What Johnson isn’t asking for

Jack Johnson is not asking for $5.5 million a year, regardless of what you might read. That comes from Dean Lombardi, who would probably know such things. Again, I’ll advise the same thing I advise all the time. Pop some popcorn, read the rumors, enjoy them and try to forget about them the moment that you click to another page.

The Kings are negotiating with Johnson’s agent, not his father, which is good for everyone. There’s no real urgency because there’s no need for urgency at the moment. There can’t be an offer sheet and there can’t be arbitration, so it’s quite different from the O’Sullivan stuff from last year.

Sorry for the lack of posting of late, but I’ve been caught up in five other things and we’re in that lull period right now. The Kings’ management is scattered around the continent, and Lombardi is getting ready to hit the road again and visit with some potential draft prospects. I’d imagine things will start heating up in a week or so, but I’ll stay on top of things throughout. The Lecavalier reports aren’t totally false, but they’re old. More like a burning ember than an inferno, to give a mediocre analogy.

Oh, forgot one thing. I saw the item, as did several of you, about Tom Preissing selling his home. I asked Lombardi about it, but there’s no other shoe waiting to drop, at least not at the moment. I’d still be surprised if he’s Kings property by the start of training camp.

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  • khanon81

    Whatever JJ is asking for is way too much. He shouldn’t get more than 1 million per year, since he hasn’t proven a damn thing yet. 1-2 year contract is all he deserves. If he doesn’t like it, then I will gladly welcome Vinny or Nash to LA…

  • variable

    rich…

    thanks for getting the straight dope from the source…you are always clutch…and clutch is everything…:)

    as far as the jj jr./sr. sideshow…

    i just hope that all involved can come to a logical, sensible deal…it still might be a good idea for jr. to tell sr. to stay away from microphones…even if it’s karaoke…and especially if he sings as poorly in public as he negotiates…

  • AK47

    Oh this is music to my ears, you’re the best Rich..
    I really hope we just keep it simple this off seasons (re-sign JJ, Frolov, Purcell etc, draft Kane or MSP and sign Hossa and Neil)

    thanks again

  • PSP

    What do you mean “There can’t be an offer sheet”? Sure, there can’t be an offer sheet AT THIS MOMENT, but there could be an offer sheet after July 1 – is that what you meant?

  • Winsomemore

    Thanks Rich. A few paragraphs from you are worth more than 10 pages of internet BBS jib jab.

  • JDM

    Any chance you can tell us who Dean is going to meet?

  • 28 KINGS

    Offer sheet or not Lombardi is on record as saying he’ll match any offer, then go and target that team with his own offer sheet.

  • Johnny Kick a Hole In The Sky

    When it’s all said and done, I’m hoping Johnson is still a King. Unless he’s moved for….Hedman.

  • Moondoggie

    Hey Rich,

    Glad to see you’re still pluggin; I was getting ready to drop you an email to see how you’re doing. I figured it was the down time of the season which gives you a much needed and deserved rest. You earned it dude!

    Thx for the update on JMFJ. Yea, a little concerned but not much. The funny thing, while I’d like to see him remain a King and I do believe he’s worth a buck or two, he’s not a 5 mil guy by a long shot. The Kings are now loaded on the blue line and if his salary demands go nutz he’ll get traded. The fact is he hasn’t proven anything yet. He’s a good defenseman and will probably be an all-star someday. I’d just like to see the goods before giving him an expensive, long term contract. He hasn’t played one full season yet in a Kings uniform, durability has to come into play here and I’m certain his agent is aware of this (if not, JMFJ needs another agent and not his father…..).

    I like the kid. Lets see what he’s got for a full season before throwing any unreal amounts of money his way. If that doesn’t work, trade bait. He’ll bring in some value if someone else is stupid enough to pay him an exorbitant amount of money. I hate to sound so cold about his but I’d just like to see what he can do long term.

  • AK47

    28 Kings,

    He said that last year, he probably doesn’t feel the same way this year..

  • http://kingscast.net KingsCast Hockey Podcast

    Glad to hear that, Rich. $5.5M was way too much but, when you strip down all of the rumors, things will turn out fine. Let’s hope we get JJ inked before training camp!

  • khanon81

    I would trade JJ for Tim Gleason any day of the week. It would be nice to add another Matt Greene, but one that actually can do damage in a fight…

  • JDM

    This just in, game 6 tomorrow will be replaced with a 12 round fight between Kronwall and Orpik. The winner gets the Cup.

    No standing 8 count.

  • Steve Soldo

    I would like to see him remain a King. I hope his heart is in it though…

  • Helidad

    Khanon, stop posting!!!! I think I hear the short bus honking for you anyway….

    All LGK’rs whom were bashing this kid should be eating a big pile of crow about now….

  • uknojata

    Thanks Rich!!!!!! I was getting a bit twitchy, almost broke out my VHS of Youngblood.

    Not many players can live up to the kind of hype that preceded Johnson’s nhl debut. Yes, it was over the top. But its no secret that d-men take longer to develop. in college he was strong enough to push kids off their skates, its a different game against grown men. The kid has struggled, but that is part of most players development. They can’t all be Doughty.

    In truth, we’re better off getting an off year from JJ before he signs his contract rather than after. We’re going to save money, hopefully leaves us enough to sign Fro and a first line FA.

    Come on Lombardooo, Lets retain our young (and nhl ready) talent and continue to build on it. Figure it out cause LOSING IS GETTING OLD!

  • Paul from Oxnard

    The Hockey This Morning show on XM radio just talked about this blog entry specifically. I don’t know if a reader pointed it out to them or if they read the blog on their own. Good to hear your reporting being mentioned on other media Rich. :)

  • Hay34

    Johnson will not be a free agent when his contract expires because he is only deemed to have two years of pro experience. That is because he played fewer than 10 games in 2006-07. As such, there can not be an offer sheet.

  • TB

    khanon81…JJ vs. Gleason…

    There’s a reason why Carolina asked for Belanger with Gleason when giving up Johnson. JJ is by far a better skater and puck handler. His edge hasn’t been fully realized since his first full season was washed out with the injury. The scouting report on JJ is that he is extreemely strong after hitting the weights hard in the previous offseason and during his recovery. My only point here is that he is not being over rated or under rated. None of us know what he will truly end up being capable of, but it is certain that his potential is sky high.

    Im hoping to see a 4-5 year deal at about 3 mil a season. Perhaps a front loaded contract to open up the cap space during the latter part of his contract.

    p.s. When Gleason broke into the league with the Kings he too had to develop his strength. I agree with uknojata in that as a defenceman, you need more time to make a fair evaluation.

  • Irish Pat

    Tim Gleason is 26 and Jack Johnson is 22. That is a huge difference in experience alone. Jack has played 1.5 seasons in the NHL and it just blows me away how people want to write this kid off. Anyone remember Gleason’s rookie year? When he was all of 21? People weren’t writing him off because there wasn’t any hype. Let Johnson develop. He can play. And if the Kings trade him for Lecavalier, good for Tampa Bay.

  • EJ

    Thanks, Rich. Your comments should help a little, although the hysterical hannah’s will still suck down every internet rumor out there like cheap candy and scream and sob that the sky is falling.

  • WWAMD

    At this point I don’t even care what JJ is asking for. The real question is WHEN is Dean going to build a cup contender?

  • Matt George

    PLEASE no Hossa … im praying to the hockey gods here.

    No Gabs either.

    Vinny sure .. i’ll take that ember rich, thank you. Now if I can just get some of that stuff Bear Grills uses to start a flame.

  • TB

    Matt…no Hossa? No 40 goal man? He’s an incredible two way forward…why no Hossa??? I don’t get it. Help me out here and explain your reasoning.

  • Ersberg

    ..And to make things more interesting, Heatley wants out of Ottawa.

  • Atomic Steve

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=281356

    Tsn is reporting that Dany Heatley wants to be traded and wants to play in the west. I trust that Dean is already on this but I hope it happens and it doesn’t cost us too much.

  • Cry Baby

    Heatly is asking for a trade. Now there’s a solution to the LW problem.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=281356

  • Big A

    Heatley could work in LA… if he’s lined up properly. He’s not a big-time skater or two-way player – kind of in the Kings’ tradition of Luc and Jason Allison – but he’s got great game around the net, so the team would need to put the right bodies around him. And not change said bodies every 2nd game…

    Of course, at $7.5M per, that would bring lots of expectations, and would mean the loss of current players and prospects, which always seems to devastate fans…

  • Ersberg

    Steve-

    I would be surprised if we got him. I’m thinking he’s going to EDM, CAL, SJ, or even ANA.

    His NMC is going to make it difficult for BM to deal him, not to mention his cap hit.

  • Oldthunder

    bring in Heatley! We need a left wing, get it done dean.

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=281356

  • Atomic Steve

    Ers

    His Cap hit is why the teams you mentioned probably won’t be able to get him. 7.5 million for the next 5 years is a big hit, especially to teams with already over 40 million committed to salary.

  • khanon81

    TB said:

    “Matt…no Hossa? No 40 goal man? He’s an incredible two way forward…why no Hossa??? I don’t get it. Help me out here and explain your reasoning.”

    The Kings need a real leader, not a finesse, wimpy player like Hossa. Vinny or Nash instead, and LA certainly has the assets to pry either of them away from their respective teams. Hossa won’t do a damn thing when it comes to the playoffs, as is evident at the moment, especially on the Kings when the opposing D will focus primarily on him, whereas, on Detroit, there’s numerous threats and he still can’t perform well enough to earn that kind of money…

  • DetroitSons1952

    TB……. I guess you just want Hossa for the regular season right? He’s been on vacation since the Playoffs started. We don’t need any coasters, he played harder in Pittsburgh last season then he is now. I don’t want Gaborik either, Vinny first, Heatley second.

  • khanon81

    Helidad said:

    “All LGK’rs whom were bashing this kid should be eating a big pile of crow about now….”

    I don’t know what LGK’rs are… As for JJ, I’m not bashing him at all. I like JJ, and think he could be a pretty good player. All I’m saying is that he doesn’t deserve a long-term contract, nor does he deserve an inordinate sum of money. He simply hasn’t proven anything yet, besides being on the ice for numerous goals and fighting wimpy players. For those who advocate giving him a big, long-term contract, then maybe we should do so with Teubert, Hickey, Boyle, Bernier, and all the other prospects we have.

  • DetroitSons1952

    khanon81, well said, I totally agree.

  • Dan H.

    I think they need to get Heatley a driver if they pick him up. It’s hazardous to drive with the guy.

    That being said who do you trade for him? This means prospects, picks, and current players which flies in the face of everything Dean has been doing the past few years.

  • andre norway

    Preissing is gone, he played great for sens before we got him so send him to ottawa, together with boyle/purcell and a prospect. our payroll will increase with 2,5 million and ottawas will get 2,5 mill less in salaries. We all know that heatly can score goals and put him up with kopi we should be okey.

  • Ersberg

    Steve-

    I totally agree unless they deal salary back to OTT.

    SJ could offer Marleau+Cheech+SJ 1st for Heatley.

    Again. that’s if BM is inclined to take on their salaries, though.

    And as for Hossa, he’s NOT coming to LA.

  • Mudfish

    All who don’t bow to the JMFJ throne will be hip checked into the player bench post. (ala Ryan Smyth!)

    He has the skating of Doughty, the open ice hitting of a younger Blake, wicked fast hands and besides…he’s a MF to play against! What’s not to love!

    Give the kid a break! I know Deano will make the right call.

    I will accept the apologies of all the JMFJ haters on here after next season.

  • JDM

    When Hossa gets his cup tonight, there is no telling what he may do next year. I think its very unlikely that we land Hossa, but I don’t put it outside the realm of possibility that since Hossa took a short term pay cut to get a cup, he will afterwards take the longest term/most money deal offered. What I doubt is that Dean will outbid other teams, not that Hossa would ever come here.

  • Oldthunder

    Heatly at 7.5 million over 5 years is much cheaper than vinny at ~ 10 a year for 10 years. We have 3 centers anyways, it makes more sense to trade JJ and a few prospects to grab heatley than to trade for another center.

  • Atomic Steve

    Oldthunder

    I totally agree. I’m not sure if JMFJ is going to be a part of any trades tho.

  • -J

    Lecavalier’s cap hit is 7.7 per year, not 10. The length is still god awful.

  • JDM

    I think Ottawa is pretty set at D and lacking at forward, even with Heatley. I imagine they would want Frolov, whereas getting Vinny may not require sending Frolov.

  • Oldthunder

    Thanks -J, i had the # wrong, but 10 years is wayyy too long for a contract.

  • TB

    I gotta disagree on the point that Hossa is not worth it. If we were to get him…and thats a big if, we’d be getting a big and committed player. He plays both sides of the puck better than any other 40 goal scorer in the game right now and he is plenty tough. The only difference is that he stays out of the box. Another plus if you ask me.

    In regards to his playoff performance, he has done as good of a job as you can ask of him. Its the finals. Goals don’t come easy. Is Crosby not a good player because he has been limited in the finals? And its not like he hasn’t produced during the span of his playoff career (76 points in 96 career playoff games).

    And overall, through his UFA status, we can gain a lot more than what we’d lose if we traded for a guy like Nash or Vinny. But to be fair…hell ya they’re worth it if we can get them. No doubt. I just like the risk vs. reward with Hossa more being that he’s a UFA. Can’t argue against that…

  • khanon81

    TB said:

    “[A]nd he is plenty tough.”

    In what way is Hossa tough? Does he fight? No. Can he fight? No. Does he play physical? No. Does he get knocked off the game when opposing D plays him tough? Yes.

  • Christian

    Keep JJ. Give a very short contact so he can prove himself and then get paid. This is good for both sides. Keep Fro for trade deadline or resign if possible. Get hossa, or gabs without losing assets. Absolutely do not take on contracts longer than Kopi , even vinnie. Get heatley if can but lets not sell the teams soul. We are doing them a favor so lets be smart.

  • TB

    khanon81…how is a player who doesn’t fight automatically not tough? He doesn’t get knocked off the puck easily at all (in fact its one of his trademarks), and his strenth defensively is with his puck pursuit and takeaways. Your comment about the opposing defence playing him tough is unfoudned. You dont’ score 40 goals in a season secretly in the NHL. Night in and night out he was targeted by the top defence pairings around the league and he managed to outscore his teammates zetterberg, datsyuk, and franzen. Its ok to not favor a guy, but give credit where its due. He uses his size very well especially in today’s “new” NHL with how borderline penalties are called. His value is sky high considering his scoring, ability to stay out of the box, and his defensive play.

    The kind of player you are asking for doesn’t exhist anymore in today’s NHL. The last time I can remember a guy scoring more than 30 and being as physical as you seem to be asking for it was Todd Bertuzzi. And in the new NHL he’s completely lost his game. The role we need filled the most is GOAL SCORER. Not first line goon. And I certainly wouldn’t worry about Hossa’s ability to play a physical game. He’s proven to the entire league he can hang. Ask the Ducks how well they kept him off the score sheet with their ugly brand of play.

  • khanon81

    TB,

    I never said Hossa gets knocked off the puck… I said he gets knocked off his game, meaning he becomes ineffective in the playoffs, as the Ducks proved. I don’t care about regular season stats, I care about playoff stats and performance where the game is increasingly much more physical and tight. Play him tough, rough him up a bit, drop the gloves at the end of the game and force him to fight all contribute to knocking him off his game. I think we have enough of those kind of players, i.e., Kopitar, Frolov, Moller, Purcell, and all the other Glenn Murray clones, and now its time to get a leader who is not only a scorer, but one who can stand up for himself and teammates, and perform well in the playoffs, like Vinny, or Nash. DL should focus on acquiring players like Clowe, Hartnell, Mike Brown, Neil, Carcillo, etc. Those kind of players will perform in the playoffs, and definitely make an impact when surrounded by the likes of Kopi, Brown, JW, Stoll, and Vinny/Nash.

  • 28 KINGS

    Carcillo… are you serious? They couldn’t get him out of PHX fast enough, and I believe he took more than a few unnecessary penalties in the playoffs, one that even led to a suspension.

    P A S S !

  • TB

    khanon81…you made an interesting point about Kopi. I’ve thought he’s too soft for a while now and you aren’t far off of what I think regarding the whole team. What I think is the difference between us is that I don’t want to see the Kings go to the extreeme and become more like Anaheim. Detroit and Pittsburgh are proving right now that playing a penalty free style of game can go a long way.

    Hossa’s playoff stats this year aren’t the same as last…obviously. But his value is beyond the scoresheet. His defensive game is invaluable this time of year. But overall, we can obviously take this argument and beat it to death. All that matters is that we get SOMEONE. Vinny, Gabby, Hossa, Heatley…someone…

  • khanon81

    TB said:

    “I don’t want to see the Kings go to the extreeme and become more like Anaheim.”

    Whats wrong with the Stanley Cup Ducks? They went to the finals one year, won the cup a couple years later, beat the best team in the league (Sharks), and played the EuroWings as good as any team has so far. In fact, that series could have gone either way. It would be great if DL molded the Kings after the Stanley Cup Ducks… The kings would get the respect and success that they have lacked throughout their existence, including the Gretzky years.

  • TB

    Nothing is wrong with them at all. They’ve proven they can win with their style of play. Its not about that. Its just my personal preference. I really appreciate the skill game more than the fighting and the physical play. But don’t get me wrong…I completely understand how important it is to have an element of aggression in the game. For example I for one am not one of the folks hoping to see fighting totally removed from the game.

    Now to be devil’s advocate, its a high risk – high reward style of play. As you said, the series could have gone either way, and many argue it was the parade to the penalty box that doomed the ducks this year… ;)

  • khanon81

    TB,

    Those who argue that it “was the parade to the penalty box that doomed the ducks” are simply wrong. In game 7, the Ducks had two 5-3 power plays. The Ducks get a bad rap because they rack up a lot of pims, but they also lead the league in fighting majors, so of course they will have more pims than any other team. I thought the Ducks played very disciplined, which is why they waited literally until the end of almost each game to rough and teach the wings a lesson. Penalties had nothing to do with the outcome of the series…

  • TB

    khanon81…In 3 of the 4 games the wings won against anaheim they scored at least one PP goal. It was a huge factor in the series.

  • JJ4Pres

    To LA:
    Heatley

    To Ott:
    ’10 1st Round Pick
    ’09 4th Round Pick
    Purcell
    Moulson
    Preissing

    If were taking on that much salary then we have to be sending some back. Not many teams will be able to take his on. LA, EDM, TOR are the only ones I could realistically take it on and with that length of contract. I could see EDM make a big play for him especially since they havent been able to sign really any big name players.

  • MrMach5

    Mr. Lombardi

    Please let JJ stay! Give him a short contract and give a chance to prove himself.

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