Q&A: Robitaille’s Stanley Cup

This is one of my two favorite answers of the session, in which Luc talks about winning the Stanley Cup with Detroit, not the Kings…

—–

Question: You’re associated so strongly and closely with the Kings, yet you won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings. Obviously the thrill of winning the Cup is unmatched, but if there any internal conflict because it didn’t happen with the Kings?

ROBITAILLE: “There’s no conflict because it wasn’t my choice. I clearly remember some years, being in the locker room at training camp, believing we could win the Stanley Cup with the Kings. I always thought, `If we could just do this…’ That was my goal. If you remember, the year before (the Detroit Stanley Cup), we beat Detroit and got to Game 7 against Colorado. I really thought that summer was going to be the summer that we rebuilt our team. I knew we needed one center and that was it. I really believed that we were right there, that we were going to compete with anybody in the league. Then I never got an offer.

“I never got an offer until June 30, or maybe two days before (July 1). I wasn’t looking for a stupid contract. I was just looking for what I thought was fair. The year before, I led the team in scoring and I felt I was one of the leaders of the team. They offered me a pay cut. I was like, `How could that happen?’ I didn’t even understand. I took it hard. I took it really hard. I was really, really, really disappointed. I never thought this would happen. So it was not my choice to leave. I remember that I was told, `Why don’t you go to free agency, and let us know what you get, and we’ll match.’ And I said, `That’s not the kind of person I am.’ I would never do that. I refused to do that in my life. So I said, `You guys should give me your best offer before July 1,’ and I never got another offer, so I figured that they didn’t want me. I didn’t know why they didn’t want me.

“So the next day, my wife said, `Who do you think has a chance?’ She was crying. It was hard and we didn’t want to leave. So I said, the team that has the best chance is Detroit, because they had just gotten Hasek. She said, `Well, why don’t you have your agent call and see if they want you.’ Well, they wanted me. (laughs) As a player, you go where you’re wanted. Funny enough, they found a way to offer me a pay increase, and it wasn’t a stupid contract. They just offered me what the Kings wouldn’t offer me. The Kings knew what I was worth at the time. I was disappointed, but at the same time I said, `If I’m going to leave the Kings, I want to win the Cup.’ I felt I was going to help a team win the Cup. I wanted to help the Kings win the Cup, but if they didn’t feel like I could help them win the Cup, that was not my fault, you know? Detroit felt like I could help them win the Cup, and it worked. That was my mentality on it.

“If you ask me today, `Do you regret it?’ No way. It’s so hard to win the Stanley Cup, and I feel so fortunate that I had no injuries, nothing. It capped my career. But that’s really what happened.”

Question: I’m not sure if everyone knows the story…what did you do with the Cup?

ROBITAILLE: “I brought it back to L.A. I threw a big party in my backyard. We had like 300 people. We took it to Dodger Stadium and Universal Studios, on the Jurassic Park ride. We took it on Sunset Boulevard. Chris Chelios had a party in Malibu on the beach. It was like three days of craziness with the Cup, and it was fun.”

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  • tantrum4

    Wow…what was Dave Taylor thinking? Especially since he used to be a teammate of his you would think he knew what Luc meant to the franchise. Maybe he was jealous and wanted to run him out of town? I wonder how hard it was for Taylor to have to put his tail between his legs when he asked Luc to come back to LA. No wonder Lombardi was left with the mess he started with…

  • TorturedKingsFan

    That makes me sick…

  • Peter

    Hummmm sounds kinda like what the did to Rob Blake who wanted to stay and retire a King.

  • Telos

    While I dislike many things about that story, I am glad it happened the way it did. Luc’s loyalty cannot be brought into question and I am very happy that he was able to win a cup before he retired. I just wish it could have been in LA…

  • JonG

    I still have the newspaper photo of Luc with the Cup at Dodger Stadium. He’s wearing a Dodgers #20 jersey and holding the Cup high above his head. Eric Gagne is in the background with a big smile.

    I’ve kept that photo on my desk at work for many years, and it always brings a smile to my face. The fact that he would share his big day with the fans of Los Angeles is unbelievable.

    Hopefully we’ll have a similar photo of Luc with the Cup in the next few years.

  • 28 KINGS

    Luc was right about needing a center the following year. But the great wisdom of Taylor and Lie-weekly never saw that in getting a center, they created 2 holes to fill one. Sure we traded for Allison, but we lost another center in Stumpel and a scoring winger in Murray. Losing Luc,Murray and Stumpel hurt the team badly. Luc never should have left for Detroit, but I’m glad he got his name on the cup.

  • Ersberg

    The Kings still need a 1a/b center. Lombardi can be excited as much as he wants for this seasons squad, but we’re still lacking in key areas.

    Center
    Another solid Vet defenseman
    Proven, established goalie(Quick, Ersberg, and Bernier are still unproven to take on the #1 spot).

    We can dream all we want about our prospects, but it’s a fact they all won’t pan out. Even the top prospects. Trade a couple and Stoll/Handzus for a solid center.

  • Lead Feet

    Wow! I always suspected Luke had some bitterness re that time period, but I have never heard him be so upfront and honest about it. Usually athletes give you such vague and descreet statements. Has Luke ever commented about this publicly in the past and I just missed it?

    I to hope to see Luke on Staple Center Ice hoisting Lord Stanley. He deserves it most of all.

  • Steve Soldo

    Class act he is–bitter about essentially being let go, but came back to play and work in the front office. If the Kings win–and I hope they do–this guy deserves part of the credit for his confidence in the organization…

  • marc

    I remember when he won the Cup and brought it back to LA, I didn’t want to see it. I knew it wasn’t Luc’s fault that he left & he totally deserved to win the Cup. It was just too hard for me to think about him having to leave LA to get it.

  • Cricket

    Ersberg,

    This story illustrates another of Taylor’s many screw-ups, and yet you criticize DL after reading it? All I feel after this article is appreciation that we’ve got the right guy for the job.

    A few points about your post.

    “We can dream all we want about our prospects, but it’s a fact they all won’t pan out. Even the top prospects.”

    You’re right. They won’t all pan out. That’s why we have so many, and hence a ‘reserve.’ You mention trading some, and believe me, the day will come when some (good talent) prospects are traded. But DL is a patient guy and will do it for the right player.

    You say we need another center. You’re totally right, and I feel that DL knows this. However, if Smyth can gel with Stoll again, who knows? Still, I and I’m sure many agree, including Kings management, that our 2nd center can’t be Jarret Stoll forever if we’re ever going to contend.

    You say we need a veteran D. Personally, I’m all for letting one of our MANY defense prospects fill in at 6, but Kings Management have said already that they’re in the market for a vet D. So there you go. They see things the same as you.

    Lastly, you say we need a proven goalie. Nope. With the numbers Quick put up last year as a rookie, there is no way you get a goalie right now (oh yeah, and there really aren’t available anyway). You give him a chance, see what he does, and then you act if you need to (which would mean giving a very eager Bernier a shot). We finally have homegrown goaltenders, and now’s their chance to play. It’s a good place to be as a fan to see this day. By the way, the only way to get proven is to play. Let Quick prove himself, and then we’ll have the exact “established goaltender” you say we need.

    One more thing, I don’t see DL as “excited,” per se. Ever read an interview? Watched video clips? This guy knows what the team needs and then some, including all the intangibles like getting guys to work out together over the summer. He sees more than than just positions, and if you’ve ever heard him talk, he is a sober, intense, and no-BS guy. Excited is hardly the word I would use for him, though showing the occasional pride for what he’s done so far seems like a pretty reasonable admission.

  • Seattle757

    Thank You Cricket, I couldn’t have said it any better.

    I want to add that the reason other teams end up with that “proven” goaltender is because they gave their farm system a chance. They didn’t panic and go jump in the market for one. They developed theirs and threw them out in the ice to see what they could do. So far the Kings going after “proven” goaltenders has gotten us nowhere with the exception of Potvin.

    When it comes to DL, enough with the bashing, it just feels like some of you just want to bash someone. We never had a strong farm system before DL. Look at the team now, there is some chemistry being built. When was the last time we saw that? I’ll tell you, back when we went to the Stanley Cup Finals. Teams don’t get built over night, they get built with time and patience. Something this team lacked for generations.

    So right now Quick is my goalie and I say throw in a prospect for the 6th defense man spot.

  • jet

    Cricket — you are correct, this is no time to panic and give up prospects. Let’s stay on plan and get more experience for our younger players. We will be competitive this year, and the younger players will be able to participate in many pressure games. This will be an important year for the growth of the organization.

  • Ersberg

    Cricket-

    I disagree with the entirety of your post. You don’t start adapting your team to aquiring more salary(see the Scuderi signing and Smyth dea), without finishing the job.

    Trading prospects this season is the same as the next.

    And did I ever suggest I was “panicking”? Lombardi has made payroll moves. Why not finish the job?

    By keeping all of the prospects now will only show how worthless some of them will become later.

    All of our goalies are unproven as bona fide #1 startes. You can say what you will, but that’s a fact.

    It’s okay to agree to disagree.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/kings Smokiemcpot

    Personally, I think we need another center as well. Trade a pick and a prospect for Kessel. Trade Stoll for anything. Then trade frolov for marleau straight up. Then…
    smyth-kopi-williams
    marleau- kessel-brown
    purcell/moller-zues-simmonds
    harrold/westie-lewis-moller/purcell

  • Cricket

    Jet, thanks.

    Ersberg, it is okay to agree to disagree. And I’m going to agree to disagree with you most about the goalie situation! ;)

    You’re right: none of our goalies are proven starters. And they’ll stay that way unless they get the chance to be starters and prove what they can do. Personally, I think that time is now.

  • jet

    Ersberg — Lombardi has committed to a complete rebuild. This process includes trading for and drafting players who have the best chance to help the team in the future. Then setting up a state of the art training program to insure the prospects have the best shot at becoming impact NHLers. Then bring some experienced veterans to show the youngsters the way. Last season we were one of the 3 youngest teams in the league. The players need to get some more experience under their belt before can bring in the “final pieces”. Since inception the Kings have jumped off the rebuild wagon a half dozen times. Those cases did not turn out to well.

    We have had the best drafts in the league over the past 3 years. Isles may have beat us if they had not given away big Scheen.

    We have brought in one of the best coaches in the league.

    We have brought in proven winners who have an excellent work ethic to mentor the youngsters.

    We are right on schedule. Let the kids play and gain experience.

    Lombardi said it would take 5 years and that timeline looks accurate. Should we not be patient for a couple of more years to have a generation of playoff appearances?

  • JDM

    Couple things,

    I’m getting really sick of the term ’1a/b center’. Let’s lose it.

    Jet,

    I agree with everything you said, except ‘one of the best coaches’ is going overboard. Murray is a smart coach and I think he breaks down the game well, but he makes numerous questionable decisions, and it remains to be seen if he can pull the absolute best out of his players like all great coaches can.

    This is what worries me much more than his desire to dress an enforcer every night (something I think people cry over and scapegoat far too often). I believe in Kopitar’s ability to be a legit superstar, but I don’t really believe in TM’s ability to push him there. He seems to be a coach to make good middle of the road players and make lesser players play above their heads, not the kind to elicit true greatness. Then again, this same thing that worries me is what will probably make him bring the team together more as a whole. Maybe I’m just over-analyzing a man I actually know very little about. Regardless, you have to have won something to be ‘one of the best coaches in the league’ in my opinion.

    Ersberg,

    Cheer the hell up. Its a good thing Pittsburgh went out and traded for someone else’s #1 goalie or they never would have won that Cup…

    All hyperbole aside though, cheer the hell up! Every team has some holes. EVERY TEAM. Atleast we are filling ours mostly from within and have prospects ready or near ready to fill those shoes. But if you cared to share your divining crystal with Lombardi that reveals which prospects will pan out and which won’t, I’m sure he’d love to use it.

    There will be holes in the team at the start of the season in which we win the cup and there will be holes the year after.

  • Ersberg

    JDM-

    With all due respect, I’m merely pointing out our needs, and that is all. I’m not whining, crying, or being negative. These are merely areas of concern for the team going forward.

    About your context regarding, “1a/b” centers, what else would you call them? Okay, we’ll just say we need another center that can rotate playmaking duties alongside Kopitar. Is that better? Stoll and Handzus have secured specialized rolls outside of this area, and are certainly not playmaking centers.

    I don’t feel Lombardi has done a bad job at all this off-season. I just feel we have the means to make 1 to 2 more deals to ice an even more solid team, so..why not do it? That’s all I’m asking.

  • jet

    JDM – Maybe I should have said one of the best coaches in the league for a young team. Yet, as I correct myself, I am trying to think of another coach who got more out of the talent they were handed last year, Maybe Andy Murray.
    Terry Murray came late last summer to a team that was near the start of a complete rebuild. A team that one could argue had the worst defense in the league, the worst goalie play in the league, and a team with no true direction or identity the previous year.

    Murray started the season with one goalie who had failed to prove much given multiple opportunities and a diminutive goalie that had a dozen good NHL games. The team had 7 different starters the previous year.

    He started the season with a defense of:
    08 Kings #5 Pressing
    08 Oilers #5 Greene
    08 Kings #9 Harold
    08 Flyers #9 Goat
    08 Wings #9 Quincey
    08 Ducks #5 O’D (He was #4 if you believe he was better than Schneider)
    08 Minors, 18 yr old DD
    JJ did play one full game, but I cannot count him in at the start.

    The defense was in the bottom third in GA and PK% in 08.

    Murray gave the players confidence to go out and become one best defensive teams in the league by the end of the season. This sounds easy, but it is not and it takes a knowledgeable teacher with a few gray hairs on him to do it right. It took the team 25 games to get the system down, but by about mid December Murray had turned a bunch of kids and 9′s and 5′s into a very strong unit. Even with the slow start we finished the season in or near the top third in GA and PK.

    Next, let’s look at the number of rookie games played. No matter how you define rookies (less than 100 games, less than 60 game, zero games) the Kings played more rookie games than any other team.

    Finally, I can recall a number of games where we were down a goal or two going into the third and we continued to play hard, every single shift. It had been a while since that was the case.

    Let me go with, Murray did one of the best coaching jobs in the league last year.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Guys, change of subject…

    In their evaluation of Hockey Canada’s recent orientation, a lot was made of Ryan Smyth’s performance during the camp by SiriusXM on The Point, saying his stock has risen for the Olympic team next year.

    That kind of pre-preparation bodes well for the Kings this season. Anybody else with inside information?

    Another off-note: Opinions about the firing of the NHLPA’s executive director Paul Kelly? Seems to me to be a palace coup, the inmates being taken for a con by… whom? Disgruntled former influential players, former leaders? I understand the NHL has its own biased, negative spin, but even taking that into account this move makes no sense for the players.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Finally, one last thing:

    My heart goes out to those whose homes are in jeopardy from the Station fire, along with the two firefighters killed last night. Seems like it will be a long, hot fire season this year.

    Another reason we need to get to Hockey season, as soon as possible.

  • Dan H.

    Luc received an offer he didn’t like. Kings told him to shop and come back and they’d match it…he didnt’ like that so he went to Detroit for more money.

    Forgive me for not feeling bad. Then he had the balls to bring that thing back here that he won with Detroit as if we’d want to see a cup that he won with them.

    I don’t want to see the cup in LA until our guys are playing for it or won it.

    I love Luc but this just sounds like a poor me story.

  • mrbrett7

    Ersberg-

    Every player in the NHL was unproven at one point or another. Guess what happens when they play? They either prove themselves, or they don’t…it’s rather simple.

    Patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and unlike the NBA or the NFL, you simply CANNOT build a winner overnight. It takes years and years and patience and even more patience.

    Every starting goaltender in the NHL was unproven when they came into the NHL. At some point, you have to let them prove themselves, and if they fail, you move on to the next guy. THAT is why you have them, so you don’t need to spend millions upon millions in the FA market.

    Scuderi and Smyth were brought in to fill specific holes, that the system does not currently have, for whatever reason. This isn’t abnormal. They were also brought in to reward the kids who are here, and have been here for their hard work to date. He gave up absolutely nothing to get them, yet he improved the overall roster in the meantime.

    Does the team need more? Yup, sure does. Does EVERY team in the NHL need more? Yup, they sure do. Look beyond the first 2 lines in Pittsburgh…many of those guys would have a hard time making most teams. Pittsburgh has spent all of it’s money on 5 guys. It helps they are damn good, but, at the same time…

    Take a look at Fluery in Pittsburgh…it took him almost 5 years to really establish himself as a #1 goaltender.

    Everyone wants to win now…nobody wants to pay the price in order to win, consistently, for 10+ years. Instanct gratification.

    BTW…Jet…I could not agree more. I would like to see the offense improve, but as far as I’m concerned, defense wins championships, offense is just fun.

  • PakiFro

    Hey Dan H. –

    Are you implying players shouldn’t take the Cup back home? Should players from the Toronto area on the Pens not go back to celebrate?

    The guy had lived here nearly twenty years at that point. His wife and kids were all from here. Why shouldn’t he celebrate in LA? It’s not like he took it to Staples Center during a Kings game.

  • Irish Pat

    Rich,

    Happy belated birthday dude! I hope it was a good one.

  • JDM

    Ersberg,

    Fair enough. Perhaps I am guilty of attributing tone to your type that wasn’t warranted. I think I mostly took umbrage with the carpet statement “trade some prospects” and the seeming distrust of going into the season with Quick as the #1. I’m all for bringing in some talent, and some prospects could be expendable, but its such a gamble. We could easily trade away the next Jokinen and keep the next 3 Aulins. That’s one of the reasons why we are where we are. Who do you trade? Campbell or Martinez? Voynov or Hickey? Roe or Azevedo or Kozun? King or Wudrick? I thinks its too hard to tell which of these guys will fill the hole or be a bust… got to give them some more time to round out. As for Quick, he’s the brightest spot in net we’ve had in so long and while no he is not a proven # 1 yet, that does not mean he can’t and won’t have a great season. I’m way too excited about him to get bogged down in what he has or has not done in the past.

    As for the 1a/b center thing, I prefer just to say 1 or 2. Its a relative term for any team. Kopitar is our #1, he would be Pittsburgh’s number 2 or 3. So do we need another center better than Kopitar? That would be a #1. Do we need one somewhere between Stoll/Zus and Kopitar? That would be a #2. Saying 1a/b sounds like you want another Kopitar. That’s great, but are any available? Isn’t Kopitar our #1 of now and the future? I know its just semantics, but for whatever reasons it bugs me. I guess in some weird way it seems like a subtle cop out of sorts to me, like you aren’t really sure what we need, or that you know what we need, but hope for more. A 1a/b center sounds like a center who is #1 on another team, but is only #1 because that team is weak at center (kind of like us), and if that is the case, how in the world are you going to pry away another center-starved team of their best center? I find it an unreasonable request. A #2 center is something I can jump on board with. Again, useless semantics and I’m really just arguing with myself. You can disregard my snarkiness though if you like the term, its a free blog :).

    Jet,

    Very well thought out argument. All great points, and I can agree that Terry Murray did a good job last year. But I still don’t think we can say one of the best. Yes, TM did a marvelous job with the defense. But it really won’t mean much if he can’t add the offense this year. mrbrett, its not JUST for fun. Offense wins games, defense ALLOWS you to win games. Insert championships for games if you like. We must at least be sound offensively in order to win anything, and I can only hope right now that TM can bring it all together. This is critical to being a great coach, and so far it remains to be seen.

    The defense got much shakier toward the end of last season. I’m going to hope that it was mostly due to the fatigue of a young team (something else that can’t happen again if we want to play in April and May… we can’t be tired in March!), but before I heap more praise on TM than just “he is great defensively” and bump him up to all around “great coach in the league”, I will need to see him improve on these things while maintaining the defensive success from the middle of last season. I’m hopeful, and I think he is capable, but part of me remains skeptical until I see it. And again, I worry if he can help turn Kopitar into a true superstar, something I think is very important to the long term success of the team. As much of that rides mostly on Kopitar, we all know it also often takes a great coach to coax the super out of a star.

  • Matt George

    Dan

    I didn’t read that the Kings would match an offer from an outside organization from the above.

    Do you have another source for that?

  • Dan H.

    Matt-

    My source is Rich’s interview above…this was inside it:

    I remember that I was told, `Why don’t you go to free agency, and let us know what you get, and we’ll match.’

    Luc never came back to the Kings with an offer…he went to Detroit.

    He took the money and ran which is his right, but isn’t that the same thing Rob Blake did and people hate him for?

    And Pakifro-

    No it’s fine to take it home but bringing it here where he played for what 15 years before he left and never won it to show it off here instead of his home in Montreal was kind of a slap I think. He probably didn’t mean it as such and like i said, I like Luc a lot, but I had NO interest in seeing the cup he won while in the hated Detroit come back here.

  • DellaNooch

    I think the discussion of Kopitar being the number one center is very premature, he’s 22, and for the most part has had linemates that are learning to play in the NHL as well. With that said, if he is flanked by Fro and a resurgant Williams this season, there is no reason he shouldn’t put up 80 to 90 points and put this arguement to rest.

    Jet – I agree with you about TM, he did a fantastic job with the defense. People take that for granted too much. Obviously, we were disappointed with the offensive production last season, if TM is to impress us further, it will be an offensive improvement (top 15 in scoring) this season with the same or better defense.

    I would like to note that we should have been speaking about Dave Taylor on this string, instead of DL, it was very disappointing to see him pass up on Luc back then. Perhaps his hands were tied by AEG though, we probably will never know, just like Luc.

    Lastly, Happy Belated Birthday Rich, I hope it was a good one.

  • Ersberg

    Brett/others-

    I get your point(s) regarding keeping the prospects, but as you’ve stated, but we have to take a risk at some time soon.

    At some point(now or very soon), Lombardi and gang(as with most management), must gamble on which mid-to-high range prospects they ‘must’ have or ones they can gamble away. It is indeed a gamble, there’s no denying that.

    The main problem is as we get better, we’re going to get less “solid” prospects, since we’ll be picking lower in the draft. We’re at the pinnacle of the re-build which is where it starts to get tougher to deal the older prospects away, because as you’ve stated, they’ll pan out or not pan out. We want to make a good gamble and let some of the guys go that hopefully won’t be as good as the ones we keep. Again, this is precisely where the management has, I believe, their biggest challenge.

    It’s virtually a scale with prospects on one side and proven players/UFA’s on the other.

    This is why I feel he could swing a deal for either Stoll/Zus+prospect OR pick for a mid-range priced 2nd line center. I’m not suggesting we throw the “farm” at expensive players.

    I’m targeting Stoll/Zus because they play a very specific roll for what their payed. Stoll is a PPQB/face-off specialist. Zus is a checking/shutdown center. Neither of them make plays, which is what we need to get the puck to Frolov/Brown or Smyth/Williams. We don’t need both for over a combined $7.6+m/per. We can live without one of them. Lewis(or another youngster) can play on the 4th. Moller could even play center for the 4th line.

    The prospect would be a guy like Voynov, Martinez, or even Purcell. I’m not suggesting we let go of Bernier, Hickey, or Teubert. Those are players that need to stick around long enough to know if they’re worth or not. The reason for this decision is self-explanatory.

    We don’t even have to make a trade for a center if we don’t want. Heck, we could sign Lang for a season and see how he goes(that’s just an example). Either that, or some other UFA. Remember, it’s one year, plus if Zus is bad this year, he’s UFA, too.

    Just so you’re aware, I’m all for patience, but I know Lombardi could swing a deal that doesn’t hurt us in the long run, while helping us in the short term.

  • tantrum4

    Dan H –

    The Kings didn’t give Luc an offer until 1 or 2 days before free agency started!! What were they doing since the end of the season? And then they offer Luc (their leading scorer and long time leader) a PAY CUT?? What a joke. For you to side with Dave Taylor on this is just plain crazy. I don’t blame Luc for walking one bit. It was obvious the Kings brass didn’t really care that much about keeping him anyway. He should have brought the Cup to Taylor’s house with a sign attached that read “In Your Face”….

  • JDM

    Ersberg,

    You know I actually agree with you in theory, my timetable is where I differ. I think the moves you talk about come next offseason. I think it is first more important to solve Frolov’s status – how much will it cost to keep him or how much will it cost to replace him? I also think it is very important to see what comes off Johnson first as well. The ramifications if he doesn’t step up this year could be intense, and require more money be thrown at the blueline and/or more d prospects be kept. If he finally excells, that opens up a lot of doors.

    Finally, deciding between zus and Stoll is no easy task. They play similar roles, but very different games. Who is more important? I really like having both, and would hope that at the end of his contract Zus signs for cheap as 4th line center and Stoll is the long term 3rd line center. Ideally, we fill that 2nd line center position from within with one of Moller, Loktionov or Schenn, but how long will that take and can Stoll/Zus sustain us to that point? I think we can easily ride them one more year, possibly two to the end of Zus’ contract. But again, I think a lot of this will have to do with how Frolov’s position resolves itself.

  • Matt George

    Dan -

    Thanks for the clarification … I read the thing so fast I must’ve over looked it before.

    That changes things for me…

    I think I’m siding with you on this one.

  • Matt George

    By the way … The Blake situation (the second time anyway) was a little different in that it was very difficult to watch him skate on his retirement checks here .. .then bolt for San Jose and skate like hell.

    Blake will always be synonymous with Jerk as far as I’m concerned.

  • jet

    Ersberg — Would you rather give a Lewis or Moller a shot at the 2nd line and pick up some help in Feb. or use your cap space and deny the youth experience to bring in a vet now?

    JDM _ wrt, “As much of that rides mostly on Kopitar, we all know it also often takes a great coach to coax the super out of a star.”
    I do not think a coach can beat a player into working harder to become a superstar in this day and age. There is just too much easy money offered by some soon to be fired GM (habs, rangers, did i say that). What the coach can and should do is find what motivates each player and work with him to come to a common framework to reach team goals. You are more likely to teach a motivated player who can’t skate to skate, than a lazy great skater to be motivated. This is why DL told Kopi that it has to come from within, he has to push himself to be the best he can be. Don’t forget his Dad was his coach, so whenever he took a shift of he would hear about it. That is a big difference compared to “deciding how far to push yourself”.

    This is also at the heart of DLs formula for draft selections.

    Bako — sorry for stealing the thread, but it is great to be able to banter with high hockey IQs.

  • Dan H.

    Matt-

    I have NO argument with the Blake thing. The only insult was that he played well last year after stinking up our end all year before that.

    Luc had what every athlete really wants…best offer and WHERE he supposedly wanted to play.

  • Ersberg

    Jet-

    I’d roll as follows:

    Kopitar
    and/or
    **Newly aquired center
    Moller
    Handzus

    Unfortunately, Stoll would most likely be the player most teams would be after because he’s younger, cheaper, plays PP, faceoff specialist, and good character.

    Zus is an awesome shutdown two-way center, leaning more towards the goal-scoring.

    Lewis would definitely see some ice time, too.

    JDM-

    I hear ya, I just think a center might cost us less than we think, and again, a one year deal isn’t all that hard to swallow or we deal Stoll+prospect/pick for one.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Jet–No problema.

    I read better than I write.
    :)

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Besides, I like what Ersberg and Dan and you have been saying.

    Growing a team requires time and patience, but there is a point when pruning and replanting is necessary. In baseball as well as hockey, there is a need to trade certain players when their values have been maximized, versus waiting too long and watching their value die on the vine. In baseball, several days ago the Tampa Bay Rays traded a high value, high risk starting pitcher with a high contract to the Angels, even though the Rays were/are still pennant contenders. It was a matter of high value for an expensive, questionable piece. Now the Angels got what they desperately needed, a starting pitcher, and they could afford the high contract.

    For the Kings, when it comes down to it, perhaps a trade of one or more of the Vunderkind will be warranted. The baseball Angels, though, are playoff caliber and position, wanting to finish their internal puzzle. The Kings this year are not there yet. Too many changes would be of questionable risk, IMHO.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Oh…

    I want no part of the Stanley Cup unless the Kings Captain has lifted it in triumph, first.

  • jet

    Great discusion today thx dell, brett, JDM, ersberg
    & cric

  • mrbrett7

    Ersberg-

    Just my opinion…I think your putting your eggs into your basket too early here. 1 center (a #2 center in this case) will not make this team a contender.

    You only make moves like that, trading away prospects or younger guys, when you are on the cusp, and we are not…almost, but not yet.

  • Lucfan

    I’m happy you won the cup Luc. You were a great player and my all time favorite.

  • Captain Material

    “He took the money and ran which is his right, but isn’t that the same thing Rob Blake did and people hate him for?”

    Yeah…

    See, I would hope that Robitaille’s statements would give all those people who hate on Blake a little perspective for how he isn’t the devil and how demonizing him is ridiculous. I really didn’t expect people’s hate to override everything and make them turn on Robitaille instead.

    This organization has treated players, specifically in both these examples, rather poorly in terms of team loyalty to the player. My only real gripe with that is when people want to put such a stringent requirement on players to have team loyalty, but then when it comes to how the team acts, well, it’s all business.

    The double standard is ridiculous, and when you actually resolve the contradiction, coming down on either side, all the bashing and hate simply goes away and all that’s left is a good sense of how competent the organization is being run.

    Okay, you let a guy walk or dealt him instead of paying the contract…did it work well for the team?

    In the Blake trade and with the players involved in that and the Allison deal (Blake, Murray, Stumpel, Rienprecht, Aulin, Miller, Deadmarsh, Allison, Eloranta) between the 2000/2001 and 2003/2004 seasons, the players the Kings dealt away played 836 games for 227 goals and 607 points. The players they recieved played 620 games for 103 goals and 298 points.

    Not definative numbers, but a decent starting point for looking at how well DT was doing with regards to the Blake move and the way he shaped the team. And that doesn’t even include Robitaille’s lost production.

    Ripping on Blake sure does distract from the reality though, doesn’t it?

    “Then he had the balls to bring that thing back here that he won with Detroit as if we’d want to see a cup that he won with them.”

    All I can say is how greatful I am that most fans don’t feel this way, both across the league or here in LA. My experiences at games with other LA fans hasn’t shown me that we tend to be that highly noble, but thank god we aren’t as classless as that. That there is some sour grapes.

  • Krystoff

    I love Luc, but haven’t the players been asked to lower their expectations on contract numbers? And most of our players are at the beginnings of their careers. How old was Luc at the time? 38?
    At that time in King’s history, as well, the purse strings were shut up tight. Heck, we lost Boucher because Taylor couldn’t get the team to pony up just over 2 million, from what I’ve heard. Maybe I’m wrong, but Luc wasn’t the only victim of the tight purse strings.
    And, if it was such an affront, why did he come back? Just an addendum I’d like to hear…

    As for trading prospects, didn’t we just trade our best offensive defensive prospect (Quincey) for a 33 year old?
    Seems to me, we’re already playing that game, not to mention O’Sullivan again, as well…

    Arrivaderci!

  • Chewy Rocky Horror

    I see a lot of you are throwing DT under the bus. We all know TL was running the team. He decided to go the cheap route instead of signing Luc. The following year he let Boucher walk.

    I remember the ’02 SOTF meeting. TL said, “we would rather pay a young impact player like Allison, than an old player that went to Detriot.” TL was begging Luc to come back after his contract was up with Detriot.

    Luc was right, they were close after the ’01 season. They got Allison & the Heinze signing added depth. Luc on Allison’s wing would have been lethal.

    For the one that said the Blake situation was similar, it wasn’t, Blake never wanted to sign. He wanted to test the FA market and forced the kings hand. Blake is a piece of crap.

    Luc = Class
    Blake = Piece of crap

    TL = Peter Chernin & Chase Carey. All 3 had no business running major sport franchises.

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