Archive for the ‘Los Angeles Kings’ 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

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Rudy Kelly shares his LA Kings’ entry draft thoughts

June 19, 2009

If you don’t know Rudy Kelly or the Battle of California crew by now, I’d be damn astounded. Aside from a few side projects here and there, BoC is where I started blogging (and still do, albeit sporadically) and the Rudy/Earl Sleek combination is what makes it such a force of hockey blogging nature.

Sleek provides statistical analysis, healthy snark and adorable cartoons while Kelly showcases his deep knowledge of the Kings and all the acidic, acerbic wit that comes from following a team that hasn’t managed a Cup victory in its 40+ years of existence.

Over the years he’s made some of the darkest, most brilliant jokes you’ll find anywhere in the sports blogosphere. Although, I must be honest: I enjoy it just as much when he writes lighthearted stuff comparing hockey players to dogs. (Seriously though, read that post. It’s gold.)

Either way, make sure to follow Rudy’s stuff at BoC. Like you haven’t already, you silly geese.

1. If the Kings hold onto the pick, who would you expect and/or prefer the Kings to select? Why?

RUDY: I expect the Kings will take Brayden Schenn because Dean Lombardi loves Western Canadian boys and hates Europeans that aren’t from weird places like Germany. Schenn is a good kid and would set the Kings’ center position up for the next 10 years. I personally like Svensson-Paajarvi, but I also like sniffing glue so you shouldn’t listen to me.

2. Obviously you’ve heard the rumors of the Kings packaging their first round pick with Jack Johnson for Chris Pronger. Going beyond the credibility of the report, how would you feel about such a move? How much would Pronger change the Kings goals and ceiling as a team?

RUDY: I personally feel that trading the 5th overall for an elite player is a good move for the Kings. They have about a 3-year window opening up where they can compete for a Cup and a player like Pronger or Lecavalier or Heatley would definitely help. I don’t think Pronger for the 5th overall AND Johnson is a good idea, though.

3. Looking back, describe some of your favorite Kings drafting memories. What are some of the team’s biggest steals/franchise altering moments?

RUDY: Lubo is one of my favorite draft picks, although getting Kimmo Timonen in the 10th round in ’93 was pretty good. Imagine having both of those guys on your blue line? And, of course, Luc.

4. On the other side, take us through some of the less pleasant moments in their drafting history. Which moves/overlooked players make Kings fans kick themselves?

RUDY: Aki Berg, Josh Green, Olli Jokinen, Mathieu Biron (not Martin), Andrei Shefer, Alex Frolov, Jens Karlson, Denis Grebeshkov, Dustin Brown, Lauri Tukonen. From 1995-2004, the Kings drafted pretty terribly. Berg ended up being an NHL regular (albeit a bad one), Jokinen was traded for Ziggy Palffy, Grebeshkov is meh, Frolov and Brown ended up alright, but everyone else sucks. Also, the Kings once drafted Tom Glavine once, so yeah.

5. Take this opportunity to get on a soapbox. Feel free to share your thoughts on the upcoming draft, off-season or whatever else that’s going on in the NHL.

RUDY: The Kings will make some sort of move this off-season. They have too many assets and too many opportunities to do nothing. There’s trades (Vinny, Danny, uh Illy-y), free agents (Marian, Marian, or someone with a boy’s name) or draft picks (Brayden, Evander or MAGNUS). The Kings will be much better in some way next year. I love the off-season

Blogger GM vs. Real-life GM: Pacific Division

March 9, 2009

To wrap up our Trade Deadline coverage, we’ll take a look at the big moves (and non-moves) in each division one-by-one. Did our contributors and their respective GMs see eye-to-eye? Would those guest posts provide a better reality than what really came about? Let’s take a look at the Pacific division:

Real Life: San Jose trades away Kyle McLaren, also deal for Travis Moen and Kent Huskins.
Mr. Plank from Fear the Fin said:

Interesting possibilities across the board, but at the end of the day I say stand pat and go with the roster. You have the high profile stars in Thornton and Marleau, a second line that could be a top line on many teams in the league, depth, experience on the blueline, Cup rings, agitators and veteran leaders. The list honestly goes on and on.

The Sharks didn’t do anything significant, but did move around some supporting cast members. Let’s say, half-right Mr. Plank.

Real Life: Los Angeles Kings ship Patrick O’Sullivan to Edmonton in three-way trade that nets the Kings Justin Williams
Rudy Kelly from Battle of California said:

A guy like Kopitar, you see, he’s in the Center #1/A/Sec. 43-B box. That’s a good box. A guy like O’Sullivan, on the other hand, is in the 32-1=”Box O’Shame” box, so we’ll see where that goes.

Rudy called it … kind of? I think. Oh my God there’s blood coming out of my ears!

Real Life:For Derek Morris, Daniel “PIM” Carcillo, Olli Jokinen, M. Tellqvist and a third round pick the Coyotoes added:

  • Calgary’s 1st round pick
  • Philadelphia’s 2nd round pick
  • Buffalo’s 4th round pick
  • Peter Prucha
  • Dimitri Kalinin
  • Nigel Dawes
  • Scottie Upshall
  • Matthew Lombardi
  • Brandon Prust

Odin Mercer from Five for Howling said:

Olli Jokinen has done alright for us, but I’d trade him in a heartbeat if I could get a good deal for him. Also, I’d trade Jovanovski for a bag of pucks to get rid of that money and give it to Morris. Just take a look at Jason Arnott’s goal against us on 2/26 and you’ll see why I’m eager to do that. After the recent losing streaks, I’d just grab as many high level picks as I could since the playoffs are out of reach again. Which sucks! So long as we don’t go trading for players we don’t need just to dump money.

Well done, Odin Mercer!

Real Life: Ducks trade away Sammy Pahlsson, Travis Moen, Kent Huskins in a couple trades. Earlier on traded Chris Kunitz for Ryan Whitney. Brendan Morrison was claimed by the Dallas Stars. (Takes a breath) Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer stay in Anaheim.
Earl Sleek from Battle of California said:

Option A (not that silly):

— Anaheim Ducks trade Chris Pronger, Francois Beauchemin, and Drew Miller to Buffalo for Drew Stafford, Nathan Gerbe, and a 1st

(And some other silly stuff.)

Wrong. But who could have predicted all of those moves?

Real Life: Stars do nothing but claim Brendan Morrison from waivers
Brandon from Defending Big D said:

The Stars aren’t in trouble because their main lineup is bad, they’re in trouble because of some debilitating injuries some very key players. Ride out the season with what we have and hope for the best.

Correct! Well done, Brandon.

If you were the GM (Pacific division)

March 4, 2009

(With the trade deadline upon us, Cycle like the Sedins decided to ask about 30 or so friends in the blogosphere to represent his or her team and answer the question: “What would you do if you were the GM during the trade deadline?

Since things change in a heartbeat, the date of each person’s submission is listed next to each entry. So before you start screaming “BUT THEY TRADED HIM!” while food spills out of your mouth, we’re showing what they thought at the time.

Don’t like it? Psh.)

San Jose Sharks

Mr. Plank from Fear the Fin
(2/24)

If I’m Doug Wilson, I stand pat at the deadline unless I’m moving prospects (Lukas Kaspar in particular) for a UFA who can contribute with bottom line some scoring punch. Jonathan Cheechoo’s name is bound to be tossed around, but moving him this year would be a mistake in my opinion- he’s a solid third line winger who gives us scoring depth, and has brought too much to this franchise to deal in a year when the Sharks are poised to make yet another run for the Stanley Cup. The potential problem with the fanbase/locker room coupled with the fact that we probably wouldn’t be receiving a high-profile gamebreaker in return makes me leery of that type of deal.

The funny thing about the deadline however is that the Sharks might be in “read and react” mode. Detroit is still the team to beat of course, but the Sharks have held onto that top spot in the West for the entire season. If Detroit picks up a guy like Manny Fernandez/Vesa Toskala, do the Sharks react and try to add some depth and sacrifice a little of the future? Does Dous Doug Wilson join the Toronto firesale and add Nik Antropov? What if Dallas, Chicago, or Calgary makes a move?

Interesting possibilities across the board, but at the end of the day I say stand pat and go with the roster. You have the high profile stars in Thornton and Marleau, a second line that could be a top line on many teams in the league, depth, experience on the blueline, Cup rings, agitators and veteran leaders. The list honestly goes on and on.

But hey- DW has pulled a rabbit out of his hat before. That’s why we call him The Godfather.

Chris Kontos: Like Detroit, don’t mess with success. It’s actually good that the Sharks haven’t been as dominate recently as they’ve been all year… it reminds them that there is still the playoffs ahead. With Grier and Roenick out until the start of the playoffs the Sharks don’t need to pick up any veteran players (remember how well Bill Guerin worked out) and they should 100% keep Cheechoo around. That’s a not a bad player to have on your 3rd line for a Stanley Cup run.

James O’Brien: This team is as good as it’s going to get. Just suck it up, Sharkies.

***

Los Angeles Kings
Rudy Kelly from Battle of California
(2/28)

I’ll tell ya, the thing about the trade deadline is, the thing you need to understand, is that it’s all about boxes. You got your boxes and you can’t deviate from that plan. A guy like Kopitar, you see, he’s in the Center #1/A/Sec. 43-B box. That’s a good box. A guy like O’Sullivan, on the other hand, is in the 32-1=”Box O’Shame” box, so we’ll see where that goes. I could see us trading Erik Ersberg, although everyone knows the old saying, “The sands of time go only down,” so I don’t know if we’ll trade him. Denis Gauthier might also go, but he’s a Stallion so I don’t know if I want to part with him. And maybe we’ll trade for a gamebreaker, but only if he knows how to work from the backend, because, as we all know, “Eagles only fly in fair wind.” Plus, you know, the boxes.

-Dean Lombardi

Chris Kontos: Who cares about the Kings? That team SUCKS!(how awesome would it be if they pick up Ryan Smyth for a young defenseman/goaltender? I wonder what box of Lombardi’s that would fit in?)

James O’Brien: The Kings are a year away, so if they can stock up on a few more draft picks/prospects then so be it. As Rudy said on BoC today, they could also be interested in that no-name Russian guy in Hotlanta.

***

Phoenix Coyotes (no guest entry yet)
Odin Mercer from Five for Howling:

As GM of the Coyotes right now, I’d be in a tough spot. On one hand you’ve got a decent group that could use some better coaching quite frankly. Derek Morris would be resigned it whatever deal got the job done, but right now the Coyotes can’t be saddled with a big long term deal until they get their books in order. Olli Jokinen has done alright for us, but I’d trade him in a heartbeat if I could get a good deal for him. Also, I’d trade Jovanovski for a bag of pucks to get rid of that money and give it to Morris. Just take a look at Jason Arnott’s goal against us on 2/26 and you’ll see why I’m eager to do that. After the recent losing streaks, I’d just grab as many high level picks as I could since the playoffs are out of reach again. Which sucks! So long as we don’t go trading for players we don’t need just to dump money.

Chris Kontos: Sell. Sell. Sell. Sign Gretzky and Grant Fuhr to player contracts for the remainder of the season. Then sign Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri and Charlie Huddy and you have the makings of the 1990 Los Angeles Kings.

James O’Brien: I’d be against selling, but they clearly are in some kind of financial bind. So, sell away I guess *sigh*.

***

Anaheim Ducks

Sorry, Brett.
Earl Sleek from Battle of California (March 2)

Option A (not that silly):

— Anaheim Ducks trade Chris Pronger, Francois Beauchemin, and Drew Miller to Buffalo for Drew Stafford, Nathan Gerbe, and a 1st
Option B (a little sillier):
— Anaheim Ducks trade Scott and Rob Niedermayer and an embarrassing photo of Brian Burke to Vancouver for Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Brotherhood is preserved.
Option C (whatever):
— Anaheim Ducks trade Brett Hedican to the Anaheim Angels for the right to a few more parking spots.

Chris Kontos: This is an interesting one. New GM Bob Murray is thinking about the future… witness last weeks trade with the Penguins. And if he’s able to get the farm for Pronger… an amazing defenseman, but someone on the 2nd half of his career… I think you have to go for it, right?

James O’Brien: The Ducks are going to be really interesting to watch. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are one of the best bang for your buck duos in the league. Do they stick with veterans or go young? It’s looking like the latter, but who knows.

***

Dallas Stars

The Stars are clearly in able hands

Brandon from Defending Big D (March 2)

If I were Les Jackson and Brett Hull I would be resisting every urge possible to make a big splash on Wednesday. The Stars are in the midst of six game skid and are in grave danger of not making the playoffs.

n a city that craves success, especially from the Stars, the G.M.’s are to going to be feeling the pressure to do something, anything that would put them back in the middle of the playoff hunt. Yet the Stars must be careful to not mortgage the future of the team by giving up draft picks, prospect or young wingers just to find a temporary, soon to be unrestricted free agent solution.

The Stars aren’t in trouble because their main lineup is bad, they’re in trouble because of some debilitating injuries some very key players. Ride out the season with what we have and hope for the best.

Chris Kontos: They should get Avery back. This team has been in a tailslide since they made arrangements for him to go to New York.

James O’Brien: Just a real tough couple of breaks for the Stars. If I were their GM, though, I’d run a firesale on the veterans. Sergei Zubov is about to be an unrestricted free agent. Convince him to pull a Keith Tkachuk back-and-forth. Mike Modano? Keep him for the whole “lifetime player” thing. But Jere Lehtinen? Feel around. This team needs an injection of youth.

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.

WILDCARD!

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?