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2019-20 Off Season Thread

Discussion in 'Los Angeles Kings' started by PuckinUgly57, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    The title of this is misleading but saw this on Sportsnet:



    I didn't see anything there that says the Kings are considering it, I read Kypreos stating it - two different things. I'm sure the Kings have considered it - they would dumb not to - but I have yet to read anything from legitimate sources around the team that this is a realistic option. I'd expect that new from Teh Blog or something, not meathead Kypreos across the continent in Canada.

    He currently has 2 years/$14 million ($12 million cash) left on his deal. A buyout would be brutal for LA, especially in the second year - it would be roughly $2.92 million/$5.42 million (more than his actual cap hit of $5.25 million now in 2020-21)/$1.42 million/$1.42 million. Tough spot to be in either way, whether he stays or goes.

    It's really too bad he fell off a cliff this season, it was a miracle Blake was able to unload Gaborik and his contract, and for the remainder of the season after he arrived he looked like a solid 4D with leadership abilities and perhaps he would be able to finish out his contract and retire.

    I wasn't expecting him to look like an AHL defender at all this season so I was pretty surprised to see how bad he had become and yet another big dollar albatross on the Kings.
     



  2. Psych3man

    Psych3man Active Member

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    3. Chicago-- Turcotte-from Chicago, emulates Toews
    4. Colorado-- Cozens (drafted Makar, so hopefully leave Byram alone)
    5. LA-- Byram (hell yes!)
     
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  3. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    I agree with this, if he falls to LA definitely take him. I do feel having a back up plan for center would be more beneficial however with Kopitar getting older and probably moving to 2C in the next few years and Carter no longer a 2C option and most likely being moved to 3W this upcoming season barring serious improvement in his play in training camp. The Kings need to address this area with these two and also with Vilardi's status up in the air.

    Kempe was a stud during the IIHF tournament, all components of his game were on full display. If anyone hasn't seen highlights of him, go check it out - he looks like a completely different player than what we have seen the last 2 years and for the better. It was pretty amazing to see him, he dominated. The question is however was it the larger ice, teammates, or maturity in his game? It's hard to say which one or if it was a combination of all three.

    If he returns to NHL action looking like that, then the 2C situation is resolved. If he looks like has the last 2 years in the NHL, a decision needs to be made on what the solution is. I personally think he is way more effective on the wing and the Kings are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with this whole let's keep trying him at 2C experiment. He is not a center and I don't think he ever will be.

    Ideally I'd like to see LA draft Turcotte, but I don't think he will be available at when LA picks. Chicago is who I think will draft him as a replacement for Toews. The Kings will get a good player at the 5 spot no matter what, and if that is a defenseman I say take them because Doughty is going to be getting older too but if a solid center is available that would be my first choice because Doughty isn't into his 30s yet.
     
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  4. histkng23

    histkng23 Member

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    Personally, I would like to see the Kings take either of these 3 players if they are available at #5; Dach, Cozens, or Byram. Dach or Cozens could fill either the 1C/2C slots, especially with the uncertainty of Vilardi. From what I have read concerning them both is that Dach seems more like a natural center, while Cozens might actually project more to a RW. But either would be quality players.

    I do feel the Kings should jump on Byram though of the 3 options. Blake seemed to have spent the last 2 years loading up the forward corps, even Mayors Manor did an article about the Kings having too many forwards in their overall make up. While it sounds like Durzi & Anderson had very productive postseasons with their respective teams, and could be quality players for the Kings in a few years, I don't know if I'd categorize them as a 1D or 2D. Byram should definitely slot in nicely with Doughty and the rest. When Lombardi was building the team, he had the motto of "you can't have enough defensemen," in that they are viewed as more valuable assets than forwards relatively. The team has been suffering tremendously on defense ever since the Voynov debacle, as we have discussed. This might be a draft where the Kings take the year to load up with more D.

    As for Blake, when it was announced that he was going to be the Assistant GM, and then ultimately rising to GM, I was very nervous. Call it superstition, but I just felt like Blake (and his frat buddies, Emerson, Murray, et all from the mid 90's to early 2000's teams) never were overly successful with this franchise, let alone in their entire careers in the NHL. Sure, Blake won the cup, once, with Colorado in 2001, but that team already was stacked. What I'm getting at, is that I'm not sure any of them truly have the knowledge to build a quality team. Deano had that knowledge, and his team building was successful. He just got bitten by his own success, by being too loyal to certain players. But it was refreshing when Dean came in, because he had absolutely no previous ties to this club, and was able to build it the way it should have been built decades before. Blake just made me feel like the organization was looking to the past (one that wasn't too great, just meh). I think this should be the last year for Blake, Robitaille, even Beckerman of AEG (the franchise has regressed since he ascended to Lieweke's position), if this team doesn't start to show some signs of improvement.
     
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  5. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    Skinner signs Friday night, 8 years/$72 million. That's more than Crosby or Stamkos.

    He's a good player and just scored 40 goals but damn, that sure seems like a lot for a player like him.
     
  6. Psych3man

    Psych3man Active Member

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    Hockey Prospect Black Book sees Cozens more as a winger.

    "Cozens is an explosive duel-threat center who we think is more suited to the wing. The reason we suggest that he’s more
    likely to translate as a winger is due to his hockey-sense. In order to become a dominant-center who can drive play like
    Cozens tools might suggest he could theoretically in the NHL; he needs an excellent-rate of anticipation and a high degree
    of spatial awareness when carrying the puck. In Dylan’s case, he falls short of either."

    (Great read for draft geeks. $50. Now Available!!! 2019 NHL Draft Black Book - HockeyProspect.com)
     
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  7. Stunner_At_Staples_Kings

    Stunner_At_Staples_Kings Giant Member

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    All of the Kings were crushing in international play. Unfortunately, this was not a one-off, and Kempe always crushes in international play. Would love to have that transition, but I'll wait to see if his game translates. That would solve a lot of issue for sure, especially with his chemistry with Grundstrom last year. Nice little line of Grundstrom-Kempe-? (Even Toffoli could potentially thrive with some speed around him).

    I am on board with a lot of guys discussed on these boards, and was just throwing out my opinion that it'd be cool with me if among those choices was that defenseman. They keep saying Hughes and the Finn, but I see a boatload of good to great players in there. Still bummed Kings lost the draft lottery so bad, but in hindsight, it might all be good.
     
  8. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    The more and more I am reading about this year's draft class as well as organizational needs, I think Stunner is onto something with taking Byram if he is available at that spot.

    While I think center is an area they really need to address, from 2016-2018 of the 18 picks (4, 7 and 7 picks in those years) 7 have been centers in various rounds:

    2016 - Essymont (5th)
    2017 - Vilardi (1st), Anderson-Dolan (2nd), Rymsha (5th)
    2018 - Kupari (1st), Thomas (2nd), Dudas (4th)

    If we're going with the Dumbo school of thought and just load up at positions and law of averages state one will work out, hopefully one of these guys can develop and be a replacement for Kopitar as a C1 within 2-3 years, dropping him to C2. Amadio has a lot of untapped potential from what I have seen, and while 2018-19 was a strange year for him I can see him having a solid 2019-20 and taking hold of the C3 position by 2020. Carter will have either moved on by then or will become a C4 or W4, but that last center slot can be filled with cheaper options whether that be a budget UFA signing or trade (like they tried with Mitchell).

    Doughty is a franchise defender but will turn 30 in December and someone does need to be groomed to take over as a number one defender. I don't see anyone in the system currently who can fill that role, and there is and has been a significant drop off in talent after Doughty even when both Muffo and Martinez were here.

    Byram is projected to be a solid number one defenseman with skills at both ends of the ice (dude led the entire WHL, regardless of position, in playoff scoring, I think 8G/18A in 22 games. Granted Juniors isn't the NHL but that's impressive), excellent skating ability and a very high hockey IQ. His size a bit of a concern at 6'0/190 or so, but he is young and will be able to bulk up. At that height, I think if he can hit 205 pounds he would maximize his skill set and also handle the physical play of the NHL a little bit better.

    He is ranked as the number one defender in this draft, and some combination of Hughes/Kaako/Turcotte are who I see going 1-3 so it may come down to the Avalanche at number 4 and the Kings at number 5. They just signed Makar and have Barrie and Gerard as some skilled puck moving defenseman, so I am not sure if they would take Byram because they need help up front.

    Chicago could be the team that takes him, they need to find replacements for both Toews and Keith so I can see them taking either one of Turcotte or Byram. I think if we see some pick movement between the Kings and either the Hawks or Nordalanche either before or during the draft we will know more of what they plan to do.
     
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  9. Stunner_At_Staples_Kings

    Stunner_At_Staples_Kings Giant Member

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    I was on board with the Blake moves early on to be honest. I liked how he stopped the bleeding of 1st round picks and started the farm rebuild 3 years ago now. I also like how he doesn't seem to be complacent, and fully admits that moves need to be made (And actually made a fair amount of moves over the past few years). That all being said, the product is currently shit, and that "We only interviewed one guy, and it was John Stevens", followed by the Desjardins hire are real hard to like on any level. Those are on him entirely, and therefore the resulting product is as well. He got good value for Muzzin, and it's been exciting to actually have young Kings players in some of these major tournaments, so there's some potential in the works for sure.

    At this point, I'm all in on Blake/Robitaille getting this summer and next to fix this mess, and then that's it (And we'll pretty much know by the end of this summer if progress is going to be made). I like the potential that could be coming, and I will hold off judgement for now.

    As for who I want to pick, I sort of said where I'm at. I don't disagree that getting a top Center or forward is a solid move, and maybe that is the move to be made, but I just got excited at the idea of stud defenseman as well. But they're all kids, and maybe he ends up being Karlsson 2.0, who can't play d but scores a ton, and wants a ton a money.
     
  10. Stunner_At_Staples_Kings

    Stunner_At_Staples_Kings Giant Member

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    Too much in my opinion, but it seems like market value. Skinner wanted to go to Buffalo, so he could pad his stats and get this contract, so mission success on his part, but he would not be the guy in my opinion. This has Lucic contract written all over it.
     
  11. Stunner_At_Staples_Kings

    Stunner_At_Staples_Kings Giant Member

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    So basically he's a high-end talent, and a moron. haha
     
  12. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    And that is my concern - why is that? Is it the larger rink? Is it national pride? Is it his teammates? Is it the quality of the competition (which was very low in this tournament, that needs to be pointed out)? There's just a lot of moving parts with Kempe, which makes it so difficult to figure out exactly what type of player he is or can be. His speed is known, he has some hands and some snarl but it just seems it doesn't all come together when he is in a Kings uniform.

    I'm hoping his success translates this season, the Kings could use at least one of their prospects to step up and make an impact. It's been some time since that happened, yet it seems many teams every year have players make that leap and become major cogs of a team. In Boston right now it's guys like Debrusk from the 1st round and Kuraly (5th round) and Heinen (4th round) that have stepped up and made a difference.

    Meanwhile, the Kings have not had any real success past 2014 with Kempe, and that is up in the air currently. I think Wagner could be that guy and maybe Luff too, but they are getting a little older now at 21 and 22 and really need to show what they are capable of and if they are part of this new group coming in.
     
  13. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    You have way more faith than I do my friend, I am over the Blakitaille experiment. Loved Robotile as a player, Blake not so much, but I think they are inept hockey operations guys. I would not give them next summer, if I'm AEG this summer and results of 2019-20 (within reasonable expectations) determine if he/they return or not.

    I'm tired of this franchise giving alumni cushy jobs they are not qualified for, this is exactly what happened right before Taylor was fired - there were popular names littered all over the office spaces but very little success. So far the Muzzin trade is looking to be a win, but that depends on the pieces that came back. Otherwise, his moves have been lateral or bad.

    Dumbo came in and cleaned out and that is the only time this franchise had success, I see something similar happening as soon as next summer too dependent on what happens this season.

    I know it's easier said than done but for the amount of payroll on this team, where they finished speaks volumes.
     
  14. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    I agree, but playing with Hughes will help as it did this season. I am not sure he will score 40 again, but from what I ahve read they had $8 million tagged for him but had to up it to $9 to keep him from hitting the market. In cash, he will be making $10 million in 2019-20 including a signing bonus. That is insane for a player like him.

    I also agree, this contract is going to burn them in a few years.
     
  15. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    Not sure if you guys saw but Dusty Imoo left LA for a job in the KHL I believe.

    He and Ranford are very respected around the league for helping goalies develop, Imoo turned Campbell's life - not just his playing career - around and could challenge Quick for the number one spot this fall, resurrected Budaj and has helped develop Peterson as well.

    Big loss for LA.
     
  16. LoCal Kings

    LoCal Kings Active Member

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    China is loading up on hockey, both coaching and players. Building up on their new KHL team, looks like they really want to have a competitive (relatively competitive) team during 2022 Beijing Olympics. Maybe hoping for Germany type run, especially if NHL players are out again. Best wishes for Imoo.

    #5 pick: definitely go for Byram if available. Defense should look good in 2 years with Byram, Doughty, Anderson, Clague, etc.

    That said, I know the Kings need forwards. Beyond Kopitar, I am not sure we have another legit top 6 forward. Toffoli could be, but not last year. I'm a fan of Brown, but don't think he should be top 6 in another year or 2 if Kings expect to be good again. There is potential for Kupari, or a healthy Vilardi, but neither is a given. Would be great if they could get that #8 pick Edmonton is reportedly shopping without taking on Lucic contract, in order to grab one of the forwards slated to go between #4 - #9. Otherwise, start looking at UFA forwards in 2020 and/or 2021.

    I think the Kings may be forced to start the year with with Carter, Quick, Toffoli, Martinez. Best to hope for is any of the aforementioned guys have a good 1st half, and the Kings can actually trade them by deadline.
     
  17. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    Stevens joining Stars coaching staff:

    Former Kings coach John Stevens to join Stars coaching staff - Sportsnet.ca

    I liked him as an assistant, he pushed all the right buttons in 2017-18 but this season I don't think he had a handle on things as early as training camp when word was getting out that the Kings looked like a mess.

    However, I also think he should have been given more than 13 games to try and put something together based on his tenure here and how much he is respected. Desjardins was a worse coach by far.
     
  18. Psych3man

    Psych3man Active Member

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    WTF Pucky?!?!

    Here's my post from 6/3:
    "3. Chicago-- Turcotte-from Chicago, emulates Toews
    4. Colorado-- Cozens (drafted Makar, so hopefully leave Byram alone)
    5. LA-- Byram (hell yes!)"

    Is Stunner buying you dinner every night and fetching your slippers?!?

    LMAO
     
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  19. Stunner_At_Staples_Kings

    Stunner_At_Staples_Kings Giant Member

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    I think I got you beat on starting the defenseman talk. I'm not above slipper fetching I guess, but wasn't needed in this case.

    5/29/19 asked what everyone thought about taking a defenseman, then next post mentioned Bowen Byram by name on 05/30/19

    upload_2019-6-13_12-30-8.png
     
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  20. LoCal Kings

    LoCal Kings Active Member

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    Maybe I'm just jaded, but I swear I saw more diving in these playoffs than before. Of course, the blown calls have gotten a ton of spotlight. Combine that with what sure felt like a rigged lottery, and it feels like the NHL is headed towards the same level as NBA.

    Tonight I've watched all of one quarter of basketball, the most I've seen in sometime. For as weird as the NHL as been, happy to say the NBA is still far and away more embarrassing than the NHL on its worse day. The diving by "super stars" is much more egregious.

    Congrats NHL, you're not quite yet competing for the lowest common denominator.
     
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