The Clouston era

Here’s a story in the Ottawa Sun in preview of tonight’s Kings-Ottawa game. The Ottawa Senators play for the first time since Craig Hartsburg was fired. Cory Clouston, 39, makes his debut as Ottawa’s interim coach.

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  • anthony

    Man speaking of Ottawa, is their a chance that Frolov or O’Sullivan mught be playing in a Senator jersey tonight.
    Rumors are flying that Jason Spezza is headed to LA.

    I’d rather see Calder leave. Just take him and pay us later.
    Maybe pay us with a few beer nuts over a dollar or a couple of deer nuts under a BUCK.

  • KYLE CALDER

    Anthony, you’re a deam man.

  • Ersberg

    I’d rather see Heatley than Spezza, but that’s what I’m reading as well.

  • The Voice Of Reason

    Anthony,

    I submitted the comments below yesterday afternoon for a different thread, but they are relevant to your post so here they are again.

    To anyone who did see this before, apologies in advance for the re-post.

    Cheers!

    The Voice Of Reason

    ————————-

    I wouldn’t give a whole lot of credence to the ‘Spezza to LA’ rumor.

    First, the source of said rumor was Eklund at Hockeybuzz. Since Eklund’s identity and racket are hardly secrets any more, it goes without saying that just about anything he exclusively reports as being something he “was told” by one of his “sources” can be all but safely be dismissed out of hand. Now while the discussion boards at Hockeybuzz are usually pretty lively and can even be intelligent and insightful once in a while, even there it’s a rule of thumb that the only folks who really take Eklund’s “rumours” seriously in 2009 are either young, unsophisticated, or both.

    Second, there tend to be a lot of wacky trade rumors coming out of Ottawa because of Bruce Garrioch, a “legit” beat journalist there who “reports” a lot of trade rumors that tend to be suspiciously one-sided and heavily favor the Senators or another Canada-based team. And, Hockeybuzz used to have a Senators blogger named Kevin Lee who was (in)famous for instantly running with anything Garrioch told him or wrote and then getting publicly burned within hours. I think it may have been a combination of Eklund, Garrioch and Lee who were responsible for those ridiculous Kopitar/Emery/Khabibulin trade rumors last summer.

    Third, some larger perspective. It has become a trendy thing for journalists and media types whose base audience is either Canadian or a large, eastern conference team (or both) to view the LA Kings as some sort of farm team whose rising stars are just destined to be traded to their audience’s favorite team. On top of that, these scenarios are usually yet another one of those classic one-sided deals where a high pick (usually first round), a top prospect (Hickey, Teubert, et al) and/or a rising star from the Kings (Johnson, O’Sullivan, Moller, et al) heads east for an out-of-favor player, an impending UFA veteran, or a salary dump, or some combination of the above.

    Don’t believe the hype.

  • fansinceday1

    Hey Anthony, do you have any story links or anything like that, I cannot find a rumor anywhere on the net, pass me some of that stuff you’re smoking, i sincerely doubt frolov or sully goes anywhere.

  • TB

    I haven’t seen anything of substance in weeks about a Spezza deal. Where is this new wave of rumors coming from? Or is it hype being built up on our own forum?

    Also, just speaking from logic, if a new coach comes in, I highly a doubt a trade will be made the very next day. It is in the best interest of the management team to gauge the impact of the new bench boss before making any other changes.

    Just my 2 cents…

  • http://vanitydesignstudios.com/ ianmonsta

    @fansinceday1

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eklund/Updated-331Senators-Sellers-Hurricanes-BuyersMore-on-Spezza-Kings/1/19155

    “UPDATE: Just got a 4th text regarding the Kings interest in Jason Spezza…Are the Kings Buyers suddenly?”

  • Quisp

    Well, Anthony is right that those rumors are circulating. The Voice of Reason is also right about the source(s) of those rumors and the fact that they are just about always completely baseless.

    I think it’s safe to assume, in general, that the Kings will be involved in a handful of “seller” trades — bringing in picks for Calder, Preissing, maybe Armstrong, maybe Gauthier, maybe Ersberg — in the next few weeks. All but Preissing in that list are UFA this year.

    Since DL is one of the few GMs with cap space, it’s also safe to assume he will be considering some pretty interesting deals to bring in a big salaried forward before the deadline. Whether a deal will happen is anyone’s guess.

    But I don’t think he’s going to be trading Frolov to bring in another scorer. That just doesn’t make any kind of sense, unless it’s an upgrade (e.g. Frolov and a pick for Heatley). I think we all know how DL thinks by now.

    He’s looking for a top-line forward. Not top-six. Top TWO. Top ONE.
    Nobody old.
    Long term; no rentals.

    The trading partner is going to have to be a non-playoff team looking to dump salary, Ottawa, Atlanta, NYI etc.. It’s a pretty short list, and the forwards who are on those teams are known (Kovalchuk, Heatley, Spezza, etc.).

  • Ersberg

    It’s all over the net guys, just look at the usual rumor blogs/trade sites.

    Quisp-Who do you think Dean would be looking at on the Islanders? Or yourself for that matter.

  • Pat McGroyn

    Quisp,

    The only Islander I would want Dean-O to consider would be Kyle Okposo. But keep dreaming, y’all – the Kings aren’t gonna be buyers at the deadline this year.

    Voice of Reason,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Your comments are exactly my sentiments! To summarize, almost any rumor to come from Eklund or the Canadian Sun papers is crap and should be immediately disregarded as a petty attempt to generate interest from hungry and myopic Canadian hockey fans. I sincerely ask everyone to keep Inside the Kings free from the mindless rumors spewed out by Eklund or the Sun. To paraphrase something said before by Rich, the only (E3) that the people of Los Angeles should worry about is a dropped ball by James Loney…

  • kyle

    Please spare us links to Eklund, especially those that are 2+ days old.
    I tend to agree with most of Quisp’s last post. Dean isn’t going to part with Frolov for anything less than a top one or two forward…and that forward’s got to be able to buy in to the Kings system, be affordable over the next several years, and be patient enough to let the team develop over the same several years without asking for a trade to a “contender.”
    Now, let’s go over the criteria, and tell me who fits? Anyone?… Anyone?… Buehler?

  • Quisp

    Ersberg/Pat, re NYI:

    There’s no-one on the Islanders; all too old. Pat, yes, re Okposo, but they’re not going to trade their one and only blue-chip prospect.

    Pat:

    The reason I think the Kings might be buyers this year has less to do with the Kings playoffs chances than with the fact that this year may present a unique opportunity. I’m not saying “buyers” in terms of a short-term rental; I’m just noting that DL has cap-space that almost no-one else has; he is uniquely positioned to take on a big salary and cap considerations have been known to cause GMs to make deals they wouldn’t otherwise make.

    I don’t think DL will make any deals that trade the future in order to “win now.”

    Heatley for Stoll, Ersberg, Boyle and 1st 2009.

  • KingzzFan

    Stamkos for Pressing, Calder and a bag of pucks (e3)

  • Ersberg

    Heatley for Stoll, Ersberg, Boyle and 1st 2009.

    Quisp, Although I’d do that in a New York minute, I believe Ottawa is in dire need of a puck moving defenseman.

    I would bet my wallet they’d want JJ or an equivalent d-man. No, they can’t have Doughty.

  • Ersberg

    Heatley for Stoll, Ersberg, Boyle and 1st 2009.

    Quisp, Although I’d do that in a New York minute, I believe Ottawa is in dire need of a puck moving defenseman.

    I would bet my wallet they’d want JJ or an equivalent d-man. No, they can’t have Doughty.

  • The Voice Of Reason

    Quisp,

    You’re welcome. Thanks for the thumbs up.

    You also have a good point about how myopic (excellent word choice!) things can sometimes get once you go north of the border. As a great and recent example,while the fans and media in Quebec are still preaching and moaning about the Gauthier hit and his subsequent suspension, I have yet to see any of these same folks discuss (or in many cases even acknowledge) the flagrant non-call on Higgins that led to the Habs’ game-tying goal in that very same game. Funny how that works.

  • Quisp

    As far as trades going the other way, I would expect DL to turn Calder, Preissing, Gauthier, Ersberg and Armstrong into a couple of 2-4 round picks and a couple 5-7 rounders. SOD, too, but we lose a 3rd if we trade him, so it would have to be as part of some other deal (or else getting a second round pick back, which sounds high for Sean).

    There are lots of free agent defensemen available this summer, so I kind of expect DL to trade the UFAs now and fill in the holes later. Only SOD would create a hole in the defense for the remainder of this season.

    But what about this deal? Seriously:

    Heatley and Spezza

    for

    Kopitar, Stoll, Ersberg, Boyle and a 1st (2009).

  • EAT THE RICH

    Ersberg,

    We have Hickey and Harrold, though I don’t want to see Harrold moved.
    I also don’t want to trade Stoll.
    I know Quisp doesn’t like him much, but he’s the type of 26 year old I want to keep in town for a few more years at least.
    Ottawa, and any NHL team, would be mad to take Tom Preissing under his current contract.
    I’ll return to my trade idea of a few weeks ago and say the Kings should try and pry Mike Fisher out of Ottawa (4 mil/year) for Handzus and Hickey or something like that. I like Handzus a lot, but if Fisher is healthy, he’s a big gritty 2nd line center that would allow us to move Stoll to the 3rd line for a good spell.
    I think that centered between O’Sullivan and Brown, Fisher could be a 60 point a season center that plays here for 6-8 seasons.

    Money is going to be a big issue this deadline and offseason. I think teams are going to be dropping salaries like crazy.
    Dallas is just ahead of us but has the highest payroll in the league, last I checked.
    Guys like Calder, Preissing, and Gauthier will have to start settling for around $1 million a year, poor souls.
    The NHL has got to get salaries under control. There is just not enough profit in the game to justify this insanity.

  • Quisp

    Ersberg –

    Puck-moving defensemen? We have Voynov, Hickey, Martinez and Harrold. Also, of course, Johnson and Doughty. I would hate to part with Voynov, but

    Heatley for Stoll, Ersberg and Voynov.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Quisp.

    Why on earth would the Kings trade one of the best 22 year old centers in the world away?
    You seem to have this notion that Lombardi would do that.
    If he does, he better get a body-guard.

    “But what about this deal? Seriously:
    Heatley and Spezza
    for
    Kopitar, Stoll, Ersberg, Boyle and a 1st (2009).”

    - you are seriously risking your cred. with that one.

  • Quisp

    Eat, re Stoll:

    I appreciate Stoll. Really, I do. He’s good at face-offs, checks hard, has speed, great shot, versatile. I like him. But that’s what makes him good trade bait.

    I’m just looking at this logically. If DL wants to make a trade to improve the Kings’ offense, he’s going to have to give something up:

    Kopitar (untouchable, except in blockbuster swap e.g. Spezza for Kopitar)
    Brown (untouchable)
    POS (upgrade only; e.g. POS plus pick for Heatley)
    Frolov (same as POS; upgrade only)
    Calder (packing bags, but low value)

    That leaves Handzus and Stoll. Handzus has been an (if not the) MVP this season. He could of course still be traded, and he is probably attractive to many playoff bound teams. But his absence would be a huge blow to the Kings.

    Stoll, meanwhile, has not been great.

    So that’s how I arrive at Stoll. He’s got a lot of value, and his absence doesn’t hurt us much.

  • Ersberg

    Quisp, That Heatley/Spezza proposal is pretty wild, you never know.

    I don’t think they’d want Stoll, plus he’s awesome for face offs.

    They’d probably want something like:

    Johnson, Ersberg, Hickey, 1st

    We’d have to give to get. And Heatley’s case, it would have to be a lot.

    Eat, Spezza is 25, and is equally, if not more spectacular than our very own beloved center. I would rather stick with ours, though.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Rather than dreaming about someone having interest in Tom Preissing, consider that there are teams on the Playoff bubble who may be interested in players like Calder, Gauthier, and Handzus who are willing to move some top notch prospects.

    Cody Hodgson in Vancouver.
    Tyler Myers in Buffalo.
    I’d personally love to have Colin Wilson but I believe he’s with Atlanta who looks to have no chance of the playoffs.
    Minnesota has Colton Gillies and Robbie Earl who are promising and fading respectively.
    Columbus has Teddy Ruth who looked a bit slow in the WJC’s, but punishing.

    I think there are teams who would appreciate the defensive skill of our trade-bait enough to part with a somewhat promising prospect.
    In that sense, we lose nothing of future value and clear up more space for salaries in the off-season.

  • Harry

    any rumor that becomes LIVE, doesn’t go through anymore.

  • Quisp

    Ersberg –

    I don’t think DL will trade any of his D prospects, but I could be wrong. Certainly, I think Doughty, Quincey, Johnson, Hickey, Voynov and Teubert are off-limits.

    Although, since Hickey is a Canadian hero, what about Heatley for Hickey and a 1st? Would you do it?

  • EAT THE RICH

    Ersberg,

    I respectfully disagree that Spezza is anywhere close to Kopitar in class.
    Plus, we’re not desperate to GET something, so we need to put whomever we trade with over-the-barrell.
    I like/love the way Handzus has played this season, but for me he’s the expendable one because of being slightly older, slightly overpaid, and a bit more fragile (in a sense).
    I’d prefer to stand pat and take our chances in the draft than to trade away quality. We’re lucky that Stoll/Greene is working out o.k. (not great) considering we may have had a great piece of bait for this trade in Visnovsky. Sometimes 2 above average players can equal one pretty great player.
    I can’t help but feel we could have had Heatley for Cammalleri and Visnovsky in a heartbeat.

  • Duckhunter

    Quisp,

    I’d make that trade without hesitation and with a smile. Salary numbers would be my only concern. Don’t have the numbers off the top of my head and don’t have time to look them up. Give or take, what would the the difference be in salaries.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Quisp.

    Heatley for Hickey and a No. 1 = YES.

  • EAT THE RICH

    You know, we’re also forgetting the Bouwmeester may be on the block because of his impending free-agency.
    If he could be had for our “bait,” we might make that big run into the post-season now.
    If we don’t give up anything more than the “bait,” it wouldn’t really matter if he didn’t take the offer in the summer, either.
    But, he just may like it here, too.

  • Ersberg

    Quisp, We’d get laughed out of the building if we came to the table with Hickey and 1st. Dean would have to give 1-2 roster, a prospect, and 1st rounder for Heatley. Remember, a prospect and a pick is just that-a shot at getting something good for the future. Heatley is a PROVEN 50 goal scoring sniper. At age 28, he’s still got some years left in him.

    Eat, Spezza is nails. Check out his stats. He’s scores 30+ goals as a center. He’s definitely top 6-8 in the league, depending on the type of center you’re after(faceoffs, goals, assists, goals/assists, defense, etc).

    I gurantee Dean would bring either of them in, if the price was right, no doubt about it.

  • EAT THE RICH

    He may be, I don’t see him much, but I’m never trading Kopitar if I’m the GM.
    Spezza was in the finals with a pretty talented group and disappeared.

  • Quisp

    I do love the hypothetical trade discussions. Eat, I agree re “over a barrel.” And I don’t think DL needs to do anything.

    I do, however, think Ottawa is in trouble. They have a big payroll and they have to clear some cap space even to get their prospects playing. They’ve basically made a mess that is going to necessitate moving someone, and that someone is going to probably end up being Heatley or Spezza or both. Whether that happens before 3-4 or this summer or next season is anyone’s guess. Where they land, also, anyone’s guess.

    But if I’m right about this, Ottawa doesn’t want salary back, and the Kings are one of the only teams in the league with the cap space to make a trade like that without sending salary back the other way.

    This is why I am more than usually focused on this scenario. Something eventually has to give way in Ottawa. Who will benefit?

    Eat, re Cammy: you may be right about that. But it makes me think, maybe CGY will trade for Heatley. That’s ANOTHER trade DL would probably like to block. Cammy is UFA this summer, and there is of course talk about him being on the move, too.

    I just keep thinking that DL knows Heatley can end up (1) staying in OTT, (2) in a Kings uniform, (3) going to a non-rival, or (4) going to a rival.

    (1) and (3) are acceptible. (4) might not be.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Ersberg,

    I’m going to go back a few days in a conversation sense and advise you to change your name and inform us.
    Though, don’t use “the commentator formerly known as Ersberg.”
    Though I know you like Ersberg, I don’t get any sense of what YOU’re like from the name. Whereas I know that Quisp is a cereal-magnate. heehee.
    Just kidding around there Quisp.
    But, I seriously don’t think it would be too crazy for Ersberg to change his name. Or too confusing.

  • Ersberg

    Eat, I hear ya, but I’m thinking we have to give some credit to our neighbors to the south for shutting down Spezza. I.e. Pahlsson/ R. Niedermayer.

    I’ll let you know my new name prior to the change if our friend, the Iceberg, sets sail to a destination yet undetermined.

    At any rate, Quisp, I think you have it right in that Ottawa will have to make a move, especially since Spezza is nearing the end of his deal.

  • Quisp

    Ersberg, re “laughed out of the building”:

    I know. I wasn’t serious. I was just saying, as long as Hickey is a national treasure and all…

    I’m sure the conventional thinking would be the Kings would have to give up one of Frolov or POS.

    Frolov and a 1st for Heatley? Not enough. Frolov and Hickey and a 1st for Heatley? Too much. Frolov, Voynov and a 1st?

    Maaaaaaybe. That strikes me as pretty even, but if Ottawa needs to make a deal, it shouldn’t be even. It should favor the Kings, because we have the cap space and they want it.

  • Quisp

    Spezza and Heatley are both signed through 2013 at $8MM/yr.

  • Big A

    Ersberg,

    Spezza’s got many years left on his deal (2014-15!).

    Spezza and Heatley have no-trade clauses that kick in this summer though, which is really the biggest factor behind any current talks. Ottawa has been far too generous in including these clauses in the past and it’s greatly reduced their flexibility.

  • EAT THE RICH

    No Frolov, No Voinov, please. I want to keep those two.

    Maybe – O’S, Hickey, Bernier for Heatley or Spezza.

    I was underimpressed with Hickey in WJC’s despite the Gold, and Bernier is not my cup of tea at the moment (though its only based on rumors of being a malcontent).
    O’Sullivan I would hate to trade away, but he’s the only one who may be underachieving currently and it’s hard to judge whether he’ll ever put it all together.
    I would HATE to see him find himself elsewhere.

    Bergie, good point about Anaheim’s guys and I think a reminder that it’s not just about scorers in the playoffs.
    That’s where I was most impressed by Fisher.
    I though he had a great playoffs that season.

  • Ersberg

    Quisp, my bad, I sometimes read posts so quickly I tend to miss the context.

    Again, from what I’ve read/researched, they really need:

    -a goalie
    -a puck moving defenseman

    I would be top dollar they’d get at least equal value in trade for Heatley, given his track record, even though they need to free cap space. There are quite a few teams out there in need of a player at this level that would make the room for him.

    We’d need to give them something that will have an immediate impact on their lineup.

    JJ, Ersberg, 1st
    JJ, Ersberg, Hickey, 2nd

    Something along those lines. They might want Fro, though, so we may need to come up with some options with him in the mix.

  • Ersberg

    That’s right. I was thinking of Spezza’s NMC that kicks in about a year. Not when his contract ends, my apologies.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Big A – Quisp

    Wow, those are interesting factors.
    You know how I feel about hockey players earning 8 million a year. That’s rubbish and can’t continue.

    Strange times in the NHL. Phoenix is going bankrupt and who knows, maybe they’ll be a fire sale there. Boedker, anyone? heehee.

    If I were Ottawa, I’d trade everything BUT Heatley and Spezza. I’d go cheap with all new contracts and let those to tough it out for a few years to see what they’re made of. Probably won’t happen, but they’ve been in the toilet before.
    Maybe it’s time they rebuilt like us.

    For all the abuse I lobbed at Lombardi in the summer, LA may be the mold of what’s to come in the future for the NHL. Dump high salaries and get an effort out of players for reasonable rates.
    Seeing what’s going on in the NHL, 3 million for Calder doesn’t seem so insane.
    But, I still wouldn’t mind resigning him for 3 years 3 million dollars.

    God, it really makes me wish I could set the Kings lines for a few games and show Murray what I think these kids are capable of.

    Won’t somebody drop him a slip of paper with Calder/Stoll/Simmonds written on it?

  • Cry Baby

    Here’s a blurb from Bucci at ESPN…

    Daniel Alfredsson/Dany Heatley/Jason Spezza: This is really interesting. The Senators have no goaltending and no defense, and therefore will be no threat in the Eastern Conference for years to come. They will lose Filip Kuba’s and Martin Gerber’s contracts (a combined $6.7 million) after this season and won’t need to be concerned with any restricted free-agent contracts.

    Heatley has a $7.5 million cap number for five more years after this season, while Spezza has six more years at a $7 million hit. Certainly, trading all of the big three would bring a barge-load of younger, cheaper talent to Ottawa. The Sens could get multiple first-round draft picks. And if they were to trade the big three, or at least two of them at the deadline, they would almost guarantee giving themselves great odds of getting Tavares or Hedman. (Tavares and Hedman will be the top two picks in the draft and, I believe, will be impact players.)

    The Senators could choose to trade someone such as Mike Fisher and his $4.2 million cap number instead of breaking up the big three and use the $11 million of space during the summer and make a run at Bouwmeester and Fernandez. Everyone would love to have Heatley and Spezza. I don’t think the Senators would trade Heatley unless he were to make it very clear he wants out. Los Angeles would be a player in any trade because it has assets and cap room. A deal that at some point would send Spezza to Los Angeles feels right. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see which hard decisions Ottawa makes.

  • Quisp

    I’ll boil it down to this:

    A fair deal for Heatley, who is after all a proven, multiple 50-goal scorer, would undoubtedly cost the Kings someone we don’t want to give up (e.g. Johnson, Frolov, Hickey).

    But what’s left out of that equation is that Ottawa is (1) in cap trouble, (2) in turmoil, and (3) has two guys they will not be able to trade after 7-1 because of NTCs.

    They need cap space in order to rebuild. We have it. The price of “buying” that cap space from us is the elephant in the room.

    What’s it worth to Bryan Murray? Does he hold pat and hope next year doesn’t suck? Or does he try to save his job? As it stands, he can’t even rebuild around Heatley and Spezza because he’s signed so many mid-level players he has no cap space. If he just starts waiving all those guys he signed (in order to bring up prospects), he’s going to look like an idiot and he’ll lose his job that way.

    He has to make room via trade. He has to do something.

    And I will say it again: the list of teams with cap space, who don’t have to trade salary back, is very short. And I will take it as axiomatic that OTT would rather trade to the other conference, and to non-Canadian teams.

    One month till the deadline.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Crybaby, nice entry. Thanks.
    Gonna be a crazy day on March 4th.

  • Anonymous

    This team is in no position to be trading 1st round picks. When we’re a 1-4 seed type team, I could see DL do this, but at the moment were last in our division and 13th in the conference. This is not the time to do it.

  • Paul from Oxnard

    I don’t know about any of these trade rumors. I’d trade for Heatly because the Kings need a scoring winger. I might trade for Spezza, but it would depend on the package Ottawa wants in return. I wouldn’t trade for Alfredsson because of his age.

    If I were Lombardi I’d trade one of our goalie prospects (pretty much any ONE of them), a D prospect that’s not currently with the Kings, and a 1st round pick for Heatly. Beyond that would be asking too much I think, and even that would probably be more then the Kings should pay. Remove one of those 3 pieces to get Spezza because the Kings already have good young centers, so they don’t need another one as badly.

    I’m just happy I have the Center Ice package so I can watch this game. :D

  • Cry Baby

    The Ottawa announcers seemed super high on Doughty and Quick. If Quick is the future and the future is now…is Bernie trade bait?

    It feels really great to watch a game and not be scared every time the opposing team enters the defensive zone. FINALLY THE KINGS HAVE A REAL GOALIE!

    The future is looking up!

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