The return of Purcell

The other half of the Dustin Brown story is the return of Teddy Purcell, who has one goal and six assists in 17 games with the Kings this season. After being reassigned to Manchester last month, Purcell had seven goals and 12 assists in 17 games. For those who didn’t have the time and/or energy to read through all of the Dean Lombardi interview from last week, here’s what Lombardi had to say about Purcell.

LOMBARDI: “Well, they (Purcell, Matt Moulson and Brian Boyle) got beat out by two 19-year-olds, frankly. Moller and Simmonds. What was told to them, when they were up here, is, `You’re not hard enough.’ In the battle areas, they weren’t good enough. One of the things that happens — and this is the hard part — is they can still get their points in the minors.

“Purcell can still get his points. He’s in that gray area where he doesn’t have to do the `dirt’ work in order to get his point in the minors. But unless he’s going to do the dirt work, he’s not going to get his points up here. So you’ve got that rub. You’re trying to stay on him in the minors and say, `You’re getting two points a night, but you should be getting four.’ But he’s that talented, so it’s hard.

“The other night he had four points. Now, we’re calling down there and saying, OK, we know the guy can put up numbers. We saw what he did last year as a rookie, and it was pretty impressive, numbers-wise. But where did he score his goals? Did he go into the blue (goal crease)? Is his head down in the scrums? Where’s our progress there? Because it’s not good enough up here. Now, the second time he came back, I thought he was better. He is starting to figure it out, but it’s a process. Like I said, when he gets his points in the minors, it’s kind of hard to tell the kid, `It’s not good enough.’ (They think,) `What do you mean? I got my two points.”’

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  • variable

    well…

    very interesting…purcell has a chance to show the kings…and scouts/gm’s…what he can do…

  • Brian M

    Ted, Come up like your on a mission. Drive to the net, battle in the corners and show your here to make a real impression. We know the talent is there, show your willing to score the dirty goals and play with alot of grit and passion. All the best.

  • variable

    rich…

    thank you for taking charge on the last post…

    the parade of delusions were very active today…

    i seriously don’t get those people…unbelievable…

    thanks again!

  • variable

    i don’t want to be talking to myself…
    i can do that on my own….

    but…

    if anybody wants to talk about the poss. addition of ryan smyth…

    “ding-ding…”

  • Johnny Kick a Hole In The Sky

    Anyone want to guess the lines tomorrow?

    Purcell is not gritty enough to play with stoll and calder, so I’m believing TM will try him with Fro & Kopi.

    Frolov – Kopitar – Purcell
    Calder – Stoll – O’Sullivan
    Richardson – Handzus – Simmonds
    Ivanans – Armstrong – Zeiler/Harrold

    Whatever it is, Purcell needs elevate his game and help this team win. This is a playoff run!

  • variable

    i hope teddy does well…he’s running out of chances at this point…

  • Garrett

    Variable,

    Ryan Smyth has a no-trade clause and I will virtually guarantee there is no way he waives it to go to Los Angeles. If you read the articles on espn fully you’d know he was very upset about even being mentioned in trade talks.

    And anyway even if he did, to get him the Kings would likely have to give up a bunch of prospects because the Avs are trying to shed salary and we all know how Lombardi feels about giving up his prospects.

    That having been said, I would not mind seeing him in a Kings jersey. Ryan Smyth reminds me a lot of Adam Deadmarsh and I think he would provide many of those intangibles the team needs when it does make the playoffs.

    He’d make a pretty good captain too.

  • variable

    johnny…

    i agree…those lines seem to be right…give teddy a chance to showcase his offensive talents…

    if he can’t show some promise skating with kopi and fro….l.a. might not be the place for him…he’s going to be 24…when do you say, “we’ve tried our best w/him…time to move on”…

    i think teddy has to show up for the game and make the most of the opportunity…

    even if he doesn’t score…he needs to show us something…

  • Anonymous

    cool, let’s hope our team steps up tomorrow without Captain Brown. congrats to DB!

    and in all seriousness, if our team falls flat because of one player being out, maybe we don’t deserve a playoff spot. it’s time for us to step up, and this is a great opportunity.

  • variable

    garrett…

    yeah… i read the whole article…

    but remember, he has already left his heart in edmonton…leaving colorado shouldn’t be nearly as traumatic as that…

    plus, who wants to play on a team that needs to go through a big shakeup….?

    i think he’s no dummy…he can see and appreciate what’s happening out here…

    players never like to be mentioned in rumors…of course, i expect him to be upset about that type of talk…

    however, he’s a veteran…he’s been down this road for a long time…

    i wouldn’t be surprised if he does eventually decide to waive his n.t.c…

  • BakoCACondorsKingsFan

    No matter if Purcell does not go for Smyth, if he bombs up here this trip I can’t imagine him getting another chance this year…

    …And, given that the Kings are on the fringe of the playoff race, the urgency of the team should match the urgency of Purcell in the next three games.

    Another note: I am a season ticket holder for the Bakersfield Condors of ECHL fame. Three weeks ago, the Condors were a horrible 12-24-6 and 12 points out of playoff contention; with spirited play and gutzy rallies in several third periods, the Condors are now 22-27-7 (that’s a 10-3-1 run) and on the verge of catching the two lowest point totals in their conference. Point is: TEAMS CAN RALLY!!!!

    If the Condors, featuring Yutaka Fukufuji in goal, can go 10-3-1 against the leaders in their conference, no reason the Kings can’t do the same if:

    1) They consistently WIN THE BATTLES IN THE CORNERS FOR THE PUCK;

    2): NEVER GIVE UP, even if they are two goals behind in the third period;

    3): Gradually IMPROVE THE CONSISTENCY OF THEIR DEFENSE/ When the other team takes fewer shots, you surrender fewer goals.

    Despite rumors to the contrary, the Kings’ season is not over.

    GO CONDORS/ GO KINGS!!!

  • anthony

    Hey,
    Why should Sully get bumped down just to make room for Purcell.
    Who is He?
    The Fro-Kopi-Sully line are doing just fine. Lately, those 3 have been averaging a goal game.

    I have a better idea.
    Get rid of Calder.

  • anthony

    Correction,
    I meant to say averaging a point per game, not a goal per game.

  • Old Man

    Ouestion:
    Is oscar back in manchester, or is he available for tomorrow night? Thank you.

  • variable

    bako…

    great stuff on the condors…
    glad fukufuji is on a hot streak

    completely agree…we are in contention…anything can happen…

    anthony…

    yeah…i don’t like to tinker w/what’s working either…

    but you have to see if this kid is worth keeping anymore…and the only way you can do that is to skate him w/yr best players…give him a chance (i know he’s had a few) to get some opportunities…it’s not like teddy’s going to get 20, 18, 16 or even 15 minutes on the ice…he’ll prob get 8-12…so if he takes a shift or two away from sully on that line, it’s no big deal…

    plus, t.m. loves double shifting his top liners….sully will get his minutes and opps…

  • variable

    don’t know about oscar…

    there might be some issues w/his fitness still…maybe that’s why he wasn’t recalled..

    in four games in manchester…
    1g, 3a, +1 w/4pims….

    sounds like he’s getting back into shape rather nicely at that level…

    this might be more of a showcase for purcell…they might be offering him…who knows?

  • smokiemcpot

    I think sully has been a little soft recently and can see Purcell on that top line as well. Sorry Ant. but you cant have a line with two players (ie purcell-stoll-browns spirit?) so Calders not going to get bumped.

  • jediknight329

    anthony… i have to agree with you. don’t shake up the top line. insert purcell in browns slot on the 2nd line. if moller was available, i’d put him in brown’s spot and have purcell slotted lower down. the third line is also pretty good.

    as for ryan smith… he is the punk-ass that speared labs a couple of seasons ago. i would spit in the face of smith if he ever came over to the kings. f him. don’t want him, no way no how. i would rather sign calder to a 20 year extension.

    as for the brown being out of the line-up post earlier… i am sickened at some of the comments against brown. i was almost embarrased to read them. no man should EVER have to justify taking time off to be with his wife during the birth of their child, whether its his first or 21st. i cant believe anyone, with blood running through their veins could say anything other than congratulations dustin and i hope your wife and baby are happy and healthy. it just shows you how lost and obsessed some people are when they put “sports” ahead of family. if he needs to take off the whole road trip then more power to him. jesus. unbelievable.

  • variable

    jed…

    so i guess yr against having smyth???

    wow…pretty strong feelings…and over a player who’s no longer w/ the team…okay…

    however…i couldn’t agree w/you more about the brownie posts…as you saw, i was extremely sadly amazed by some of the posts…glad to see you join me in my disgust…

  • Anonymous

    Variable/Garrett,

    I’m really surprised Smyth was upset about him being mentioned in trade talks. For one, it shows fans/teams are still interested in him despite his age. And two, why not LA? A bunch of young guys, with goaltending, and some vets he can mix it up with? What’s not to like.

    We’re doing better than Colorado, in terms how the teams were projected. What gives with that..

    Anyway, he’d be good here. Real good.

  • Ersberg

    Anon post incoming..

  • Irish Pat

    I agree that this may help showcase Purcell or help Lombardi decide if Teddy still fits in with this team in the longterm.

    Also, congratulations to Dustin Brown and his wife Nicole. I hope the baby arrives healthy and their family gets to spend enough time together before Brown rejoins the team. I’m glad the Kings organization puts a premium on the importance of family over the business of hockey and organized sports.

  • MagicArc

    Good luck to Teddy…make the best of it.

    On other Manchester news i’d love to see Gabe Gauthier get his chance up again. Saw him play last year and was really impressed with his hussle. Would love to see some flipping between Richardson/G. Gauthier/Purcell on the Zeus/Simmonds line.

  • Quisp

    Re Moller/Purcell:

    Moller is in Manchester on a conditioning assignment. Purcell is probably an emergency call-up (just a guess on my part). The issue is roster spots, and this issue will resolve itself as March 4 approaches. I have no special knowledge, but it doesn’t take too much reading of the tea leaves to see that sending Moller down for conditioning allows DL to work out what he has to work out, without making a decision on returning Oscar to juniors (from which he would not be able to return this season).

    Purcell, meanwhile, deserves a shot. (as does Lewis, but I’m happy it’s TP; I still think this kid can be a POS type player — I keep remembering that great assist he had on the power play earlier this year, where he took a couple of really aggressive steps toward the net, made all the d move, then dished off to Kopitar [I think]. Anyway, I’m always happy to see him play.)

  • AK47

    I like the way Anthony thinks, let’s get rid of Kyle Calder. He’s not a second line player! Put him on the 4th line and reward richardson or simmonds for their strong work!

    Harrold is still going to be playing D, right Rich?

  • AK47

    You guys laughed at me for mentioning Ryan Smyth coming to LA! and all of a sudden everyone’s agreeing with what I said. Although I think getting Svatos or Wolski would make more sense, Ryan Smyth would still be good. We can make Ersberg trade bait plus maybe Brian Boyle.. I don’t know if that’s enough for Ryan Smyth, but it’s still a possibility.. I think he’d waive his NTC to come to LA, that’s imo.

  • Bob Bobson

    Smyth is not coming here. He is too expensive in terms of what we would have to give up to get him and what he is owed. Most importantly he has a NTC and I’m pretty sure the last thing he wants is to be involved in a youth movement. Remember, just b/c we really really REALLY want it, does not make it come true.

    I agree with the assessment that Purcell needs to start showing what he can do. He has been with us for almost two years now.

  • metalmaster

    Smyth is past his prime and I doubt DL makes this move unless he has serious doubts about team leadership and character. Smyth also rarely plays a full season without getting injured. I guess it depennds what Colorado wants for him.

  • Ersberg

    I don’t so much think it was that we don’t want Smyth in LA, as much it didn’t seem realistic a the time. Even now, it’s a complete and total long shot at best.

    Back on topic..

    Purcy has a lot to prove this time around. If he chokes again, it’ll work against him two-fold for any future consideration. He’s going to need to play with hell of a lot more grit than his first time around.

  • jet

    Rich – I understand why you stopped the Brown postings, but I would like to add a reference point in this string if I may.
    I would like to bring a little history to the Brown situation. Many years ago we had a coach by the name of Robbie ‘the sweater’ Fotorek (sp?). We were in the playoff hunt and one night he sent out a young kid in goal who had played well in goal recently and for most of the season. I believe his name started with an L, all I remember is that he had a lighting glove hand. I do not recall if we won that game or lost that game, but I will never forget finding out that the player’s wife went into labor just prior to the start of the game. The hospital called the coach and the coach decided to sit on the information until after the game. I understand during the warm ups of the next game, it was obvious to a newbie that the coach had lost the team. The team never played hard for him again.

    If you respect your employees and their families, then you will forever have a work force that will go the extra mile for you. Life is not about games or money or possessions. It is about bonds, the bonds with your family and those who care about your family.

  • JDM

    Interesting story Jet. Very well put.

  • wavesinair

    Couple of nice articles about a good man Robbie Ftorek

    Ftorek’s long road to Erie
    http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071111/HOCKEY01/711110443/-1/SPORTS

    Tuesday night to be a Ftorek family affair
    http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3755461

    Family Man:
    Wife – Wendy; sons – Sam (32), Casey (23); daughters – Lucie (29), Anna (18)

    Coaching experience: 20 years
    Playing experience: 15 years

    Coaching resume NHL head coach – Los Angeles (1987-89), New Jersey (1998-2000), Boston (2001-03)

  • marc

    If the issue with Teddy is whether or not he can do the dirty work that it takes to succeed in the NHL, then the perfect spot for him is on the Stoll/Calder line. Both those guys play that style of game and if he doesn’t follow suit he’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

    On the Brown issue, I know there are guys out there who’ve had to miss their kid’s birth because of work. But I can guarantee one thing. If they COULD miss work to be at their kid’s birth then they WOULD miss work. And anyone who doesn’t is a complete fool. And I don’t know any of the players personally but I’ll make one more guarantee. Not a single one of his teammates thinks he’s letting the team down by missing this one game. The only people he’s letting down are a few delusional fans who think that a game is more important than a person’s family and who think paying 1/10,000th of Brown’s salary justifies this position.

  • mrbrett7

    The lines for tonight (IMO) will be.

    Fro/Kopitar/Sully
    Calder/Stoll/Simmonds or Purcell
    Richardson/Handzus/Simmonds or Purcell
    Who cares…

  • TB

    I don’t see TM changing the top line.

    In regards to the ESPN.com rumor about Ryan Smyth. If you read the dialogue carefully, they are clearly saying that they themselves are speculating and that nothing of substance has been said or implied by anyone. Its just an analysis and an opinion like what we commonly do. You know…”if I were the GM” kinda thing.

    But with that said, I gotta agree with the idea. He’s a lot less expensive than some of the talent out there, and his contract was front loaded with years remaining on his contract making him very agreeable for what he brings to the table.

    jedi…I was at the game when LBarbs broke his ribs, and I had a crystal clear view. He was just digging for the puck in the crease and it was a fluke play. His blade got inbetween the chest protector and his pants. It was a complete accident. But even so, let it go. He’s a great player and a great asset to anyone’s lineup. I doubt anyone on the Kings has a problem with the guy. Its hockey, these things happen.

  • Old Man

    TM has tried every line combination possible, I wish for once he would sit both Ivanas and Gathier out at the same time and see what happens.I really believe we would have better results.

  • Ersberg

    I’m down with TB’s analysis of the Ryan Smyth situation.

    Lets make a deal for him..

    What would you guys give for him? They will want some young guys/picks Im guessing.

  • TB

    I would deal Boyle, a first and a second round pick. Sounds inexpensive for a guy like Smyth, but DL is in the driver’s seat. The Avs need to free up cap space big time. I bet he can swing the deal for a heavily deflated asking price with the circumstance the Avs are in. The only real challenge is getting Smyth to waive his NTC. Having Stoll and Greene in the lineup could help though.

    With how many picks we have at the draft this year, it will be quite easy to recover from the loss of the first round pick. Here’s how: Trade ersberg at the draft along with a couple 2nd or 3rd round picks for a 1st rounder and a conditional pick next year. The deal could work 3 ways even, like the Cammalleri trade last year. If we deal with the right team, we might even end up in a better draft position than if we kept our pick.

  • AK47

    Colorado would be interested in expiring contracts, prospects and a solid goalie.

    So I’m thinking we should give up maybe..

    Ersberg
    Calder
    Boyle
    and a 1st or 2nd

    I don’t know if this is enough or too much.. any other thoughts?

  • AK47

    TB,

    I completely forgot about Ryan Smyth being teammates with Stoll and Greene. Wow you’re a genius! Maybe I mentioned a little too much for Ryan Smyth, but I like the way you think TB. I’d love to see Smyth on the first line with Kopi and Fro.

    Smyth-Kopitar-Frolov
    O’Sullivan-Stoll-Brown
    Richardson-Handzus-Simmonds (new enforcer, no need for Ivanans)
    Moller-Lewis-Purcell

    Johnson-Doughty
    Greene-Harrold
    Quincey-Drewiskie

    Quick
    Bernier/Ersberg

  • Cynic

    I want to pass on what TSN said about the Kings in the last Power Rankings:

    “They’re still outside the playoffs, which is why the promising Kings can still lay claim to L.A. Confidential. The Kings’ bright future still remains, “Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush”, if only for a little while longer. Soon, the star power with go nationwide.”

    I think he meant WILL go nationwide, but I read this 2 ways.

    1- Everyone will soon discover the talent of the LA Kings. (Which is what I believe this to mean)

    2- Some of our star players will be traded. (Which I don’t believe.)

    We are ranked AHEAD of Edmonton, Dallas, Nashville, Phoenix, and Colorado. 3 of these are ahead of us in the standings and Phoenix is next to us. It seems to me that TSN believes we’ll have a real shot at the playoffs, based on this ranking.

    We will create our own destiny here. If we don’t make the playoffs, it will be because we beat OURSELVES IMHO. Let’s win tonight and get the winning streak started!

  • Quisp

    re Ryan Smyth –

    My two cents…

    Upside: character, can score, a leader.
    Downside: old-ish; expensive; long contract; not really a top-line sniper but more like POS and Frolov, two guys who may well grow into the role of top-line sniper. Smyth is not likely to be worth the money he’s getting paid over the next three years.

    He would be great if we were looking for support for our top-line snipers (say, if we already had our Crosby, Ovechkin, etc.). I think DL thinks we’ve got the support part of the equation down. No, I think (I mean, I hope) DL is looking for the one big guy or nothing, at least where top-six forwards are concerned.

    And I think there are teams who will give up more for Smyth than DL is willing to give up. Where would he waive his NTC to go? San Jose? Vancouver? I don’t know. Maybe he’s not going anywhere.

  • AK47

    Quisp,

    You’re saying Ryan Smyth is not a top line player and is only a player that would support the all-stars of other teams..? If this is what you’re saying, I completely disagree. If we’re talking about top line snipers that are available, Ryan Smyth HAS to be in the conversation imo. Other then Heatley, Spezza or Kovalchuk, who would DL be calling up looking for a “big guy”? Svatos? Wolski? No way man, it’s very tough for us to give find a first line player to play with Frolov and Kopitar!

    San Jose can’t offer Colorado a solid goaltender. Vancouver can, but I think they want to keep Corey Schneider as Luongo’s back up, and obviously Colorado’s not interested in Jason LaBarbera lmao. I think the Kings have so much to gain and almost nothing to lose. Ersbserg is a free agent, so why not make him trade bait. Brian Boyle’s been a HUGE disappointment, and Kyle Calder is just a clown. Ryan Smyth has playoff experience and was even Captain Canada. It’s rare for a guy like this to come available, and last but not least, Stoll and Greene might influence his decision on waiving the NTC.

    This is my opinion though..

  • Quisp

    Ersberg, re Purcell/choke:

    I agree that TP has some kind of ticking clock; he can’t be a promising prospect forever. But. I don’t think he’s choked exactly. He did not make the team out of camp (strike one). Then we worked hard and was called up, but didn’t show what he needed to show (strike two). Then he was called up a second time and did pretty well, and was sent down for the AHL All-Star game and stayed down until now. And he’s been playing well in Manchester. So I would say he’s on the up-swing. Also, I think of this as being the POS trajectory. This is TP’s up-and-down year, where he figures out what it takes. Compare this to Boyle, who has gotten progressively worse as the year went on, and now is playing as badly in Manchester (and with the same problems) as when he was up with the Kings.

    If you’re doing those little “conventional wisdom” up/down arrows they do in Time or Newsweek, you have to give Purcell, Lewis, Parse, Drewiske, Voynov and Azevedo an “up” arrow, and Boyle and Bernier a “down” arrow.

    Frankly, it would be nice if Boyle would step up and be that dominant force everyone thoguht maybe he could be, but I don’t actually care if someone else does it instead of him. There isn’t room for every prospect to pan out, anyway.

  • Quisp

    I’m not saying that Ryan Smyth isn’t a top-line talent. I’m saying he’s not a 50-goal-scorer. He’s an aging, expensive 30-35 goal-scorer. Has he ever scored more than 35? Let me look it up… 39 goals in 1996, then goal totals of 20, 13, 28, 31, 15, 27, 23, 36, 36, 14 and (this year, 20 so far, so on a pace for) 30. About 1/3 of a goal per game. Basically, those are Frolov numbers. More or less a 30 goal scorer, with some ups and downs. Heatley, for example, is a 40/50 goal scorer, with some ups and downs.

    Is Ryan Smyth a big deal, and a guy you want on your top two lines? Absolutely. But he’s not in the league of those other guys (Heatley, Kovalchuk, Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, etc.).

    I would pass on Ryan Smyth. I would rather that slot be open for Purcell, Lewis, whoever else is coming up the pipes for us.

    (although, look, he would make us better right now. No Question. I just think in the long term it’s the wrong move. In the long term, I want there to be room for the kids to grow into the team.)

  • AK47

    Hm I agree, I agree.

    Quisp,

    what about the lineup for tonight? Where will Purcell be playing and how will the D shape up?

  • TB

    I agree Quisp. Smyth is not the answer, but an opportunity for further improvement.

    I still want to see a true top 5 scorer with the Kings. I believe Smyth is best suited for Calder’s “box” on the 2nd line as DL calls it. My argument to your point about the kids growing into the team is that there is no rushing it. Smyth has 3 years remaining on his current deal I believe. Look at the red wings model. Datsyuk for example started on the 4th line his rookie year, and progressed into his 1st line role through the ranks. There is no rush, but Calder will soon be gone, and for the situation at hand, we can upgrade without damaging our core. I say do it. I’ve always advocated that at some point, to play with the big dogs you need to make the deal that some GM’s are afraid of making. Its time to anti up.

  • Anonymous

    For those of you in LA who are unhappy with Brown, maybe something can be worked out with the Sabres. They’ve got Kotalik, Connolly and Afinigenov all in the last year of their contracts. Since you are also looking to deal off Calder and Ersberg, I’m sure Darcy would love to add Dustin to his lineup and we’d love him here. Hey Dean, are you listening (or reading this site)?

  • Ersberg

    Quisp, I agree with you in regards to point totals, goals per year, who Smyth is equal to in terms of “tier”. What makes Smyth different(that I like) than lets say a Heatley is, how he gets the goals. He pushed all areas of the ice, battled hard to get open down low, and in the slot.

    You can’t deny Heatley gets more goals, but he does it withing a particular system. We don’t play Ottawa’s system, so it’ll be difficult for a full-blown offense only sniper like Heatley to come to LA and do the same.

    I just think a “Smyth” or a “Horton” equal “King” players. Heatley, to me, seems more of a highly skilled team kind of guy. I.e. Pittsburgh, Montreal, even Washington. From how I see it, Heatley needs guys like Spezza or better to get his goals.

    The Kings just don’t have guys like Semin, Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, or Lecavlier for him to thrive with.

  • AK47

    How about David Booth? I think he would be a nice addition to the stoll and brown line.

  • Ersberg

    David Booth, not a bad idea. He’s 20+ scorer, and young. Getting FLA to part with him might be tough, though.

    I also like Horton from FLA, if we were to go after another center. I’ve mentioned him on several occasion, but with no reply. The guy battles, is a goal scoring center(like Kopi), and gritty.

  • chris in torrance

    I’m with Jedi Knight on the Ryan Smyth idea. The best highlight of our season last year was JMFJ destroying that guy in Colorado.

    The dude’s a punk, I don’t want him on our team either!!