The third set of questions and answers…
Question: There are lots of people posting their ideas about potential lines. I can’t remember if it was something I read here or read Bob or Jim say, but isn’t Terry Murray into building “base pairs” with his forwards and using the other forwards as “parts” to complete his lines? For instance, Stoll and Brown were a base pair last year and saw parts such as Frolov, Sully, Moeller, and Williams from time to time on their line. That being said, who do you think will be the “base pairs” and who do you think will be the parts? I would like to think the Kings can move forward with the roster you posted yesterday. There are certainly enough players for Terry Murray to create his pairs and parts lists. However, there are quite a few posters who still think the Kings should add free agents such as Kovalev and Moen. What are your thoughts on adding guys such as these to the roster? From your knowledge of the Kings and Dean Lombardi, do feel that Lombardi would still like to sign any UFAs at the forward position?
Answers: 1) Yeah, I think every coach, ideally wants a base LINE, not just base pairs, but I agree that Stoll-Brown turned into one. Handzus-Simmonds was one that developed early and had success throughout the season. Much of it will depend on Williams and Smyth, and who they mesh with. 2) Again, I don’t get the sense that there are going to be any additions at forward. The salary structure argues against it. Kovalev just signed with Ottawa, so I’m very happy to not hear that name any longer. Hopefully someone will sign Travis Moen soon.
Question: Is there anyway to find out from AEG how ticket sales are going for Kings Fest?
Answer: I haven’t asked, really. I’m not sure what they will consider a sellout to be, but they’ve been promoting it well and they still have about six weeks until the event.
Question: Hey Rich, I visit this site multiple times a day(as i’m sure many other fans do). Do you happen to know how many hits you get in a day on average?
Answer: Yes. A lot. More than the Daily News’ home page for most of the past week. Which I owe to all of you, so thanks…
Question: In your estimation, how much has the hockey IQ of the average reader/poster risen (or fallen) since you started your blog?
Answer: Hmmm. You’re going to have to designate between reader and poster. That might influence my answer…
Question: 1.) I’m glad all Kings games will be in HD next season (WOO-HOO!), but there were quite a few games that weren’t telecast last season, in particular 3 of the last 4(?). If the Kings go to Canada at the end of this season and they’re battling for the 8th spot, are we going to be left high and dry? I’m a little concerned. 2.) Will you be doing a Jim Fox Q&A this off-season? I recall them being very good and it was fun having him answer our questions. 3.) Will Dean Lombardi ever “tweet” or is he still trying to type his first “tweet” from the draft?
Answers: 1) From what I understand, there has been an issue involving fees with telecasts coming out of Canada. I was told that if the Kings were still in the playoff race in the final week of last season, there was going to be a push to get those games televised, and I’m sure the demand would have forced their hand. Don’t hold me to this, but I believe the Ducks televised their Canada games, so I don’t know why it would be such an issue for the Kings. 2) Jim does a fantastic job, and if he’s up for it this month, I’d love to have him do some guest-blogging again. 3) Yeah, still waiting on that… I was wondering how the Kings were going to convince Lombardi to “tweet” on the busiest day of his year. I got my answer…they didn’t.
Questions: Are there any residual injury issues for Ryan Smyth? Do you think any other left wing will be obtained this year? Do you think Brayden Schenn can make the team this year, realistically?
Answers: 1) If there are, the Kings will find out about them after today’s physical, and they have the right to void the trade if they’re not satisfied. 2) I still doubt it. 3) No, I don’t even think it’s a part of the conversation right now.
Question: Do you think DL is interested in signing Travis Moen?
Answer: Hmmmm. If I say no, will the questions stop? Tempting.
Questions: 1. What do you think will happen if Kings will miss the playoffs next year? We talked about it before, and DL said that if the players still develop and we feel that we have done progress, then we might be satisfied even if me miss the playoffs. But really? That was before we aquired Smyth, Scuderi and maybe some more.. Do you feel that the management are compelled to do something, like kicking DL or TM? 2. Do you still se us go after Kovalchuck after next season? Maybe if we fail to sign Fro.. 3. Would you rather see us resign Fro (especially if he had a good season) than taking Kovi?
Answers: 1) There has to be continued progress, but “progress” is in the eye of the beholder. I would not feel comfortable saying that it’s playoffs or bust, but if the Kings don’t show improvement — if the goalies all flop and the defense takes a step backward — Lombardi is going to have some things to answer for. 2) Latest word I’ve heard is that Atlanta will spend huge to keep Kovalchuk, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one if I were you. 3) Well, that’s far from an either/or scenario. If you’re telling me that both players would a) want to play in L.A. and b) for the exact same money, I’d choose Kovalchuk without a second thought. In general, I do think Kovalchuk is a franchise player. I’m not sure if I would say the same for Frolov.
Question: Rich, with all the excitement surrounding the Kings new acquisitions, have you heard anything from TM? In evaluating talent for FAs and potential trades, does DL consult with TM? After all it’s TM that needs to make the team work on the ice. Thanks again for letting us in on the inside info!
Answer: I actually need to call Terry in the next couple days for a story I’m working on, so I should be able to get his thoughts on a few subjects. And yes, there’s good consultation between Lombardi and Murray. For example, there was plenty of discussion about Mike Knuble before the Kings decided to go after him. I’d say it’s more along those lines than Murray going to Lombardi and saying, “I want this.”
Question: Have you heard DL or anyone talk about dong something about the rule that doesn’t allow players under 20 to enter the AHL when they can play junior? Seems counterproductive. Do you think there is a lack of speed up front or lack of puck-moving defensemen with the subtracktion of Quincey?
Answers: 1) That’s an agreement between the leagues, so I’m not sure what Lombardi or the GMs can do about it. The rules do seem silly, but I haven’t really heard about any movement to change them. 2) Yes, the Kings subtract Quincey, but they have Doughty and Johnson, plus Drewiske and Harrold have some decent puck-moving skills. Harrold obviously spent some time at forward, so the Kings have some confidence in his ability with the puck on his stick.