Ersberg. He stays cool under pressure and controls those rebounds well. Quick is great too. Just Hope Ersberg comes back and didn’t loose any of his game.

    Now EAT THE RICH, sorry to burst your bubble, but those two looses were not Quicks fault, he kept us in the game, it was our offense.

  • JDM

    You’re really confusing me EAT.

    I can see your points about the fans being too rough on Labs. However this whole notion that it is both better for the club and for the man to play him in Manchester or Ontario is just… well, wierd. I don’t think the logic between those two points translate to eachother.

    How is Vancouver the scrap-heap? If we traded him to the Islanders then fine, but really, to a playoff team?

    Value is all relative, and Labs has value, but in his situation relative to the Kings, he has none. Gillis knows why DL wants to make this trade, that he is in a bit of a bind, and DL needs a quick fix.

    There’s chivalry in making a tough move that you know may hurt a guy’s feelings for a little while because its what is best for the team, and really, for the player as well. I know we are all just couch coaches out in the interwebs, but there is little chance that Labs feels really comfortable here, or like he has a future, and that is seriously no one’s fault but his own. You can’t pull the Tukonen “he wasn’t given a chance” argument here, because Labarbera was given AMPLE opportunity to prove his worth.

    Why on earth would anyone prefer to play in the AHL or the ECHL instead of the NHL. I know that I like to do anything I dedicate my life to at the highest level possible, and to attain that level, and then be forced down to an inferior level, would upset me greatly. The Kings aren’t Labarbera’s life long dream. He wasn’t Drew Doughty growing up with starry eyes about playing in 80 degree weather in a non-hockey market. Hockey players want to be on the ice, and the ice in Vancouver is just as good, in fact, empirically speaking, its better.

    Are the fans going a little overboard under the veils of internet anonymity in their verbal assaults? Yes I definately think so. Is it the worst thing in the world, not really, just like jedi said, bad form is all. But Labarbera has been treated with respect and given hope and opportunity and every chance at an infusion of pride and trust that an organization could possibly give a player. This trade is itself in absolutely no way disrespectful.

  • goonie

    Guys come on. For DL to get a 7th rounder is pure genious.

    Does Ilya Bryzgalov ring a bell? Last year Anaheim tried to move him but there were NO takers thus he was waived and immediately claimed. Thus anaheim got nothing for him. So do any of u honestly think that Lab is better than Bryzgalov? So stop complaining and enjoy the fact that we gotten something for nothing(Lab)

  • ReggieMoto

    EAT THE RICH wrote “What a sad commentary on American Sports…Where is the Chivalry in your souls? Labarbara cared, and tried. Arguably too hard. People are actually excited that he’s gone.”

    Personally, I don’t mind that people are excited he’s gone. Labs’ departure opens up a lot of opportunities for the next generation of Kings’ netminders. To me, this is all good.

    The thing that’s disturbing to me in all this is the malice and ill will people are gleefully tossing Labarbera’s way. Instead of “manning up” and just wishing him the best with his new team while silently exhaling and looking forward to the team’s new dawn, they are responding with all the crassness, disrespect and poor sportsmanship they can muster, to the point where they are trying to outdo each others poor behavior.

    There’s little to no class on display on any of the Kings fans forums today.

  • VisionQuest/Leatherface

    This says a lot about the organizations confidence in a couple of people, namely Zatkoff and Bernier.

    Bernier has total control in Manchester. He is the clear cut #1 and it’s his turn to prove he is progressing and can lead a team.

    Zatkoff now has the well-deserved opportunity to usurp him.

  • nykingfan

    Well said Ziggy and JDM

    This was a no brainer for DL and the Kings. he had to move Barbs because it’s time for the young guys to take over in the organization in goal. It would have made no sense to waive him and create a logjam in Manchester. How would that help the young kids development?
    Besides the fact that there is no way in hell LaBarbara wished to go back down to the minors and ride the buses. he feels he’s an NHL goalie and Vancouver is willing to give him that shot.

    ETR I don’t understand why you feel he was treated in an unfair manner by the Kings? He was given the #1 job in training camp and failed to take hold of it. It was obvious that he wasn’t going to be treated fairly by the fans and his play of late only made the venom worse.
    I think it was a good move for all parties involved. Sorry to tell you but this is a business for all involved..except us fans. The same as you feel the Kings should have treated Barbs in a more dignified manner, I’m sure if Barbs was negotiating a contract with the Kings, he’s be asking for as much as he can get and not care as to whether the Kings were trying to save cap space for others. That wouldn’t make him a bad guy either.
    All we can say is Good luck Barbs in the future. Much success as long as your success doesn’t interfere with our success.

  • Danny

    JDM, ReggieMoto…Agreed 1000%

  • Anonymous

    Finally, now Dean you trade Calder for a 8th round pick to ANYONE?


    Its hard to feel bad sometimes.
    Its like very other athlete and sport.
    Labs got his chance, he failed, now hes gone..

  • Crash Davis

    This is a win-win-win situation for all parties.

    Vancouver gets a proven goalie, albeit one that needs to resurrect his game. Canucks give up little, with a 7th round pick more akin to a bag of pucks.

    The Kings clear the proverbial logjam of goalies, open a roster spot for Quick this week (from emergency status to a recall), and bring the Iceberg back from injury. This also, as others have stated, sets Bernier as #1 in Manchester. It’s his role to win, learn, claim legitimacy. Kings also send Lewis down and are about to bring Boyle up – this while there are 4 days between home games and the travel is easier. There’re more trades & transaction to come, especially when JMFJ returns. We’ll see. Army, Preissing, Calder…that’ll sort itself out eventually.

    LaBarbara gets to go back to BC, joins a winning team, stays in the Western Conference where he knows the shooters (although he’s unable to stop ANY OF THEM in a shootout), gets the chance to eventually backup Luongo and to find his game. This is the classic change of scenery that can help a player start over.

    DL said a few months back that there are 3 types of trades: matching needs, kick the tires or robbery. This seems to be matching needs. Vancouver needed a goalie RIGHT NOW. Kings needed to get rid of a goalie RIGHT NOW. The rest is just details.

  • Eat The Poor

    UM… Right

    If we would have made Labs “Feel Better About Himself” his play woulda been better.

    We’re crappy Americans for trading Labs after having what we ALL see is a pretty bad half of year, costing us much needed points.

    Don’t worry Eat/Rich, he’s going to Canada were they’re much nicer on their players in a touchy feely kinda way and all that love will translate into a warmer, nicer, Labs who will still lose games, but hey…he’ll feel GOOD about it.


    (actually they will eat him alive up there cuz as we all know, they’re way the hell more serious about hockey up there than we are so… i guess disregard this post!)

  • Anonymous


    Although I agree that most of the so called kings fans are/were unfair and classless in how they treated Labs, I also think you’re thinking too much with your heart and not with your brain. Let’s remember that hockey IS a business not just a sport my friend.

    You keep mentioning that Labs should have been waived. I don’t understand your argument here. You’d rather we just give Labs away than to obtain a 7th round pick? And if he did clear waivers, do you really think that Labs would be happier down in manchester rather than playing near his hometown in vancouver?

    C’mon man, think a little bit. If you want what’s best for Labs, Vancouver is it.

    If you want what’s best for kings, we got a 7th round pick out of it.

    It’s a win/win for all around.

    I’m sense13 btw. I can’t seem to sign on for some reason.

    Btw, I believe someone mentioned to Rich about another trade…I believe Preissing should be the next to go with JJ being a week or two away from returning jmho.

  • Duckhunter

    I’m going to change things up a bit and run with JDM’s last sentence of one of his post in which he says “Here’s to one issue being acceptable. Now about that offense…”

    Here’s a little breakdown of our top guys

    Kopitar Goals 10 = 93rd Assists 19 =48 Points 29 =55
    -empty nets G 8 = 140 A 19 =48 P 27 =69

    Brown Goals 13 = 49th Assists 13 = 134 Points 26 = 78

    POS Goals 9 = 119th Assists 14 = 113 Points 23 = 119

    Frolov Goals 16 = 23rd Assists 9 = 221 Points 25 = 90

    Holy smokes, I knew we weren’t doing so hot but look at these numbers. Do we need a top tier player or do our top guys need to MAN UP and start producing. We have one guy that’s in the TOP 70. I don’t know guys, I expect a lot more out of our boys.

  • Quisp

    I think you’re right that Preissing is the next trade (sometime this month, before JJ comes back). Then Calder by the deadline. I’m pretty sure that’s got to happen, unless DL thinks he’s going to re-sign him over the summer (which has to be unlikely, right?). Also, does DL deal Armstrong at the deadline, or try to re-sign this summer? I think he stays.

    Zeiler and Armstrong



    That’s 23.

    Subtractions: Preissing; Calder; Richardson (IR).

    I now think that the plan might be for Lewis to spend some time in Manchester working on being the replacement for Calder (trade deadline being only a couple months away now). I’m slightly disappointed by that, but I guess it works for me.

  • nykingfan


    Yeah the offensive numbers are gross, but lets give them more time to get the system they’re playing, down pat. I think by the 2nd half those numbers will improve greatly. It’s a lot to ask of a young team to buy into a new defensive system, and keep the offense up to where it was or should be.

  • Quisp

    I believe I saw somewhere that this year’s offense was one goal behind last year’s wild-west Crawford pace (before the last shut out, that is). If so, that’s not quite as bad as it’s being presented. I agree Duckhunter that the numbers will likely come around, if only because Kopitar, Frolov, POS, Brown and Stoll are not going to sleepwalk through the entire season and because the rookies on the team will likely improve as the season wears on. Meanwhile, Moller and Simmonds are the veterans of the prospects, with their 37 games of experience. Purcell, Lewis and Boyle are still getting their bearings. These guys all have soft hands, finish, moves, play-making ability. At least a couple of them will step it up a notch, and that will translate into better offense.

    Don’t forget, one extra goal every couple of games (+0.5 GFA), and one less goal against every couple of games (-0.5 GAA) , will mean a huge improvement in points.


    First of all, if Lombardi took the “secret santa”-7th Rounder like a bullet to get Labs somewhere he wanted to be — I say good job.
    And, I would completely apologize for lumping DL in with the heartless.

    To those getting excited because he’s gone — you’re fools. If there’s a need for a good backup in Vancouver, which is exactly what Labs is, there’s need for him here.
    You can’t play more than one goaltender, so one of our 4 guys is going to be THE guy. The others know that. When it’s decided who is our No. 1, the others are trade fodder. That’s how it works in the NHL and it’s why Anaheim lost Bryz.

    So, go ahead and celebrate like the LA hockey fans you are. We’re still paying Cloutier more than Labs was earning, and we’ll still be paying Cloutier next year.
    And if we do happen to find someone desperate enough for Preissing, or Calder; I guess we can package 3 7th round picks and move up to the 6th round.

    The one question I have is why did we help out a Western Conf. rival that gave us Cloutier AND Crawford?
    I’d much rather Labs went to whoever was first in line to claim him, and force waiver-wire competitors to use up their claiming position.
    And if Labs, a solid backup, makes it to Manchester, there’s no more logjam on the big club, and you’ve got someone who CAN be a starter in the AHL schooling your prospects.

    So, in the end, I’d say Lombardi did well if he’s honoring Labs final wish, otherwise I’d say he got taken in this deal — because Labs is worth more to us to keep out of the hands of the competition than a 7th round pick.
    We could probably have acquired a 7th round pick if we promised to turn the lights off as we left the draft-building.

    Anyway, I’m sure Labs will be much happier in Vancouver where the fans booing you actually know what it’s like to play a decent level of hockey, and they never expected you to “steal” games for a team that can’t score.

  • nykingfan


    I don’t see how keeping a veteran NHL goalie down in Manchester is going to help the young kids progress. He’s not going to want to go down there and play sparingly so guys like Bernier can pefect their craft..he’s going to want to play meaningful minutes so he can get back to the NHL. It would only hurt the development of our young goalies having him there. He’s not going to be a mentor. He’s too young to be doing that. He’ll want to be back in the NHL and quickly. He would need to play regularly to do that.
    If the Kings goalies continue to develop as Ersberg and Quick have, and we have to trade one of them, we’re going to get a lot more in return for a young, stud goalie. It would also mean that one or more of our young kids progressed to the point of solidifying the position..something that hasn’t happened here since the great flood.

    I don’t see how trading Barbs to a team in the Western Conference will hurt us. Lets be serious…He was a serviceable goalie prior to this stretch of games he’s had…but by no means was he a goalie anyone feared playing against. I’d rather face Barbs in a playoff series than Luongo…that’s for sure.

  • Anonymous


    You keep emphasizing what would happen if either Quick or EE were to get hurt and the simple response would be to call up Bernier. What’s the big deal? Besides, why would we want Labs down in manchester sharing time with Bernier? We need to give Bernier as much experience as possible so that he can be part of our goaltending solution for next year.

    Hey, I agree with you that we could have gotten more back for Labs if we held him until the trade deadline but that would have just complicated our roster even more with Boyle due up.

    Bottomline is Labs isn’t going to be part of our future. His time has run its course and now it’s up to EE,Quick and Bernier to shine.


  • Duckhunter

    Quisp, my numbers weren’t to misrepresent the team. My point was to show how our top guys are not producing. I wasn’t talking about Stoll, Handz or the rookies, I’m talking about the leaders of our team who are suppose to carry the load. You can only use the excuse of learning how to play defense for so long. It’s time for our young guns to step it up a little on the offensive side. As you say 0.5 increase would change everything. I expect our top guys to fill that role. Our top guys are capable of doubling that. So lets call it what it is, lack of production from our heavy hitters(on the offensive side).

  • Quisp


    Absolutely. I agree with you. It reminds me of Robitaille, when he would go scoreless for 10 games and you knew he was about to turn it on for 10 games. Not that he could just turn it on and off; but scorers can be streaky that way.

    TM strikes me as the kind of coach who doesn’t panic. He just makes methodical, small adjustments, knowing that small changes accumulate. He doesn’t see, for example, demotions to Manchester, or playing on the fourth line, as dramatic or punitive gestures, but as steps in development. I’m pretty sure he knows from experience that defense is the bedrock and everything else follows from that. It has always been true. It was true in New Jersey. In Detroit. In Minnesota. In Dallas back in the day (Ludwig’s shinpads and all). And it will be true in LA.


    Sense 13 –
    Bernier called up this season?
    Maybe, but where would the foundation of this team at goaltending, that DL’s trying to build, be if we’re flying kids all around the country to play in Ontario/Manchester/LA…
    You don’t build up a great system by shaving the cream off the top.
    And YES, Labarbara is the cream in this analogy.
    Of course people will cut an paste that last sentence and dissect it to death, but what I’m saying is that you groomed a guy who is a solid NHL backup.
    Then we just get rid of him for THE LOWEST RETURN POSSIBLE, if I’m not mistaken.
    We’ve weakened our pipe-line in net.
    And, last I heard from inside of the Kings is that you have to earn playing time.
    Has Bernier earned No. 1 in Manchester, or is he being handed the spot?

    I don’t know if any of you play chess, but you don’t just ‘write-off’ your Pawns.
    The game is won and lost in the trenches.
    Having quality, even if it’s backup quality, is a position of strength.
    We’ve just allowed Vancouver to strengthen their admittedly WEAK goaltending depth.

    Here’s a list of teams that I think would possibly offer better for a solid backup.
    Islanders – Dipietro injury prone and uncertain, but playing a good young guy now, and possibly in need of some help.
    Blackhawks – if they’re going to move Huet/Khabibulin at the deadline, maybe they won’t.
    Florida – kolzig is aging and they may make the playoffs.
    Ottawa – Poor on the season and may want to move one of their guys if other teams think one of their current goalies is a No. 1.
    St. Louis – Barbs shut them out already this season and they’ve had lots of injuries.
    Detroit – Conklin is arguably not as good as Labs, either backing up or starting.
    Colorado – I’m not too familiar with their situation, but Budaj still has a lot to prove and they’re not regarded as deep in net.
    Possibly the Caps – Though, again, I’m not familiar, but they had to suit-up a blogger as backup because of injuries a few weeks back, so maybe there’s a need.

  • Anonymous


    Again, I emphasize, Labs isn’t part of our future so, why keep him around? Labs isn’t going to be happy being a backup here (best case scenario for him) or being a backup down in manchester. We may have weakened our goaltending depth temporarily but at the same time, we’re also trying to establish our clear cut #1 goalie for next season. Labs, obviously isn’t the answer so, why not cut ties with him and focus on the three that might be for next year.

    The way I look at this season is that we’re trying to establish a solid foundation for next year. We’ve done wonders with our defense. Now, let’s try and find our #1 goalie and some offense to go along with it.

    I just think you’re bothered with the way Labs was treated here and I totally agree with you but in the big picture, this move under the circumstances is the best one for everyone including Labs. I’m actually very happy for Labs and I truly hope he finds his game back in vancouver.


  • Quisp

    Eat, re goalies:

    Here’s the Kings goalie pipeline, top to bottom:

    1 and 2) Ersberg and Quick — both of whom you know.
    3) Bernier – the #1 ranked goalie prospect in the world.
    4) Zatkoff – the #1 goalie on the best collegiate team last season, coming off a career-best year.
    5) Jones – literally, the best goalie in the WHL, on the WHL’s best team.
    6) Rowat – last year’s runner-up for WHL Goaltender of the Year (if you check out the list of winners of this award, you will recognize many of the names as those of the most famous NHL goalies in modern history).
    7) Taylor – well, every prospect can’t be the best one. Watch, he’ll turn out to be the franchise goalie!

    That is, simply, the best group of prospects in any organization in the world.

    Re “You don’t build up a great system by shaving the cream off the top. And YES, Labarbara [sic] is the cream in this analogy:”

    It’s not an analogy. Systems don’t have cream.

    JLB was traded because he didn’t play well and the Kings have a lot of goalies who can serve as back-up.

    You say the Kings got the lowest possible return, but obviously, the lowest possible return is always nothing, which is the return you were advocating for, since you think he should have been waived.

    Re “we’ve weakened our pipeline in net”:


    “Has Bernier earned No. 1 in Manchester, or is he being handed the spot?”

    Earned it. He’s the highest ranked goaltending prospect in the world. He has proved himself repeatedly in juniors and on the world stage. Now he’s in the AHL, where his numbers are virtually identical to Quick’s.

    And you see, now it gets interesting. You’ve got three goalies who would not be insane to set their sights on making the team next year (Bernier, Quick, Ersberg), one of whom (Ersberg) has a contract coming up. Something’s got to give there. Not now. But a year from now. Two summers from now. And Zatkoff and Jones are pulling up the rear. Two years from now, Jones should be in Manchester, and Zatkoff should be bucking for a call-up to LA. Bernier, Quick and Ersberg will not all be here. And looking at it that way, it’s incredibly important we get an idea who these guys are ASAP. Keeping Jason LaBarbera around, whether as a quality back-up or in Manchester, was certainly cutting into playing time that the Kings needed to evaluate the others. Add to that the fact that he is UFA this summer and there’s no way in hell he’s getting re-signed, moving him was utterly inevitable.



    While I admit that you know more about our goaltending prospects, the fact remains we’ve got two untested guys to play out the season, we’ve got Bernier in Manchester thinking he’s better than eveyone else, and now we’re moving Zatkoff to Manchester to be a backup when he could be starting every game in Ontario he’s capable of starting.
    Are we going to start moving all these kids around in the middle of the season?
    Plus, Bergie’s got a bum groin and those are touchy situations.
    Granted it would give Bernier more time if he’s needed this season in LA, but with one of Quick or Bergie injured, we again start to need to move people around.
    Labs was cheap, and UFA.
    I think it was a bad move to move him out the door now, when we may need those types of backups in the system still.
    Of course, we’ll have another draft in about 7 months and there will be more players coming in.
    But for now, we’re continuing to waste money on Lombardi’s mistakes while a solid, cheap backup is thrilled to be leaving.
    That, to me, is backwards.
    And a 7th round pick IS the least you can be “traded” for.
    What’s worse than that besides having NO trade value at all – like Zeiler and Preissing, Cloutier and McAuley.
    Why don’t you add up how much these players are set to cost us over the next 3 years.

    Or, I’ll do it for you – 3 years:
    Preissing and Zeils = $3.272 per season for a total of $9.816 million.
    Cloutier and McAuley = 2 years at 3.4 per season, 1 season at $666,667.00 – a total of $4 million over the 3 years.

    If we don’t move any of them out, that’s a total of nearly $15 million over 3 years, or $5 million a season.

    How is getting rid of Labs $875 thousand a year making a dent?

  • Quisp

    Yeah, but I couldn’t care less about the salaries of Cloutier et al. Zeiler doesn’t make any money. Preissing is as good as gone. Whether they have trade value remains to be seen (I think they do).


    Labs has no trade-value, but Pricey and Zeils do?
    We’ll see.
    I’m beginning to think you really are Dean Lombardi.
    You see no value in a competent backup, but you see it in a defenseman who’s riding the pine on a team out of the playoff picture, and a forward who should never be playing in the NHL and has 5 points in over 70 career games.
    If Kyle McLaren can’t find a buyer, what makes you think an overpriced Preissing can?
    Not to mention, we’re not even close to the deadline.
    If Labs were still ours, there might be much better offers for draft picks to be had at the deadline by teams in playoff position, especially if they’re facing injuries.

  • John Strachan

    You say that we are helping another Western Conference team. Have you been watching the same goaltending that I have been watching the first half of the season? While the Kings have not provided the offence that we expected, they have also proven to be one of the most resilient teams in the league, and even they couldn’t bounce back in games after JLB let in a softie or two in a game.
    Look, I think that Labs is a nice guy, but he is not a great goalie. His game is all about being big and getting good positioning, and when his head is not in the game and he doesn’t get good positioning … well, we have seen a lot of that this year. Labs has very little puck awareness and does not follow the play particularly well. Again, he compensates for that by getting into good position and playing big, but that does not make him a good or consistent goalie. Additionally, his inability to control rebounds has done nothing but inflate his goaltending stats. After all, if he was able to absorb the first shot, his Sv% would probably actually go down because it seems as though every shot that comes in on him becomes two when he allows a rebound.
    The Kings have had one of the lowest SOGs in the league this year and the goaltending (mostly Labs) has not been able to win games. Perhaps if the Kings were not as stingy on d and Jason was able to see more shots, he might be in a better groove. As it was, however, Jason was not a good fit for this team, and the kids have now passed him.
    I do not have any bad will towards JLB and thank him for trying hard while playing for the Kings organization. He has been nothing but professional (unlike some of the past guys like Clouts and Cechmanek) and has been very supportive of the rebuild here in LA. Still, the Kings are trying to move up the ladder and it is time to move beyond JLB. I just figure that if Vancouver has to rely on Jason they better look forward to losing a lot of OT and ShootOut games.

  • Sisto

    Thank you, Lambardi! King Fans won’t have to have their nerves on ends anymore. We don’t have watch Jason flopping around and lose a goal! King Fans can go into a shoot out and have confidence now that LaBarbera is finally gone! Now the Kings have two goal tenders that are steady and can stay on their skates! Kings can start getting winning streaks going and catch up with the top ten teams in the league! The Surprising Kings have an excellent chance at Playoffs! Lambardi, Thank you so so much!!!!

  • Anonymous


    Does Vancouver have a worse chance of winning that game, and the 2 points, if Labs is in Manchester, or on another team because of being claimed?

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