Saturday, June 30, 2007

THN's Opinion

B*tchany recently posted about UFA's that The Hockey News recommended for the Blue Jackets. I figured I'd take a look to see what they said about the Kings.

Got ‘em: Pittsburgh aside, arguably the best collection of young talent in the game

Need ‘em: veteran infusion at forward and defense, as well as in goal

Potential Free Agent Targets: Sheldon Souray (MTL), Chris Drury (BUF), Curtis Joseph (PHX), Eric Lindros (DAL)

My response to THN's opinion:
Got 'em: Thank you for noticing our fine collection of young boys. Hopefully they'll turn out to become a fine collection of NHL stars.

Need 'em: I agree that we need a veteran presence at forward, defense, and goal.

Need 'em: Yes, Yes, NO!!!, NO!!! I do believe that Souray and Drury would make great additions to our club. But Cujo?! Please, we're already dealing with Cloutier (although I do realize that Cujo would be a slight improvement over Cloots). And Lindros?! He's one more concussion away from retirement. I don't want to go anywhere near that train wreck and I highly doubt that DL would either.

I'm really excited for tomorrow's free agency frenzy. I thought about doing a live blog but realized I have a lot of trouble waking up before noon on the weekends. I'll probably end up doing a late night wrap up of my wonderful thoughts on DL's move(s).

Friday, June 29, 2007

Twinsies 3.0

Who knew that two unrelated hockey players could look like they were separated at birth. After I posted about the Kings' recent draft picks, Steph over at NPI brought to my attention that Oscar Moller is a clone of Ales Hemsky. Not remembering what Hemsky looked like, I found his photo and about fell out of my chair in complete shock at how similar the two boys look.

Hemsky & Moller

Obviously, Hemsky is the one on the left with the Oilers jersey and Moller is on the right. They both have the "I'm so high" or "I have a viscous hangover" look on their faces. I think they both have a tooth missing, same hair color, similar hairstyles...they're freaking twins!!

Are you kidding me?!

Someone please tell me why the Kings re-signed Future Hall of Fame Defenseman Jaroslav Modry. Are you kidding me?! This is bullshit!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eastern Conference All-Star Squee Team!

Yesterday I put together the Western Conference All-Star Squee Team. It was noted in the comments that had I written this post a week earlier or the trade didn’t happen, then Vesa Toskala would have been appointed to the team. You’ll have to read on to find out whether he made it on the Eastern Conference’s team or if he was out-hotted by another goalie. And yes, out-hotted is a word. It’s kind of like outplayed yet in order to be selected for the Squee Team you can’t outplay someone, you have to be hotter than another player, hence, out-hot. Additionally, in order to level the playing field, I am going to leave out Rick DiPietro and Vincent Lecavalier because they’re too hot. There’s absolutely no way anyone could compete with Rick and his slick eating skills and no one would be able to beat Vinny in a walk-off. Besides, we wouldn’t want to take the chance of one of them incurring a facial injury. With that said, Let’s git r dun.

Eastern Conference

Henrik Lundqvist (G) – With Ricky D out of contention the obvious choice is
Henrik. I hate it when people call him Hank because Hank is such a nasal sounding word and Henrik sounds so much better. His beautiful eyes draw you in and the perfect pearly whites are almost always on display. He’s quite tan for a fella in NY but the color looks good on him, not too bronze or fake. He also has great hair that’s never flat and just the right amount of scruff that makes him look sexy and not sleazy. He knows how to dress himself and I should probably stop talking about him before I start to sound like a stalker or a crazed-obsessed woman, instead of a hockey fan appreciative of a hockey player who takes good care of himself.

Sheldon Souray (D) – I find it amusing that when I image-googled
Sheldon Souray I received a lot of results for his wife. I can’t decide if I like him better with longer or shorter hair. He looks cleaner with shorter hair but he looks more rugged and disheveled with longer hair. I refuse to believe that he’s greasy and will stubbornly argue that he just looks like he took a shower or went for a swim.

Sidenote:I know that one of my friends would be screaming at me to list Joe Corvo, but ehhhh, he doesn’t really do it for me. He is too much of a badass to be squeeworthy. Just to clarify, I don’t mean badass as in, “he’s so f’ing awesome I want to give him a high five and then cuddle”, I mean badass as in “I’m not quite sure I want to get too close to him because he might
knock me out”. But if you’re into those kind of badasses, like guys with mohawks, and like ‘em with tats, Joey C is your man.

Bryan McCabe (D) – I almost forgot about
Bryan McCabe. He’s a cuter version of Dean Winters, the guy who played the sleazy boyfriend on SATC, he was the fuck buddy who mistook “going out for sushi” for well…you get the idea and was the pathetic, Beeper King of NY boyfriend on 30 Rock, who proclaimed that it wasn’t worth living because the Islanders had lost. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that McCabe is a dirty, dirty man. I’m sure McCabe is an awesome guy who just happens to look like he can charm the panties off any girl.

Ryan Malone (LW) – Look at those
Goldilocks curls. He looks so cuddly, like a younger, but not quite as hot, Matthew McConaughey. Give him a year or two to grow into his fine looks. (ok, you got me, I was struggling to find a hot LW).

Martin St. Louis (RW) – On the All-Star Squee Team because of how damn cute he looked when he was embarrassed by Lecavalier saying
the two of them “have a song”. Plus he’s bite size!

Once again, there are a chock full of squee worthy centers. Who to pick?
Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, Scott Gomez, Antoine Vermette, or ET Sidney Crosby? I mainly listed those guys so you would know who came close to being the chosen one. I choose:

Chris Drury (C) – Some may hate how private and boring he is off-ice, but I like that about him. Not knowing much about him off-ice adds to the mysteriousness about him. His on-ice passion is amazing, his beard is only second to Niedermayer’s beard, and he just looks so damn adorable. Even if he chooses to sign with San Jose, or hell, even Anaheim, I will still think he’s one of the top squee-worthy players. Eek! I’m getting all mushy, but I can’t think of anything snarky to say!

So that’s it kiddies, the Western and Eastern Conference All-Star Squee Teams. Think my picks are absolute madness?! Then tell me who’s on your team! But remember the rules: no two players from the same NHL team may be picked, and only one goalie, two D, and three forwards (LW, RW, and C) may be selected for each Conference team. It’s not as easy as it looks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

All-Star Squee Team!

After much pondering about how I could spin Sport Squee's latest entry of the Top Ten Topless Hockey Players into a post of my own without completely duplicating hers, I give you "The All-Star Squee Team"; one goalie, two D, three forwards each for the West and East and no team may be represented twice. Let's go girls! (don't click the link)

Western Conference
Dan Cloutier (G) - Not the best goalie out there (I should know), but since this All-Star team does not take on-ice statistics into consideration, he's on it. I don't think many ladies are aware of what is
under that mask (he's the one without the hat). He's got sultry eyes that say "I'm mysterious, sexy, sensitive, and manly...oh yeah, baby". I think he should sit on the bench more because then we would be treated to a lovely face and the better goalie would be playing: a win-win situation. Or, it could be a win-win-win situation since Cloutier wouldn't have to deal with the embarrassment of letting in the first shot of the game.

I was this close to choosing
Jose Theodore until I remembered that there's a 99.99% chance that he's infected with diseases that haven't even been discovered. So what would be the point of picking him if you had to quarantine him?

Nicklas Lidstrom (D) - He may be 37 but ooooooooh, girl! He's got crystal clear, blue eyes, his English is so good, and he can really hit that puck, can't he? I'm sure there are some ladies who would agree with me.

Scott Niedermayer (D) - I better get him on the list before he retires. So we all saw him rock the
caveman beard during the playoffs, but seriously, no one can grow a better beard than him. It's full, thick, well groomed (otherwise it would have been to his knees), with flecks of gray. I realize that puts me 2 for 2 with the old men on D, but you can't go wrong with Scotty Nieds. He's like the George Clooney of the NHL. Yes, that's it, the perfect comparison!! Pure genius, I know.

(And I couldn't pick
JMFJ because I already used up my Kings pick. Damn, Cloutier, always ruining everything!)

Rick Nash (LW) - Obvious choice, but what can I say, I'm a sucker for adorable looking men. I love that he's smiling (and showing his teeth) in his hockey profile picture. I just want to squeeze his cute cheeks! I wish I could make him into a stuffed animal and squeal "I want to hug you and squeeze you into itty-bitty pieces!" Bitchany used to have the best photo of him as her profile pic. I think it was from the World Championships where Canada won gold and he has the most perfect smile on his face. Pure gold!

Joffery Lupul (RW) - I can't put my finger on it, but there's just something about Lupul that does it for me. I don't know what it is. Does anyone else feel this way? And check out this super serial extreme close-up photo of him. WTF? Anyway, Lupul is on the All-Star Squee Team. No explanation needed. That's how he rolls. (But I did almost pick Martin Havlat.)

Jason Arnott (C) - I really don't think an explanation is needed when you can see this photo and (brace yourself) this photo. Where did these photos come from (I found them on Google)? Why were they taken? Does it really matter why? Can't we all just be thankful that they exist? (Note: Center is a very competitive position for squees.)

The Eastern Conference team will be announced tomorrow.

(Note: Let it be known that I never used the term "squee" until I became addicted to SportsSquee's blog.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hideousness at its finest

IPB's most recent post inspired me to dig up an old post I wrote about the worst NHL jerseys (in my humble, awesome opinion). I actually wrote this post way back in 2006 and posted it on my other blog. I'm reposting it here because (a) this is the only thing I can think of writing about and (b) the only person who read my other blog in 2006 was me. So when I say "tonight's game" I really mean, a game I watched this past season. Also, this was written before the new Rbk jerseys so when I reference the NHL shop for examples, don't pay any attention to the Rbk jerseys.

I didn’t think Atlanta’s jersey could get any worse till I just saw the highlights of tonight’s game. (I'm actually not quite sure how long it has been a part of the jersey but I just noticed it.) The additional feature that caught my eye is the “ATLANTA” written on the sleeve. The last time I saw a team name on the sleeve was on my high school’s football t-shirt (in the ‘90s). Actually, it wasn’t even a jersey, but a t-shirt. Most likely it was a warm-up shirt or a freebie that all the players received. So what’s next, placing “THRASHERS” on the other sleeve? Is it really necessary to have the team name spelled out on the sleeves? I think it’s completely acceptable to have the name on the front as do some teams; some jerseys incorporate it into the logo (i.e., the
Dallas Stars) and some teams have an additional jersey that the team will wear from time to time (i.e., the Colorado Avalanche ) with just the team name written across the front. But once you have a logo and then place the team name on the sleeve, you start to clutter up the jersey and make it into an eye sore.

The other two things about Atlanta’s jersey that bother me are (1) the colors and (2) the logo. I’ll be honest; I don’t know what a ‘Thrasher’ is. Judging by the logo I’m guessing it’s like a tornado or hurricane. Let me check
wikipedia… Haha, I was way off!! Direct from Wikipedia:

“The nickname ‘Thrasher’, after Georgia’s state bird, the brown thrasher, was selected from a fan poll. ‘Thrashers’ had actually been runner-up to ‘Flames’ for Atlanta’s first NHL team, and Philips Arena, the Thrashers’ new home, was built on the site of the former Omni, which had been home to the Atlanta Flames.”

Now that I know that a Thrasher is a bird, upon closer inspection, the logo does resemble a bird with a hockey stick. I must admit, too bad this logo was already taken because the Ducks could have used a logo like this one. I suppose if I had done my research before writing this post I would only have one problem with their jersey.

The Atlanta Thrashers’ colors are Ice Blue, Navy Blue, Red and Gold. Since when did having two or three colors not be good enough? The jersey’s main color is ice blue, which I think makes them look like they should be playing youth hockey. No grown man should have to wear ice blue, which we all know is really code for “baby blue” or “a delicate shade of blue”. I think this jersey would have looked way better if it was only navy blue with gold and red accents. And when I say accents, I really do mean using the colors in more than just one line. It still bothers me that the Ducks organization insists they are black and orange, when really they are black and gold with an orange line at the bottom of the jersey. Of course they can’t really be black and orange because then their jerseys would be absolutely hideous, but they should at least accept the fact that they are this close from looking like the Penguins.

The NHL shop has
two different jerseys for Atlanta. I just noticed another detail that is completely unnecessary. What in the world is that yellow detail at the bottom of the jersey? And if you click on one of the blue jerseys you can see the “ATLANTA” on the sleeve. You know what else I don’t like about the blue jerseys? The asymmetrical design for the sleeve that has “ATLANTA” written on it. I realize that the darker blue provides an effect that draws the eye to the “ATLANTA” but is it really necessary considering how unbalanced the jersey already looks with text on the sleeve?

I’m actually tired of writing but I’ll briefly describe my next least favorite NHL jersey: The Nashville Predators. The two problems I have with this jersey are (1) the colors (again) and (2) the jersey layout. Once again, there is one too many colors. Let me check
wikipedia to make sure I correctly list the colors. The colors are Navy Blue, Silver, and Gold. First rule of color decisions (according to kms2): Only one metallic color should be used when designing a jersey. Although, quite honestly, I thought the gold was actually yellow. It doesn’t actually matter if it’s gold or yellow because my biggest pet peeve is the silver and where it is placed on the jersey. The NHL shop has three jerseys for Nashville and if you look at the jersey you'll see why I hate it. And don’t even get me started on the yellow jersey and the comical logo. I could write about this jersey for hours but I have more important things to focus on

Update: I still could go on and on about how disgusting and atrocious the Nashville jerseys are, but I still have more important things to focus on.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

LA Kings' 2007 Draft Picks

My boyfriend and I went to San Diego this weekend and I fully expected to miss every single minute of the 2007 Draft. We arrived in SD around 3:30ish, checked into the hotel, roamed around the Seaport Village, ate a late lunch, and went back to the room. I mentioned that the Draft was on VS to which my boyfriend said, yeah right, the hotel is going to have VS. I didn’t lose hope because back in April when I was Pomona, I was able to watch playoff games on VS in my hotel room. Sure enough, the hotel had VS and right when we turned on the TV it was the Kings’ turn to pick with the fourth selection. I saw that Patrick Kane was already selected and I figured we would go with a defenseman. When we picked Thomas Hickey, I said, “Who?” The defenseman that I though the Kings were going to pick, Karl Alzner, was selected fifth. I watched the rest of the first round, but before I get into what I thought of the first day of the 2007 draft, let’s look at all of the players picked by the LA Kings.
  1. Thomas Hickey (R1)
  2. Oscar Moller (R2)
  3. Wayne Simmonds (R2)
  4. Bryan Cameron (R3)
  5. Alec Martinez (R4)
  6. Dwight King (R4)
  7. Linden Rowat (R5)
  8. Joshua Turnbull (R5)
  9. Josh Kidd (R7)
  10. Matt Fillier (R7)
Thomas Hickey is a smaller defenseman at only 5’11” and 182 lbs. The LA Times article discussed reasons for why the Kings selected Hicks, a player that was ranked 26th by Central Scouting. DL admitted that “there’s more risk” in taking Hicks and that “Alzner was a ‘very safe pick’”. The scouts are impressed with the way Hickey can skate and while DL thought about making a trade to move down, in hopes that Hickey would still be available later in the draft, he said he ”was getting antsy.” Only time will tell whether or not Hickey was the better pick.

Haha, take a look at
Oscar Moller’s photo. The kid looks high as a kite! Oscar is another smallish player, playing center at 5’11” and 179 lbs. He’s from Sweden but played in the WHL last season, notching 69 points in 68 games, which gives me hope that he won't fly back to Europe to never be heard from again. According to the Central Scouting Report, Moller has a good work ethic and anticipates the play but needs to improve his physical game.

Wayne Simmonds was the third selection by the Kings. He’s a RW that played in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack. He had a respectable season with 49 points and 112 PIM in 66 games.

Bryan Cameron played in the OHL with the Belleville Bulls the past two seasons. He significantly improved his points production in the second season. According to the Central Scouting Report, he’s good in front of the next but needs to work on his two-way play.

Alec Martinez is a defenseman who currently plays with Miami University in Ohio. Take a look at his college bio, he’s kinda cute, good smile.

Dwight King is a 6’3” C/LW currently playing with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL. Last season he had 44 points in 62 games. He might be a ringer considering he looks like he’s 27.

The first goalie picked by the LA Kings was
Linden Rowat. And so far, he’s the cutest little King draft pick ever! Just look at those sad puppy-dog eyes…aww.

Joshua Turnbull is two steps away from creepy! He’s just missing the jar of hair grease and a black mock-turtleneck. Anyway, this kid is an American born center who played with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL. His points total was decent, 54 points in 60 games and a +18.

Josh Kidd is only 17 but is already 6’5” and 220 lbs. He’s apparently a stay-at-home defenseman and has good mobility considering his size.

Matt Fillier looks like he’s about to choke a bitch. He did have 118 PIM during the past season so apparently you can judge a book by its cover. He did put up adequate numbers (36 points in 63 games) but he was a mind blowing -38 for the season. Do we have a Raitis Ivanans-in-training??

Overall, I’m not sure what I think about this draft from the Kings’ standpoint. I think that Hickey could turn out well for the team but then again, he could be a flop. I’m most interested in the development of Oscar Moller. He could turn out to be like Michael Cammalleri and that would be fantastic for the organization. As DL said, it’s now up to the organization to develop the draft picks into NHL quality players and not rush them into the league.

As for the First Round itself, I think Pierre McGuire had his entire head up Alexei Cherepanov’s ass. He wouldn’t shut up about the kid! I loved how the other analysts kept making fun of McGuire about his undying love for Cherepanov. The kid was obviously not from North America based on his $5 blunt haircut, black on black outfit, complete with a skin-tight short-sleeved, black shirt that was revealed when he took off his jacket in order to pull on the Rangers’ sweater. I wasn’t too surprised that Angelo Esposito wasn’t taken sooner. I don’t think that a team should pick a player based on his connections. One analyst did mention that Esposito is known for not using his linemates enough and almost every clip in his scoring highlight reel showed him skating up the ice, deking around the other team and scoring. So yes, the highlights did show him ignoring his teammates. However, Pittsburgh could be very dangerous in years to come.

With all that said, is the season here yet?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gift Idea

When your hockey fan friend has a birthday, do you ever wonder ,what should I get him or her?
I present to you, a birthday gift I received from my wonderful friends Mishele and Craig. They're engaged so it was a combined gift but I think Craig was the one who found it. He knows a bit about hockey since he's a tortured Philly fan and is well aware of my (sometimes unhealthy) hockey obsession. The funniest thing about this gift is that they live in Texas and not in a city named Dallas. So I wonder, what in the world was a kid's starter toy hockey set with Luc Robitaille as the promoter, doing in a store in Texas? I just received it and haven't had a chance to ask them where exactly they found it. But seriously, best gift ever! Thanks guys!

My new Luc Robitaille hockey set!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

LA Kings 2006 Draft: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

The last Draft analysis!! Woohoo! I really don’t want to write this but I have to complete my mission. Here are the 2006 Draft picks for the LA Kings (DL’s first Draft with the Kings):

  1. Jonathan Bernier (R1)
  2. Trevor Lewis (R1)
  3. Joe Ryan (R2)
  4. Jeff Zatkoff (R3)
  5. Bud Holloway (R3)
  6. Niclas Andersen (R4)
  7. David Meckler (R5)
  8. Martin Nolet (R5)
  9. Constantin Braun (R6)
I actually watched the Kings pick Bernier and was pleased that we drafted the highest touted goalie in the draft. We all know how horrible our goaltending was this past season and we all know how DL likes to stock up on quality goaltenders so hopefully we’ll see Bernier suited up in a Kings jersey within the next two or three seasons. I was also glad that we didn’t wait till the last round before we selected a goalie.

I remember being in a rush to leave my apt when Pierre McGuire reported that something big was about to happen involving the LA Kings and Minnesota Wild. And then a commercial came on and I had to leave. It killed me not knowing what was going on with my beloved Kings. Later in the day I found out that the Kings traded away Pavol Demitra for Patrick O’Sullivan and Minnesota's next draft pick, which they used to select
Trevor Lewis. I read somewhere that DL made the trade because he specifically wanted Lewis and that if Lewis had been drafted by another team, he would not have made the trade. Lewis better be damn good.

No one over the age of 12 should be called Joey. Anyway, apparently Patrick Roy is like a mentor to
Joey Ryan. I don’t know what I think of that. Oh, the article claims that Roy and his wife are divorced…I wonder why.

Jeff Zatkoff is a goalie with a pretty damn good record while playing in the USHL and NCAA. We should probably keep an eye on him.

I was going to say that I didn’t realize that kids born in the ‘80s were named Bud, but thankfully it’s just his nickname.
Bud Holloway has consistently improved while playing in the WHL. Holy cow, he was born in 1988!! Were all of these guys born in ’88? Ack! I’m getting old.

Niclas Andersen is just another Euro player.

David Meckler did pretty well this past season in the OHL.

Martin Nolet. Whatever.

Constantin Braun the last player picked in the draft?

So what did I learn about the past draft picks for the LA Kings? Most of the European players we picked either couldn’t come to an agreement with the Kings and/or they remained in Europe, never to be heard from again. We did pretty well in putting off the selection of a goalie till the second to last round. And we made some pretty bonehead trades in feeble attempts to improve the team for the short-term. While I want to praise DL for his first Draft, I will hold off because the effects of a Draft never seem to immediately reveal themselves. Time will only tell how DL compares to Dave Taylor.

When is it Time to Call it Quits?

Beware, rant ahead. Although this post is aimed at the Kings and Kings fans, it could, or rather should, apply to all fans who do or have supported a losing club.

LA Times has an interesting article about how the Ducks’s recent Cup victory pissed off Kings fans (me included) and questions how the Kings organization plans to develop a winning team.

The article begins with quotes from Kings fan about the Ducks’ recent victorious season. One fan has decided to quit being a Kings fan and most fans whined about the organization not being able to do anything for the past 40 years. The frustration from the fans is understandable and even former Kings goaltender, Kelly Hrudey understood as he was quoted as saying: "It's tough because they have been patient fans, who have been very loyal, considering that the organization has had more lows than highs.”

While it may be difficult for the organization and players to withstand constantly being on the losing end, it might be even more difficult for the most loyal fans. We can’t be fired and forced to remove ourselves from the team. We can’t ask for a trade or be forced to play for another team and wind up on a Stanley Cup winning team. Sure, we can give up and/or jump on the team-du-jour’s bandwagon. But if we do either then what pride do we have left? What’s the point of being a fan if you can’t experience the lows and highs with the team? If you can’t boast that you witnessed every season ending spiral, but had faith that they would bounce back. What kind of fan are you if all you wish for is to see your team raise the Cup, even if it means that your team is the second or third team that you’ve declared to be your team.

The fan that proclaimed that he’s done being a Kings fan even admitted that, ”The Ducks' win is still fresh, so it hurts. That's why I'm done with hockey for now. But I admit, if the Kings can get it together, I may be back." Oh, awesome, take the easy road out. Be that guy. Everyone hates that fan (or maybe it’s just me). I’ve been a Kings fan since I was 6 or 7 years old (since the late 80’s if you’re curious about the year I became a fan) and I don’t plan on kicking the Kings to the curb and standing behind another organization. To me, it doesn’t matter that I’ve suffered through one losing season after another and that the organization hasn’t “rewarded” me for being a loyal fan by winning the Cup. Not every team can win the Cup every year. Not every team will always be hot and have a winning season year after year. Like any other fan, I would love to witness my squad win the Cup but I realize that not every team will have the opportunity to raise it. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy your team and I get rewarded every time I see my favorite Kings play and watch them play their hearts out. The names may change from season to season but as a whole, they’re my team, my Kings. And when the building is done, as DL appropriately calls it, and the team begins to notch winning seasons and make a real run for the Cup, I’ll be able to say that I’ve stood by them through everything, never wavering on my status as a Kings fan. Say your jokes, ask why I’m still a fan, belittle my team, point your finger and laugh at me all you want. I’m a Kings fan, I’m proud to say it, and nothing will change my mind. So when’s the time to call it quits? I say: Never.

x-posted to

LA Kings 2005 Draft Part 2: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

With my glowing praise of Kopitar out of the way it’s time to talk about the remaining draft picks. Just in case you don’t want to scroll down to the previous post, here were the 2005 Draft picks for the LA Kings:

  1. Anze Kopitar (R1)
  2. Dany Roussin (R2)
  3. TJ Fast (R2)
  4. Patrik Hersley (R5)
  5. Ryan McGinnis (R6)
  6. Josh Meyers (R7)
  7. John Seymour (R7)
I’ve never heard of Dany Roussin but the kid lit it up in the QMJHL (the worst acronym ever). No wonder we selected him. Now if only he could put up numbers like he used to…

TJ Fast: [insert corny pun]

Either Umass-Amherst has a shitty hockey club or
Quickie isn’t so hot himself. (Note: I resisted the urge to use the word ain’t.)

Patrik Hersley has played in Europe during the past three seasons. Odds of him staying overseas? 99.99%

Ryan McGinnis has his own Wikipedia page, but it’s very brief with no juicy gossip. In other words, Boring!

Josh Meyers is another defenseman and I hope he’s good because we’re lacking young quality D-men.

My guess is that
John Seymour plays on the checking line.

So that’s it. Probably my most boring “analysis” yet. It’s quite difficult to talk about these guys when they’re so young and have hardly any history. Obviously, Kopitar was the highlight of this draft and hopefully Roussin and Quick will develop into fine NHL quality players. Not quite sure how long I will continue to hope before I completely lose faith.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

LA Kings 2005 Draft Part 1: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

It’s about time we got to the 2005 Draft! I thought this day would never come. We’ve suffered through failed first round picks, a myriad of Euro players who chose not to come to this fine country, or even continent, and far too many permanent full-time minor leaguers. Here is the list of the LA Kings draft picks from the 2005 Draft:

  1. Anze Kopitar (R1)
  2. Dany Roussin (R2)
  3. TJ Fast (R2)
  4. Patrik Hersley (R5)
  5. Ryan McGinnis (R6)
  6. Josh Meyers (R7)
  7. John Seymour (R7)
In the weeks and days leading up to the 2005 draft, I had read that Anze Kopitar was the number one ranked European. His name stuck in my head but little did I think that the Kings would be able to snatch him with the eleventh overall pick. He did spend the following year playing in Europe but apparently the Kings were well aware of his plans either before or immediately after they drafted him. They didn’t think he was ready to immediately start in the NHL anyway, so at the time it didn’t seem like a big deal. When he came to the 2006 training camp, it was still questionable whether or not he would make the final cut. Throughout the training camp and preseason, Crawford and DL were quick to say that they didn’t want to rush him. But lo and behold, he made the final roster, schooled Chris “can you hear me whistling through my teeth” Pronger and scored two goals in the first game of the season, and became an instant fan favorite. Crow is quick to point out that the Slovenian Sensation is a son of a coach and quickly takes in coaching advice. I could go on and on about why Kopitar is so amazing, but the two things about him that I like the most are (1) he’s the light at the end of the Kings’ long dismal tunnel, which brings hope and excitement to Kings fans and (2) he looks like he’s having so much fun playing and his enthusiasm for the game makes me more excited to watch him and the Kings.

Writing about Kopitar put me in such a good mood. I don't want to ruin my mood so I’ll write about the remaining draft picks tomorrow along with the 2006 Draft.

Monday, June 18, 2007

LA Kings 2004 Draft: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

The 2004 Draft picks are an interesting bunch:

  1. Lauri Tukonen (R1)
  2. Paul Baier (R3)
  3. Ned Lukacevic (R4)
  4. Eric Neilson (R5)
  5. Scott Parse (R6)
  6. Mike Curry (R7)
  7. Daniel Taylor (R7)
  8. Yutaka Fukufuji (R8)
  9. Valtteri Tenkanen (R9)
Lauri Tukonen is a Finnish player who has actually decided to try his hand at pro hockey in North America. Already, I like him! His past two seasons with Manchester have been good and due to the Kings’ depleted roster this past season, he played 4 games in a Kings jersey. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, I call it a jersey because there’s no way in hell someone in SoCal wears a sweater.) Look for Lauri to develop for at least another season with Manchester with occasional stints in LA. If he keeps up the good work I expect to see him on the Kings roster as a full-time player by the 2008-2009 season. That is, unless we trade him, but hopefully DL won’t trade such a promising hockey player.

I’ve never heard of
Paul Baier and it’s probably because he’s been playing at Brown University the past three seasons. I don’t even know what to say about him.

I’m not really sure what’s going on with
Ned Lukacevic. His stats show that he played fairly well for a couple seasons, but then didn’t do as hot this past season. In the ’06-’07 season, he split his time between Manchester and Reading. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t know what the difference is between the AHL and ECHL and I’m not sure if one is considered to be at a lower playing level than the other or if the Kings organization just places players where they’re needed. It’s probably something I should look into so I won’t sound so hockey-uneducated when I claim to be such a solid, die-hard, hardcore hockey fan.

Eric Neilson played one season in Bakersfield (I am really sorry you had to live there) and one season in Long Beach. Soooo…maybe he’s still within the Kings organization, but I’m not quite sure.

Scott Parse’s bio bores me.

Mike Curry plays for U of Minnesota – Duluth but hasn’t been playing too hot for a winger.

Danny Taylor played for three different ECHL teams this past year. That doesn’t seem like a good sign.

My favorite,
Yutaka Fukufuji, was placed in an unfortunate situation this season when he was called up after Cloutier and Garon went down with injuries and the team did not want to call up LaBarbera, fearful that another team would claim him off waivers. Nevertheless, Fukufuji did make NHL history by becoming the first Japanese-born player to play in an NHL game. When the Kings were playing the Blues and Barry Brust, the other rookie netminder called up during the goalie emergency, was playing terribly, I quickly called my mom, a native Japanese, and told her to turn on the TV to watch her fellow countryman make history. It was an exciting moment and I cheered for him extra hard because I really wanted him to play well. He wasn’t ready to play in the NHL and it was unfortunate that he was rushed into the league. One can only hope that his confidence wasn’t beaten down too badly. Hopefully he’ll keep getting better while playing in Manchester, Reading, or elsewhere because I would like to see him in the NHL again.

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!
Valtteri Tenkanen has been playing in a Finnish league for the past four years. It wouldn’t be a Kings Draft if at least one player stayed in Europe and what a great way to end the LA Kings 2004 Draft analysis.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Eye Candy

Jordi's attempt to convince me to watch Supernatural:

Jensen Ackles

LA Kings 2003 Draft: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

The 2003 Draft wasn’t as bad as the 2002 Draft. I promise:

  1. Dustin Brown (R1)
  2. Brian Boyle (R1)
  3. Jeff Tambellini (R1)
  4. Konstantin Pushkarev (R2)
  5. Ryan Munce (R3)
  6. Brady Murray (R5)
  7. Esa Pirnes (R6)
  8. Matt Zaba (R8)
  9. Mike Sullivan (R8)
  10. Martin Guerin (R9)
I wonder if Dustin Brown will ever lose the baby fat in his face. I’m happy to know that our first pick of the draft is playing for the Kings and doing well, but he should be better on the scoreboard. He has shown improvement over every season so I’m hopeful that he’ll be putting up Cammalleri numbers within the next two seasons. He’s two years younger than Cammalleri, so he’s right on track. He played superbly while in high school, on the US squad, and with Manchester so it seems like any day he’ll turn it up in the NHL. Watch out for D. Brown, his coming out party is just around the corner.

The Kings just
signed Brian Boyle to a two-year entry level contract. He played four years at Boston College and played two games this year with Manchester. At 6’7” and 220 lbs, the guy is huge. It’ll be interesting to see if he starts in LA or in Manchester. After all the past failed first round picks, it would be nice to see Boyle turn into a great player.

Along with Grebeshkov (see below for yesterday’s post),
Jeff Tambellini was traded to the Islanders in exchange for Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel at the 2006 trade deadline. Considering the position the Kings were in at the time of the trade deadline, neither Parrish nor Sopel were going to be the deciding factors that pushed the Kings into the playoffs. They were in a horrible downward spiral and they shouldn’t have traded away two guys that had a lot of potential for two veterans that didn’t bring very much to the team for the rest of the season. Parrish left for Minnesota and while Sopel had surgery, which brought him back to being a pretty good defenseman, we ended up trading him this past season. Tambellini looks like he could become a great player and Islanders fans should keep an eye out for him.

At the 2007 trade deadline,
Konstantin Pushkarev was sent to Dallas along with Matty Norstrom and several draft picks in exchange for “Future Hall of Famer”, Jaroslav Modry (see for the joke), and a whole slew of draft picks. It’s quite confusing but if we use the draft picks to good use then it’ll be worth it. Plus, I could have sworn that I read somewhere that earlier this year DL was this close to shipping Pushkarev back to Russia but Hextall cleared the bad blood. So maybe it wasn't so bad that we got Pushkarev out of the organization.

I don’t think we’ll ever see
Ryan Munce in a Kings jersey.

Did the Kings pick
Brady Murray because his dad was the coach of the Kings? It’s probably unfair for me to pose the question but I had to put it out there. Regardless, the Kings actually just signed Murray at the beginning of May.

After a not so good stint in North America,
Esa Pirnes decided to go back to Europe.

Matt Zaba has only played four years with Colorado College.

There are way too many hockey players named Mike Sullivan. I’m going to pick the Mike Sullivan that is listed fifth: This
Mike Sullivan was born in San Francisco, CA, is a defenseman, and played four seasons, from 1970-1976, with the Fresno (“ewww”) Falcons. So, obviously, not our guy.

Maybe we’ll see
Marty Guerin in a Monarchs jersey soon.

Overall, I’d say this draft wasn’t too bad. A lot of the players have a lot of potential and they’re at the age where they’re just finishing college and may want to try their hand at pro hockey. We picked far less Euro players in this Draft than in past ones, and considering our record with Euro players, especially those damn Russians, it might not have been a bad move, whether or not it was actually planned. I’m looking forward to seeing whether or not the North American players sign with the Kings and if they do, how they’ll transition to playing with the Royals, Monarchs, and/or Kings.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

LA Kings 2002 Draft: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

The list of 2002 Draft picks doesn’t look very promising. A couple names sound familiar and I think one or two guys have suited up in a Kings jersey. I wish I could say that the majority of the players are honing their skills in Manchester, but I have a strong feeling that most are not even within the Kings system. Here we go…

  1. Denis Grebeshkov (R1)
  2. Sergei Anshakov (R2)
  3. Petr Kanko (R3)
  4. Aaron Rome (R4)
  5. Mark Rooneem (R4)
  6. Greg Hogeboom (R5)
  7. Joel Andresen (R5)
  8. Ryan Murphy (R6)
  9. Mikhail Lyubushin (R7)
  10. Tuuka Pulliainen (R8)
  11. Connor James (R9)
Denis Grebeshkov had a couple stints with the Kings and Manchester before being traded to the NY Islanders along with Jeff Tambellini (we’ll get to him tomorrow), and a third round draft pick in the 2006 Draft in exchange for Brent Sopel and Mark Parrish. Yeah, that’s fair. He then returned to Russia after being unable to come to a contract agreement with the Islanders and earlier this year his rights were traded to the Oilers for Marc-Andre Bergeron and a third round choice in the 2008 Draft. Wait. What? Does that trade make sense to anyone? I guess we’ll have to wait a year or two to find out if Grebeshkov (a) leaves Russia and plays with the Oilers and (b) is better than Bergeron.

Why wouldn’t
Sergei Anshakov be in Russia?

When Petr
“Panko Bread” Kanko played 10 games with the Kings, I would have rated his performance with two thumbs down. When I saw that he was picked in the third Round I thought Dave Taylor must have been out of his damn mind. But look at Kanko’s career stats. How in the world has his production dropped so dramatically? He had three solid seasons in the OHL but has never been able to put up great numbers since then. I guess Kanko has the potential to be a very solid winger, but apparently he needs more time in the minors and hopefully more time down there will equal better development. The guy is only 23 so he has a couple years to work things out before his stock plummets. Also, he looks like he’s about to choke a bitch.

How does
someone get drafted by the Kings but begins his pro career with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, then plays with the Portland Pirates, and then gets called up by the Anaheim Ducks for their playoff run? I don’t get it. When were his rights acquired by the Ducks? Who did we get in return?

Mark Rooneem plays in the minors and it’s unclear whether or not the Kings still have the rights to them. Considering he has played the last three years in Louisiana, Texas and Florida, I’m guessing…no.

At first I wasn’t going to give
Greg Hogeboom more than one sentence, but after looking at his stats, I’m not giving up on this guy yet. He played four years at Miami University in Ohio and has been going back and forth between Manchester and Reading. I’m not really sure how the AHL and ECHL differ, but he had quite the season last year while with the Reading Royals. He is 25 so he might be on the “Noah Clarke path” to the Kings.

I don’t even know what to say about
Joel Andresen. I mean, what in the world is the GerObl League? I could Wikipedia it but that would require too much work.

There are six possible players named
Ryan Murphy and the first one was drafted by Carolina.

I wonder if
Mikhail Lyubushin and Sergei Anshakov are shacking it up together in Russia.

Wow, another player (Tuuka Pulliainen) doesn’t exist. And I think that brings the total of “nonexistent players that were drafted by the Kings” to 5.

I wouldn’t be surprised if
Connor James is called up more in the future. He’s only played two games with the Kings but has consistently been tallying around 40 points per season in the minors. Hell, I would rather see him in a Kings jersey than Noah Clarke.

Overall, this Draft royally sucked. I don’t even know what else to say. Now I’m depressed and I have a feeling that I’m going to be this way till the 2005 Draft.

Friday, June 15, 2007

LA Kings 2001 Draft: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

I wish I could say that the 2000 Draft was the first of many great Drafts to come, but that’s not true. Here’s the list of draft picks from the 2001 Draft:

  1. Jens Karlsson (R1)
  2. David Steckel (R1)
  3. Michael Cammalleri (R2)
  4. Jaroslav Bednar (R2)
  5. Henrik Juntunen (R3)
  6. Richard Petiot (R4)
  7. Terry Denike (R5)
  8. Tuukka Mantyla (R5)
  9. Cristobal Huet (R7)
  10. Mike Gabinet (R8)
  11. Sebastien Laplante (R9)
How in the world did we use our first pick to draft someone who eventually never played in the NHL or even for any team in North America? And quite frankly, looking at his statistics, he hasn’t even done all that well in the Swedish Elite League. The only way this pick could have ended up worse is if the guy just decided to “retire” the day after he got drafted. What a waste of a first round pick.

Dave Steckel is another example of a stellar first round draft pick. Why the hell did we pick him in the first round?? Arrrgh!

I’m convinced that the only reason why
Michael “Bite Size” Cammalleri was taken in the second Round, and not the first, is because this Draft was before the “New” NHL (jeez, I really hate that term). At 5’9” and 185 lbs (according to his profile) he’s definitely a player, like Briere, who has excelled with (or as a result of) the new rule changes. His first two partial seasons with the Kings were “eh”, yet he performed very well when he was sent down to Manchester. His breakout season was during the lockout when he played for the Monarchs and notched 109 points in 79 games and was 4 goals shy of 50. His next season with the Kings was respectable (55 points) and his most recent season was spectacular as he recorded 80 points. He must have drank some long-lasting Gummiberry Juice because he certainly acquired some supernatural powers. If you’ve never seen him play, look for his signature move: shooting while going down to one knee. Yeah, it looks just as odd as it sounds but it works almost every time. He’s become a sniper with that shooting style so I’m all for it too. Let’s just hope the Kings can re-sign him to a reasonable salary. And in fairness to the Kings, I hope my little Cammy doesn’t get too greedy.

Let’s just skip
Jaroslav Bednar, Henrik Juntunen, Richard Petiot, Terry Denike, and Tuukka Mantyla and skip right to the next recognizable name.

I’m not sure what’s more surprising about
Cristobal Huet: the fact that he was picked in Round 7, that the Kings let him go, or that he has become a number one goalie. I don’t know what I think about Huet and I’ll let the Habs fans duke it out over whether or not he’s worth it.

I don’t have anything to say about
Mike Gabinet and Sebastien Laplante so, [insert your own sarcastic comment].

With the exception of Cammalleri, the 2001 Draft was a bust. Can this Draft be deemed successful if only one pick out of eleven pans out for the Kings? Because I triple heart Cammalleri: Yes!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

LA Kings 2000 Draft: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

I promise that the 2000 Draft was much better than the previous three years. Here we go!

  1. Alexander Frolov (R1)
  2. Andreas Lilja (R2)
  3. Yanick Lehoux (R3)
  4. Lubomir Visnovsky (R4)
  5. Nathan Marsters (R5)
  6. Yevgeny Fedorov (R7)
  7. Tim Eriksson (R7)
  8. Craig Olynick (R7)
  9. Dan Welch (R8)
  10. Flavien Conne (R8)
  11. Carl Grahn (R9)
Alexander Frolov is probably my favorite current Kings player. Frolo, as I like to call him, is just one day older than me! If only we were friends, then we could have a joint birthday bash. (So I just told my boyfriend this fact and he said, “Really!!?” because he thinks I look way younger…hooray! Good answer, boyfriend!) I like Frolo for many reasons but I think he would be my clear-cut choice as favorite player (rather than the “probably”) if he produced better numbers. Each year the coaching staff challenges him to be better, to shoot more, shoot more, and shoot more. He has great skills and is a natural goal scorer, but for some reason is still reluctant to take the shot. And he’s pretty damn good in the shootout. If you’ve ever seen him in the shootout you probably won’t even see his last touch because he doesn’t make the last move till he’s practically skating on top of the goalie. He didn’t play with the Kings till 2002 and since then has had 31 points, 48 points, 54 points (in 69 games), and 71 points in each of the last 4 seasons. He is clearly improving (always a good sign) but he still has yet to net 40 goals in a season. He should be a 40-goal scorer and that’s what I expect out of him this coming season. Go, Fro, Go!!

We all know about
Andrea Lilja. I can still see him coughing up the puck…it still hurts, although I’m sure it would hurt more if I was a Red Wings fan. I’m not quite sure how and why he got sent to Florida and then Detroit, but check out that wikipedia article on him. Has a bit of interesting stuff about him, Henrik Tallinder, and Kristian Huselius. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment on the incident, but it’s interesting to read about what these guys do and go through off the ice.

Five years after drafting him, the Kings put
Yanic Lehoux on waivers and Phoenix claimed him. Looking at his numbers while in Manchester, I’m sort of surprised that the Kings never had him play for them. But, seeing how he did in a Coyotes uniform…maybe putting him on waivers wasn’t a bad idea.

Lubi is another of my favorites. Although I don’t know how anyone can’t not like a guy who looks as adorable as him. His rookie season was solid with 39 points but his numbers dropped a bit the next three seasons. His breakout season was in 2005-2006 when he almost led the Kings in scoring, as a D-man, with 67 points. He followed that great season with a 58-point season while only playing 69 games. Lubi is awesome. He has a great slap shot, plays excellent defense and offense, and skates really well. If you’ve never noticed him, keep an eye out this coming season. Getting Lubi in Round 4 was a steal!

Nathan Marsters is just another name on the “goalie-who-doesn’t-do-anything” list.

I’m convinced that Yevgeny Fedorov doesn’t even exist.

Tim Eriksson hasn’t played a single game for a North American team.

Craig Olynick, Dan Welch, Flavien Conne, Carl Grahn blah, blah, blah, don’t care.

This Draft wasn’t too bad. We did get Frolov and Visnovsky out of it and they’re both still with the Kings and doing well. I heart Frolo and Lubi! Just thinking about them makes me happy!

Note: If Dean trades Lubi within the next two seasons, I will never, ever forgive him.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Twinsies 2.0

For the past two years, I’ve been telling my boyfriend about the similarities between Craig Conroy and Greg Kinnear. Judge for yourself:

Craig Conroy

Greg Kinnear

LA Kings 1999 Draft – Who? Why? Where is He Now?

Somehow (and I’m too lazy to do the research) the Kings did not have a first round pick. That’s ok considering the past two years of first round picks did absolutely dick for the team. No, not bitter. Not at all. Onward to the 1999 Draft (round picked listed in parenthesis):

  1. Andrei Shefer (R2)
  2. Jason Crain (R3)
  3. Frantisek Kaberle (R3)
  4. Cory Campbell (R3)
  5. Brian McGrattan (R4)
  6. Daniel Johansson (R4)
  7. Jean-Francois Nogues (R5)
  8. Kevin Baker (R7)
  9. George Parros (R8)
  10. Noah Clarke (R9)
My commentary is going to be short and sweet.

Andrei Shefer managed to live outside of Russia for one season.

Jason Crain played 4 years of hockey at Ohio State University where he was routinely seen picking up girls with the line, “so, did you know we have a hockey team?”

Why is
Frantisek Kaberle not in a Kings uniform? We didn’t even give him a full season before we shipped him off to Atlanta. Sure, it did take him a couple seasons to blossom, but I wish we had kept him.

Cory Campbell has made quite a name for himself as a backup goalie in the minors.

We all know where
Brian McGrattan has ended up. It only took him 8 seasons in the minors to prep for the NHL. Now that he’s an Ottawa Senator I think he’s about done sewing that chenille fabric bench cushion stuffed with down filling.

Hockey DB came up with 5 different players named
Daniel Johansson. I’m not in the mood to click on each name to figure out where he ended up. My guess, hittin’ the discothèques in Europe.

Jean-Francois Nogues. He’s not interesting.

There are two players named
Kevin Baker listed on Hockey DB. Don’t care. He’s probably in the minors.

George Parros is so awesome, he even has his own website. Georgie was too busy getting an economics degree at Princeton to bother with the NHL. I mean seriously, why play in professional hockey when you can attend and play at an Ivy League school and write your senior thesis on the West Coast Longshoremen’s labor dispute. Oh that’s right, because being able to attend an Ivy league school and play professional hockey, where you’re an enforcer, makes you an incredible hard ass. I like Georgie and am sad that he was replaced by the Raitis Ivanans.

I am so f’ing sick and tired of seeing
Noah Clarke get called up every now and then and do hardly anything. Can’t we just kick him to curb. Or, I know! How about the Kings stay healthy enough so we don’t become the Monarchs for half the season.

Overall, I don’t know how I feel about this draft. It was better than 1998 but not by much.

Truly Disappointed in Bucci

I generally like reading John Buccigross’s articles on ESPN but, of course, I don’t agree with everything he writes. For example, I don’t always agree with his taste in music, I completely disagree that bigger nets is a necessary change, and I definitely do not understand his fascination with Haaken Loob. Yesterday was his last article of the season and as excited as I was to read it and, at the same time, sad knowing that I would have to wait till September or October for another article, my feelings quickly turned to disbelief as soon as read the following statement: Ryan Getzlaf's hair is amongst the top 5 in the league. What!? Are you kidding me?! Bucci thinks Getzlaf has great hair? Either Bucci has a thing for balding men in their early 20s or he has never seen Getzlaf without his helmet. Getzlaf hair is very similar to Peter Laviolette’s hair. Looks great from the front but catch a glimpse of the top/back and you shudder in amazement that something like that could be happening back there. As you reach for the spray on hair you finally convince yourself that it’s okay, it’s natural, and there’s no need to overreact.

Not that I have anything against bald or balding guys, it’s just that no one in my family is bald or balding, not even my 75+ year old grandfather and, luckily for me, my boyfriend is going prematurely gray, but hey, I’m used to seeing that happen! The thing with Getzlaf’s hair is that it is so unexpected. I bet you 5 bucks Bucci doesn’t know Getzlaf is balding and when he does find out that he is, I bet another 5 bucks that Bucci will immediately drop him from the top 5 hair list. In fact, I’m going to email him and enlighten him on this fact.

Just wrote him an email and here it is:


Are you aware that Ryan Getzlaf is going bald? I don't understand how you can put a balding man in his early 20's on your list of Top 5 hair. I understand that it may look great from the front, but take off that helmet, turn him around, and you will see that ever expanding bald spot. If you were to judge player's hair based on the frontal view, then every hockey player who has or had a mullet would not be given credit for their ability to grow and shape such an amazing hairstyle. I think that in order for someone to make the Top 5, he must have great hair on his entire head. I think you should seriously rethink your statement that “Ryan Getzlaf's hair is amongst the top 5 in the league.”

Truly Disappointed,

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

LA Kings 1998 Draft – Who? Why? Where is He Now?

I haven’t been looking forward to writing this post because the 1997 Draft was a bit of a downer. In case you haven’t read it and don’t want to read it, the only notable players from the 1997 Draft were Jokinen and Corvo. The Kings traded Jokinen away while he was still just a feeble Euro trying to get used to his big boy pants and live up to his potential. While the Kings got some use out of Corvo, he eventually left and signed with Ottawa.

Enough about 1997, here’s the list of the unbelievable pickings from the 1998 Draft (round picked is in parenthesis):
  1. Mathieu Biron (R1)
  2. Justin Papineau (R2)
  3. Alexei Volkov (R3)
  4. Kip Brennan (R4)
  5. Joe Rullier (R5)
  6. Tomas Zizka (R6)
  7. Tommi Hannus (R7)
  8. Jim Henkel (R8)
  9. Matthew Yeats (R9)
Oh My God! Did I really just write those names? I only recognize Kip Brennan and I think he has played…maybe 5 games with the Kings. I'm convinced that Dave Taylor wasn't even trying. I think he could have gotten better results if he had put the Kings on “auto draft”. Who are these guys? Bear with me while I bring everyone back to this memorable draft day.

Mathieu Biron. Nope, not that Biron. He made his NHL debut in the ’99-’00 season with the NY Islanders and I have no idea how he got there or who the Kings got in return, unless the Kings were never able to sign him.

Justin “Pap Smear” Papineau was so good that he entered the draft twice!!! What, Round 2 wasn’t good enough for him? Well, I guess the NHL thought it was because the Blues picked him in Round 3 of the 2000 Draft.

Alexei Volkov plays in Russia. Sweet!!

Okay, so I was wrong,
Kip Brennan played in 41 games with the Kings, 5 with Atlanta, and 12 with the Ducks. The rest of his career has been and still is in the minors. While in the minors, twice he has almost reached 300 PIM. I find it amusing that someone edited his Wikipedia Bio to say that, ”Brennan will no doubt become an NHL Superstar before his retirement if he continues to perform at this caliber”. That’s just a cruel joke.

Joe Rullier has never played in the NHL and I can’t even find anything interesting to say about him, so he sucks.

No Way!
Tomas Zizka actually played in a Kings jersey! For all of 25 games!! Hooray!! And he recorded 8 points!!! Double Hooray!! This is like when your team is down 8-0 and the goalie finally makes a save.

I doubt
Tommi Hannus has even step foot outside of Europe.

Jim Henkel. Who?

Matthew Yeats: Is it really worth picking a goalie in the 9th Round?

Thank goodness it’s over. What a horrendous Draft. As I progressed down the list it was like a bad dream during which I couldn't wake up. I don’t know why any of these guys were picked and I guess it’s good none of them are still with the Kings, but what were we doing with them in the first place? Now I wish someone like Jokinen was in this draft, because then at least I could say that the Kings were right for picking him but they either lost patience in waiting for him to develop or lost faith in his actual abilities. I don’t think things could get any worse and hopefully I’m correct.

Monday, June 11, 2007

LA Kings 1997 Draft - Who? Why? Where is He Now?

This the first in a ten-part series entitled Who? Why? and Where is He Now? in which I will document every Kings draft pick starting with the 1997 Draft. While it might not seem worth it to discuss players that were selected past the 4th Round, every now and then you find a diamond in the rough, like Luc Robitaille who was selected in the 9th Round of the 1984 Draft. If I time this correctly and don’t slack, I could end this series when the 2007 Draft occurs. The LA Kings website has a list of every player the Kings picked in a draft since their inception into the league in 1967. There have been many mistakes and many great players dealt away. Who were they? Why were the bad ones picked? and Why were the good ones traded away? Wait no longer, here we go with the 1997 Draft (round picked is listed in parenthesis):

  1. Olli Jokinen (R1)
  2. Matt Zultek (R1)
  3. Scott Barney (R2)
  4. Joe Corvo (R4)
  5. Sean Blanchard (R4)
  6. Richard Seeley (R6)
  7. Jeff Katcher (R6)
  8. Jay Kopischke (R8)
  9. Konrad Brand (R9)

Right away, I only recognize two players: Jokinen and Corvo. That's never a good sign. In fairness to the Kings,Jokinen did not begin to shine till the ’02-’03 season when he was playing for the Florida Panthers. Sure, Kings fan and the organization may beat themselves up for letting a star get away, but seriously, it took him 6 years to finally live up to his potential? The Kings traded Jokinen to the New York Islanders in exchange for Zigmund Palffy. During the time Jokinen was “getting adjusted” to the NHL, Palffy was racking up the points in LA. 66 points in ’99-’00, 89 points in ’00-’01, 59 points in ’01-’02, 85 points in ’02-03, and 41 points in ’03-’04 (in only 35 games). So now we wonder, was it worth it to have Palffy help in the short-term, or would it have been better to have kept Jokinen in the hopes that he could be a leader in the long-term?

According to
Wikipedia, The Kings were unable to sign [Matt Zultek] to a contract, and he was redrafted in 1999 by the Boston Bruins. Zultek never played in the NHL, and he currently plays in the ECHL with the Toledo Storm. What an awesome first round pick! Well done, Dave Taylor! You started out as GM on the right foot, didn’t ya?

Despite being drafted in 1997,
Scott Barney has only played in 3 NHL seasons, 2 with the Kings and 1 with Atlanta, stringing together a whopping 11 points.

Joe Corvo is a stud. With the exception of his first season, he has consistently put up solid numbers. During the ’05-’06 season, Corvo and Visnovsky were the top two offensive-defensemen on the Kings. I was sad to see him sign with Ottawa as an Unrestricted Free Agent and I was a bit surprised that the Kings didn’t retain him. Not sure if one party wanted out or if they mutually parted ways, but the Kings did miss his presence at the blueline.

The only bit of information I found on
Sean Blanchard is that he was the CHL Defenceman of the Year in the ’96-’97 season while he played with the Ottawa 67’s. According to Hockeydb.comhe played in Europe, the OHL, ECHL, IHL, and currently plays in the AHL. It doesn’t appear that the Kings ever signed him.

Richard Seeley has played 4 seasons with the Monarchs and a number of seasons with other WHL, AHL, ECHL, and DEL teams.

Jeff Katcher played in the WHL from 1996-2000. That’s it.

Jay Kopischke played 4 years at Notre Dame and 2 seasons in the ECHL.

Konrad Brand played in the WHL, CIAU, ACAC, and currently plays in the CHL.

Of the 9 players selected by the Kings in the 1997 Draft, 3 play in the NHL and only 2 are impact players. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this wasn’t the best draft for the Kings. I realize that cutting Jokinen loose after a couple of nonproductive years must have been a tough decision. But I also wonder what the Kings scouts saw in the other players. Dave Taylor really shot himself in the foot with these choices considering only 1 player, Corvo, ever lived up to his potential during Taylor’s tenure.

As bad as this draft was, the 1998 Draft doesn’t look much better.