Kings sign Patrick Mullen

The Kings today signed forward Patrick Mullen, who recently completed his senior season at Denver, to a two-year, entry-level contract. Mullen is the son of NHL Hall of Famer Joe Mullen and he had four goals and 21 assists in 38 games this season. He also played some defense in his college career. Here’s the release from the Kings:

—–

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed free agent forward Patrick Mullen to a two-year entry-level contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced Friday.

Mullen, 22, recently concluded his senior season at Denver University and recorded 25 points (4-21=25) and 39 penalty minutes in 38 games. His 21 assists were tied for fourth on the team while his 22 points set a collegiate career high. The 5-11, 190-pounder from Pittsburgh helped the Pioneers to a 23-12-5 record and a berth in the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (DU was eliminated from tournament play last weekend).

In four seasons with the Pioneers, Mullen recorded 81 points (20-61=81) and 148 penalty minutes in 152 games, splitting time as a forward and defenseman. In 2007-08, he led DU defensemen with 22 points (4-18=22), which was tied for sixth among WCHA blue-liners. His 18 assists were tops overall on the Pioneers. In 2006-07, Mullen was named to the All-WCHA Academic Team.

Mullen skated with the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) during the 2004-05 season, posting 37 points (14-23=37), eight penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating in 60 games.

Mullen’s father, Joe, (“Slippery Rock Joe Mullen”) played in the NHL for 16 seasons with four different teams. The first American-born hockey player to score 500 goals and register 1,000 points, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

Joe Mullen has been an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers since June 6, 2007.

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  • Count RockuLA

    “Joe Mullen has been an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers since June 6, 2007.”

    I am FLYING in my Roflcopter.

  • Rob

    Rich; I love the way you threw in the Flyers connection at the end there. That shoud get some of the conspiracy theorists blood flowing

  • WWAMD

    Yah this didn’t make sense to me until I seen the Philly connection..

    I guess Dean hasn’t learned…

  • JPKelly

    They call him a forward, then a defenseman. I’m assuming he’s D, given his numbers. So, another D-man added to the mix…

  • Ersberg

    Terry’s fanaticism with the Flyers knows no bounds. We should ask Torterella if he’d come our way.

  • http://vanitydesignstudios.com/ ianmonsta

    so thats why they had the feature on joe mullen during the games last night

  • Bailey’s House

    Hey Rich, I’m not sure if you were aware, but I saw this this morning on the NHL Network that Manchester’s game will be televised tonight at 4pm. Just wanted to share this in case any Kings fan was interested in watching the future Kings play.

  • Mickey Keenab

    Having watched Mullen play the last few years here in Denver… he is pretty versatile… He can skate pretty much on any line and always does his job.. When playing on the top line, he looks to score… on D, he filled in very well for DU this year after they had some long term injuries.

    I doubt he will be put up huge numbers, but he could round out as a good 3rd line stopper…

  • variable

    wow…

    another philly connection exposed…

    when was the last time the flyers won the cup…? 1975…

    the kings love peter harrold’s versatility…maybe they are thinking that lil’ mullen can develop into something along those lines…hopefully w/more offensive potential than harrold…

    mickey’s aforementioned post sounds accurate…

    we might have to build another practice rink with the size of the training camp we are going to have next season…

    or we can just ask paul holmgren if we are able to rent the phantoms facilities…

  • tantrum4

    You guys are unbeliveable! You’re calling Joe Mullen a Flyer?? Woopee he’s been there for less than a year! In case you guys never watch any hockey except Kings games Joe Mullen is a Hall of Famer who played almost his entire career with the Calgary Falmes and Pittsburgh Penguins, winning a total of 4 Stanley Cups. Mullen started with the Flyers when Lombardi was already here in LA!! How could that possibly mean anything??? Just when I thought you guys couldn’t come up with anything more ridiculous…..

  • -J

    I was just about to post something to the same effect tantrum4, but well said.

  • variable

    tantrum…

    good to see you still have ‘em…

    maybe it’s just another odd coincidence, but hextall probably is friends with joe and maybe there was some conversations between the two regarding his son…

    it’s not completely as “unbelievable” as you claim it to be…we are not privy to what goes on behind the scenes…

    but maybe we should replace kevin bacon with the philadelphia flyers when we do the kings very own 6 degrees…

  • TB

    Re: Flyers connection…

    Its a prime example of the 6 degrees of separation. 30 teams in the NHL with players and personnel constantly changing addresses. Its statistically likely that everyone knows everyone from working with someone at some time. Get it? Who cares what team it is, we could make up a conspiracy connection to several teams, schools, AHL and OHL teams, etc.

    Its about trusting and knowing who you are hiring. Wouldn’t you bring in a former employee you had a good working relationship with if he had the skills you were looking for over the guy you only know from what his resume reads? Or picking up a player who’s father you know well, meaning you have a good idea of how the kid was raised? DL is picking based on character first. Its how the Red Wings and Devils have done it for years. We should be applauding his desire to build a team that will have such a solid foundation.

  • chefp96

    Bailey’s House said:
    Hey Rich, I’m not sure if you were aware, but I saw this this morning on the NHL Network that Manchester’s game will be televised tonight at 4pm. Just wanted to share this in case any Kings fan was interested in watching the future Kings play.

    It is next Friday the 10th they are televising

  • Golfnut_303

    Patrick is a defenseman. He’s a good defenseman, he reminds me of a more physical Lubo. We have seen him play for DU for the last 2 years, and he’s got a decent shot, can really move the puck, and is good in all situations.

    He played forward 1 game when a few players were hurt, but he’s a defenseman.

    I’m glad the Kings signed him, and there is no truth to the rumor that;

    1) He was signed because of the Flyers connection.
    2) That he is related to me.

  • -J

    “we are not privy to what goes on behind the scenes…” yet people on here completely neglect this very valid point when they choose to bash the Kings, reading into every flyer’s “connection” and saying things like “The mood Murray sets in the locker room is NOT healthy for this team” or that murray is playing head games with JJ and FRO. Like any of us are privy to what is said in the locker room or between the coach and the players.

    I think it’s telling that by and large, people who bash the “process and progress” we’re seeing do so by relying on or creating opinions, not facts, like those above (Murray plays head games). In contrast, those who think things are on the right track point to tangible statistical improvements (like the signficant reduction in GAA, or being near league leaders in Shots against and faceoffs, two traditional markers of successful teams). Not saying that there isn’t room for questioning and disapproving aspects of the rebuild (especially on offense, which has been horrendous at times), but it’s hard to take a lot of the negatives seriouly.

    Now back to the post, good depth pickup- any word if he’s going to be joining the kings or heading out to manchester for the end of the season?

  • jet

    Thanks for the DU insight 303 and Mic

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/tomm.303/DUHOCKEY_PatrickMullen# Golfnut_303

    It says that Mullen split time as a forward/defenseman but he’s a defenseman first. He could do a little Peter Harrold routine, but I’d think he’d be a defenseman for the Kings.

    Here’s some photos of him (#7) that I took during the Denver Cup tourney vs Holy Cross this year.

    Golfnut

  • cristobal

    A fact is that the Kings have more wins than only 2 other teams in the league.
    A fact is that they are only 2 points better than last season and have a worse record than the mess in Toronto and Ottawa.
    A fact is that the team is going backwards quicker than ever DESPITE getting some pretty darn good goaltending.
    A fact is that the GM traded for an injured player when the players were tyring to battle for a playoff spot.
    A fact is, that after the first month of the season the statistics don’t look so good.
    A fact is that Murray quite obviously plays favorites and punishes a select group.
    A fact is that players who perform have been shown the door.
    A fact is that DL has wasted tens of millions of dollars on players like Cloutier, Nagy, Calder, Preissing, McCauley…I’m losing count.
    A fact is that DL has finished in the bottom 3 two years in a row and may do it again.
    A fact is that we set an ALL TIME FRANCHISE record for being shutout.
    A fact is, some people DO ACTUALLY know what goes on behind closed doors.

  • Golfnut_303

    Hmm the link to the photos didnt show up

    http://picasaweb.google.com/tomm.303/DUHOCKEY_PatrickMullen

    Here’s some photos of Patrick Mullen

  • Ersberg

    “tantrum…

    good to see you still have ‘em…”

    Legendary, Variable, legendary..

    Although, we should let those that require Kool-Aid, let them drink it.

  • Dionnefan

    Cristobal:

    A fact is not one of your comments relates to the topic at hand. How does any of that have to do with the signing of Pat Mullen, because you lost me.

  • variable

    ersberg…

    thanx for the love…!

    dionnefan…

    exactly…good point…!

  • Rob

    cristobal said:

    “A fact is, some people DO ACTUALLY know what goes on behind closed doors.”

    Unless you can explain otherwise A FACT is that you are not one of those people

  • Johnny Utah

    I just saw a reference to Peter Harrold. Pass.

  • OneTimer

    tantrum4. Nice post.

    Give ‘em a yard, they’ll take a mile. Or in WWAMD’s case … 110 miles. (But who’s counting.)

  • -J

    Anyone know if Mullen or Elkins are being given a Piskula kind of deal, where they’ll get bonuses for playing in the final games (i.e. an end-around signing bonus) and also burn the first year of the contract? See http://sports.outsidethebeltway.com/tag/los-angeles-kings/ (search piskula to find the section on that page) if you want more on the piskula section. For that matter, when do their contracts kick in- I believe one year of Piskula’ was used when he played in the final 5 games of the 06-07 season.

    Cristobal- Thanks for proving my point.

  • letsgokings

    I don’t know why so many people complain about the Philly or San Jose connections. If anyone in Kings management has additional/inside knowledge of the players in those franchises, why not use it?

  • 28 KINGS

    “A fact is, some people DO ACTUALLY know what goes on behind closed doors.”

    You mean like the guys who blog on those hockey rumor sites.”My super secret source inside the front office…”

  • WWAMD

    -J

    I’m sorry to burst your bubble. But I actually DO know what goes on behind closed doors when I make statements. I have an inside source with one current King and a few former Kings have talked to me about the Kings in the past.

    I live in the Hockey Mecca of the world. Ontario. Majority of hockey players are from Ontario, and I do keep in touch with a lot of them via internet and sometimes at parties during the summer. I was kinda wishing for Alex Pietrangelo was going to be drafted by the Kings since we work in the same building and talk on a regular basis. He actually was excited about the possibility of becoming a King after I spoke positive about the org. Anyways, I do know someone in that locker room right now and has given me tons of information that has been the backbone of my arguments and hatred towards Dean.

    However, unfortunately, I can not reveal him at this time. But once he’s no longer a King, which will be sooner rather then later, I’ll fill you in.

  • WWAMD

    letsgokings

    lol are you serious? look at what they signed from the Philly San Jose connection
    McCauley
    Calder
    Williams
    Zues (yes he’s having an ok season but overpaid for it and last year he made 4 million for nothing)
    Gauither
    Preissing..kinda

    So what are the successful candidates out of that? inside knowledge sure didn’t help and remember some of these guys are the highest paid in their position. Some are still getting paid and not playing a single game Mcauley and Priessing.

  • -J

    WWAMD- from reading your posts, I find it a little hard to believe you have much inside knowledge of anything. You really havent revealed any specific inside knowledge beyond what ideas Anthony, cristobal, and some others have been coming up with around here for over a year. In future posts, on different threads, Id definitely be interested if you could weave in some specifics without revealing any sensitive info. That said, if you do indeed have an acquaintance on the kings, I really think you should keep them secret if and when they do leave, and dont reveal someone who spoke to you in confidence just to prove a point. If it gets out that this person speaks to outsiders negatively about their organization Anyways, this really has nothing to do with this thread and I dont want to be in a well, I know this guy or Im from here, so I know this kind of pissing contest (regarding the other parts of your post), which Im sure was not your intention, so Im going to leave it that from here on.

  • kingskicka$$

    Well then…based on WWAMD’s super Ontario connections in conjunction with the roster as shown on kings.nhl.com, he knows one of the following Ontario natives:

    Army
    Simmonds
    Williams
    Drew
    OD
    Quincey
    Richardson….hmmmm

    My $ is on Brad. He’s the only one that hasn’t lived up to expectations and therefore benched regularly. I afraid your insider’s perspective my be skewed a bit…. That is, of course, if my hard core investigative reporting is accurate!!!

  • JDM

    Cristo,

    For the sake of busting your balls, 2 things you stated as fact are pure conjecture. I’m sure you know which two, but I’m down with the spirit of your overall point, though I still can’t get on board with the venemous aspect.

    Kingskickass,

    Awesome.

    WWAMD,

    It’s that Canadian hockey superiority complex tht makes us Americans want Canada to fail in world tournaments, whether the U.S. Is in it or not.

    Also, can we get over any bashing of Zues please? We all know he is a little overpaid, but the Kings aren’t exactly in a cap-pickle are they? You aren’t writing the checks WWAMD, so unless Zues’ 4 mill is directly hurting the team, get over it. The guy is a beast and deserves all of our accolades and should not be considered one of DL’s aborted signings, but rather a successful one.

    I go back and forth on nepotism. I get it, good for the film/tv biz but I’m not positive its as usefull for sports, but I get it.

    As for ‘inside info’, I’m always suspect of testimony. A friend of mine ran into Avery once who told him that Frolov was this big wuss and horrible guy. Since then my friend argues with me repeatedly that Frolov should be traded, basing a lot of that on Avery’s comments. Well, Frolov is a damn good player and I don’t give a crap what Avery thinks of him. To relate the point, I’m not going to condemn anyone in Kings management or coaching simply because anonymous player x told anonymous poster y such and such.

  • cristobal

    JDM,

    You are one of my favorite commenters, so it pains me to think that you interpret my post as venemous.
    “-J” asked for facts, and was a bit off the mark in his comments towards WW, who was only posting opinion.
    I don’t know why we all have to battle each other so much. We’re all Kings fans and some of us support what is going on, while others are tired of seeing this situation spiral out of control.
    I have no current “inside info” about the Kings and don’t pretend to.
    I do know that certain people DO know players and agents and that perhaps even some of the Lomba or Murray supporters have inside knowledge.
    As for myself, I know people who know people, but I don’t really go to them for “inside information” on the Kings. I think that would be kinda lame.
    I have friends who know agents, players, and managers personally. This is a hockey town after-all and players love the area (which makes it even harder to believe that Lomba has difficulty luring players here).
    Heck, I even helped build one of Gretzky’s houses. These people are human beings and are out in the world – they’re not really royalty.

    For those that don’t view my statement about some people knowing what goes on behind closed doors as a fact, I’d just point out that the people behind the doors know. Sometimes those people talk.
    Lombardi certainly knows what is going on, and yet most Kings fans take his word for the “truth,” while dismissing the players silence as an admission of guilt.
    Let me just say that players understand that there is nothing to be gained by making complaints and feuds public (except maybe players like avery, who is a loose cannon).
    That is why I don’t understand why Lomba takes part in making negative public statements about his former players (cammy, Labs) and current ones (boyle, frolov).
    This is a part of why I feel the FA market will be even more difficult and why Lomba has had to overpay players like Stoll and Greene.
    This is not a desirable place to come for an experienced player. Players want to accomplish things in their career, and if they don’t want to accomplish things there’s no point in bringing them in (anson carter).

    PS, to Kings fans in general – I don’t want my comments to be read as spiteful, please. I am simply a frustrated Kings fan who does not like what is going on with the team.
    We can disagree and remain respectful.

  • WWAMD

    -J

    I don’t want to reveal my current source inside the locker room, but if you read all my posts, you can figure out who it is…and I’ll drop a hint, he’s not necessarily from Ontario! That being said. That person whom put that list up. I don’t really know anyone on that list except Drew, who we’ve only talked a few times and not about the Kings because he was not a King at that time. I don’t know him that well enough though.

    I ALSO talk to a former King and Hall of Famer on a weekly basis (big hint there), I get some of Dean’s character from him as well.

    Finally, Sully was in Ontario during the “negotiations” and I work for the Niagara IceDogs, he use to play for them when they use to be Mississauga IceDogs (owned by Don Cherry), he stopped by to see how things were going and I automatically recognized him and eventually got some info off of him. So current Sully, Former HOF’er, and my current source in the team right now have given me the SAME opinion about Dean. My current source has also given me a strong opinion about Murray…So take it with a grain of salt! But thats my basis

  • cristobal

    JDM,

    The other thing is, I don’t know which points you feel are conjecture, other than–I guess–the assertion that people know what goes on behind closed doors.
    Also, if there’s one guy (and I know this from someone who’s spent a bit of time with him) who’s words are worth zero, it is Sean Avery. Until he comes to terms with some issues, he has no right to criticize anyone or speak about character.
    Hard to believe he came to us from the Redwings…

  • -J

    “I’m not going to condemn anyone in Kings management or coaching simply because anonymous player x told anonymous poster y such and such.” -Well said JDM.

    WWAMD- if you get a chance, drop us a post when the Bulls come to town, and let us know how Cameron’s doing. (I used to live an hour away from Niagra BTW.)

  • WWAMD

    J
    Well the Bulls will be in town alright, IceDogs are facing them in the playoffs. I won’t be working those few days nor be in St. Catharines at the time. I moving back to Windsor right now.

    I got to see Cameron a few times and during the All-star game in Windsor this year. I have pics of him somewhere from that All-star game. As for the games I watched him in during the regular season. He was impressive. I really like him and the Kings got a good player. The funny thing is, whenever I watch Johnny T, I’m not impressed. I haven’t seen him do much. Maybe its because so much emphasis is put on him or he’s flys under the radar and gets things done without flash. I just don’t know. Stamkos to me was a better player then Johnny, but numbers don’t like and Johnny has been putting up numbers!

  • cristobal

    -J,

    It’s not a call for condemnation that I–or WW–am/are calling for.
    Personally, I’m trying to use facts to show that this project is failing and spinning out of control.
    I can credit both Lomba and Murray for some small successes (and I genuinely believe there are NO major character flaws in either man).

    But, I feel that when one takes an objective look at what has happened over the past 3+ years, this experiment has been only fairly short of a disaster. I don’t want to lose any more talent and I don’t want the talent we have to suffer through it alone anymore. Kopitar, Brown, Frolov, Doughty, and Johnson are untouchables.

    Personally, I’m very upset that we’ve already lost Lubo, Cammy, O’Sullivan, Tukonen (and the hope I had for him) not to mention the players we used to get some of our assets–Belanger, Gleason, Demitra, Sopel, Norstrom, etc.

    PS–Being that I admittedly don’t know what goes on behind closed doors in LA, I can admit that there may be a chance that Lomba is working on something big and that the O’S trade was a part of that.
    If we somehow end up with Tavares, I will still wonder if there isn’t some match-fixing and lottery-fixing going on as it would be much too fishy.
    I wouldn’t expect Tavares to bring winning hockey to LA in an instant, but he would definitely be a HUGE marketing tool that would allow AEG to cash-in on a team that certainly doesn’t earn their keep.

    Personally, I’m a fan of Jordan Schroeder and would rather finish tenth overall and still get him.
    Although I still dream that we could acquire either Cody Hodgson, or hope of all hopes for myself–Colin Wilson.

    Cheers.

  • JDM

    cristo,

    Sorry to misinterpret your post as venemous. That was just coming my reading of it, but truly you are just passionate like the rest of us.

    And no, I know that it is indeed a fact that some people have inside info. Hell, a buddy of mine played high school with a couple of current Kings so I get it.

    The three (I can’t count…) opinions stated as fact were:

    “A fact is that the team is going backwards quicker than ever DESPITE getting some pretty darn good goaltending.”

    “A fact is that Murray quite obviously plays favorites and punishes a select group.”

    “A fact is that players who perform have been shown the door.”

    I can understand you arguing that we haven’t improved, but I don’t think its a FACT that the team is going BACKWARDS. And that good goaltending is a very recent phenomenon.

    The second one, about playing favorites, this is a little closer to truth, but still, there’s only really 3 guys who seem to have gotten a free pass this season and that’s Brown, Kopi and for some strange reason Ivanans. Everyone else has been punished at some point for doing something stupid. This is one of those ‘two sides of the same coin’ issues. People complain how much he loves Harrold and won’t punish him, then Harrold is a scratch and people don’t realize, hey, that was a punishment. Calder was a scratch early on a few times if I recall. I don’t agree at all that Brown has the free pass, and for the most part I think Kopi is one of the only Kings that deserves a pass. I’m over the Ivanans thing, I’m not going to get upset that the coach wants someone out there to protect our tiny young players every game. TM’s not a great strategist to be sure, but his heart seems to be in the right place.

    Finally, the last ‘fact’ about players performing and being shown the door. Really you just mean Cammy and Lubo. Surely you don’t mean O’Sullivan, who did not perform well at all this year. In that same sense, Lubo was awful last season too, and Cammy was all over the place, great, terrible, great, invisible. Sure they all either have or will rebound, but Kopitar has performed and has a nice contract to show for it. So has Brown, although this season he didn’t look worth half that contract, but he earned it in the first place. We’ll see what happens with Frolov. I worry, but I could see him staying though I can’t help but think he might be gone sooner than later.

    So with those three statements, while you definately have valid points and good, constructive critical opinions to draw from them, you simply can’t state them as fact because they are not readily quantifiable but also the same real situations could be interpreted differently, making it ultimately your opinion.

    The rest of what you had said is definately fact, and like I said in my earlier post, really I’m just busting your balls because you are one of my favorite posters as well and I hold your comments to a higher standard than most, so I feel compelled to nitpick them more than I do with most posts.

    Back to less serious stuff,

    It is hard to believe Avery was ever a Red Wing. It’s also so strange that he has insta chemistry with anyone on the Rangers. I liked Avery when he a King though, he was endlessly amusing and I think we definately are missing a player like him right now. The Neil’s and Ott’s and Domi’s and Tucker’s of the world. Simmonds is halfway there, he’s shown his nastiness a few times lately. Army is the closest thing we have to a pest, but he’s too convinced he’s a scorer to focus on the right things. Zeiler… ah… I hope Clune pans out!

    You know me, I love Schroeder too, but the more I think about him, the more I don’t want a smallish winger. I have the same apprehension about Duchene. The only two players in the top 10 I really want are MSP or Kane. I would be so thrilled with either of those players. Outside of them, I wouldn’t mind either if DL traded down and took Zack Kassian.

    But really, I love that DL dropped the hint earlier that our first rounder could be in play. Its about damn time. I’m hesitant as to what the right move is, I think if a big name player was on the table, trade the stupid pick, but then again, our forward depth sucks now. We have no forwards who aren’t already on the Kings that look to be top line players eventually. Whoops, forgot about Loktionov, he seems like the only one with serious top 6 potential.

    WWAMD, I’m with you, not all that impressed by Tavares. Sure he’s good, but I certainly don’t think he’s going to take the NHL by storm. I could be wrong, because he is a big boy with soft hands, but he also looks like a (pardon my french) punk ass bitch. Yeah, no, I’ve made up my mind, I’d rather have MSP or Kane than Tavares. Maybe I’m just crazy, but I hate his face and that’s that!

    Also, I got lost along the way. What EXACTLY is this same position on Dean all of your sources have? That he’s an ego-monster? I’m not being facecious here either. If it is just about his ego, then I’m perfectly OK with that. A big ego can do big things.

    I understand everyone’s frustration with the team. I’m right there with you. But I don’t think the team is going backwards, I think there are ever so many more positives right now than there were 3 years ago and I think we are knocking as success’ doorstep.

    I think DL has done a fantastic job overall. TM I’m getting sick of, but I wonder whether’s it smart to replace him after just one year. I think he has to get another crack. Maybe he’ll be a different coach next year, having known and worked with these guys a full year. Maybe he comes into camp with a better plan and more confidence to give the kids because he knows them all now. I can dream right?

    Watching the games, coaching is clearly an issue, but leadership is the bigger one. Its also clear we need some more pure talent. The system may not be the best of the most exciting to watch, but certainly its not Murray’s fault or the systems fault that these stupid players continually misfire or mishandle 5 foot passes. Our passing game is what’s really terrible. Yes we need a finisher, but really, we need to learn to connect a damn pass. They did it a few times this season, but not much. I think our passing is the single biggest reason we have lost most of those one-goal games. The bad passing gets us scored on and doesn’t allow us to score. This late in the year, regardless of what you think of Murray’s system, its unnacceptable on the players parts for them not to know it well enough to get a read off a guy, put their damn head up, take a look and make or recieve a damn pass. I’m having nightmares of the last game, where Boyle sent a short pass ahead to Brown, the pass was way off and Brown looked like he just thought that was dandy, didn’t even reach out for it. To me, that one play in the neutral zone sums up our shortcomings this season.

  • cristobal

    JDM,

    Excellent stuff and I get what you mean about my “facts.”
    I guess I should realize that it is more of an opinon on those subjects.

    A couple of things, however, that I disagree with is that O’Sullivan’s struggles were his fault.
    He was moved around all season and I really feel that our skill guys look worse playing on this team over the past 3 seasons because there is no real philosophy.
    I see it as a disconnect between Lomba’s desire to accumulate talent clashing with his penchant for NOT holding his coaches responsible for working with what he gives them.
    In other words, I think DL is too much influenced by the ideas of others and that he tends to take the backseat when deciding what type of team this is.
    Does he really know what he wants?

    Also, I don’t think Doughty, Greene, O’Donnel, Handzus, or Quincey have been “punished” when they make mistakes.
    Conversely, I remember distinctly a game against Calgary where Murray called out Kopitar for not “digging in” when it was Doughty who twice let his teamates down by not doing his job on one play.
    If you remember, that was the late goal by Langkow.
    I seriously doubt a coach who doesn’t understand how that play broke down, and I think it shows a lack of understanding to actually place the blame on a player like Kopitar. It requires trusting your teamates can make the right plays (setting picks/playing positionally sound) to play as a team. If your teamates let you down on their coverage, it requires individuals to try and play two positions at once.

    In other words, JDM, I am anti this management team because I don’t think they really understand how to get the most out of what we’ve got; and, because of that, they are trading away good players.

    On the other hand, nobody would have expected us to win a cup, but I fully believe a different coach could have made the playoffs with this club and that our top players could be learning things instead of (opinion coming) taking backward steps and growing more disheartened and frustrated.

    As for our high draft choice, if it is traded I really will have reservations about passing up the opportunity to get an elite player, simply because I don’t see us as that close to accomplishing anything.
    I’d just (again) remind everyone that a team doesn’t even have to be in the top 50% of the league to make the playoffs, so that is a minimal standard to shoot for.

    6 seasons out of the playoffs and a record for being shutout is a hard pill to swallow.
    One without the other would be OK, but combined it’s an embarrassment and, I believe, reason enough for at least one head to roll. (but thank you, TM, for getting the guys to improve defensively)

    PS–you’re right that the getting worse accusation is opinion, but consider that we finished last season pretty strong and were surprisingly strong to start the season.
    But for a few week stretch in mid-jan/feb we’ve been pretty horrible, even losing to teams below us and out of the playoffs.

  • JDM

    You know cristo, you bring up a very interesting point I hadn’t really considered, questioning whether DL has a clear idea of the style of hockey he wants this team to play.

    The only thing he has really said that I recall to this effect is during the last off-season wanting us to get bigger and tougher to play against. But that still doesn’t really say anything about style of hockey. Big and tough is not a system. Nor is playing good defense. What the hell is this? A trap team? Doesn’t seem like it. A cycling team? If they could do it properly maybe. Certainly we aren’t a puck possession team, which is what we’d all probably like the most to see and seems to have shown the most success in the NHL lately. It seems that the successful teams are either possession style or quick transition teams like Washington and to a lesser extent Boston.

    I hope we aren’t turning into the Devils of old, especially when you consider the Devils of now are nothing like the Devils of old.

    Looking back, I don’t think TM was the right hire, but I still think he has a chance to turn this around.

    And you’re right, Trotz (for example) probably could have had this team atleast a point or two out of the playoffs if not in them. Certainly they are not flooded with talent of any kind. Bygones though.

    I don’t think DL is going to be allowed to fire another coach unless he’s going out the door with him. If he isn’t fired for firing TM were he to go that route, which I doubt he will, then at the very least, that would signal smoke to ownership and put DL on the hot seat BIG TIME next season, which he should be on anyways.

    Aah… all of this is getting so frustrating, and I don’t have the answers. I just want to see a team play hard and score some damn goals, throw some hits, play with pride… I can do without the passion and power ;), since as Kings fans, we apparently aren’t allowed to have it all.

  • cristobal

    JDM,

    I don’t know.
    I think Lombardi has enough influence with AEG to convince them that everything is going to plan even if he were to decide a new coach was needed.
    I don’t think it would be beyond reason to approach AEG with the idea that everything is going fine and that TM was a necessary component to teach the boys that there is a commitment needed in the defensive zone.

    If we take that lesson and are able to become dynamic going forward (and the players believe in themselves and each other) good things can happen.

    I’m not saying Cups are imminent, but with a great leader, this team can accomplish things.

    Finally, just remember that I’m not all negative on Lombardi, but I’m just saying maybe Murray has too much influence (or perhaps Hextall) on his decision making.
    These two are, in my opinion, living in the past and DL needs to realize that it is his reputation (and head) on the line if this turns into a total disaster.

    But, who knows, we may see a huge deal around draft time.
    Could the core be moving on?

  • JDM

    You could be right. I hope you are.

    Still though, maybe I’m being shortsighted, but I worry that another new coach to start the season will only lead to moer confusion and more of the same, atleast for the first half.

    I think with the right players added, we could achieve success with TM behind the bench.

    I think if you add one top line player, one middle pairing dman and a vet backup goalie this is a playoff team even with Murray.

    Hey, while we’re at it, WWAMD, what do your sources think of Murray as a coach?

    I think the most pertinent question though is not whether DL is doing a good job or if TM’s system of hockey and treating players is good for the team, but rather, should Dustin Brown have the C?

    I’m leaning heavily towards no, but on the flip side I worry if taking it away from him will only make him worse next year? Kill his confidence? It’s a tough one, but regardless, this team needs better internal leadership, coaching and management aside.

  • WWAMD

    JDM

    to answer your question, he thinks Murray is an improvement over Crawford. He is allowed to be himself now. However, there is a situation going on with my source right now and the GM and it has trickled down to the coaching. My source and many others all agree that Dean low balls players. Its know in the locker room what is going on and all the rookies are prepared. Even if Dean starts offering reasonable contracts players will start thinking he is lowballing, because that is the mentality in the locker room.

    My source also says the guys in there are ALL very tight, get along and there is a “cliq” that is fed up with the politics in this team. My source is part of the “cliq” and he and many other promising young players are planning on leaving LA asap unless things change.

    Also just cause I’m a nice guy I’ll reveal one more tad bit of info. Players from this “cliq” are extremely mad that Sully got traded and seen it as a threat for them to accept Deans lowball offers. This angered a few people with their contracts coming up, and did not help the situation any, but made it worse.

    Oh yah, here is another shocker (but not confirmed by my source, he won’t confirm or deny it)…your LORD GM Dean, is a waste of space and wastes the teams money foolishly. Tom Preissing is not hurt, other sources tell me that he was the most vocal about the structure of this team and spoke up on behalf of other players to coaches. Coaches hated this and sat him out. The tension built up as Preissing did not tone down and spoke his mind. He basically was stating what was on every players mind at the time. Dean and Murray thought it would be better for him to sit at him and here was are at a log jam. Paying someone 4 million to watch tv. Dean has tried everything he can to trade him, but no luck.

  • JDM

    Very interesting WWAMD. Sounds to me like you have a “MF’ing” source ;).

    I actually like hearing that the room is tight and there is a clique. Obviously I don’t want players leaving the team, but it sounds to me like that kind of tension and commraderie amongst players is what is needed for this team. I hope they turn that into taking ownership of the team and just playing hockey and not worrying about just their $$ as young players. Obviously DL and TM need to allow them to take that ownership. Hell, they talk about it enough.

    Perhaps, and I’m reaching very far on this one, that there is a bigger conspiracy to get the players fed up in order to get them to take ownership and not blame management or coaching and make this team the team they want it to be.

    Lowballing your players concerns me, but I also have a problem with 20-25 year old guys who get paid mega bucks (even Zeiler gets mega bucks compared to most of the world) to play a game. When you are 28 years old and up and a UFA you’ve earned the right to hold out for the most money, but as a young guy LUCKY enough to be blessed with the life of a professional sports player, at some point I really want to say SHUT THE F UP, take your million or two, put it in a bank and play the damn game. Their payday will come, it always does. Players don’t get to decide what they are worth until they have played long enough to get to UFA. Thats the whole point of being a UFA.

    Obviously I don’t know much about what its like to be a professional hockey player, but I do what its like to be young and starting out your career. In my case, I’m trying to break into an industry where I have to do lots of free work for people just to get my name and skills out there. Once I was lucky enough to get paid work, I wasn’t about to bitch about the pay. In 5 years or so, once I’m more fully established and have proven myself time and again, then I will feel justified making decisions based purely on dollars and cents. Until that time, I’m happy just to be working and starting a career. In my opinion, hockey players shouldn’t be any different in that regard and if anything should be ever more grateful for their ELC’s and second contracts.

  • WWAMD

    JDM

    I agree that all athletes make too much money and should stop thinking about money. However, Hockey players are the least paid bunch amongst, football, soccer, baseball and basketball.

    And think of all the investments hockey players make throughout their lives. Equipment is EXPENSIVE, and you out grow it all the time, from skates to helmets, it all has to change.

    In sports like baseball and basketball and soccer, you put on a jersey, some shoes and hit the field/court.

    Goalies especially are underpaid, they are our their the longest, equipment prices are outrageous and they get all the blame.

    With that said I think hockey players deserve the money they are getting in a way.

    But the argument some players are making in Kings locker room is that if they were drafted elsewhere, they’d probably be in the playoffs and get respect/pay cheque they deserve. Also they really did buy into the youth movement that Dean was talking about, but are starting to realize it is a money game.

    Why would you punish your hockey career to make less money on a team that does not build a winning culture..thats the question you gotta ask yourself and other players are asking themselves. There is a lot of young minds in that room and A LOT of BRIGHT people as well. One of which is still in University ;)

  • JDM

    WWAMD,

    Your points are good. Especially about goalies. I agree they are the most underpaid of hockey players in general.

    As for players whining about who drafted. I don’t care. Entitlement issues. Again, that’s what UFA is for. Make the best of what you are lucky enough to have when you are a young guy starting a career.

  • cristobal

    JDM,

    Keep in mind that the NHL is supposed to be the premier hockey league on the planet and these players have a short time to earn their money–for the remainder of their lives.
    (although, I believe Hockey players are WAY overpaid–nobody in hockey is worth more than 4 or 5 million a year, in my opinion. there’s no profit in hockey and no reason that a Capped system should be paying that much)
    They are also in an extremely violent sport and are expected to put their health on the line, even if the playoffs are not a part of the picture.
    Cammalleri, for instance, was a player I always viewed as a guy who DID put it on the line for this team.
    Lubo was always called a warrior prior to last season and Fox would always praise his toughness and dedication.
    Under Andy Murray, the team nearly put it all together. In many ways, I liked that team more than the Gretzky years.
    When a player became dissatisfied (Blake/Allison?/Palffy?) they were on their own and the guys moved on.
    The problem then was a lack of support from AEG.
    Perhaps that is still a problem, but I think it’s realistic to make a connection between players becoming dissatisfied on this team when they perform well (cammy, lubo, o’sullivan) but are shipped out because the team is weak and there are underperformers making big money.
    I keep in mind that DL brought in JMFJ and O’S in the first place, but where is his persistence with his own guys?
    I really like Stoll, I really like Greene, but he gave them much more than they were getting in Edmonton and much more than they may really be worth as players.
    I suspect that is because that’s the only tool he has for luring player to Los Angeles.
    Carolina, on the other hand, was able to free up Williams contract money and rid themselves of a player that was injured a lot, and may have benefitted in the scoring column from playing on some good teams (philly in the early years and Carolina as a Cup winner).

    Finally, I think you must keep in mind that Dustin Brown is still very young and that there was the prospect that these young guys would struggle without some good veteran players around him.
    Add to that the distressing scenario that has bookended his struggles of late and I see no reason he should be stripped of the “C.”
    He’s a great character and a great player that any team would love to have.
    We’re lucky to have him as Phoenix is lucky to have Doan–who’s rarely been in the playoffs and never come close to even sniffing the Cup.

  • -J

    WWAMD- thanks for that tidbit on cameron. Too bad you’ll be missing those games, but if you catch any of the windsor games, really would appreciate some words on lok-t, ellis, and hall.

    Disagree with you guys on tavares for the most part, but i agree he isn’t the flashiest scorer. Robitaille wasn’t the flashiest player either, but man could he score. I do agree that stamkos is a more complete player and, having followed his career and hoped he’d end up a king, i’m glad to see he’s doing better in TB.

    That info from your source doesn’t surprise me- the same kind of things went on in SJ. I think DL’s contract negotiation tactics are a huge weak point and at times are counter to the kind of acts that espouse loyalty from the players. It’s not unique to DL, unfortunately. That kind of crap goes on elsewhere in hockey, and all over the non-hockey world as well. I think JDM has put some good perspective on the subject.

    Anyways, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the length of contracts signed by JJ and others over the summer.

  • WWAMD

    Hey J

    I was discussing the Spits with a friend of mine who is a season ticket holder. He knows I’m a Kings fan and he said Loki looks awesome. Also last nights game Loki lead the team with 5 points 2 goals and 3 assists.

    I’m personally going to try to catch the Thursday game, haven’t bought tics yet, so its a matter of them being sold out or not…until then rest assured Loki is doing AWESOME!

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