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Discussion in 'Los Angeles Kings' started by PuckinUgly57, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    The Athletic is pretty awesome, they have a deal right now where you can get the whole year for $24 so I jumped on that in December. They simply have coverage and analysis that the usual outlets do not, good reads.

    It is a subscription so you'll have to pay to read these articles (if you download the app, the first 3 articles are free). If you do not want to, I'll just C/P the Kings stuff.

    Kovalchuk frustrated, riding it out for now — The Fourth Period

    I think we all knew this, but you wouldn't know it from the smiles on his face and celebrations when the Kings score with him involved. He isn't the stereotypical "selfish Euro", he is a solid team player. I feel for him, signing here believing the Kings had a legitimate shot yet here we are at the halfway mark and the Kings are on track for a solid 5-6th pick if not better.

    This is all on Slick Willie, hands down. For whatever inexplicable reason he isn't a fan of Kovalchuk and mismanages one of the Kings' legitimate sniper options on a nightly basis. He should be kicked in the ass and out the door after Game 82 for that reason alone not to mention the other bizzaro decisions he has made, especially his love for B6 players and wrong deployment.

    1. Kings Second Half Questions
    Kings second half questions: Is Kopitar in decline? Should...

    Who is the real Anze Kopitar?

    In July, one of the questions I had for then Kings coach John Stevens was about his message for Kopitar, who was coming off a career-season of 92 points, being voted a Hart Trophy finalist and Selke Trophy winner.


    Stevens: “My message to Kopi was that last year wasn’t the outlier season. The year before that was. The year he had two years ago was out of the ordinary for him.”


    Last season, Kopitar had 17 goals and 43 points at the midpoint. This season, in 40 games, he has nine goals and 27 points, putting him on an 18-goal, 54-point pace.


    Athletic colleague Jordan Samuels-Thomas took an excellent and extensive look at Kopitar’s struggles in a film room offering on Dec. 11, noting that Kopitar was “pressing/forcing when he shouldn’t and taking chances in the wrong areas of the ice.”


    Of note, Kopitar has no power play goals. Seven of his assists have come on the power play, however. Early in his career, Kopitar scored plenty of power-play goals – a career-high 14 in 2009-10 and 12 in 2007-08.


    Considering his skill set as a gifted playmaker, those numbers aren’t expected at this point but it is somewhat surprising he hasn’t scored on the power play. Then again, many things about the Kings have been surprising this season.


    It was always going to be a big ask for Kopitar to match or even approach the impressive output of last season but Stevens was right on one point.


    Two years ago was truly out of the ordinary for Kopitar, in which he finished with 12 goals and 40 assists for 52 points, struggling with the weight of a big contract and the captaincy responsibilities.


    I suspect the second half of the season will provide a more complete answer about Kopitar’s capabilities and ability to lead the Kings out of the abyss.

    Does it make sense to wait until the offseason to trade goaltender Jonathan Quick?
    Probably.

    Normally, it would be a definitive yes because franchise goalies typically do not get traded in-season. But if the Kings were to get a decent return from a team looking for one final piece for a big push, that would be an exception, naturally.

    With Quick’s long list of accomplishments, he has little to prove. What he does have to do is show he can play a sustained period of time without suffering another injury, as he had two issues in the first half, including knee surgery.

    But the longer the reigning Jennings Trophy winner plays without injury will strengthen the Kings’ bargaining hand. It also might be more beneficial for the likes of Jack Campbell and Cal Petersen to have Quick around for the rest of the season to take full advantage of his mentoring abilities.

    Are there any reasons for future optimism?
    Other than rookie forwards Matt Luff and Austin Wagner, defenseman Sean Walker and goalies Campbell and Petersen … yes.

    There have been plenty of Kings forwards who have regressed (Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter, Adrian Kempe and the since traded Tanner Pearson).

    But Alex Iafallo, signed by the Kings as an undrafted free agent in April, 2017, continues to trend upward. The offseason thought was that he would be moved off the Kopitar line because of the acquisition of Kovalchuk. But Iafallo has been a fixture with Kopitar and Dustin Brown and is one of the few Kings forwards who is ahead of last season’s pace.

    In 41 games, Iafallo has 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists). He already has matched his goal-scoring output from his rookie season in 2017-18 and is four points from tying his point total from last season.

    2. The Case For/Against Trading Muzzin
    Rebuilding the Kings: The case for and against trading Jake...

    Los Angeles could get a decent-sized return for Muzzin – maybe even a coveted first-round pick or a high-end prospect. Though he’s been excellent for L.A. this season, he has maybe two to three legitimate prime years remaining. A good prospect would have a longer shelf life. Dealing him makes almost too much sense, unfortunately, because of how good a player he’s become.

    Furthermore, the Kings have him on a pretty good price point. If he gets a raise, it won’t be by a crazy high amount, which would keep him in their salary structure.

    This season, his leadership has also hit another level, per his teammates. This would be big in a rebuild or refresh as L.A. tries to revamp its culture.

    He’s young enough and has enough prime years left at a team-friendly deal to where you could make a decent case to keep him. It’s hard to develop a legit top-three defenseman in this league, and he certainly fits the bill.

    Dillman: What will likely happen with the Kings is a softer rebuild – not torching the whole village, even though social media is practically demanding it.

    They’ll need some core pieces to help guide them out of the wilderness and set an example for the less-experienced members of the D-corps. Muzzin has been their most consistent defenseman this season and is their second-best defenseman behind Doughty.

    That is more than enough reason to keep him.

    Going forward, Muzzin’s ability to play with almost anybody will serve the Kings well. His versatility on special teams is an asset, he has good vision on the power play, and he is effective down low on the penalty kill.

    The power of personality can’t be overlooked, either, as his chill approach is an effective counterpoint to, say, Doughty’s fiery emotion. It’s not a bad thing to have a wide variety of personalities in the dressing room.

    In a season in which most of the Kings are having subpar campaigns, Muzzin’s performance has been a rare positive note in the first half.

    As Josh pointed out, the price point on Muzzin is good, another good reason not to trade him this season. He is an asset worth keeping and could serve as a desirable rental when we are having this discussion a year from now.


    3. Kings/Ducks WJC Report
    Samuels-Thomas' Kings and Ducks WJC report: Comtois NHL...

    Rasmus Kupari, Finland – Kings

    Grade: A


    Kupari will be wearing a Kings jersey very soon. The 18-year-old winger’s play got stronger as games increased in importance. There were times throughout the world juniors that Kupari looked like the best forward in the tournament. His combination of size and speed is what made him a force for Finland, and what makes him a perfect fit for the future Kings.


    Kupari plays a powerful puck possession game that – at times – made him look like a man among boys. He’s not overly big, weighing in at just 185 pounds, but he’s incredibly strong on his skates which allows him to protect the puck as well as he does.


    This valuable set of skills doesn’t limit Kupari to ‘board-play’ or limit his creativity and ability to maneuver into open ice. Kupari possesses a sweet pair of hands that’s showcased through his creativity in open-ice and in tight space situations.


    His assist on New jersey Devils prospect Aarne Talvitie’s goal is an excellent example of Kupari’s speed in the neutral zone and the use of his size, strength, and skill to protect the puck from the Swiss defender and make a power move across the crease.

    I see Kupari’s playing style as a blend of Sebastian Aho (Carolina) and Joel Armia (Montreal). Kupari’s skating is far superior to that of Armia but shares similarities in creativity and possession prowess. Kupari reminds me of Aho when he’s in the open ice, both very gifted and don’t break stride when making moves on the fly.


    This was Kupari’s second year playing world junior after competing in last year’s tournament as a draft-eligible player. If Kupari is not in the NHL next season, expect to see him return to the world junior stage as one of the tournament’s top players.
     



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  2. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    Continued:

    Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Canada – Kings
    Grade: B

    Another player with a complete game

    Anderson-Dolan may not have had the offensive impact that he’d hoped for on a Canadian team that struggled to score goals outside a 14-0 beat-down of Denmark. In fact, Anderson-Dolan’s lone goal in five games played was scored during that Denmark game.

    I was surprised to see Anderson-Dolan struggle as much as he did offensively. To be fair, this was Anderson-Dolan’s first real game action after suffering a broken wrist in his second game with the Spokane Chiefs following his reassignment from L.A. Even though he was deemed healthy enough to play, an injury of that nature can definitely require some extra time for a player to regain their feel and touch with puck.

    Yet in the pre-tournament games, Anderson-Dolan looked extremely confident with the puck. He was strong below the tops of the circles, creative, and fearless when taking the puck to the net.

    His puck possession dropped off once tournament play began but that’s more of a reflection of Team Canada as a whole and their inability to establish a consistent forecheck. Anderson-Dolan’s ability, and willingness, to forecheck is the part of his game that is most NHL ready. Kings fans were able to see flashes of this during the five games he played in L.A. this season.

    I see a lot of the Ottawa Senator’s rookie center Colin White in Anderson-Dolan’s game. A dependable three-zone center that loves to shoot the puck and creates just as many offensive opportunities for himself as he does for others. It took White 50 games in the American League before earning a full-time role in Ottawa this season and I think a similar path would best serve Anderson-Dolan’s development.

    Anderson-Dolan’s unrelenting effort is the intangible trait that earned him 5-on-5, penalty-kill, and 5-on-6 ice time throughout the tournament. However, it was Canadian coach Tim Hunter’s use of Anderson-Dolan as the team’s shutdown center that really spoke to how dependable Anderson-Dolan is and a role he could fill for the Kings while he develops his offensive game at the professional level. Anderson-Dolan played with a couple different wing combinations throughout the tournament, but his spot as the team’s shutdown third-line center was constant.

    Even in Canada’s loss to Finland, the Anderson-Dolan centered line did a nice job in slowing down Finland’s top line all game. Anderson-Dolan wasn’t on the ice for either of Team Finland’s goals and was only on the ice for one even strength goal against all tournament. An impressive stat considering he was matched up against the opposing team’s top players most of the time.

    Like Comtois, Anderson-Dolan has a very well-rounded and reliable game. Unlike Comtois, Anderson-Dolan is still working toward finding his offensive touch that he displayed last season in the WHL (41-50-91 in 70GP). Once again, to be fair, it’s been an exciting yet tough first half of the season for Anderson-Dolan. He registered one assist in five games in the NHL before being sent back to Spokane.

    Mikey Anderson, USA – Kings
    Grade: A-

    Mikey Anderson followed in his brother Joey Anderson’s footsteps when he was named Team USA’s captain. The same position his brother occupied the year prior for USA’s Bronze medal team. The Anderson brothers won the NCAA national championship together last season as members of Minnesota-Duluth, with older brother Joey signing with the New Jersey Devils after the season.

    There’s no question that Anderson is ready for the pro game now, but is he ready to make an impact at the NHL level?

    While Vancouver prospect Quinn Hughes electrified fans and scouts love his elite skill set, Anderson may have been the most consistent blueliner for Team USA. The captain did it all for the red, white and blue – contributing on even strength, power play, and penalty kill situations.

    Anderson and D-partner Dylan Samberg (WPG) matched up and shut down the opposing team’s top forwards every night. The two played as a pair for two seasons at UMD which led to a very noticeable chemistry all tournament. The two played especially well against Russia during their semifinal matchup and followed that up with another gritty performance against Finland in the gold medal game.

    During this tournament, Anderson shut down first rounders’ and future NHLers and limited the line of fellow future King, Rasmus Kupari, to one goal in USA’s gold medal loss.

    The defensive job he did should leave Kings GM Rob Blake feeling confident in regards to Anderson’s future on the Kings blueline.

    Though I think it’s his most polished piece, Anderson provided more than just defense. Anderson, like Kupari played stronger as the games and moments grew in intensity and importance. The power play goal he scored in Team USA’s first tournament game is what sparked the comeback for an American group that had played sluggish until that point.

    Markus Philips, Canada – Kings
    Grade: B-

    Phillips is another Kings prospect that had a solid showing in Vancouver. The young, mobile defensemen’s slot on Canada’s top defensive pair to start the tournament was a bit of a surprise when announced before the New Year. However, it didn’t take long for Phillips to show that he wasn’t out of place. In five games Phillips registered three assists and finished with a plus-4 rating.

    Phillips was an efficient puck-mover from the blueline and was excellent in transition. He plays a steady two-way game but there’s definitely room for some growth on the offensive side and defensively against the more physical forwards.


    4. Brickley Projected as NHL Defender, Why In AHL (good snippets, not the whole article which is way too long)
    The Kings project Daniel Brickley as an NHL D-man, so why is...

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – It’s hard to separate what Kings prospect Daniel Brickley is currently as a professional hockey player and what he can eventually become.


    At the moment, Brickley is a 23-year-old AHL defenseman, plying his trade in the minors and learning to become an NHL defenseman, which is a bit of a disappointment for those who thought he’d make L.A.’s top six this year.


    But he has the mobility, the size, the vision, the shot and the passing ability to eventually have a career at hockey’s highest level.


    He was the most highly sought after collegiate free agent last year and Los Angeles recruited A-list comedian Will Ferrell to film a bit to help get Brickley to come to the Kings. Normally those guys play in the NHL right away, but not Brickley, which is puzzling for some around the game.


    “The outline is there but still some work ahead of him,” said an NHL team scout who watched Brickley recently.

    With Brickley, there is a little more than meets the eye. To the casual viewer he’s got NHL-level talent, but there was a learning curve that needed to be met. The Kings see putting Brickley in the AHL as important for his development so he can be with the team for a number of years. Having him in the NHL this season probably won’t help that cause, according to L.A.


    “We feel Dan’s going to be an NHL player for a long time and our motto has always been, ‘We don’t want to get you to the NHL quickly. We want to get you and keep you.’ I would rather have him play more games in the American League and have a 10-12, 13-year career rather than, ‘He’s going to play 70 games his first year.’ That wasn’t our goal,” Kings development coach Sean O’Donnell said. “Could he play in the NHL right now? Yeah. He could. Would it hurt his development? Probably. So our job is to bring him up. Show him what it’s like. Get back down, work on those things where the coaches are a little more forgiving. You make a couple mistakes in the NHL and you don’t see the rest of the game. That’s not helping the player.”

    There was a good reason why the Kings promoted Daniel in such a way and had such high hopes for him before he went through training camp.


    Generally the collegiate free agent who commands a bidding war, especially in recent years, tends to make an NHL impact quickly. Maybe not at an elite level, but certainly an impact of some sort. Part of the allure of college free agents is that teams get a more finished product, and on the cheapness of an entry-level deal.


    So when it didn’t happen there was obvious disappointment.


    “Everyone wants to play in the NHL. I don’t know how else to answer your question except badly,” Daniel said after a recent recall. “Nobody wants to get sent down.”

    “If you want to be a professional athlete, that’s what you have to do. You have to take the emotion and set it aside and understand when that puck drops, what happens inside the boards is all that matters,” said Daniel’s uncle Andy Brickley, the television analyst for the Boston Bruins. “You have a head coach. You have a GM, you have teammates, when the game’s going on that’s irrelevant. It’s ‘how good a player can you be? Do you have my back as a teammate? Are you doing your job? Do you understand what your role is? Do you relish that role? Do you execute that role?’ That’s all that matters.


    “This is a business of winning and losing. Yeah, there’s human beings that play it and there’s a lot going on, but once the game starts, none of that stuff matters and you have to be able to set that aside and do your job and be good at your job.


    “I think to be a young man and very little NHL experience to have to do that at the nth level right from the get-go is challenging.”

    The main reason why Daniel was sent to the minors had to do with his defense – and also because he didn’t have to clear waivers, unlike some other Kings blueliners who they could have lost for nothing had the players been put in the AHL.


    The team knew he had all the offensive, puck-moving tools but wanted him to spend time working on his physical positioning, stick position and other elements that could help him on his side of the ice.


    “Like defending and defending in his own end and being closer to their forwards and taking time and space away and being a little harder in his own end,” Kings director of player personnel Nelson Emerson said.


    Added Emerson, “I think if you talk to the people that have watched him a lot, and we all do, Dan’s gotta work on those parts of his game that defensemen need to work on. He’s gotta close quicker and he’s gotta take space away from the opposing forwards quicker. He’s gotta kinda read the play a little better.”


    Los Angeles decided a good course of action was to have Daniel work with O’Donnell, a veteran of 1,224 NHL games and a 2007 Stanley Cup champion.


    “He’s a very, very smart player. He understands the game. He gets it. Positioning is something that we’re working on,” O’Donnell said. “I’m not just talking about standing … but where your stick’s going to go. Trying to get him to understand what the other team is trying to do and take that away. Take away, you hear a lot of coaches talk about, ‘We’re not going to let them beat us with their best thing. We’re going to let them beat us with their second or third option.’ And as a defenseman that’s what you want to do.”
     
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  3. Stunner_At_Staples_Kings

    Stunner_At_Staples_Kings Giant Member

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    Nice to read about LA's prospects, and have some hope for the future. That was the main step I would commend Blake for, in noting that the "farm" needed to be rebuilt. He really miscalculated on seeing this team as a contender right now, but he has kept picks the past 2 years now, and it's such a nice change of pace to watch international hockey and know there are Kings players to root for.

    So what's the prevailing thought on who is mostly likely to be traded? They said in one of those articles that it might be Quick to "a contender" but didn't name one team who fit that bill and needed a goalie. Personally, I would hate Quick being sent out, and would name about 22 other players I'd rather see gone. Curious on what teams are a contender who need a goalie.

    Carter, I feel like writing is on the wall. Wish he never got hurt last year, and it's frustrating that he has begun to show glimpses of speed again. I almost with he could hang for one more year and see if one more summer doesn't let his leg come back to normality. But probably better to move a guy a year early than a year too late.

    I am on the soft-rebuild train though. Even moving Carter, Toffoli, and either of Martinez/Muzzin would drastically change the shape of this team and bring enough picks that this team could maybe be competitive again in 2 years or so. Or maybe I'm just hoping that's the reality.
     
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  4. LoCal Kings

    LoCal Kings Active Member

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    Yeah, good for folks to pass along those articles as many of us do not have the subscriptions. Thanks.
    Random thoughts:

    I suppose every rebuilding team encounters this problem, but it is damn hard to get high 1st round picks in trades. Most GMs who know they'll finishing out of the playoffs this year (or next) are highly unlikely to trade their 1st round selections. The current exceptions are of course Colorado who owns Ottawa's #1 (likely top 5), and Buffalo who owns St Louis' #1 (though St. Louis has option to keep it if the 2019 pick turns out to be a top-10 pick, and thus like Ottawa last year, give their 2020 1st rounder to Buffalo instead). Would be nice to get one of those picks.

    Regardless of how good or successful each team's GM is, there just isn't a lot of GMs around anymore that make those egregious, lopsided deals. (Kings have certainly had their fair share of dumb GMs over the years).

    Back to the Kings..... We've all heard the likely trade chips being tossed around: Quick, Muzz, Martinez, Toffoli, Carter. Out of those 5, Muzz and Toffoli have one more year on their contracts after this season. Just wondering if a team interested in either Muzz or Toffoli would want to trade for them closer to July 1st, when they would be eligible to sign a contract extension beyond the '19-'20 season. Just a thought, as they are also the only 2 on that list still in their 20s. The other 3 have longer term left, so teams know what they are in for contract wise.

    If the Kings end up trading one or more of the likely trade chips to a top contender like WGP, NSH, TOR, TBL, maybe CGY, then I sure hope they have some real good prospects to send back our way in return. Obviously their 1st rounders will be 20th-31st. Not sure if any of those top-flight contenders may be more likely to trade a good, young roster player after the season is over in order to stack up for 2020 (i.e., TOR trading one of their wingers if they fail to win this season). I guess this where you rely on the scouts to rank each team's pipeline.

    Specifically on J. Quick: Calgary comes to mind as the team that needs him most. They look to be real close, albeit a divisional rival. Though I thought Nashville could've ditched out on Rinne and gone after Quick after last years' playoff debacle. But as far as good, young prospects are concerned, one would think a team that has been in the toilet a little longer like CAR, NYI, BUF, maybe STL, who all likely want/need a goaltender, should have more enticing prospects to offer for Quick. I'll sure miss Quick if he is traded. Awesome Kings career, regardless of when it comes to an end.
     
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  5. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    I watched a lot of the WJC and it was a phenomenal tournament, a lot of teams have a lot of talent in their future. Kupari flat out dominated the whole thing.The kid has talent and is looking like a solid piece of the future.

    I think if Kupari makes the big show and plays well, it'll somewhat dampen the disappointment people have (at least I do anyway) in the Vilardi pick. I feel for the kid, but my gut is telling me he will never live up to that 11th overall hype because physically he will not be able to. I hope I'm wrong but 2 years after he pick it is looking more questionable than it origially was because the Kings have not many 1st round opportunities much the last 5-6 years.

    I'm not really sure I can blame Blake (or ROBOTILE...I still love that one almost 20 years later) for thinking this team was a playoff team. Maybe a bit too exuberant thinking they were a contender - they really haven't been since the 2014 Cup win - but I don't think expectations of a PO berth were out of line. Last season the Kings finished 7th in the WC, tied for 9th overall in the league, had an airtight defense and won the Jennings with essentially the same roster.

    Last year at this time Brown was looking like 2003-2009 Brown and Kopitar, Quick and Doughty were each easily top 3-5 in their respective positions. I think the way this season has unraveled was a shock to all, myself included, but a PO spot looked to be very attainable; no one could have predicted about half the core would fall off a cliff at about the same time and look so preposterously out of whack.

    That said, I am glad however that Blake has focused on stocking the shelves, Dumbo's draft history was excellent from about 2006-2011 but after that it's been spotty at best and whatever futures LA did have Dumbo shipped off for win now deals.

    I do think Mike Futa's seat needs to be heated up a bit, they haven't hit much gold in almost 7 years. That type of track record is what got Al Murray fired (yet he is the Director of Amateur Scouting for Tampa Bay, who have drafted gem after gem since Murray took over in August 2010 - go figure).

    While the jury is still out on the 2016-18 drafts, teams like the Bruins and Hurricanes are hitting more than they are missing whether that be a 1st round pick or a 5th round pick between 2011-2015. The Kings had a solid, RH defender in Erik Cernak (2nd round/2015/traded in the Bishop deal by Dumbo) that is looking like a very bad decision on the former brass' resume.

    Blake is doing the best he can with the cards (and personnel) he was dealt. I think he will get a pass the first 2 years but starting next fall I think he is under the gun as well. He has done a great job not spending assets to restock the system mostly through collegiate free agent signings but if a retool is coming, he will have to make some very aggressive and culture changing moves soon.

    I think Muzzin or Martinez will be one of the first dominoes to start the retool/rebuild, followed by Toffoli and Carter in no particular order.

    Quick, I don't see being moved for a number of reasons unless it's a deal Bowlby can't pass up. There are still too many unknowns between Campbell and Petersen, and I could totally see goaltenidng shitting the bed if RoboBlake move Quick and hand the reigns over to either of those two. The time to move Quick is not right yet.

    No problem at all, always willing to help the board. Good group of people here. I am really impressed by The Athletic, it is a game changer in sports reporting. I couldn't justify spending $60 on it but when that offer hit my inbox for $23.99/year, I said yeah I'm buying it.

    It's gone up in recent years because of the quality and number of subscribers, so depending on what the renewal is in Dec 2019 and how much I use it, that'll determine if I renew or not.

    It's extremely difficult to get 1st round picks, especially this season because it is a buyer's market. Either of those 2 picks you referenced would be great for LA, but there are a lot of teams with a lot more to offer than LA has.

    Of the Kings' players, I believe Muzzin for sure and Martinez as a high probability warrant 1st round picks. They are battled tested, Cup winning, veteran T4 defenders who are leaders under contract for at least 1 more year so it isn't a rental. For either of those guys, my ask is a 1st round pick and some combo of an NHL ready prospect/highly touted prospect/multiple picks/serviceable NHL player on an expiring contract to gain cap space moving forward.

    Sure seems that way, and the ones who do make the blockbusters (Armstrong for example) are definitely shrewd and don't fiddle faddle. They know what they want, they establish control during the negotiation process and in the end they pretty much get what they want. Dumbo was this GM during almost his entire tenure here but I think the last 2-3 years he was just flinging everything at the wall and seeing what stuck.

    I don't think Blake has earned that type of credibility or clout yet, I'm very curious to see how his first "real deal" goes, and he is going to have to make some here soon to make this team a contender again.

    Good possibility, but I would think an acquiring team already has their cap situation mapped out for the next few years including any acquisitions like Muzzin et al who have term left. The issue I see for LA is that these guys are going to be UFAs, and those contracts tend to be a) significantly higher because of the premium paid in return to giving up UFA years and b) these players are veterans on their 3rd/4th contracts and want movement protection.

    Both of those realities significantly reduce trade partners, so I think it would benefit LA to move these guys in season if the price is right or after their season ends or at the draft.

    That's exactly who I was thinking. Smith is OK, but Quick would be an upgrade. All the other contenders - Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, etc. - have their playoff goalies pretty much dialed in.
     
  6. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    Another one. No surprise Phaneuf has played poorly this season, the article makes a great case as to whether it's him or the team. I think it's a little bit of both but am glad he is here because he fills a role on the essentially the same money that was on IR in Gaborik.

    The Kings have had their balls fall off the last few years, and while I am not saying they need a goon on the roster, they certainly need a lot more toughness overall. Clifford can only do so much, and with his concussion history I cringe every time I see him engage. He is a quality person first and foremost but a born leader and team player. There are some great articles floating around about his predraft interviews with LA, holy smokes if you can find it, read it. He is the undertow of that locker room.

    Phaneuf does help in that sense, after guys like Greene (mentioned in the article), Williams, Regehr, Mitchell, Scuderi, Richards, Fraser, etc. all left this team has lost its team first, we're coming in here to kick your ass and will take no shit mentality. Guys like Kopitar, Brown, Carter, etc. are not those types of leaders which is why guys like Clifford and Phaneuf are necessary.

    Phaneuf is known as one of the consummate pros in hockey, a team first guy and extremely well respected everywhere. It sucks his play has dipped sharply because of his price point but in the absence of those aforementioned guys he is a refreshing especially because if Gaborik were still here God knows what injury he would be recovering from this time and taking up close to $5 million to sit on IR.

    Another long one, didn't post the whole article.

    Dion Phaneuf's blunt assessment of his season: 'I haven’t...

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Kings defenseman Dion Phaneuf gave a simple and blunt assessment when asked about his play this season.


    “I haven’t had a very good year,” Phaneuf said recently after practice as he stood in the hallway outside the Kings dressing room at Toyota Sports Center. “I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t played well enough. I expect more of myself and my game.”


    Phaneuf noted that he felt he had improved of late and that he had put in a lot of work to make strides, but noted, “I’m disappointed in my year personally and I have to be better for our team.”

    This year, his first full season in Los Angeles, has been challenging for Phaneuf.


    He has one point and is minus-15 in 37 contests. His 14:52 ice time average is the lowest of his career. These mediocre numbers come despite being sheltered by the Kings coaching staff, starting him 61 percent of the time 5-on-5 in the offensive zone, according to Naturalstattrick.


    Considering the struggles of the Kings as a whole, it’s hard to tell if all these issues can be heaped on Phaneuf’s play or if L.A., in general, has made him look worse.


    “Losing and entering into a possible rebuild is tough on veteran players,” an NHL team scout said.

    Almost year ago when the Kings traded for Phaneuf from the Ottawa Senators, the deal was seen as a win for the organization. Los Angeles thought Phaneuf’s loud, rough and tumble style would be somewhat of a Matt Greene replacement – referencing the emotional blueline leader on their Stanley Cup teams who retired after 2016-17.


    Plus, the Senators retained $1.75 million from his $7 million annual salary as part of the trade, which also saw L.A. acquire Nate Thompson and give up Marian Gaborik’s albatross of a deal ($4.875 million for the next two seasons) that was negotiated by former general manager Dean Lombardi.


    Phaneuf was no longer putting up the offensive numbers he had earlier in his career, but he was still a 20 minute per night type guy and helped the Senators to the Eastern Conference final the season before. With L.A., he had 10 points in 26 games while averaging 19:28. Overall he looked like a good fit and the location worked out for him as well personally – since his wife Elisha Cuthbert is an actress. Those who know him thought he was in the right place at the right time in his career.


    “I went fishing with him in August. He’s ecstatic to be in Los Angeles. He thinks he died and went to heaven,” former Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, who traded for Phaneuf, said in an interview before the start of the season. “He loves living there. He loves the guys. He loves being where his wife works. He thinks he died and went to heaven. He really does.”

    “If Dion Phaneuf was making $1.5 million, would you have him on your team? Would he play on L.A.?” asked Mike Johnson, an analyst on NHL Network. “I think so. … So it’s not necessarily that he can’t play. Would you rather have him or Paul LaDue on the ice or him or Sean Walker or Oscar Fantenberg or Derek Forbort? So it’s more a return on investment than it is a straight return on the game.”

    It’s not like Phaneuf hasn’t been important for Los Angeles in some ways this year. Though he’s struggled he has certainly had an impact both in practice and with younger players. It may be cliché to say that a proud, well-traveled veteran near the end of his career always plays this role but Phaneuf legitimately has been good for player development.


    His work ethic sets an example and his personality has at least kept up some level of positivity around the youngsters who are trying to become pros as the older players deal with trade rumors and the frustration of losing.


    “When I was first called up, he was my D partner and stuff so he was talking to me a lot and really made me feel comfortable and stuff and overall,” Walker said. “In the dressing room and stuff, he’s one of the loudest guys every day. He’s talking a lot and making sure everyone’s upbeat and ready to go. He’s been great in the room and, as a leader, he’s been awesome.”


    Said backup goaltender Jack Campbell, “I have to go in the cold tub every day because the guy brings every shot as hard as he can, which is awesome because it gets you ready to go for a goalie, seeing hard shots but also he’s trying to bury it so in a game when he gets a chance he’s going to make the most of it.”


    There’s certainly value in that – value that can have an impact as Los Angeles starts to hand over the keys to its franchise to the youngsters.


    “I mean everything is new to them when they come to this league and you try to give them little pointers here and there. Whether it’s being early for a meeting. Just little things you wouldn’t think too much about or that are behind the scenes,” Phaneuf said. “You try to teach that because I think it really pays off in the long run for them.”

    Though the year has been trying for Phaneuf as a player, there have been some positive personal moments. He played in his 1,000th game and was honored in a touching ceremony at Staples Center. His wife and young daughter were both present, which brought out some emotions in the normally stoic Phaneuf.


    “I think seeing my daughter at center ice was something that was very special to me,” he said. “She’s pretty young. She wasn’t one year the time. She’ll have the picture. … It’s something that I’ll remember and to have that picture with her at center ice is pretty special.”


    PS - I am not on the LaDue train, he is extremely soft in front of the net and gets out muscled along the boards. He's another Villardi as far as I'm concerned with the majority of Kings fans, lots of hype but very little reality. I read one fan (LGK - go figure) thinking this guy is the next Paul Coffey, I laughed my butt off.

    While I do think he should get some more playing time, I would not be concerned one way or another if he was traded. A guy like Walker has better than he has overall and deserve to be in the lineup.

    While a 6th round pick is pretty much all upside and no real loss, there have been some home runs in the 6th before (Josh Manson for example, absolutely love that guy). I just don't see LaDue being an NHL regular at this point of his career, at least not in LA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  7. LoCal Kings

    LoCal Kings Active Member

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    IF the Kings really do trade a couple of the aforementioned guys, the cap space may open a bit for them. If so, Phaneuf's cap hit won't be an issue. Who cares if he is the 7th defenseman next year? Kings will need the qualities mentioned above, and with only 2-years left (I know, only 2?), it won't be worth it to "pay" in order to trade him anyways.
     
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  8. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    I agree. I think even at his bloated cap hit, he provides an exemplary model for the young kids and also fills a veteran role while the team is headed towards transition.

    This costs money too, which is why we saw guys like Handzus (4 years/$16 million) and Thornton (2 years/$3 million) signed for major over payments in LA in the early stages of the rebuild under Dumbo. These two guys delivered however in terms of teaching and showing guys like Kopitar, Brown, Quick, Frolov, etc. on how to be pros.

    While these two panned out, I don't think these two did - Cloutier (2 years/$6.2 million when he still had 1 year/$2.55 million left on a deal signed with the Canucks) and then we have Blake 2.0 (ugh....2 years/$12 million). I think these two snowed Dumbo badly; Cloutier sucked and had an excuse for everything from his helmet to injuries to the way the Kings treated him and Blake was simply here for the money, which was obvious to me the first time I saw him on Opening Night 2006 after he returned.

    Blake has always been about money, going back to his 1998 contract and then again the 2001 trade. Colorado did not exercise the 6th year option on the 5 year/$45 million deal he signed with them in summer 2001, one of the last option year contracts grandfathered into the new CBA of 2005 (they are not permitted anymore and the grandfathered ones all phased out between 2005-2010). He didn't produce, he didn't lead, he did nothing his 2 years in LA and then bolted to SJ to make $5 million and miraculously found his scoring touch again.

    My point: in some cases it makes sense to eat the money because while the player may not be producing on the board, they are providing an intangible service (Handzus, Thornton). Other times while a GM may have good intentions, the player isn't competely truthful with the GM (Cloutier, who eventually was bought out by 2008 if I recall and Blake's story speaks for itself) and is a waste of money.

    I think Phaneuf falls into the former category based on his 15 year reputation as being a quality leader, solid professional and desire to give and help (in TO, Phaneuf was grilled constantly in the media, and a contract like he received rightfully so will bring that eye on you, especially in a place like Toronto. But Phil Kessel went on a rant scorching the media defending him, telling them they have been unfair to him and have no idea what he brings behind closed doors).

    Yeah, it sucks to have him at $5.25 million for "intangibles" but for the people who bitch about it I say this: Dustin Brown did nothing but provide "intangibles" from 2012-2017 and apparently it wasn't a problem even though he was making $5.85 million per season and produced like a B6 player for 5 years.

    These were also the same people who wanted Mike Richards' head on a stick because he only provided "intangibles", but with Brown it was accepted where as Phaneuf and Richards evoke ire. I guess it's because there is an emotional attachment to him since he was born, raised and became an adult as a King where as these 2 were not. That's the only thing I can think of because what Brown has done at his price point is more expensive than what either Richards or Phaneuf have done at theirs.

    In one of the other threads (Carter maybe?) I answered the question if I am a fanboy or not, and I stated no - I always pull for the jersey, not the player.

    This is a great example why, sometimes the benefit received cannot be measured in stats.
     
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  9. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    Something must be in the water this year, first Berglund is bought out due to do him being suspended for failing to report to the AHL last month. He was put on Unconditional Waivers with the purpose of being bought out, no takers, they terminated his contract (sound familiar?) and ultimately he leaves the NHL leaving about $10 million on the table under his existing contract.

    This is a weird one, he seemed excited to be traded last summer to Buffalo, but he missed time with injuries and was healthy scratched. That created some sort of rift and this is the end result. There have been no reports as to why he was bought out really, and as we saw it has to be something serious to go down this road.

    Now, we have two more public blow ups with big names that could be an opportunity for LA.

    First, Bobrovsky is not accompanying the BJs tonight against Nashville due to an "incident". He gave up 4 and was pulled in a loss to Tampa Bay and had some words with Tortorella, but apparently this is not what sent him home.

    Unspecified 'incident' benches Columbus goalie Bobrovsky

    Per The Athletic (I'm telling you cheap wads, spend the $25):

    Blue Jackets tell Sergei Bobrovsky to stay away after...

    Citing an “incident” that “failed to meet expectations and values” of the organization, the Blue Jackets on Thursday told Bobrovsky to stay away from the club while it prepared to play Nashville in Nationwide Arena.

    A meeting is planned before the Blue Jackets practice on Friday, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. If the meeting goes well, Bobrovsky could be on the ice for practice and with the team when they travel to play Washington on Saturday.

    If not …

    “I’m not going to speculate on any of that until we resolve the issue,” Kekalainen told The Athletic. “We’ll meet before the practice (Friday) and deal with it.

    “There are certain values and expectations we have for the players, no matter who it is. If you don’t live up to them, there are going to be consequences.”

    Sources told The Athletic that the incident happened sometime between the latter stages of Tuesday’s 4-0 loss in Tampa Bay and before the team flew home from Tampa International Airport an hour or so after the game.

    Before the Blue Jackets boarded their charter flight to Columbus, Bobrovsky was pulled aside for a meeting on the tarmac with members of the Blue Jackets’ leadership group, suggesting the incident happened at the rink or on the bus ride from the rink to the airport.

    Blue Jackets players all complied with strict orders from management not to discuss the Bobrovsky situation when the dressing room opened after Thursday’s morning skate.


    Next up, McKinnon and Bednar were caught on camera having a very heated exchange and can be seen telling Bednar "do your job". The Lanche were the top WC team last month but have gone into full blown nosedive status with a 3-9-3 record the last month including a 5-3 loss to Calgary that led to this event.

    Frustration boils over for Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche

    One is obvious with Bobrovsky, but both these situations surround something that has come up with LA - goaltending and a possible trade regarding Quick.

    Bobrovsky is a GIII UFA this summer, contract talks have been stalled and it doesn't sound like he is going to be staying in Columbus. They also have Panarin in the same situation, and losing both guys would be a huge blow to the BJs, who are a rising team but lack leadership and mettle. They have a lot of pieces in place but do not know how to win.

    The issue in Colorado is not MacKinnon at all, he and Ranntanen have absolutely tore it up from day 1 and do not look like they will be slowing down any time soon. What has hurt them is their goaltending - Varlamov has fell apart and Grubauer hasn't been much better. They also lack depth, leadership and are also learning how to win.

    Both these teams could use a guy like Quick, and in Colorado's case:

    The door may just have been opened for that coveted Ottawa pick. If I'm Blake I'm monitoring that situation very closely and seeing if there may be an opportunity to make something happen.
     
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  10. LoCal Kings

    LoCal Kings Active Member

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    Cloutier: had a big hand in establishing high draft picks in '07 and '08. Kings fans should thank this guy.
    Desjardins: trying his hardest to have the same effect for 2019 Draft. Hope to thank this guy too (down the road) when he is long gone.

    Colorado's pick via Ottawa: Sakic has got to know they are more than just "one player" away from being a serious contender. I wonder how many serious offers they'll get for that pick, and if they are even considering trading it in the first place? Heck, best case scenario they only have that 18% or 19% chance of it being #1 anyways. I guess that is a "great problem" for Sakic to have.
     
  11. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    Good point, but you have to do something with those high picks when you get them. It's still too early to tell with that draft overall but LA took a huge risk on Villardi at 11th after so many years of either a low 1st round or no 1st round pick.

    Looking back at those 2007 and 2008 drafts, 2007 was pretty good with Simmonds (2nd/61st), Martinez (4th/95th) and King (4th/109th). The 2008 draft only produced Voynov (2nd/32nd) and nothing else though.

    I don't give GMs a lot of props for high 1st round picks as you know because those should be slam dunks and expected to produce a high end player - the Kings did well obviously with Doughty in 2008 but completely blew it on Teubert at 13th, although one could say Teubert was part of the deal for Penner who scored the OT series clinching goal against Phoenix sending LA to the Cup Final.

    I think he screwed up in 2007 by taking Hickey at 4th overall when he was projected to go between 17th-25th in what was a weak draft as it was. Dumbo drafted on need as opposed to the best player, and Hickey never wore an LA uniform while guys like Voracek and Couture were still available. Defenders like McDonaugh and even Ian Cole were available in that range as well but I won't be too hard on him because it was a weak draft overall.

    Hopefully Slick Willie's coaching leads to a relatively high pick (my gut tells me the Kings will pick no lower than 6th and as high as 2nd) and Blake takes an impact player, it has been 11 years since the Kings got one.

    I would hope so, MacKinnon and Raantanen have carried that team. Much like LA last year they are very top heavy and the supporting cast is not producing. At least LA had Quick to keep them competitive, but their goaltending is horrid on top of the lack of depth. If those two dry up, they are in even bigger trouble than thye already are.

    I think the Kings could give them a solid package of a goalie, one of Martinez/Muzzin and a depth player to get that pick and either a decent prospect/mid level pick/another supporting cast roster player out of him.

    I think there will be some solid offers for that pick the closer we get to the trade deadline and especially closer to the draft. Sakic isn't a dummy though, so I don't expect him to be fleeced.
     
  12. Kings4OT

    Kings4OT Suck my Member

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    Imo you should take the best available player when drafting unless your need is dire. By the time the "need" guy is usable your need probably changed....then your need guy is probably worth little vs the best guy available at that pick.
     
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  13. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    I think you should always take the best player available no matter what, exactly why you stated. Needs change and the kid drafted today may not be the kid you will need 3-4 years from now. Take that RW even though you need a defenseman, 3 years from now someone may step up and change all that.

    There's certain times you can't pass a player up however because they are franchise players. Both Stamkos and Doughty were those types but IMO Dumbo was going to take him whether they drafted 1st or 2nd overall no matter what (the Kings beat SJ I believe the last game of 2007-08 to lock up 2nd overall, it was neck in neck for 1st overall with Tampa) because his philosophy was build from the net out.

    They had Kopitar already completing his second year and drafted Bernier in 2006 to be that franchise goalie (Quick changed all that) so the next obvious choice was defense. That one is an exception because he checked both boxes on best player available as well as need.
     
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  14. LoCal Kings

    LoCal Kings Active Member

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    St. Louis has been circling the toilet much like the Kings. But just looked at the standings, and they sit at 42 pts, only 6 pts. out of 8th place in the West. We all know that the more difficult part is not necessarily making up 6 pts. overall, its having to make up those 6 pts. on 5 or 6 teams. However, they also have the least amount of games played in the NHL, 2 - 4 games less than those teams they would need to leap frog in the West.

    My point: Is St. Louis another possible in-season destination for J. Quick? Much like the Kings, I am sure their problems are more than just goaltending. But a new goalie has got to be at the top of their list. Their 1st pick (if not in top 10) is already dealt to Buffalo. So not sure if they have any other high-caliber prospects to offer.

    The talking heads keep saying Quick is more likely to be dealt at Draft. If they can get more in June, then by all means, wait. Would be good to have him around to help Campbell. Hopefully Petersen gets a call up to be around Quick more this season too.
     
  15. Stunner_At_Staples_Kings

    Stunner_At_Staples_Kings Giant Member

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    I was just looking at the standings as well and Kings are only 8 back now.

    Can you imagine LA emerging as a Playoff team after the season they've had so far?

    Here's hoping of course.

    upload_2019-1-14_15-13-40.png
     
  16. LoCal Kings

    LoCal Kings Active Member

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    Link to TSN article / list of top 50 prospects by NHL team. Guessing Kings will be targeting guys somewhere on this list in trades this year. Mentioned before, but besides the obvious need for more scoring, I really think a RD capable of 2nd pairing minutes (down the road) is a big need for the Kings to rebuild. (Cale Makar from COL, or Adam Fox from CAR)

    Kings prospects on this list= Kupari (30th), Vilardi (34th, despite playing only a couple games), Mikey Anderson (43), and Akil Thomas (44).

    Sure would have thought Anderson -Dolan would be ranked, especially since he got a brief cup of coffee in the NHL, and played decently in World Junior Tournament.

    Russian wingers top TSN’s ranking of NHL-affiliated prospects - TSN.ca
     
  17. Kings4OT

    Kings4OT Suck my Member

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    Cycle cycle cycle along the boards until the puck is lost....starting to look familiar to anyone else
     
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  18. Kings4OT

    Kings4OT Suck my Member

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    Still like leipsic.....
     
  19. Psych3man

    Psych3man Active Member

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    Don't forget the continual pass right into the skates … or every pass that just seems to "hop over the stick of [insert King player here]" as they are fanning on an empty net or skating on a potential breakaway...
     
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  20. PuckinUgly57

    PuckinUgly57 Don't be a jabroni.

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    But but but.....Corsi!

    =)~~

    So glad that craze of analytics has passed. It was a nice tool initially but then teams, fans, reporters, analysts, all of them started citing them too much as the hard line on why a particular player or team was good or bad.

    It was disturbing seeing the Kings ranked as one of the top 2-3 Corsi teams the first half of this decade yet apart from one season (2013 or so, where they ranked 9th) they were always in the bottom 20-30 for scoring. As I always said, it's one thing to have the puck, it's another thing to actually score with it.
     
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