Practice report

Nothing much to note on-ice today. It was a light, optional skate but most guys were on the ice. Afterward, I talked to a handful of guys about some relevant topics. Some highlights:

– Both Brown and Kopitar, when asked what they would tell Dean Lombardi what the team needs, said “a scoring left winger” without much hesitation.

– Brown has been playing through back pain but isn’t expected to need surgery.

– Both Jack Johnson and Alexander Frolov said they would like to stay with the Kings, but neither wanted to go into details about what they would be looking for.

– Wayne Simmonds talked about his desire to put on more muscle this summer.

Much more on all this stuff later. Right now I’m sitting in the Kings office, waiting to hopefully chat with Lombardi for a few minutes. He’s doing what would seem to be exit interviews with a couple players. I’m looking at an old Kings “Serious Hockey” sticker on a filing cabinet.

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  • Harry

    Both JJ and AF said they would LIKE TO stay…..but the question is, does DL WANT them to stay? Can you possibly get a clear answer from DL?

  • Jimmy

    Isn’t Frolov a scoring left winger? Or did they mean that they need two scoring left wingers all together? Either way, let’s hope some of the free agents this summer sign here in LA.

    I think it’s obvious that DL will make a serious bid for Gaborik. I mean, he did the same for Charra, Druru and Gomez. But those guys didn’t want to play here. Let’s see if that changes this summer.

  • Oldthunder

    Go for the sedin twins, thats 160 pts with 2 players added. I’d rather see them both for 10 million than gaborik in the trainers room at 7 million.

  • Cricket

    I wouldn’t expect Fro or JJ to publicly state what they’re looking for. Time is told us, like with Cammy, Sully, it’s better not to get that far ahead of oneself. That is not a bash on DL, by the way. I’m a big DL supporter.

    Jimmy,

    My thoughts ar that they need 2 left wingers and know it. This team has a top 4 right now, arguably a top 5. They need a top 6. Purcell just isn’t there yet, neither is Moller even though he’s a center, and I don’t believe anyone projects Calder into that spot either.

  • tws

    You know what I think this team needs…for these two to actually play(moreso Brown than Kopitar)! Frolov constantly gets benched because apparently he is capable of playing at a high level and everyone looks up to him. Doesn’t that apply to our guys with letters Brown and Kopitar too? Look at yourself before looking at other deficiencies. We would be a much better team if these two were actually producing like they should be.

  • Quisp

    I’m sure they meant ANOTHER scoring left-winger.

    I don’t see how we (or, frankly, anyone) can afford the Sedin twins. If indeed that’s only $10MM total per year (and it could be more, right?), that would have us, at minimum, pressing our noses against the cap ceiling, and probably a few million over it. For instance, if they did that, and Hickey makes the team and earns bonuses, any amount of cap overage due to bonuses comes off the following year’s cap. The cap will likely be coming down in 2010 anyway. To have it come down twice as much because of a bonus penalty would be brutal and destructive.

    but I genuinely don’t know who has room for the twins. something’s got to give somewhere.

  • dirtmover

    hey everybody hope to see everyone on sat for the finale of the yr – lots of differing opinions on who and what we need – nice to see all the passion about the squad- Lets see what DL can cook up over the summer – whatever happens the corner has been turned – I haven’t seen this much quality youth play meaningful minutes since the mid 80s with Gelinas,Carson,Bozak before they were all traded away we had a little with Reinprecht and Belanger but this group is going to be really nice – I liked our effort last night @ Van – couple of breaks either way and we win – just my opinion but I would much rather fix the off than the D – our PK in the top 10 – PP top half of league (I think) even though I have harped on it all yr- TM deserved and earned another shot- Shots against way down – I saw a ton of progress with upside just waiting to be unleashed-

  • AK47

    Gaborik is an LA King next year and he plays all 82 games, guaranteed.

  • Purple

    On any other top team our top players would be no more than 2nd liners. Maybe Kopi.

    Sorry but true.

    If we want to play for the cup we need a top line!

  • jleung

    The Sedins will cost 6M each, otherwise they will stay in Vancouver. Gaborik will probably not cost as much as 7M/yr if the term is any longer than a couple years. Unless we trade for a guy like Cheechoo or can convince Daniel to leave Henrik, or accept more of a playmaker like Tanguay instead of a goalscorer, I don’t see a much better alternative.

  • Johnny Utah

    Purple – couldn’t agree more. We have five second-liners (Kopi, Brown, Fro, Stoll, Williams) and a handful of other decent candidates to play on the second line (Purcell, Moller, etc.).

    Kopi and Brown, as our Captain and Alternate, should have said the following:

    Kopi: “I am going to remember how to lower my shoulder and drive to the net like I did my first two seasons. I need to remember that I am as big or bigger than just about everyone on the ice and a little contact won’t hurt me. I remember my rookie year holding off Pronger on a nice goal, so maybe I should do that more often.”

    Brown: “I am going to take skating lessons. About 20 games ago, I flat out forgot how to skate and handle the puck, rendering me useless as anything but a fourth-line player. I am also going to take leadership classes.”

  • 4thlinechecker

    On another note.

    The skate was light today, and actually pretty funny. The last drill was a lil scoring drill with all the guys lined up facing eachother in the slot, when Doughty eliminated Simmonds, Simmonds was upset and started slashing and bumping doughty, all in fun of course…… Simmonds is ripped, when he puts on 15lbs of muscle in the offseason, he is going to be a monster…. I loved that kid since the first rookie camp he attended.

  • Quisp

    Johnny Utah:

    Those are great quotes. I love those so much.

    Purple, re team of second liners:

    Agreed. I would say we have three excellent second or third lines and no first line and no fourth line. I would only add that to achieve a great first line, you don’t need to add three new players, just ONE HOSSA. I will be shocked if DL doesn’t add that one top-line guy. And when our third/fourth lines are not demoted or failed top-six guys like Calder — instead, specialists like Cliche or even Lewis, or a genuine agitator like Clune if Clune is indeed like Clune — we’ll be much better off.

  • Johnny Kick a Hole In The Sky

    We also need a captain and a real #1 center.

    oh snap!

  • Purple

    Quisp – Not to disagree but….

    I think 2 top line guys would be what we need. We need a Big Big Center (Allison type )and a finess guy(Ziggy type). Then we can compete with t he likes of Detroit, Boston and SJ.

    We Need size up front and speed! We can’t just be good, we need to be great! And we deserve it!!! Go Kings.

  • brianguy

    yes, Frolov is a scoring left winger (and damn good one!!). but he doesn’t regularly play with Kopi’s line or Handzus’ line which have had to juggle guys even more to fill the left side.

    we have 3 scoring lines and only 1 left wing that can play on those lines with regularity, so that leaves two holes. these guys are talking about filling one of them with a known offensive quantity either through trade or free agency. the other one would be grabbed by Moller (just a guess).

    plus, in Frolov’s case they need to sign him.

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