Archive for the ‘Chris Kontos’ Category

Kontos and Kelly share LA Kings free agent perspective

June 30, 2009
An x-ray of Marian Gaborik‘s groin

First, we have our own contributor/founder of The Royal Half Chris Kontos on the Kings:

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Gaborik. Just say no, Dean Lombardi. Even to a 1 year contract. I’ve lived through Jason Allison… I’ve lived through Ziggy Palffy… I’ve lived through Pavol Demitra. There is no way in hell I want to have another highly skilled offensive player come to the Kings, get excited about the offense he is creating and then watch said player’s body fall apart like peanut brittle. Although Gaborik does have some sick stats… when he is playing (on a mainly defensive-minded team.)

(Note: the columns are for: season – GP – Goals – Assists – Points – and plus minus)

2005–06 65 38 28 66 64 +6
2006–07 48 30 27 57 40 +12
2007–08 77 42 41 83 63 +17
2008–09 17 13 10 23 2 +3

Signing Gaborik would show that the Kings have yet to really make that big step forward. It would mean that they missed out on the Hossa sweepstakes and continue the struggle of bringing high level free agents to Los Angeles (like going from Drury and Chara to….. Tom Preissing?)

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

If Dany Heatley or Vinny Lecavalier end up on some combination of the Ducks, Sharks, Stars or Coyotes. Especially Heatley… I know that Lombardi has concerns about his attitude and that this trade is probably as dead as your pick of McMahon, Fawcett or Jackson… but man, Heatley, Kopitar and Williams would be a great line.


And now, the infamous Rudy Kelly of Battle of California:

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Ryan Smyth. He’s a potential for movement since the Avalanche are going to be about as competitive as James O’Brien at the Playboy Mansion but I despise him with every fabric of my being. I hate him. I’d rather see my own birth from the doctor’s perspective than have Ryan Smyth in a Kings’ jersey. Also, I don’t particularly like Mike Cammalleri and wouldn’t want to be the idiot team that pays him $6 million dollars to shoot from his knees.

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

If the Ducks get Sammy Pahlsson back I will be crushed. Earl will never shut the fuck up about how great he is and how much he loves the guy. I just want him to fall in love with someone closer, someone who would never leave him: me. WIth Pahlsson gone I can finally make my move, especially now that I have girl-approved hair. I’m cosmopolitan!

And I guess in a way the Kings are my nemesis since they hold sway over my heart, so I’ll just say that they’re not going to get anyone and Lombardi is going to half-ass some remark about boxes and I will be suicidal before talking myself into the Kings going to the playoffs on the backs of Oscar Moller and Ted Purcell. *Sigh

Dance Partners: San Jose

February 24, 2009

ChrisKontos here with your Western Conference edition of Dance Partners. The first blockbuster (?) trade has gone down in the NHL (who knew that Dean McAmmond was still even playing!) and that means the playoffs are rapidly approaching.

As goes Dean McAmmond… so goes Ottawa’s playoff hopes.

The race for 8th place has created an incredible logjam in the Western Conference as even the last place Colorado Avalanche (wow, that feels weird to write) are only a few points away from that 8th seed. There are more pretenders than contenders out of the 10 teams that are battling for that spot, so let’s breakdown the 3 teams that would make the most entertaining matchups for the Western Conference leading San Jose Sharks and for the NHL. But please remember… San Jose is no Boston… so the NHL is going to have a hard time marketing this series no matter who is playing.

1. Columbus Blue Jackets – (currently in 6th place, but only 2 points away from being 8th)

What the ef is a Blue Jacket?!?

Never bet against Ken Hitchcock. The man has not been anywhere close to the playoffs in 3 seasons but the Blue Jackets have finally figured out how to work in his defensive system. It helps that super mono-fighting rookie Steve Mason has given the BJ’s the goaltender they needed. I expect the BJ’s to make the biggest move at the deadline and get some help at forward. They’ve beaten the Sharks twice this season, both in overtime. Watching the high octane speed and offense of the Sharks clash with the defense first mentality of a Hitchcock team could make this a very good series.

NHL Marketability: Um… It’s Columbus and San Jose. Not so much.

2. Dallas Stars – (currently in 7th place and cursing the loss of Brad Richards)

James Woods… the Star of Shark.

This is the scenario that the NHL would love the most. Dallas, the team that struggled out of the gate because of its bonehead move to give Sean Avery a bunch of money, would bounce back and sneak into the playoffs to face its division rival, the Sharks. Just think of how much all the TV analysts get to fawn over what cutting their loses with Sean Avery has done for this Stars team. Plus now that Marty Turco has ironed out his kinks, a Nabokov-Turco first round matchup would be fantastic. You know, kind of like the amazing 1-0 Sharks victory from last night. Oh and there was the whole Dallas beating San Jose in the 2nd round last year thing too. I know Ron Wilson remembers that series.

Is there such a thing as an old school Sharks-Stars fight?

NHL Marketability: Have you heard anyone talk about what happened to this Sean Avery character and the Dallas Stars? Wild, huh? I can only imagine they’d bring it up in the playoffs.

3. Anaheim Ducks (currently in 10th, but with the most games played)

Maybe the National Geographic channel will air this series?
(insert Versus joke here)

Wow, this could be a killer series. If the Ducks are able to get their act together in the final months of the season… and JS Giguere remembers how to play goal… this would be a fantastic series for hockey fans. But that’s a big IF. The Ducks have plodded along all season and have the least games in hand out of any of the teams battling for 8th. But if they are able to sneak into the playoffs with Niedermayer, Pronger, Getzlaf, Perry and Selanne all still on their roster… watch out. This would be the matchup the Sharks would least want.

NHL Marketability: This could quickly become a classic first round series. Plus I think Battle of California’s head would explode blogging about this playoff matchup.


How could you expect me to break down the 8th seed matchup for the Western Conference and not give the Los Angeles Kings a fighting chance? I mean, I’ve even created a marketing slogan for the Kings push for the 8th seed. Unfortunately, if the Kings continue to shit the playoff race bed like they did this weekend against the Phoenix Coyotes, this matchup is not probable at all. BUT if the Kings did sneak in… well, they would rather play the Detroit Red Wings as at least they’ve been close in games with that team this year. Damn you Denis Gauthier!

Play-offs? Hmm, never heard of them.

NHL Marketability: Well, having a Los Angeles based team (sorry Anaheim) in the playoffs would make any TV executive happy. And can you imagine the coverage of this series by the various NHL California blogs? Blogging gold. Commenters… it’s up to you. What do you think?

All-Decade Team: Chris Kontos’ choices

February 20, 2009

Chris Kontos here from The Royal Half sharing my thoughts on James’ Bridgestone Tires All-Decade Team. For me, the All-Decade Center was the easiest choice. In back to back years, I watched the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche battle it out in a 7 game playoff series (including being in the crowd at Game 6 of the 2002 series… the last time the Kings would skate on playoff ice… sigh). And the only piece of hardware the Kings got out of both series?

Peter Forsberg’s spleen!

Sure Forsberg may of only had 445 points during the decade, but consider that he did that in 362 games. Forsberg is 8th all time in Points-Per-Game and 4th in Assists-Per-Game. In fact, the only stretch where he didn’t score at a point a game pace was during his 17 game regular season run as a Predator. He only had 15 points in those 17 games.

I call this the awkward years.

Although the Kings knocked him out of the playoffs for the Avs’ 2001 Cup run, there’s no way they would have been in the position to win the Cup without Forsberg. And don’t forget, he also won an Olympic Gold medal in 2006. But most of all… he was a nasty player. He was a power forward AND a playmaking center. Yes, he was injured for a majority of the decade (including taking the entire 2001-2002 regular season off after the Kings destroyed his spleen) but there is a reason that NHL GM’s continue to keep an eye on Forsberg’s progress with the foot problem that has probably ended his career… because they’d sign him to their team in a heartbeat if he got healthy. If your team is down by a goal with 5 minutes left in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals… Peter Forsberg is the player on this All-Decade list that you want out there. And I’d put Captain Clutch Chris Drury on his line as a winger.

Give me back my spleen!

Speaking of wingers, my first vote is a sentimental one. In 1996, during Thanksgiving break, I went with my college roommate to his home state of Vermont and we went to see the University of Vermont Catamounts play. The whole stadium was buzzing over a tiny little guy named Martin St. Louis. He was one of the most amazing players I had ever seen in person as he and his linemate Eric Perrin dominated what ever team they happened to be playing that night. There was also some goalie named Tim Thomas on that team. Wonder what ever happened to him?

I can only imagine the run of UVM girls this guy must of had.

Undrafted by the NHL despite his college accolades, St. Louis eventually joined the Calgary Flames and then was cast aside much like Brett Hull and Marc Savard as he made his way to Tampa Bay. With the Lightning, he found a system that worked for his size and in 2003-2004 he had a breakout year that culminated with the Stanley Cup. And that’s why he’s on my list of All-Decade Wingers… because only he and Brendan Shanahan (my other winger pick) won Cups during this decade. I don’t play in a weekly adult hockey league because I enjoy bonding with my teammates or I love getting a stick swung at me by some guy who can barely stand on the ice… no I play because I want to win. And you can say what ever you want about the great decades that Jagr or Alfredsson or Sundin had… but none of them brought home the hardware this past decade. And for me… that’s what makes a player the greatest.

Suck it, Jagr!

The same goes for All-Decade Defenseman. 3 Stanley Cups in 7 seasons. Scott Neidermayer is dominating and slick all in one shift. Sure Chris Pronger is a total beast on the ice but no one plays defense as well and as consistent as Neidermayer has this past decade. And like Earl Sleek said, he’s done it playing with inexperienced partners. Look what Neidermayer has done to the value of Francois Beauchemin. This is a really tough pick for me, because as a life-long suffering Kings fan, I can’t even put into words what it felt like to watch the Ducks win the Cup before the Kings. Plus, let’s be honest here. The man has the most amazing salt and pepper beard ever.

Hi, I’m Keith Hernandez for Just For Men.

Brodeur is a no brainer for All-Decade Goalie. And for coach… well I believe this says it all.

Mike Babcock’s greatest achievement this decade has been continuing AND increasing the culture surrounding the Detroit Red Wings. Players are signing with this franchise at a discount because it is class from top to bottom. I mean chrissake, last week, the franchise sent rings to every living Wings’ player that won a cup in Detroit prior to 1997. You can’t buy that kind of class. Even if you bought 8 chandeliers.

You gotta get a chandelier!

As far as the Decade’s Greatest Loudmouth… I’d like to present a new contender. I watched Sean Avery annoy everyone around him as a King for much too long. But being a pest and an idiot doesn’t make you a great Loudmouth. Same goes for Roenick. No, what makes you a great Loudmouth is the ability to be a little complaining bitch and make people laugh in the same breath. So who do I nominate as the NHL’s greatest Loudmouth of the past Decade? Well, it would be the same guy I’d nominate as the NHL’s greatest GM of the last 10 years…

And Exhibit B:

Brian Burke is a Loudmouth Savant. He’s the only NHL executive who seemed to get his Harvard Education on the streets. He stands up for his players and his organization and I think the NHL should mandate that he and Ron Wilson have joint press conferences in Toronto.