HockeyFest wrapup/Heatley

Thanks much to those who passed along birthday wishes. It was a good weekend, and I don’t feel THAT much older, thankfully. By all accounts, HockeyFest was a great success, and my former colleague, Eric Stephens, did a nice wrap-up on NHL.com. Helene Elliott of the Times also did some fantastic coverage of the event, but I don’t have one specific link, so check out their site and read her coverage from the past few days.

Also, I find it more than a little humorous that various outlets — specifically on the web and/or in Canada — have run with the story that the Kings are “out of the running” when it comes to trading for Dany Heatley. My question is, don’t you have to be IN the running before you’re out of it?

The rookie camp is starting soon, and I’m really looking forward to seeing some hockey, as I’m sure you are too! I’ll continue to post Luc Robitaille’s great Q&A answers as well this week.

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  • macdup

    Hockey Fest was a good time. I would like to see more forums with current players.

    Here are some pictures I took at the event:
    http://tinyurl.com/hockeyfest

    It was cool to be in Starbucks and have Luc walk in and everyone knows who is but no one mobbed him. Classy.

    -Dave

  • Paul from Oxnard

    Rich,

    Are there any dates/times on the full training camp yet? And would you be able to repost the schedule for the rookie camp?

    Thanks.

  • Aaron

    Rich,

    Have you heard any reaction from the Kings regarding the NHLPA firing Paul Kelly?

  • pobo the hobo

    Hey Rich,

    Wondering if you could answer a question…

    At the “kick off party” they announced that Fro and Smyth would be the only 2 kings not to attend the event, yet Ivanans was nowhere to be found. Just wondering if you could clarify why he was absent without notification.

    Thanks and happy belated birthday.

  • 28 KINGS

    We were never in it to begin with, it was all speculation via the Canadian press and poo slinging bloggers.

    Both Lombardi and Hextall have serious issues with Heatley’s character, and have said so on numerous occasions. They last thing they want to do is bring in a guy who could disrupt a young impressionable group, no matter how many goal he can score.

    “”Do I want to bring in a Dany Heatley with all that baggage? It might work,” Lombardi said. “But I don’t think we’re in a position where we can afford that. … Maybe a change of environment and he grows up. But my point is, do we need to take that risk right now? It scares me.”

  • Bryan

    I asked Stoll at the signing who his linemates are and he said Brownie and Smyth. But sounded a little hesitant/unsure about Smyth

  • Nick in 318

    Hey… NHL.com had an interesting list of ‘still remaining’ free agents… it made me think… why not sign Miroslav Satan… see if he would mesh on a line with Frolov & Kopi.. he had good stats even though he couldnt get chemistry going with anybody on the Pens… what do you think… if he goes unsigned for another few weeks i bet we could get him for cheap… or short term…
    also… elderstatesmen defensemen… i’d like to see Daryl Sydor back in our organization

  • Nick in 318

    also… i’ve ALWAYS wanted to see Nikolai Zherdev in a kings uni…

  • Ersberg

    Thanks for the pics.

    Anze looks like he’s in pretty good shape.

  • kasket

    Hockeyfest was awsome!!! I got to get my ass kicked by Jack Johnson on NHL 10. It was the best ass kicking I have ever received.

  • Brent

    I read somewhere that Ivanans’ wife was just about to give birth to a child, so he got a pass as well. Hope the baby, mom, and dad are all doing well there.

  • luke20

    Absolutely fantastic! Hockeyfest had a different feel to it than most other events. Everyone was excited that the fans were there. “I hope you are enjoying it.” I heard over and over. Yes, the family had a great time!

  • PUCKBOY 25

    IMHO Dean never says he will not trade for Danny, he says he’s scared to do it. Now i’m not saying Dean will make the deal but I just don’t get a definative “NO” from what dean says. Dean is very smart, if the deal was right for the KINGS he WILL do it. I’m just saying I don’t read that the KINGS are “out of the running”

    Nobody here knows what kind of person Danny is in the locker room.

  • Matt R
  • JB

    Well not to split hairs but I guess it depends on how you define in the “running”. Dean’s quotes as posted above aren’t totally slamming the door. Sounds like he was willing to listen to what Ott wanted in return. To me that’s in the running, if you really weren’t interested then you’d do what Burke did and say NO WAY from the get go.

    No problem with listening but the speculation should be expected especially when people are starved for any glimmer of hockey news.

  • David

    Why wasn’t Marty McSorley on the Enforcers Panel with Stu Grimson & Brad Norton? That seemed like a no-brainer.

    I was very impressed with Ray Ferraro. He was extremely articulate and well spoken.

    Lastly, it was great seeing the Triple Crown Line together, although Marcel Dionne seemed to hog the microphone throughout the interview.

  • lordstanleyscup

    Rich,

    Do you know who the Kings player representative is? Would be interested to get his take on the NHLPA Executive Director situation, and the turmoil associated with it for the past few years.

  • Matt R

    I’m sure this is probably one of those stupid rumors with no basis in reality, but: http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eklund/Tale-of-Two-Swedes-Forsberg-Focused-on-NHL-Sundin-to-LA-e3-Edm-Ott/1/22747

    Just curious what possible use we could have for a 38 year old player with a year or two left in his career. Or what use a 38 year old with a year or two left in his career could have with a team that is probably a few years out from being able to challenge for a cup. Is it just me or does that make Sundin to LA insanely unlikely?

  • nykingfan

    Nick in 318

    Copy and paste of picture of his face onto a Kings uniform. That’s about as close as I’d like to see him in a Kings uniform..besides we had that type of player and traded him.
    Sully!

  • AK47

    Matt,

    I just read that too.. Pretty interesting, maybe Sundin can be Kopitar’s mentor and be our 2nd line center?

    Frolov – Kopitar – Williams
    Smyth – Sundin – Brown
    Lewis – Handzus – Simmonds
    XX – Stoll – XX

    I think he’d fit nicely as a “bride” player, sign him to a 1-2 year contract

  • variable

    thanks to MATT GEORGE for the pass…!

    it was an interesting gathering…
    everybody associated with the event were really nice and polite…for a 1st year event, it seemed like attendance was good…i went on sat. fro 12:30-5 and on sun. from 10-11:30…it seemed like there were about 500 people at any given time, milling around or attending a q&a…

    a couple of things…:

    - frolov…
    the good news – apparently preliminary talks have begun…when i say prelim, i mean the kings have finally learned how to say “let’s have some coffee sometime real soon” in russian…hextall fielded a question from a fan and basically gave a short and direct answer saying that both parties are assessing what each sides plans are and will going from there…hexy was very precise in explaining that doughty’s contract is something that could be considered in fro’s negotiations/contract budget and they have to look at all aspects of any decision…
    …and this is the good news…(!)

    the bad news – is what the good news could translate to…: wagon circling and blaming future contracts in getting in the way of a “fair” deal…maybe i’m reading to much into it, but d.l. didn’t even flinch when the question was asked, yet instinctively looked straight ahead, deferring to hexy as if they rehearsed the scenario…hexy gave, what i thought, was the most direct answer i’ve ever heard him give regarding contracts…what i’m starting to expect is fro having to come back from russia in great shape and play unquestionably his best in camp…and MAYBE, as early as the first 2 weeks of the season, a deal is done…i have a feeling fro will concur with the aforementioned and force the kings’ hand…we all know he wants to stay in l.a…we shall see…

    - DD is in…
    as far as t.m. is concerned, davis drewiske has a defensive slot and it’s his to lose…or tighten…

    during the same q&a, t.m. praised dd’s consistency and readiness…d.l. also suggested that he would like to see teubert, hickey, bernier and voinov play another full year in the minors…d.l. went so far as to say that unless ones of those d-men go on to have a “simmonds-like” camp, they will probably stay in the minors, at least, initially…

    - pics of the other dd…
    i have some great drew doughty pics of him playing playstation with and without davis drewiske…i will try to send all y’all a link tonight or tomorrow…

    - personal observation…

    luc robitaille is something special…

    i know this is just another one of those little things, but…
    i found myself walking in between events and ran into an impromptu autograph session of robitaille…a father and son had brought what i briefly saw as a 80′s team photo, blown up on poster board…

    after talking briefly to them, luc took the poster board from them and said he would be back in hopefully 5 minutes…after talking to the dad, it turns out that luc was trying to find kelly hrudey, one of the misiing signatures on the pic, who was also in attendance participating in the experts conference hosted by john buccigross (who also literally ran into me and gave me a double-slap pat on the back and chest)…

    some time went by, but a courteous staffer came down periodically to give him updates as to what was going on and why there was a delay…at this time, the lovely heidi androl emerged…being one of the only “single” men around, took notice immediately and put on my best smile as we exchanged hellos…and phone numbers (EDITOR: writer’s embellishment)…

    anyway…luc was actually running around, searching for hrudey…how cool is that…?!…luc, future hall of famer and president of a sports team, chasing down an autograph…no assistants…no security…just luc waiting patiently himself, as it was discovered that kelly was doing press interviews at the time…but eventually, luc emerged and gave the awaiting family what they sought…

    i just though it was another reason why we are all lucky to have luc…

    overall, i thought the event was very cool…even though i missed friday’s surprising speech by brownie and i didn’t stay for bob miller’s q&a and storytelling session, i had a good time and enjoyed the social gathering of what was definitely a positive step for hockey in so cal…

  • MacSwede

    nykingfan,

    To compare Sundin to Sully is just insane. Sully can be lucky if he accomplish half the career of what Sunding have had in NHL and the national team.

    I think it would be really nice to have Sundin in the lineup, not only as a mentor, but as a player..

    He has a great shot, and he can play as pointman in Power play to replace the missing Quincey.

    He WILL be a great mentor to Anze.

    Though, I highly doubt that Sundin will sign for the Kings. If he returns, it will be to a more cup contending team.

    Eklund is shooting from the hip as always..

    regardin Kopi; I also thinks he looks more fit in the pictures, and Simmonds looks bigger!

  • MacSwede

    From the article about Anze Kopitar posted earlier:

    “The latest proof of Kopitar’s commitment to his craft came in July, when he returned to Los Angeles for an intensive three-week program under new strength coach Tim Adams. Kopitar said he “immediately clicked” with Adams — formerly with the NFL Broncos and the Raiders — and appreciated his efforts to break up the monotony of a day in the weight room. “We even did some running on the beach in LA,” said Kopitar. “I was a big fan of that exercise.”

    Man! that sounds good to hear!

  • Ersberg

    Macswede-

    I believe he meant Zherdev.

  • mrbrett7

    If that was who he meant, that would make MUCH more sense, when comparing him to Sully.

  • nick in 318

    I was meaning Zherdev… but i think both of them would have something to prove… and would mesh well with our European players…

    i’d take Sundin anyday… imagine his influence on Moller for example

  • macdup

    RE: David

    Regarding Marty McSorely:

    From: http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=22718&blogger_id=125

    Heavyweights Stu Grimson and Brad Norton were talking about the art of fighting in hockey while I was interviewing Hrudey and Ferraro, so I missed a lot of what was said. (side note: Many were asking why Marty McSorley wasn’t included last night as well as in the fighter series today and I was simply told “He was invited”.)

    I would have loved to have Marty there. Someone asked in one of the panels with Kelly Hrudey what really happened with the stick call. Kelly said that he never asked Marty and that you would have to ask him. He did say that almost everyone, including himself, played with an illegal stick. Luc chimed in noted that Fraser did not want to call it and tried to make it look like the stick was legal but it was so badly illegal he could not do anything but call it. It was very interesting to hear from two players in that game and Jim Fox about the situation. I feel like I have a bit more closure on that event.

    As I was driving home I thought about how in 40+ years that it was all broken down to just an 11 minute highlight reel. Kinda sad. Also thought about next years panels and since they brought out the big guns with Marcel, Dave, and Charlie who will they invite next? Gretzky?

    -Dave

  • nykingfan

    “Nick in 318 said:

    also… i’ve ALWAYS wanted to see Nikolai Zherdev in a kings uni…”

    That’s what I responded to.
    Sundin was a great player..still 100% better option that either Zherdev or Sully..but I don’t see the fit with our team. Kopi’s got Smythe to be that guy he can go to. We’ve got a solid top 6 forward group. I just don’t see the rationale.

  • MacSwede

    Sorry nykingfan,

    I realize now that you ment Zherdev, and that makes MUCH more sense ;)

    As I said, I dont think Sundin will go to Kings, but It wouldnt hurt at all..

    I keep reading of this Kings rumours, everything from Sundin to Heatley to Kessel. But arent the management done now?? At least it feels so. But why the rumours?

    Kessel admitted that Kings were interested in him.

    I think we should stay with the current roster. Next year we can get a 2nd line center, because then we know if Kopit is a true no.1 or not (maybe he is our 2nd).

    The ONLY thing I think we might add to our current roster is another defenseman, a guy who can move the puck and play in PP.

  • Paul from Oxnard

    @MacSwede:

    I do believe the Kings are done, at least until the trading deadline, barring an injury of course.

    I don’t think they’re interested in Sundin. While they might like Kessel (who doesn’t?), if we’re talking about an offer sheet I doubt it would happen given the warnings DL gave out about submitting offer sheets for Kings players. Now, could he come over in a trade? Kessel for Frolov? Things that make you go hrmmm……

    Regarding getting a puck moving defenseman that can play the PP, that’s the same wish every other NHL GM has and I doubt there are any left available at this point.

  • RogerD

    I don’t think the club should sign Zherdev….he’s too risky,and would probably bolt for the KHL the minute he gets a substantial offer from a club overseas.

    Also, in case any of you are into fantasy hockey, Yahoo! just opened their registration yesterday, and you should check out http://www.fantasyhockeywire.com for great fantasy content, and the draft guide is awesome.

  • nykingfan

    No problem MacSwede

    Kessel would be an interesting move. There’s no way Boston can keep him. They don’t have the room under the cap. He’s young enough to be considered part of the future. He comes with issues, but nothing as bad as Heatley’s.
    I don’t know what the Kings would have to give up, but I would think it would be fairly significant.
    While Boston has to trade him, there are enough teams with the room to fit him under the cap that would drive the asking price up.

  • mrbrett7

    Kessel and Jack Johnson aren’t exactly the “best of friends”, if you know what I mean.

    To put it lightly…they hate eachother (from what I’ve read in various places).

  • Matt George

    A few weeks ago I was driving cross country and listening to NHL on XM … i forget the name of the particular show but one hour they focused on Boston.

    For twenty minutes … no kidding … all they talked about was Kessel and how important he is to that franchise and it’s future and how they were going to figure out a way to keep him.

    I honestly don’t know much about the guy but from the way they were talkin .. good stuff all the way around.

  • Matt R

    And they’d get over it real quick if they wanted to keep their jobs.

  • Matt George

    Oh and no prob Variable!

    Glad you had a good time and thanks for the update!

  • nykingfan

    Yeah…they’ll both get over it quickly or neither will be playing very long in the league…especially the guy who just signed a short contract and has done nothing yet in his career. JJ will have no choice but to kiss and makeup and kick his ass after they raise the cup together.

  • mrbrett7

    Just sayin’…that’s all. Kessel has a reputation as a baby. He was benched in the playoffs for a reason.

  • nykingfan

    mrbrett7

    I hear what you’re saying.
    Things always look a lot rosier from the outside.