Ask Jim Fox, part 5

The final set of questions and answers with Jim Fox. Thanks very much to Jim for taking the time to answer an extraordinary number of questions. As always, his annual guest-blogging is a blog highlight.

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PaulCat1969 said:
This is what I get for thinking you were really going to be on vacation. I should have known.
Rich, I would like to ask Jim the same question I asked you last forum which to me is one of the more difficult questions facing the Kings this fall. I would love to see what his opinion would be if he is able to get to it:
With the departure of Quincey, what do you think comes of our Point Men on the Power Play. I would think Doughty and Stoll would make up one pair but who would you pair Johnson with? I wouldn’t think Scuderi, Greene or O’Donnell would be a replacement or least not good ones. Who would you guess would be the 10 players making up the 2 PP units.

PaulCat1969:
…the Kings will miss Quincey’s ability to get the puck to the net…the first name that comes to mind other than Doughty, Johnson or Stoll would be Justin Williams…I know he has played the point before and had a few opportunities at the end of last season…as you allude to, neither Greene, O’Donnell or Scuderi really fit the role…another name that comes to mind is Thomas Hickey…of course it is still up in the air whether he will make the team and it would be a high pressure situation to put a rookie defenseman into, but he has the necessary skills and understanding to handle the role…it might be his opportunity to make the team because he can fit that role…
…PP Smyth, Brown, Kopitar, Handzus, Frolov, Doughty, Stoll, Williams, Johnson, Purcell…Stoll could be used at center like he was last year to take the face-off and then move back to the point…Handzus and Smyth are your net front guys on separate powerplays…
…thanks for the question…I don’t think I am telling you anything you don’t already know…chemistry is a huge factor on a powerplay and that does not always include the most skilled players…

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Duck Hunter said:
Jim,
I know without question you want to see the Kings do well and win a championship as do all of us but how bad do you think Bob wants to see them win and how troubling would it be if they won after he retires? No offense to you but he is the only announcer for any sport that when I am watching a game with my 3 and 6 year old boys that they will stop what they are doing and focus on the game listening to Bob get all excited because of a great save or 2 on 1. It’s pretty impressive since they don’t listen to me. Both your passions for the team/game match mine and I appreciate all that you guys do. If/when the Kings do make the finals – how can we lobby for you and Bob to call the games instead of NBC or VS?
Thanks for your time!

Duck Hunter:
…thanks so much for the kind comments…I’ll make sure I pass along your comments to Bob…I certainly understand what your kids are feeling…just listening to Bob’s energy and flow and tempo, draws you into a game like no one else can…I have said many times that one of things I respect about Bob’s ability is how he manages to call each play with the proper amount of energy…you don’t have to be watching, you can just tell by the inflection of his voice, what type of situation is happening on the ice…after talking with Bob over the last year or so, he still has more than a few years left in him…let’s just hope that the team can come together in that time…
…thanks again for the comments…

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KingsFan19 said:
Jim, as always it is good to have you spend a little time with us here at ITK. It is much appreciated.
What is your assessment of the Kings moves this off season(Draft/Free Agency/Contract signings)? Did they do enough to finally “turn the corner”?
What early season indicators do you think will be the most telling regarding team success when looking forward to the end of the season and the playoffs?
Once again thanks for your time.

KingsFan19:
…it is my pleasure to be able to get together with “ITK”…I know I have said it before, but I certainly appreciate the job that Rich and everyone else at ITK does…so much work and so much information…
…I do think the roster is an improvement over last year…the 2 key additions (Smyth and Scuderi) bring long-term track records and bring the necessary elements and specialized skills to get the Kings to the playoffs…
…I have mentioned them before, but here are my keys for next season…
…Quick…because of the steps he took last year to help the team believe they could compete for a playoff spot and because the position itself is the most important in hockey…he still has to play with the same effectiveness that he did last year, and do it for the entire season before he is looked upon as a “league-wide #1″…he is on his way…let’s hope it continues…
…Kopitar…next level is attainable…fitness is key so he can expend energy on the defensive side without it hurting his ability to continue to be a top offensive force too…
…Williams production down low in the offensive zone…he has done it before…he is coming of a couple of injury filled years…Kings need a healthy and productive
Justin Williams…
…Jack Johnson…he must just be himself…be more of a physical force without the puck…his natural skill will allow him to be productive too…but he can’t try to be someone else…just be himself…
…early season indicators would be the same defensive numbers as last year (or better)…I know the issue now is offense, but if the defensive numbers go bad…the playoffs will not happen…powerplay is a key for most every team…more so with the Kings…this is an area that can help the entire team’s offense build some confidence…it will be important, especially early in the year…

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rc838 said:
Thanks Rich for all your hard work. It’s worsened my hockey addiction all the more.
Hi Jim,
1- Core Player seems to be thrown around a lot and the team’s core players seem to change just as much. In your opinion, who currently are the core players for the Kings for this upcoming season that will be responsible for the playoff push?
2- Clearly getting ahead of myself here, but say the Kings win the Stanley Cup in the near future, who do you think ends up with the game-winning goal? Just a pure guess but I want to say Wayne Simmonds. Oh yeah, knock on wood.
Thank you for all your hard work. Clearly you and Bob Miller are the best in the business. Please never retire.

rc838:
…1…Kopitar…Brown…Smyth…Doughty…Scuderi…these are the guys that should be able to be “counted on”…others include…Frolov…Handzus…Williams…Johnson…I think in the salary cap NHL, the core is much smaller than previously…it used to be about 10-12 players…now it probably is around 6-8 players for most reams…
…2…maybe the most positive sign last year was how Wayne Simmonds’ game seemed to get better in games that were “extra” important…he did show he could be a “big game player”…let’s hope that “big game” is not too far off…
….thanks for the kinds words…let’s get the Kings to the playoffs this year…

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jet said:
Hey Scott — I saw the Leafs feed for the Kings game also. The color man was all over Armstrong for going after Fingers following the open ice hit on Moller. I only saw one other Leafs feed. So I’d like to ask you, if that was typical of the color guy or was he just frustrated with the team’s weakness last year?

jet:
…not sure if this question was directed at me, but I thought I should chime in…I assume it was frustration…actually the Leafs probably got closer to the playoffs near the end of the year than most thought they would…I certainly have a lot of respect for Derek Armstrong and how he went outside of his “comfort zone” and did the dirty things to try and build team chemistry and just trying to help the team win…he may not he the highest skilled man in hockey, but he did everything he could to try and help the Kings win…

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Garrett said:
Foxy,
Thank you for doing this and thanks for being an amazing ambassador of the game.
I’ve always been a Kings fan. Born into it. I have two questions…
1) I’ve wanted to get an email to you and Bob for sometime, is there anyway to do so? Had a ruff start to life and you guys were a very important part of making it through, as odd as that sounds. I’ve wanted to say thank you and tell you a bit how what you do is more than just broadcasting.
2) I’d close my company in a heartbeat if it were possible to do something for the LA Kings professionally that lined up with my skill set. How does one go about finding a mid level to upper level career with the Kings org.?

Garrett:
…it is my pleasure…thanks for the questions and the kind words…
…1…I would try the “feedback” section of lakings.com…also, if you are ever at a Kings game, stop by the booth in the upper concourse…pre-game and post game usually are a good chance for Bob and I to talk to fans…post-game can be tough for me sometimes because I have to rush to the post-game show location…pre-game is probably the best time…
…2…I would love to help you out here…it would be the same as most any other job application process…I will tell you, there is usually are low turnover rate in pro sports…sales is usually the area of the most turnover…sorry I couldn’t be more specific…

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Matthew Barry said:
Jim,
I have a Shafer 2003 Hillside Select – If I bring it to HockeyFest, will you drink it with me?

Matthew Barry:
…in a word…YES!!!…maybe the most “interesting” wine I have ever tasted…it would be my honor to share the bottle with you…

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marc said:
I forgot, what’s the best wineries / wines from Temecula?

marc:
…not sure about the best…but here are a few that I have tried and like what they are doing…
…Robert Renzoni Vineyards…www.robertrenzonivineyards.com
…Briar Rose Winery…www.briarrosewinery.com
…Ponte Winery…www.pontewinery.com…
…give them a try…

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JPKelly said:
Dear Jim,
I wish there were some way that broadcasters could share the glory of their team winning the Cup. It would be just as satisfying to me if, along with with all the players and certain management personnel, you and Bob and Nick and Darryl could get your names etched on the trophy. YOU ALL DESERVE IT as much as anybody. Here’s to seeing all your names immortalized, if only in our dreams.
Forever yours, John Paul Kelly
PS From one stud to another, keep it up, Bro!

JPKelly:
…thanks so much for the kind words and the well wishes…I would settle for one big drink of Champagne from the Stanley Cup…that would be good enough for me…thanks again!

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  • KingsFanInReno

    Which team in the Pacific Division has improved the most this off season. According to a poll on nhl.com it the LA KINGS

  • Crash Davis

    Hi Jim,

    Hopefully you will see/read this after you’ve finished answering ITK questions…or perhaps Rich would be kind enough to pass it on for me (us) straight away.

    Have you thought about creating and writing a WINE BLOG?

    On it you could write:
    1. Assessments of wines you are tasting along the way. Experiences. Trips to vineyards. Observations.
    2. Meals you’ve had/are having in NHL cities and the wines you’re trying.
    3. Recommendations broken down by wine types, regions and perhaps pricing.
    4. Q&A

    I’d have to think with all the people who love asking you questions about wine…that your blog would be a great hit and fun. Not work at all.

    And it revolves around one of your great passions – wine.

    Up for it Foxy???

    Crash aka Craig

  • brianguy

    FWIW Frankie Kaberle is now available. Carolina just bought out his contract.

  • mstar85

    I am working overseas and I was wounding if the kings video (archive or live) their games on the net.
    thanks

  • Duckhunter

    Thank you Mr. Jimmy Fox. It’s a breath of fresh air to get honest and realistic answers. You don’t overvalue things or players and you give your answers from both sides, which is always nice. See ya at Staples!

  • Andrew

    Thank you Jim. Thank you Rich. While I don’t know much about wine, all your answers were really enlightening and informative at the same time. I have and have had so much hope for the Kings, and I just can’t wait for the team to make it back into the playoffs. Let’s hope the chemistry and combinations work this year and we start seeing some consistent success. Thanks again.

  • number 6

    Jim, thanks so much for all of the very insightful answers you’ve provided. One thing I want to mention is how pleased I was to see you single out the Malkin Simmonds incident. As I live in ny I only saw the replay on the net, but it left me finding it very difficult to muster up much respect for Malkin as a player. Needless to say though, the Kings needed to address it. That’s why I’m glad that you brought it up amongst your responses.
    Thanks again.

  • brianguy

    also Kaberle is cheap so if we need another puck-moving defenseman…

    he was good with the Kings early in his career.

  • Eddie_Joyal

    Rich were all the questions submitted to Jim? I noticed mine and a few others went unanswered. I’m not complaining just wondering if some are discarded for any specific reasons. Thanks.

  • JT Snow

    I enjoyed reading the comments but I am blown away that I never heard Teddy Purcell’s name mentioned once in a question or an answer, perhaps I may have overlooked.
    Either way, I wonder how blown away Jim will be when he enters the top 6 this year and someone currently in the “top 6″ is on the outside looking in…

  • Paul from Oxnard

    Jack Johnson picked to be the #2 “breakout star” for next season on NHL.com:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=457926&cmpid=rss-rosen

  • Caley

    Hey Rich,

    Any truth to these ‘Frolov to Montreal for the Kostitsyn bros. and one other player’ rumors?

  • 4thlinechecker

    Rich,
    I am dying over here man, I need my ITK fix…. you back yet?

    Hope you had a nice break

  • WTF

    Any word on the Kings signing Schenn? I have not seen any news and it seems odd.

  • Paul from Oxnard
  • Paul from Oxnard

    Dustin Brown picked by NHL.com as the 9th best current American born player:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=457924&cmpid=rss-morreale

  • sparky

    I am starting to wonder if this blog is down or what. I can’t believe we haven’t had any discussions on anything for days! Is anyone out there? Hello…

  • mk_42

    I’ve been wondering the same thing. It seems like there should be SOME discussion about this or that player being a great or terrible pickup. Or at least some DL bashing for such a long spell without activity.
    It all seems very suspicious. I’m in DC so I’ve generally been wondering if LA has disappeared or the Daily News has shut down or something.

  • sparky

    I even emailed Rich to make sure he was okay. Has anyone checked out the new Kings site? Pretty flashy:-)

  • Andrew

    I agree sparky. I know the new site is just a facelift, but wow it looks good!

  • http://hbshakes.blogspot.com Shakes

    every day that Rich doesn’t write…an angel loses it’s wings.

  • jet

    The King’s site mailbag feature is similar to Rich’s open forum, but you get the feeling that every question is answered to put the Kings in the best light. I doubt that it will ever be as subjective as Rich or Jim for that matter.

    http://kings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=463439&navid=DL|LAK|home

    Thanks for the answers Jim.

  • jet

    I wonder if Zherdev will even see 3M. Arbitration could have some interesting side effects the next couple of years. There seems to be little interest in $3M – $4M 20 goal scorers this off season. Will Zherdev get an offer?

  • sparky

    Ahh, comments. Ya’ll are still out there! Yeah:-) I need my fix (ha, ha).

  • sparky

    I agree, Shakes. The info you get on the Kings site is one-sided for sure, but it is better than nothing. When does Rich get back? I miss him!

    Thanks for putting something out there to discuss. It will be interesting to see what happens with the arbitration on Zherdev…

    It is an interesting economy. 20-goal scorers might not get what they used to in this salary-cap era. We will have to wait and see.

  • sparky

    Hey how cool is it that Browny made the top ten US players on nhl.com’s list? Addaboy Dustin!!! Can you tell that I need some interaction?

  • jet

    Sparky — Zherdev got 3.9M and the Rangers said “goodbye”. He is an UFA. Sometimes we need to be careful what we wish for.