A little break

The online editors at my paper always say that bloggers should let their readers know when they’re going to be away for a few days. Seems a bit self-important in my mind, but what do I know?

So for those who ask if I ever take vacation, the answer is yes, and it’s essentially for the next 12 days or so. It’s a good time to take a little time off, because things are slowing down after the draft and free agency. Of course, as I never tire of reminding Dean Lombardi, the Kings hired Terry Murray during the middle of my vacation last year…

So if any news should happen, I’ll be around, although it might not get posted instantly. I’m also trying to get a couple things together, including (hopefully) at least one reader Q&A with a Kings figure, so stay tuned for that.

As always, thank you so much for all your support and kind words. I’m not always able to answer every e-mail and message, but I assure you that the support is always much appreciated. Some stuffy newspaper editors (not mine, by the way) like to grumble about how people don’t care about hockey in L.A. It’s nice to prove them wrong, and the success here is entirely thanks to you. So…thanks.

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  • Big A

    Enjoy that vacation, Rich! We’ll try to keep ourselves amused in your absence.

  • Shakes

    thanks Rich, it’s a well deserved break. every time i come to your site (i.e. 3-4 times a day) it’s like christmas morning…

  • number 6

    Hope you have a great holiday Rich. Take care.

  • Stonewall

    Enjoy the time off Rich. Thanks for everything!

  • macdup

    Let me have the username and password and I will keep updating the site!

    cheers

    Dave

  • hunter

    Have a great vacation Rich,hopefully more good news on the Kings comes on your vacation…

  • Buck

    Well deserved time off! Thank you for all of your hard work & dedication! We’re lucky to have you…

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    No Rich…

    Thank YOU.

  • Johnny Utah

    Rich – the success of the blog is entirely due to your outstanding reporting…thank you! And have a great vacation.

  • Cynic

    Well Deserved Vacation for you Rich. Many thanks for all your hard work.

    When you get back, something big will have happened. (This should appease Murphy’s Law by using reverse pschyology to prevent something from happening by stating it. Right?)

  • AEG rulez

    Thanks again, Rich. Hope you don’t worry about the blog at all for the duration.

  • jet

    Enjoy every minute.

    11 days is going to feel like a month for us addicts.

  • stevebone

    day 3 Prospect camp
    OK – here is my “two cents’ worth”:

    The practice facilities were much more crowded for today’s sessions than they were on Friday – probably at least twice as many people in attendance, although some said it was more crowded on Saturday. The buzz in the stands was that the Kings organization should certainly get the message that there is a great deal of excitement among the fans for the upcoming season, and high hopes that the team makes the playoffs this year.

    The “Group A” practice (although it was mixed from both groupings) went almost 10 minutes longer than the original scheduled time. The forwards were in the following triads (although one group – red shirts – had a quartet): green – Tyler Maxwell, Bud Holloway, and Justin Azevedo; purple – Brandon Kozun, Brayden Schenn, and Kyle Clifford; red – Brett Parnham, Nic Dowd, Dani Weiss, and Geordie Wudrick. D-men included Thomas Hickey, Andrew Campbell, Radko Gudas, Ben Shutron, and David Kolomatis.

    During the practice, I thought that Brandon Kozun showed good speed up the center, although he missed a couple of quick passes from Brayden Schenn. Geordie Wudrick got in at least one good shot on Jones. Justin Azevedo got in some good shots on Zatkoff.

    During the scrimmage (in a two, 20-minute period format with an 8-minute break between – different from the two 25-minute period format on Friday, with a 1-minute intermission), Holloway and Clifford each went down to block a shooting lane – nice to see. Gudas was paired with Hickey on at least several occasions, and that seemed to work well. . . Gudas was once again hitting hard, and had a couple of hard shots from the blue line. He did fail to score on a penalty shot. Azevedo stripped the puck from the opposing team several times and then sped to his offensive zone. Although Maxwell scored a goal, Berube made a couple of great saves against him, as well. On an outnumbered attack about halfway through the second stanza, Clifford made a nice pass through the legs of the defenseman to Mikus, although no goal resulted. Parnam and Cunningham put on a few nice hits, as well. I thought Shutron looked good, as did Wudrick (Kozun and Wudrick seemed to be in synch when they were on the same line).

    Scoring was by Czarnik from Cunningham, I think, and by Maxwell from Parnham and Vey (?) [I may have the assists mixed up]. The second period ended in a 1-1 tie, so there was a shootout: white began with Mullen being stopped, followed by Dowd missing; in the second round, Nolan scored, followed by Maxwell scoring; in the third, King scored, followed by a miss by Wudrick; in the fourth round, Pelech missed, as did Hickey; in the fifth round, Teubert missed, as did Shutron; a final shot was taken and scored by Deslauriers (belatedly announced and name mispronounced).

    Didn’t get to stay for the Group B practice, but, all in all, a fun time.

  • http://CWW CWW

    Have a great vacation Rich. We own some newspapers (Spanish), so I understand some of the issues. Saw DL on his BB today during the B practice and wished I could be a gremlin in his email.

  • Copper

    Rich; go enjoy your vacation! Thanks for all you do for us Kings fans!

  • Quattro

    Rich, have a great vacation. You are the man.

  • PaulCat1969

    Well now what the hell are we going to do?????

    Have a great trip RIch! I have lived in LA my entire life (40 years as of next Friday) and never have I come across a journalist so dedicated to his craft and his readers. Get the rest you deserve and have earned.

  • Stonewall

    I hope the Mikus is still here when you get back.

  • HawKings

    Ditto the comments above. Enjoy your well deserved vacation.

  • Matt George

    Rich,

    I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that the work you are doing here is making history.

    Not just from an “LA Hockey Market” standpoint but also professional blogging in general.

    Have a good vacation and I hope you love writting this stuff as much as we enjoy reading it!

    matt

  • Matt George

    Rich,

    I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that the work you are doing here is making history.

    Not just from an “LA Hockey Market” standpoint but also professional blogging in general.

    Have a good vacation and I hope you love writing this stuff as much as we enjoy reading it!

    matt

  • tron

    Thanks again Rich for everything you put into this site!
    I previously posted my thoughts on the Friday games, here is what I saw on Sunday: #78 Geoff Walker seemed to be in a lot of the right places today. Nothing outstanding but got my attention many times. Was glad to see Kyle Clifford show up with some nice plays. Nothing outstanding from Wudrick, but I do like the way he moves on the ice, same for Holloway. I know he is small but Justin Azevedo can flat out play! Czarnick had another good showing and seems bigger than 6 ft 178lbs. He scored a goal with a quick top shelf wrist shot. Gudas and Hickey were paired together again and played well.

    From my two days of viewing I would say my All Stars were:
    Azevedo
    Gudas
    Czarnik
    Hickey
    Pelech or King

    As for the goalies, I really didn’t get to focus on them, although Berube was a nice surprise.

  • 32Pete Norway

    Rich, have a great vacation.
    Can’t wait for this season to start.
    Smyth – Kopitar – Mller :-) kings line nr 1

  • src3

    Have a nice vacation-well deserved.

  • Chris Bond

    Good for you Rich……

  • Oldthunder

    You are the man Rich, thanks for the hard work. Enjoy the vacation!

  • darko25o

    THANKS RICH, TAKE CARE!

  • http://McSerb MacSwede

    Good work this season.

  • JonG

    You’re the best, Rich. Enjoy your vacation!

  • mk_42

    I wonder if we’ll see any comments from Anthonyy while “Rich” is on “vacation.”

  • jet

    mk_42 — He leaves Anthonyy at home when he goes on vacation. Heck, you would too.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com CupRun2012

    Rich, I can honestly say that I’ll miss you! And I know you’ll let us know if anything comes up in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy your time off!

  • Marc Nathan

    Oh man, Rich goes on vacation and THEN Lombardi makes his Brandon Segal move. It’s clear that DL waited… Let the conspiracy theories begin.

  • JDM

    Can’t imagine why DL signed Brandon Segal. Never player for the Flyers or the Sharks organizations… maybe he ate a philly cheesesteak once.

  • anthonyy

    Poor Little DL. He must be bored. When he has nothing to do (other then drive team to the ground) he tries growing a brain by wasting other peoples money on nothing.

  • JDM

    haha, ask and you shall recieve!

    I must ask anthony, whose money is he wasting on what nothing this time?

  • Ersberg

    “Can’t imagine why DL signed Brandon Segal. Never player for the Flyers or the Sharks organizations… maybe he ate a philly cheesesteak once.”

    And we finally get one of those ‘strange’ DL signings.
    No Philly connection, apparently. Maybe it’s a Steven Segal connection? I knew he couldn’t resist the urge. He always signs one of these guys at some point in a season.

    Is he trying to bolster the Manchester roster?

  • JDM

    Ersberg,

    I think this is definately to bolster the Manchester roster, he’s adding toughness to the ranks across the board.

    Also, I think this is also to add extra challenge to guys like Wudrick and King and Pelech. Segal seems to be one step ahead of where those guys are currently (he’s essentially an AHL veteran – some 400 games in the A), so this is not only a depth signing so that Manchester isn’t devastated when they inevitably lose some guys to call-ups, but also to keep the other tough guy grinders honest in their efforts to improve and earn a spot on the big club.

  • Quisp

    Look at the Kings depth chart. In Manchester, the natural right wingers are Purcell and Cliche. Since both of those guys could easily make the Kings this year, there is therefore a chance that the number of natural right wingers in Manchester would be zero. Thus, the signing of a big, gritty, goal-scoring AHL-seasoned RW.

  • stevebone

    The SMYTH deal got listed as one of the top five moves this season. Good job DL. Hopefully either Williams or Smyth will be a 30 goal scorer and the other at 25. I think the magic number is 50-55 goals between them. If it is less then 50 then they were bad moves, if it’s over 55 then they were good moves.
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/07/06/brophy_top_5_nhl_moves/

  • Purple Ghost

    I expect the Kings to announce the re-signing of Jack Johnson during the conference call tonight.

  • jet

    The big A has awoken. Thanks for the substantive, insightful analysis.

    Would anyone else out there like to see the first scrimmage of the Toronto Chiefs training camp?

  • SuperSonic420

    Speaking of poor little bored guys, how are ya doing anthonyy?

  • 4thlinechecker

    Dale Tallon fired?

    http://csnchicago.com/pages/new_landing?Mora-Blackhawks-Fire-GM-Dale-Tallon=1&blockID=63735&feedID=661#comment_name63735

    Quispy,
    Have you heard anything about this? My buddy sent me this link.

  • AK47

    4th line,

    I just read that too.. That’s so shocking? Maybe it’s because of that deal he gave Hossa or not sending the qualifying offers for the RFA’s properly.. God, this is random

  • Quisp

    Tallon drafted great, built a great team, made (in my opinion) three colossally bad UFA signings (Huet, Campbell and Hossa — yeah, I know, jury still out), which may have been his undoing (not the Hossa part) long before the whole RFA fiasco, which simply turned the screws a little tighter, or else gave ownership the excuse they were looking for anyway.

    Not to be lost in all of this is Scotty Bowman, advisor to the Hawks, whose son is now GM. As someone pointed out, the son is the cap expert, so it doesn’t make too much sense to put him in charge (since he has at least partially overseen the mess they’re now in).

    Campbell and Huet are unmovable. Hossa may also actually be unmovable now, but if he’s not he will be in a year or two.

    I wonder if Tallon was one of the GMs saying that next summer there will be “amnesty buyouts” if the cap goes down to $50MM. The Hawks better hope that happens, because otherwise let the dismantling begin.

    I think Tallon’s whole strategy re Hossa was just, “we’re f***ed in a year anyway, may as well go for it.” It could actually work.

    (because winning the cup next year is really the only way Tallon, er, Bowman has any shot of getting Kane and Toews to take a hometown discount next summer.)

  • Moondoggie

    Hey Rich, coming to Maui? Drinks on me at Mama’s!

    Enjoy the vacation dude, you’ve earned it. Hurry back, we’ll miss ya, us fans and the team can’t survive without ya!

    Aloha

  • nykingfan

    It just goes to show….you’re always better off spending $$ wisely and looking towards the future.
    Tallon went for it all this year with no care as to what happens next year or the years after.
    Is that fair to the fan base? They had the young talent that would have allowed them to be an upper echelon team for many years. His short-sighted free agent signings have doomed this franchise for the long term.
    He was also done in by his own front office staff. Whoever sent those qualifying offers regular mail instead of courier put the knife thru his back. As the boss, he has to take the heat and ultimately the fall.

    The opposite is occuring with the Kings.
    DL has a plan that if successful, will keep the Kings as viable contenders for years to come.
    I’d rather be in our situation…just my opinion

  • number 6

    nykingfan…. absolutely agree with what you’ve said. Sometimes you get the feeling of desperation coming from some of the GM’s. I used to think that about Ken Holland but I don’t anymore. He’s handled Detroit’s situation beautifully. There are the ‘kneejerk grab every sexy name UFA GM’s’, then the teams like Minn, NJ, that are quite conservative…. and DL is in the middle somewhere. He moves but does it in an intelligent manner (IMO). Granted not every signing he’s made has worked out great, but overall I think he’s been quite reasonable about it. I also agree that I’d rather be in our situation than that of Chic, unless they are able to get very creative down the road, and most certainly will have to unload a player like Brian Campbell it seems at the very least to create cap room…. assuming they can find any takers at that price.

  • Ersberg

    “Look at the Kings depth chart. In Manchester, the natural right wingers are Purcell and Cliche. Since both of those guys could easily make the Kings this year, there is therefore a chance that the number of natural right wingers in Manchester would be zero. Thus, the signing of a big, gritty, goal-scoring AHL-seasoned RW.”

    Yeah, I did. Frankly, I’m about as interested in players that will do precisely nothing for the Kings as I am in income taxes and root canals. I’m just not a junior/minor league kind of guy. I hope some of these guys will make it, but most won’t.

    Thanks for the heads-up, though.

  • jet

    If I was Tallon and Scotty was standing over my shoulder, I might panic and go for the cup this year also. But, do they have enough in Goal to make it to the finals? Philly is in the same boat, cap crunched with suspect goalies. Ersberg could be quite valuable next February.

    ny — you are right, DL often seems to a step ahead of the other GMs

  • Quisp

    Ersberg –

    That’s the problem with people poring over every single signing like it means something. Some signings are just about keeping the whole system, from Ontario, to Manchester, to LA, working. You may as well evaluate the secretarial pool.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Hey guys, maybe we’ve got something more juicy to talk about…

    What about Dave Tallon’s firing in Chicago this morning? Think he’s the first casualty of Quispie’s Idiot List?

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    …And if I could read, I could see you guys already talking about it.

    Nepotism and the RFA contract fiasco aside, gotta think the Idiot’s List has claimed its first victim. Wonder what Anthonyy thinks about this? Certainly it makes DL look more like a genius than an idiot. Isn’t Bowman’s son more of a Capologist than a player GM?

  • number 6

    What about the “conspiracy theories” that when they completely lose the plot that the NHL and Bettman’s minion’s will work it all out to raise the salary cap so no one (i.e. Rangers, Hawks, Bruins, Philly) come out looking too bad? Someone wrote something to that effect in earlier blogs. Somehow that whole premise seems more realistic than what I’d like to imagine.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Yeah, I did.

    It’s the Playground theory of conflict resolution: When the Big Dog on the Playground gets in trouble with the rules, he simply changes the rules to suit his situation. The question is, who is the Big Dog? My supposition was that TOR is the Big Dog… and they are in relatively good shape right now, according to Quispie’s list. That would mean no changes to the rules this year but maybe next year or in two years. The Big Dog always lets everyone else get hosed before making any changes.

  • Ersberg

    Quisp-

    Right.

    So, what about Linda the new secretary we just took on? Personally, I don’t like it when people wear fragrance products to work, so I think she’ll a need a talking to.

    I’m not sure if that was a good hiring. Maybe we should have went with that other lady, Mary.

  • Quisp

    The issue that has been raised lately is of “amnesty buy-outs” like the ones allowed after the work stoppage, whereby players can be bought out with no linger cap hit. Before I riff on that, I should say I agree with Bako’s theory that Toronto is the big dog and when they are in trouble, that would be a significant tipping point. Since what is about to happen will likely benefit Toronto, it will be harder to stop, as much as certain owners would like to stop it (the cap crash) from happening.

    The “conspiracy theory” (which by the way seems perfectly plausible to me) would be that either Bettman and ownership somehow wrangle an artificially high cap not tied to revenues. Without getting into the details of how that might work — since I think we can all agree that Bettman will try to do anything he can to fudge things to avert disaster — I would just like to point out who this benefits. And who it doesn’t.

    It doesn’t benefit the owners of all the teams who will be able to get under a $50MM cap next year. Which is 50-70% of the teams. They will rightly believe they are being punished for following the CBA. This fact alone I think is a deal-breaker. Why should the folks who broke the rules be rewarded? Why would anyone take the rules seriously in the future?

    It doesn’t benefit the owners as a whole, who are the ones who wanted the cap in the first place. Keeping the cap high means they have to spend more money. They like being forced to spend less.

    It doesn’t benefit the players’ union, which will scream bloody murder about buy-outs and whatever other remedies are implemented to allow the league to function, and will be equally furious over the escrow ramifications of keeping the cap higher than it is supposed to be (although admittedly, I haven’t dived in to these numbers to figure out exactly how all that works).

    It WILL benefit the owners of teams who are in cap trouble.

    Rather than keeping the cap artificially high — which is in effect saying the CBA is not binding really — I think the “amnesty buy-out” option seems like the logical way out, not fair, really, but I can see it happening.

    However. I’m not sure this will really “reward” the teams who have been naughty. Sure, Chicago will be able to buy-out Campbell and not have to take a cap hit for several years…but they still will be giving the guy away for nothing (assuming they don’t trade him before next summer, which they would obviously like to).

    It will not so much reward Chicago (for example) as it would simply not making their mistakes cost them so much. This is annoying to me, because I think Chicago should be punished and not be let off the hook. Maybe the other owners will have the NHL over a barrel and will be able to strip the offending teams of draft picks (say, proportionate to the cap hit they are avoiding). Whatever they agree to do, they would have to make it painful enough to make it at least seem punitive.

    Probably my idea — which would be to make the offending teams sit out an entire draft — is too much. Insert smiley face.

    Last point:

    if amnesty buyouts are allowed next summer, there will be several free agents suddenly available who wouldn’t otherwise be free-agents (they would be trade bait). That will flood the UFA market and drive down salaries (good for owners, bad for union, good for teams under the cap who can afford to sign stars at a bargain, bad for Frolov, etc.). Instead of the teams with cap room trading for these players for picks and prospects, they will then be able to SIGN the players and give up nothing. the trade-off is that it won’t exactly be the same players. for the next year, there’s a chance someone can rob chicago of one of its attractive players. next summer, chicago will be able to unload the untradable Campbell and keep the players they want to keep. but with that caveat, I still think the net result will be very painful for CHI, PHI, SJS, OTT and the others in the same boat.

    My own take is that I would like to see those teams twist in the wind, but not at the risk of destroying the league.

    Also, I will die laughing if Bowman tries to deal Hossa.

  • Quisp

    Ersberg,

    I know! What the hell is DL thinking??????? Linda is the WORST signing yet!

  • Quisp

    also, keep in mind, none of this relief (Bettman somehow letting the owners off the hook, etc.) can happen until NEXT summer. CHI, SJS and OTT (and probably PHI — and possibly a few others) will have to make significant salary dumps in the next 10 weeks.

    One of Thornton, Marleau or Nabokov will go. (Cheechoo also, but he’s not enough).
    OTT has to deal with Heatley or SOMEBODY ELSE must go.
    Chicago? They want to dump Campbell. They can’t get rid of Huet now. They are probably going to have to trade one of their “core” before the season starts. If they’re lucky, they’ll be able to dump Campbell on someone, take some salary back, and only have to give up one of their “lesser” core players, who they will have to include to get someone to take Campbell off their hands.

  • nykingfan

    It’s inevitable that Bettman will somehow get the fat-cat, high spending owners out of their self-inflicted demise. Anytime it involves the original 6 or big market east coast teams, he’ll do whatever’s necessary to protect those that protect and pay him. The Rangers, Chicago, Phil, etc….He’s not going to let them suffer while the cap diminishes.
    I think it hurts teams like LA that are planning it the correct way in the salary cap era and stand to lose out to available free agents that will sign with Philly, NYR..especially when those teams lose the $$ off their cap books. Dolan has no issue with spending whatever money he wants. He’ll raise my cable rates and make me pay for it.
    The NHLPA is the one that will hold the key to all of this. I believe they can opt out of the current CBA shortly and if that’s the case, we’re in for another work stoppage. Too many big name guys will need to be bought out…the union won’t be able to bend over for
    league like it did the last time.
    I hope I’m wrong about this, but I have the feeling that the Lords of Park Avenue (Bettman) will once again attempt to ruin our league.

  • Quisp

    nyk –

    yeah. if bettman et al screw over the majority of the league and the players’ union in order to give a mulligan to a handful of teams, I would think we can expect some very ugly negotiations when the CBA expires.

    (I forgot to mention defections to the KHL as a likely by-product of next summer’s UFA glut, if amnesty buyouts are allowed…that’ll make the union happy…)

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Quispie, I agree about most of what you are saying, especially about the part where the league must be maintained in a functional state. The caveat will be the ongoing PHX fiasco. Phoenix will always be the counter-argument by the cap-conscientious teams about the consequence of unrestrained spending, and until that situation is resolved the league will not risk demonstrating the pure hypocrisy of their legal PHX position by circumventing their own rules whenever the Big Dogs see fit.

    What I suspect will happen is a combination of ‘amnesty buy-out’ for those teams in trouble and financial renumeration for those teams not in trouble. This would be the equivalent of the ‘luxury tax’ in baseball where the richest teams pay out what they wish but the spendthrift teams in poor markets get financial renumeration. All parties then can state they are winning, including the players union, because the renumeration paid to poor market teams can be used to pay higher salaries, creating new possibilities for bargaining power for the players.

    But, whatever solution is found, it MUST wait until the NHL and Betteman resolve the PHX situation. Until that is resolved, there can be no alteration of the rules mid-stream or Balsillie is given a new legal bullet to shoot in his fight to own the Coyotes.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    I can’t spell.

    Renumeration=remuneration…

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Oh, and I agree about the KHL.

    They are the classic guy in the right place at the right time with the right cards to play in the game…

    Forget about Frolov, after this season. When the time comes, he will be KHL-bound.

  • number 6

    HELLO HELLO…. I HAVE A COMMENT. How in the heck did it ever get like this!!??
    At the time of the last CBA Bettman stood up and said he was going to bat for the “small market teams” (essentially though not in those words). OK. So they got the supposed “level playing field” for everyone. Then what happens? The age for UFA is lowered (very bad idea), which leads to silly years and silly money for players like Briere, Drury, and Gomez. Sure, real good players, but not Gretzky. So that doesn’t work well enough and then we have players being signed to Twelve year contracts!! I mean really. Really really really.

    Well, if all of your speculations were to come to pass, personally if I were Gary Bettman I wouldn’t dare get on that “nhl hour” that he usually does with Bill Clement. He’d never hear the end of it… and while I never call those shows I could change my mind if this whole thing gets anymore out of hand.

  • number 6

    Quispie… one thing that I think you were slightly off on is all is this idea that another team would take Brian Campbell plus a core player. Who in the heck has that sort of space on their payroll to be able to do that? Buffalo? I mean anyone who would do that would be strapped in very tight wrt future flexibility, cause a core player would have to be paid very well too…. so you’d be talking about taking on roughly 11-12M of yearly salary between two players.

  • jet

    Quisp — excellant analysis, one additional point if I may. Some players will benefit from a cap/floor reduction. My thinking is that let’s say the cap/floor is level next year, can you see Dallas, Phx, Nashville, Carolina, or the Floridas staying in business. Let’s say the league only contracts by two teams, which leave 50 players out of work. I think the NHLPA will not want to risk the loss of jobs to keep the cap where it is. Also, if the league does allow an amnesty buyout then the Rangers will be calling for one every year going forward.

    #6 is correct, the big contracts will have to go with picks, Briere and 3 firsts, Campbell and 4 firsts? That is still tough, a #4 Dman with a 7.14M cap hit ’til infinity.

    I also agree no UFAs until 28 and the max contract equal to 15% of cap space (that would be 8.4M this year).

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    The scariest thing about these Cap-resolution scenarios is that the Kings are positioned to be the poster-boy for the Cap-compliant loser. What do you suppose happens if the Kings are 2009-2010′s version of the Chicago BlackHawks? Give us a great year, a great playoff run, a great top-five forward scoring year by Frolov… Close, but no Cup?

    Frolov would deserve the moon; would DL give it to him? What would his choices be?

    1): Pay Frolov what he’d be worth. Suppose that would now be 7-9 mil/year; do you blow the salary structure or do you let him fly? What would WE be saying if Fro had that kind of year, and so did the team? We would be thirsting for MORE. The media would be hot with the Resurrection of L.A. hockey, Kings would be compared to the young Lakers team of 2-3 years ago.

    2): Don’t pay him, trade his rights after the season.

    3): Just let him choose, don’t break the bank but give a good offer, then when he flies tell us that you tried, gambling that our anger doesn’t drown our the patience we the fans have been showing lately.

    The NHL wants their teams to be able to re-sign their young stars, if they wish. If the Cap kills CHI, then LAK in consecutive years, the NHL is in a world of hurt. What of Frolov? Wouldn’t you want to sign a contract that doubled or tripled your current potential salary AND let you move back to the country of your youth in the bargain?

    The NHL doesn’t want to look like it’s changing the rules in mid-stream, because that’s what Balsillie has been alleging all along. The NHL wants to say that its rules are sacred and necessary for the league’s survival, and that it must control its rules for the good of all markets. If it has to go to war with the KHL over young star players it will have the rationale it needs to change the rules: a dire, emergent situation.

    There has to be a series of high level defections first. Hudler was one; many more are coming. And, even though the NHLPA wants higher salaries, does it want a contracted NHL paying top-level stars above normal market value while underpaying the more numerous mid-level players?

    I’m afraid about Frolov. He may end up being the guy who becomes the poster boy for NHL Cap insanity, and we may end up being the losers.

  • number 6

    I’VE GOT IT!! I’VE GOT IT!!!! Fantastic idea. How about if you pay the really great forwards 5-6M a year, the average 3rd line players 2.5-3.5M a year. Then top D men 4-5M a year and the 5-7 D men 1.5-3M per year.
    I’m not trying to waste your time…. I know it’s a pipe dream….. but what would happen? The players would be paid really well for what they do (with of course an exception for the true superstars i.e. Lemieux, Brodeur, Zetterberg, Gretzky type of player. Guess what… I think all the teams would be very close to fitting in under the cap.
    It’s a nice thought even if it couldn’t be a reality.

  • number 6

    Is it too late to take off my last comments? I probably should have shown more discipline… but frankly the whole thing becomes so ridiculous sometimes that I find it not easy to stay “zen”.

  • Quisp

    Bako –

    Uncharted waters to be sure. Hard to know how the Frolov situation will play out, however. I wouldn’t be surprised if he signed an extension this summer. There is some incentive to do this, as the economic landscape is likely to get worse, not better.

    On the other hand, if he doesn’t sign, and if he’s a 50 goal scorer this year and the Kings are the new Chicago (losing in the conference finals, say) then he will likely get his $6-7MM. Short of that unlikely perfect storm occurring, I don’t think he’s going to command that much. And who the **** knows what the market will bear in a year, including in the KHL.

    I remain optimistic because I get the feeling Frolov genuinely wants to be a King.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Quispie,

    Where would I be without your optimism? One of us has to have it.

    Ever heard of the Supreme Beings of Leisure?

    Nothin’ Like Tomorrow…

  • Quisp
  • JDM

    Wierd stat Quisp. Read that a hour or so ago on your site. I like your idea better of counting rebounds and their original shots as one ‘event’. I’ve always wondered why they didn’t do that. They bother to count ‘scoring chances’ as opposed to shots, so why not a ‘scoring chance save percentage’ stat?

  • nykingfan

    I’m with you number 6 it’s really ridiculous…but with Bettman, it’s probably reality. We’re screwed…figures first time in the Kings existence that we have a legit shot to be a top level team for years to come and along comes Bettman to screw us over.
    Man, I hate that guy!

    One thought on Frolov…If he was asking for that type of crazy $$, I’d let him walk. I feel pretty confident that given a hefty contract, he’d be one of the laziest players in the league…IMO

  • darko25o

    Moondoggie,
    I would swim to Maui for Mamma’s- order me up some Ahi, and crusted Mahi Mahi….I’ll be there in 3 months, tide allowing.

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