Another set of questions and answers. Still quite a few to go. Looks like we might be headed for a record!
Question: Our top 6 forwards are now Fro, Brown, Kopi, Stoll, Smyth, and Williams. Given this, do you feel Purcell has now lost his opportunity with the Kings. Also, with Smyth having some age and us giving up Quincy for him, do you feel DL is moving away a little from youth and looking for a more veteran team. Does Smyth’s cap # for 3 years prohibt us from retaining Frolov and, if so, was this a good move?
Answer: No, on both accounts. Purcell wasn’t likely to be a top-six forward on this team entering the season, with or without Smyth, so his ability to make the team is still going to be influenced primarily by the way he performs at training camp. I think you’d be reading too much into things if you took the Smyth trade as a sign that Lombardi is going away from a youth movement. The Kings essentially took 30-year-old Kyle Calder and 23-year-old Kyle Quincey out of the lineup and replaced them with 33-year-old Ryan Smyth and 30-year-old Rob Scuderi. That’s not a huge leap. The Frolov question was answered before, but I’ll say again that Frolov’s demands, not Smyth’s contract, is going to be the biggest influencing factor by far.
Question: What would you do to market the Kings better, or is winning all that is needed to ignite the town? They seem to barely advertise, and I know Marketing head Chris McGowan always says they’re doing so much but I see so little evidence of this. Not that it was intentional, but for example the fact the Smyth deal went done on the evening of July 3 means it elicited as little publicity as humanly possible. Does not surprise me since the Kings still seem to think that marketing means picking up a loaf of bread and some milk at the store, but there seems to be so much room for improvement (starting with replacing those ancient player banners at TSC).
Answer: Well, even though I agree with you that it’s pretty ridiculous to have old banners along the practice rink, I don’t know how that’s going to sell tickets. It would be nice if the Kings actually bought ads in the newspaper that I work for, rather than simply the other paper in town, but they apparently have a different strategy. The Kings seem to do a lot of direct-mail stuff, primarily through e-mail, to attract fans and promote, and there has been an increase in the “grassroots” type of marketing, in terms of going out to rinks, etc. Is it effective? I really don’t know, because I’m not really their target audience. As far as the Smyth trade going down on July 3, I can assure you that Lombardi isn’t going to time his trades for publicity purposes.
Questions: 1) How much trust do you think DL and TM have in Trevor Lewis? I’m guessing they expect him to come into training camp and either take Derek Armstrong’s old position (4th line center) or Kyle Calder’s old position (3rd line winger).. Which do you think he’ll play Rich? Or do you think he’ll stay in Manchester? 2) Is LA on the market for a gritty player, like Blair Betts, Taylor Pyatt, Travis Moen, Mark Bell.. Any guys that can play on the left side with Handzus and Simmonds.. 3) What are Teddy Purcell and Jack Johnson’s statuses? Do you personally think Jack will be a King next year and the years after that? 4) Do you listen to the Wu-Tang Clan? or any rap/hip-hop music in general? 5) Hypothetically, if we make the playoffs next year, are the Kings comfortable going in there with Jonathan Quick and Erik Ersberg? Both guys are unexperienced..
Answers: 1) I think that’s a good statement, on your part, of Lewis’ chances of making the Kings. The Kings were happy with the progress Lewis made last season, so I think he will get a long look. Where he ends up playing (if he makes the Kings) could be a trickle-down from what happens with Oscar Moller? Do they keep Moller? If so, does he play center or wing? If Moller plays center, Lewis could end up playing wing, or vice versa. 2) Again…way too much concern over a third-line winger. If you think a third-line winger is really the Kings’ biggest concern, you must be expecting a huge season. 3) Purcell and Johnson are restricted free agents. Johnson can’t sign an offer sheet and I doubt anyone would give one to Purcell. There’s absolutely no reason to think either player won’t be with the Kings. 4) I stopped listening to rap/hip-hop around the time it started to become random talking about how much/many money/women one has. It all started to sound the same in the early-to-mid 90s. 5) I’m not sure what the other option would be. If the Kings make the playoffs, they’re going to have done it with relatively inexperienced goalies, and they’re not going to acquire anyone in mid-April. It’s highly, highly unlikely that the Kings will acquire any goalies, just as it’s been for two years.
Question: 52 comments in I’d be shocked if this question hasn’t been asked at least 10 times by now, and I apologize for being so lazy as to not read through to see how many times it’s been asked so I make sure not to. But could you please tell me how you think the third line will look come sept/oct. rich ? Or I guess who do you have on the third line with Handzus and Simmonds ? especially if you don’t see the kings picking up a UFA to fill that role.
Answer: Lombardi addressed this a bit in my last conversation with him. The Kings aren’t yet sure how they want that third line to look. It’s traditionally a “gritty” line, but Lombardi recently mused that the Kings might seek to get a little more scoring from the third line. What they decide, in terms of a philosophy for that line, will color which players they choose for the line.
Questions: 1.WIth Ryan Smyth trade do you acpect any other trade for star player next summer? 2.Kinda stupid question but i was always wondering if NHL players have salary like us month to month or they just get paid during seson?
Answers: 1) It’s not out of the question, but it would be influenced by other roster moves/choices, most notably what happens with Frolov. 2) I’m not 100 percent sure, but I believe they get their money during the season and not during the summer.
Question: If the Kings make significant progress this season – ie into the playoffs or maybe winning a series – do you think that TM will be the coach to take us to “the next level”. I’m thinking that since Chicago seems to be our role model, and they sacked Savard for Quenville at the beginning of last year, do you see the Kings doing something similar?
Answer: Way, way, way, way ahead of ourselves with that question. You have to get further than halfway to the top of the cliff before you can think about throwing Terry Murray off of it.
Question: Posting the prospective lines seems to be a popular practive of most on this list. I’m interested to see what your predictions are. Thanks Rich!
Answer: Still lots of variables, but if I had to guess today, I would say Smyth-Kopitar-Williams, Frolov-Stoll-Brown, Lewis-Handzus-Simmonds, Clune-Moller-Ivanans. I might flip Lewis and Moller. Just a guess.
Questions: What are we doing about a scorer? I seem to remember one of your posts stating that DL said something about July 11th. What is Kyle Calder’s status? What has the new trainer been doing with are “little” players (i.e. Moller and Simmonds)?
Answers: 1) A scorer? You mean other than Ryan Smyth? 2) The July 11 reference is not ringing a bell at all. 3) Kyle Calder remains an unrestricted free agent, eligible to be signed by any team. 4) I’m sure all players are being put on a program. The NHLers (a group that now includes Moller and Simmonds) are in town this week for some hands-on work.
Question: Lombardi seems to be satisfied with the power play numbers he saw last year and it appears that Kompon is here for another year. I’ve been genuinely surprised by both. What is your opinion of the Kings’ PP and are you also a little surprised to see Kompon return?
Answer: I didn’t read where Lombardi said he was satisfied with the power-play numbers. If he said that, I missed it. Relatively speaking, the power play wasn’t bad. The Kings ranked 14th out of 30 teams, up from 17th the previous season. In terms of overall goals, the Kings ranked 28th, so by comparison the power play did fairly well. When his players aren’t scoring, there’s only so much a coach can do. I would have been surprised to see an assistant coach fired after one season.