Johnson, part 2

Just to clarify, so as not to give the wrong impression to certain credible reporters, there’s no evidence, at all, that there was anything factually inaccurate in Darren Dreger’s report about Jack Johnson today. I didn’t say there was, because, well, there wasn’t. My “commentary” on the matter was limited to the wisdom of the parties involved and the likelihood that such a move like that would actually take place.

It’s been pointed out that a couple free agents to-be have signed in the KHL. To which I ask the same question I asked this morning: why isn’t this tampering? Aren’t players under contract to their NHL teams until July 1?

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  • typicaljs

    That’s what really throws me for a loop, Dreger normally doesn’t report on shenanigans like this. Does he really know that coach in the KHL that well that the KHL coach called him up to start a rumor or what ? How does this make it to canadian media ?

    If it can be confirmed that Jack’s dad talked to the guy asking how interested the coach would be in JMFJ’s services then that should definitely be considered tampering and something DL will have to take care of one way or another.

    It’s not like the majority of us would have commented on it if it was from eklund or anything but a reputable source on TSN or something similar.

  • anthonyy

    Rich, you bring up an excellent point.
    Is it tampering?
    My explanation would be this:
    The KHL is kinda like a Micky Mouse league and very unstable.
    We have to presume that the KHL will not follow any of the international rules or collective agreements.
    It would explain why Jaromir Jagr and Alexander Radulov are already considering returning to the NHL before their actual contracts expire with the KHL.
    The KHl is a corrupt organization runned by corrupt people with a lot of money. Like the USFL, its gonna fold soon.
    So long as they throw money at players, they will come. And they know they can get away with it. Did Nashville have any remedy when the KHL stole Radulov.
    They know they can’t be sued either. DL’s notion to sue is silly and childish. No Jurisdictional law would apply. Which court do you sue in? US Ferderal laws don’t consider NHL rules as governing laws of the land. And vice versa. The long arm of the law isn’t that long arm.
    Well that’s my two cents.

  • JB

    Well tampering on whose part? If I recall KHL/Russia still isn’t a signatory to the IIHF deal governing transfer of players. This has led to a couple issues of controversy most recent this season w/ I think Radulov-Nashville Preds.

    So in the case of players that are going to be free agents this July they’re in violation of their contract. But KHL isn’t subject to those rules or sanctions (although possibly could be sanctioned by IIHF . But then ensues international dispute, WW III, armageddone or whatever.

    So teams could seek to fine/suspend those players. Well season’s over so good luck with that. And from player’s perspective they could just say, “Hey I just want to play this summer, stay in shape, play for hometown w/ friends, make more money, whatever. If you have a problem with that then F you. But don’t bother calling me to negotiate a contract for next season.”

  • deadcatbounce

    As someone pointed out in the previous post about Johnson, if it’s his dad who’s doing the talking to the KHL there may be nothing that anyone can do about it if his dad isn’t part of his legal team. Of course, if it were Jack’s agent negotiating with the KHL then the Kings would certainly have grounds to legally protest, but with no working agreement between the NHL and KHL I don’t know how this would be resolved. I imagine that this could just be a negoating ploy for Jack’s father to try to gain some leverage for his son, who basically has none after a season where he spent half of it injured and the other half trying to regain a foothold. Otherwise, he’s going to be bargaining from a position of weakness. At least if he can make the Kings think there’s other interest it could give him the illusion that he has something to fall back on–until he gets to Omsk and realizes that it’s nothing like Los Angeles.

  • Damen

    I am still trying to figure out how the IIHF let Alexander Radulov appear in the World Championships.

  • khanon81

    Either way, I think its time DL gets rid of JJ in a package for a star. There’s simply no room for him anymore and I would trade him while his stock is still fairly high, i.e., NOW. What about Theubert, Hickey, Drewiskie? They will soon occupy a spot in the top six, not to mention DL needs to add a big, mean stay at home D-man to fill in for Gauthier’s departure…

  • PakiFro

    Tampering would be against Jack Johnson. He can’t negotiate with another team while under contract with the Kings unless they give him permission to. Think back to Pat Quinn when he was with the Kings and the situation with the Vancouver Canucks. Quinn was suspended by the NHL for one year I think. The NHL could/should punish Jack Johnson for allowing that to happen (if it did).

  • TB

    khanon81…No room for JJ? How so? Seriously…? How is there no room for a top 4 defenceman on a team full of inexperienced players? The guy is a future all star and has a mean streak that hasn’t been fully displayed yet.

    And regarding DL’s need for another D man with a mean streak, Teubert is that man.

    But more importantly, I can’t grasp how so many fans have come up with the idea that JJ is not a good fit for the Kings. He had an injury…thats all. Aside from that, he has met all expectations, and has shown continued growth in his game when he has played. His skating and puck movement abilities are reminicent of a younger Brian Campbell, with the mean streak of Dion Phaneuf. Losing JJ would be a huge step backward for the Kings. There is no justification for not resigning him. And after all the rumors and B.S. out there…he is a team first kinda guy, and I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten how the Kings let him finish his career at Michigan on his terms. Thats the kind of thing that should be getting discussed right now. If anything, he owes the Kings his gratitude, and come training camp, he will be a King. Its ridiculous how quickly things get blown out of proportion.

  • Irish Pat

    I agree with Anthony. I don’t think the NHL has any jurisdiction over whether a player talks to the KHL or not. I believe if the NHL wants to curb this issue they should implement their own by-laws that prohibit a player from signing with an NHL hockey club for a calendar year or two if they sign with the KHL or any other upstart league. It sounds harsh, but they may need to put a bandage on it before it starts to really bleed.

  • deadcatbounce

    I’m assuming that, if Johnson does bolt for Russia, the Kings would hold his rights for the duration of his time there, be it one year or ten years. Can anyone confirm this?

  • AK47


    Is there absolutely any way you can interview Jack?? Just ask him what’s going down and stuff..


  • khanon81


    I really believe there is no room for JJ, assuming Hickey will eventually play on the Kings. I can’t see Hickey, Doughty, and JJ in the top six simply for the fact that the Kings will get out-muscled. Doughty is not a small fellow, but he does play like one and will get outmuscled. JJ is small and Hickey is very small. I just don’t see that blue line being an effective blue line when it comes to the playoffs where teams consistently crash the net…

  • TB

    khanon81…JJ is 6’1″. Thats not small. He has exceptional physical strength and hits harder than any other D man on the team (excluding Gauthier who is old news anyways). He’s the guy I would want paired up against opponents like Getzlaf and Thornton.

    Doughty is in his first year as a pro. He will get stronger. As an 19 year old, he has a long way to go.

    The key word in your last comment is eventually. Eventually Hickey will be ready. And eventually JJ’s stock is going to go way up when he gets a full season under his belt. Truth is, if you are right and he isn’t a long term player for the Kings, now is still not the time to trade him. My guess would be DL offering him a 3-4 year deal leaving the door open come time for guys like Hickey to push through without being rushed. My only point here is that he is far from being accurately assessed. He’s only played in a handfull of games, and his market value is skewed. But as a fan of JJ, I ultimately want to see him stay specifically for his physical edge. He hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he brings to the table. Ask Ryan Smyth how he feels about Jack Johnson’s game. You Tube it if you aren’t familiar with their run in.

    He does fit.


    Now thats as deep of a defensive corps as you can ask for. Sorry, but I just don’t see how keeping JJ doesn’t make sense.

  • AK47

    You can even add Voynov..


    That’s such a solid top 6.. We’re talking Chicago Blackhawks D corps right there..

  • Quisp

    I wonder where DL has Jared Cowan ranked. I would not be shocked if he picked him at 5.

    I think this fall we’re going to see:


    Hickey-Voynov meaning one of those two guys, maybe an up-and-down situation with Manchester, with the Kings getting a look at one and then the other. Hard to say which one comes into camp more ready. And, as far as the small and speedy D men, that spot could go to Martinez instead. Or even Peter Harrold. And there’s always the possibility of adding another crusty old UFA d-man instead.

    However, if we draft Cowan, he could make the team. In which case you’d have, maybe:


    No, that makes no sense. How about…


    Okay, that doesn’t work either. Forget Cowan. There’s no room, unless Dean is planning on trading someone to make room… Which I guess is where we started, right?

    Evander Kane.

  • 4thlinechecker

    I am actually shocked that you are saying you would make room for Hickey, but not for Jack….. Jack Johnson has a reputation for being a mean SOB, well at least at Michigan, and the world juniors. (I think canada still hates him for his grimey elbow shot on Downie) Hickey not so much…… Jack seems much more your type of player, just found it odd.

  • variable


    i did some research, (still reading more on the subject), but it’s not tampering…at least, not yet…but SR. is pushing the limits a bit…

    overall and anyway you look at it, this is pretty low-grade behavior by jj’s dad…

    as to expand a bit on the info/ops provided by JB & DEADCAT:

    – if SR. is not acting as an agent for JR., then simply it’s not tampering

    – there has been no existing transfer agreement between the IIHF/KHL & NHL…the NHL has no power whatsoever at this time to levy tampering charges against any IIHF member…

    – all organizations are still in limbo as to what is the next step…furthermore, this clouds the whole spectre of what is and isn’t tampering…finland, sweden and russia all want to negotiate their own transfer agreements with the NHL for money reasons…

    – here’s a recent article (may 9) in the n.y.t. regarding the IIHF announcing its position on contract-jumping and players who are currently under contract…remember, jj is a RFA and is not eligible for arbitration…he has only 3 of the 4 years of NHL service required, so there isn’t any mediator recourse…

    i think the better question is how unethical is SR.’s at this point…?
    jj and carolina had a dispute supposedly on the commitment he made with michigan…some say it was really a contract ploy…
    how is this not a contract negotiating ploy by SR. & JR…?

    why am i starting to have lindros flashbacks…???

  • Quisp

    So far, how is this story anything more than, someone heard that Jack’s dad said something to the coach of a KHL team? There are lots of dads out there. They do some weird and annoying sh**. I’ve had my own dad (who is only a mid-level meddler really) do some truly annoying things supposedly on my “behalf,” not to mention how gabby parents can be much to the chagrin of their children. I mean, seriously, even if there were some truth to this story, can you imagine Jack Johnson actually being happy with “Sr” right now? “Way to go, Dad, thanks!” Not a chance. if I were JJ, I would be immediately on the phone to DL, “sorry, boss, my dad is a nut.”

  • Irish Pat

    That is some awesome research variable and Quisp makes a good point too, but one thing that makes this whole thing a bit overblown is that we still have yet to hear from senior or junior about this. Not to deride Dreger on this, but it is amazing how incensed he has made a group of fans over a piece he submitted without getting confirmation from one of the important parties involved. Maybe it was said to that coach as a joke and maybe he wasn;t kidding, but until we hear from the Johnson family it’s merely speculation.

  • variable

    yeah…it’s really nothing too far out of the waters of a reporter trying to fill some air-time and speak to his non-playoff team/rumor crazy fans that he hasn’t forgotten about their cries for “info” during a very good playoff season…parents are going to do some weird things from time to time…

    you have to also take into consideration that this is a father who championed the idea of his son, then a minor, having a nickname that we can’t even fully say w/out being censored…

    but if it’s nothing more than blogisphere fodder for us to get preoccupied on, it also says…or maybe hints… of what’s to come…regarding jj’s handling of these situations…QUISP makes a good point about over-achieving parents who live vicariously through their star children, as does IRISH PAT explaining that until we hear from them directly, then it is what it is…

    like i said before…

    “thinkin’ we’d talk without speakin'”…

  • khanon81

    4thlinechecker said:

    I am actually shocked that you are saying you would make room for Hickey, but not for Jack….. Jack Johnson has a reputation for being a mean SOB, well at least at Michigan, and the world juniors. (I think canada still hates him for his grimey elbow shot on Downie) Hickey not so much…… Jack seems much more your type of player, just found it odd.”

    You’re almost dead on. I have no interest in seeing Hickey in a King uniform, but I have to acknowledge the reality. Compared to Hickey, JJ is definitely my type of player, but thats not saying much. JJ is not as mean and tough as many on this blog seem to believe. He’s small, get out-muscled, and rarely fights. When he does fight, its usually against a player thats not known for fighting. The way many here describe JJ in terms of toughness, you would think he’s the next Chris Pronger… Tim Gleason is a tough D-man, not JJ. However, if I had to chose between JJ and Hickey, I would without a doubt choose JJ.

    4th liner, I must give you credit for almost nailing it down!

  • Buster

    Can we see to it that Gauthier makes three?

  • src3

    ESPN rumor central is now saying that JJ is pissed because he was offered to TB for Lecavilier and that is why he is talking to the KHL. Where do they get this crap!!!??? Is Kopi moving to LW? I mean seriously JJ+Fro+whatever+5th pick is what Vinny would cost. Not to mention the albatross contract we would be taking on for many years to come.

    I could see JJ for Malone but not much else.

  • src3

    Not to mention the Spezza rumors to LA coming from Ottowa again.

  • Quisp

    src3 –

    Can you cut-and-paste the entire rumor-central bit on Johnson? I don’t have a subscription.

  • src3

    Quisp-not able to. Send e mail to and I will get you in.

  • src3

    The rumor states:

    Will trade to Lightning push Johnson to Russia?

    The Kings want Vinny Lecavilier from the Lightning,and the trade deadline is approaching (July 1). One of the potential players named in the trade with the Lightning is defenseman Jack Johnson–and, apparently, Johnson isnt too happy.

    So his dad contacted Barry Smith, coach of the SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL, to see if he is interested in his son. Smith told TSN that he would make Johnson, a restricted free agent, a better player.

  • TB

    …I still think this is all hogwash. He’ll resign in LA.

    But…I would make the deal if its legit. Vinny is as good as it gets. He has the potential to be a 100+ point producer and can really compliment Williams’ game.

    sr3…Kopi would center the 2nd line, but can be moved to the top line when needed. Much like the Crosby and Malkin dynamic that the Pens are benefiting from. Imagine a PP unit with that much firepower. wow.

    I’ve said it before…at some point DL needs to drop the hammer and deal away a guy or two that we love to make the team better. Its not fun, but its time to pony up and play with the big boys. Do it deano. Do it.

  • khanon81

    Bring Vinny to LA already and finally put this damn team back on the map!

  • Quisp

    Oh, so the ESPN story is just “reporting” the TSN story, which itself was “reporting” previous unattributed rumors that JJ has been “mentioned” in trade rumors in Tampa Bay? Blah blah blah.

  • Rich Hammond

    Exactly, Quisp. The wonderful world of NHL rumors.

  • Seattle757

    Khanon81, do you even watch hockey, LA Kings hockey that is? You seem to have this hate for Jack Johnson that is unfounded. He had a major injury that required surgery. He is still a kid and we saw how good he can play in the World Championships. He is only going to get better with time and if the Kings don’t re-sign him to me that shows no commitment to win. Hickey is a good player and I had the opportunity to see him play with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He will fit right in.

  • Quisp


    I like how they’ve apparently added the detail that JJ was angered “because” “he was offered” in a trade to Tampa. Before it was just that he was “mentioned” in trade rumors. There’s obviously a big difference between being mentioned in a rumor and knowing that you were offered up. One is a rumor from the outside, the other is a fact, from the inside. Somehow, in going from TSN to ESPN, this detail has been promoted to something that Jack Johnson personally knows really happened.

    What I’m trying to say is, you would hardly get angry (or “not too happy”) with your boss because of a rumor going around, outside the company as it were — especially in a business in which people are making stuff up all the time, just to hear themselves talk. You would only get angry at your boss if you thought or knew it was true. So the ESPN version is promoting the previous rumor to the level of “Jack Johnson thinks the rumors are true.” Which is a whole different level of probable truth than just some b***s**t you read on the internets.

    Now, does ESPN have any additional information, or are they just upping the ante? I’m going to bet the latter.

    But I just love-love-love (in a demented sort of way) the shift from

    TSN: “Jack Johnson’s ‘camp’ may be unhappy” and unreleated to this, “there previously were rumors about a trade with Tampa which may or may not have mentioned Johnson”


    ESPN: “Jack Johnson IS unhappy BECAUSE he WAS offered to Tampa.”

    jack johnson’s camp becomes jack johnson
    “may be unhappy” becomes “is unhappy”
    two unrelated things become “one BECAUSE OF the other.”

    Not to mention the fact that the new ESPN rumor now states for a fact that the Kings want Vinny (which DL may, I don’t know, but it was just a rumor before — based presumably on the fact that the Kings have cap space and a need for a scorer). Also, TSN says JJ Sr contacted the KHL team, but doesn’t say who. ESPN says he contacted Smith (which makes sense, but the TSN article doesn’t say that; again, did ESPN do some additional reporting and get new information or clarification? Why do I think…no?)

  • deadcatbounce

    Fact or fiction, you can’t deny that it at least gives us something to rant about during the long Kings offseason and debate the merits of Jack versus Vinny or anybody else. Of course, some posters comments are more well thought out than others…

  • Quisp
  • deadcatbounce

    Quisp, I can appreciate the sentiment in Jack Sr.’s letter, but I think this dude has some major problems. His kid is a young man now and there comes a time when you have to let your kids fight their own battles.

  • deadcatbounce

    And in addition, I wonder if father problems are going to drive a wedge in between the Kings and Jack Junior? Wonder how much father issues came into play with O’Sullivan? I don’t recall if the restraining order was only effective in the USA or Canada, but I wonder if that came into play when the Kings decided to unload him? DL, please draft an orphan at #5!

  • khanon81


    I don’t hate JJ. In fact, I actually like the kid, think he’s a fine player. If DL deals Hickey away, then JJ would fit in the top 6…

  • deadcatbounce

    khanon81 said: “If DL deals Hickey away, then JJ would fit in the top 6…”

    So let me get this right. Your comment leads me to believe that Johnson is only a number-six defenseman and Hickey already has a spot sewn up for the coming season with no professional experience, save for the handful of games he got in at the end of last season in Manchester?

  • khanon81


    I’m not talking about necessarily next season, but the near future… If the kings have a chance at landing Lecavalier for JJ and some other chumps, then by all means deal JJ

  • Quisp

    Yes, but, regarding JJ Sr’s letter to TSN, I just thought the timing was strange, given the dust-up over his meddling/whatever vis-a-vis the Kings and the KHL. When I saw the headline, I obviously thought this was going to be related to the Kings/KHL story, when it turns out to be another scandal altogether. Is there some story involving Carolina that I didn’t see?

  • deadcatbounce

    Quisp, I heard pretty much the same story that Jack Sr. wrote about in his letter, that he wanted to finish out his collegiate career before turning pro. With the salary cap being in effect, I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with money. I suppose it could have been that he didn’t want to play in Carolina, but who knows for sure. You’ll never get a straight answer from Jr. or Sr.

  • deadcatbounce

    khanon81, do you really think that the Kings could get Lecavalier for Johnson and some chumps? You must not think very highly of Tampa Bay’s management. I know Brian Lotton doesn’t have a lot of experience as GM, but do you think he could be so easily duped into trading Lecavalier for maybe three or four chumps, and which chumps would you offer?

  • khanon81


    The chumps I’m referring to include Lewis, Moller, Purcel, Frolov, Moulson, Drewiskie, Loktov, Martinez, etc…

  • deadcatbounce

    Okay, certainly you wouldn’t give up all eight of those players you mentioned, and TB wouldn’t want all eight of them, anyway, so if you had to whittle down the list and make a serious offer to the Lightning who would you include?

  • deadcatbounce

    Rich, sorry for the multiple posts.

    khanon81, in all fairness, out of the eight players you named in your list, all but Frolov have little or no NHL time or even professional experience. How, then, have you determined that theyre chumps? Granted, only Lewis was a first-round pick,, Martinez has yet to play a game in the NHL and Laktionov hasnt even turned pro. Maybe all of these guys are chumps for all I know, but Im curious to know what you base your criteria on and, if they are chumps, why would Tampa Bay trade for any of them? Brian Lotton may well be a buffoon, but certainly hed have to seek permission for such a trade from ownership if hes going to be taking four or five players back because I dont think theyd make a trade with the notion that most of what they get are going to be playing in the minors next season.

  • khanon81


    I would not include all of those players I listed. For Vinnie, I think JJ, 5th overall pick, and Lewis would suffice, maybe a second round pick or so. I would not include Fro simply for the fact that DL could use him to get a power forward, a Hartnel type of player.

    Tampa would trade for them because these chumps are prospects, not to mention they won’t impact Tampa financially… The 5th overall pick is very attractive, especially for a rebuilding cash strapped team… I would give Fro and a couple more players if Tampa includes Martin St Louis…

  • Quisp

    deadcat –

    Yes, I heard the same story, too. My question is, why is he writing this letter now? Out of the blue? Was there a previous story that this is in response to?

    Everybody else, re LeCavalier –

    Does everybody think he’s the Big Answer to all our problems? Because once you add his salary, that’s it for adding to the Kings up front without giving salary back or otherwise dumping it. VL has been playing for a team that is dead last or second to last for the last couple of seasons, so he’s not going to be able to do anything on his own. Trading Frolov for LaCavalier makes salary sense, and is an upgrade, but who is he going to skate with if you trade Frolov? We would then have zero left wings.

    Second point re VL:

    He is a friggin’ civic treasure in Tampa, the face of the franchise. They’re not going to cough him up for anything less than a spectacular deal (for them, not for us).

    Frolov and Johnson is a start, but not nearly good enough for their needs. At least one blue-chip prospect and the 1st round pick. Or two blue-chip prospects.

    Frolov, Johnson, Moller, Hickey for VL.

    Would DL do that? No. Would I? No. Would Tampa take that in trade for VL? Maybe.

    The odds of VL getting traded before 7/1 when his NMC kicks in…nobody knows. Therefore, I’ll call it even 50/50, and that’s probably too high. But we do know that these chuckleheads have to have something to gossip about, and the VL to the Habs storyline needed a change, so they changed it. Now it’s Vinny to LA.

    Try to think like DL for a second. We know something about how his process works. He’s got a long term plan, with charts and boxes mapping out several seasons down the path. And he knows which “boxes” need to be filled and has ideas about how is ready to fill them, who might soon be ready, who he can maybe go out and get…etc…

    I can see him saying, for example, if I can keep Frolov, use Johnson to get VL (SOMEHOW), but still dump salary enough to be able to use the fact that I have VL in order to THEN sign Hossa… THAT I can see as a plan. But to do that, he would have to get Tampa to basically take Handzus or Stoll or someone, plus Johnson, and that would just be monumentally stupid on the part of Tampa, to accept a trade like that.

    And I think the problem with the khanon plan — apart from drastically undervaluing almost every one of our prospects (in my opinion) — is that DL’s plan doesn’t work without a steady stream of Moller, Simmonds, Purcell, followed by Lewis, Loktionov, Wudrick, whoever… a couple of prospects ripening every year to keep the payroll flush with a certain number of entry level contracts at all times. You can’t trade several of them away, even if it weren’t stupid, because then nothing would come ripe in two seasons, and you would be left with a team that would look a lot like, well, Tampa Bay. And you would be signing Calders and Armstrongs to fill out the roster. And then you’re back where you started.

    Meanwhile, Loktionov was basically sleep-walking through the memorial cup game tonight, and still managed three assists.

  • src3

    Nicely stated Quisp-concur! The Vinny and Spezza rumors are very very very unlikely.

  • khanon81

    I hope DL doesn’t consider acquiring Spezza… Get Vinny, Hartnell, and Clowe; then we have a team!


    Quincy-Big Mean D-man

    Playoffs for sure; Stanley cup quite possible…

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