Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Brownie Lands Extension

I know Brownie's contract extension is old news but I've been debating whether or not I want to write about it. Considering how early into the season the decision came along combined with reading about Kipper's recent contract extension, it got me thinking about several things. What other LA Kings may we see agree to a contract extension before the off-season? How much are these players going to sign for? How many more seasons will their extension include? Who is getting the better deal with these early contract decisions? A quick look at THN's salary list shows that Patrick O'Sullivan, Joe Piskula, Erik Ersberg, Gabe Gauthier, and a handful of other veteran Kings and youthful Monarchs will be RFAs at the end of the season. Another interesting point is that Joey is making more than Patty.

At the beginning of last season I was disappointed in Patty's play. He deservedly was sent to Manchester for most of the season but came up at the end of the season and showed a definite improvement. However, his improvement over the off-season has been quite stunning. I definitely want to see him back next season but wouldn't be surprised if management held off for a couple months before they agree to a contract extension. Part of me thinks that management sees him as a part of the youth movement that will see the Kings become true competitors in the NHL but part of me thinks he could be trade bait. If he keeps up the smart play, his intensity, and production, I don't see why the Kings wouldn't keep him for the future. And besides, who would they want to bring in at the trade deadline? I won't say anthing because I don't want to jinx my team, but I know that a lot can happen in just a few months.

Joey P played a couple games with the Kings at the end of the '06-'07 season. I don't remember much of him except that he looked nervous in an interview he did one or two games before he made his NHL debut. I don't doubt that the reason I can't recall his contribution is because of the hype that surrounded JMFJ's first NHL game, which came around the same time that Joe made his appearance. At the H&HH event Luc made some positive comments about Joe and Brian Boyle that made it seem like those two are the future of the Kings blueline, especially Boyle who they are determined to mold into a defenseman. Since he's at Manchester I don't foresee the Kings extending Joe's contract anytime soon. One sidenote: Boyle is HOT! I think I'm surprised because I expected him to look like Chara. No offense to Chara...he's just not my type. Boyle definitely has that model look going for him and a great head of wavy dark hair. Move over Pennersquee, Boyle is going to take the NHL fangirls' panties off with just one sultry look. But let's get back to Piskula; from what I've read in articles and heard in interviews, it seems like Piskula will be around for awhile because of his promising development. During camp there was talk that he might make the squad but was sent down to Manchester just before the start of the season.

I haven't heard much about goaltender Erik Ersberg. Well, actually I do know that he has the heroin chic look down. Seriously, there's no way that kid weighs 182. He's sharing netminder duties with my personal favorite, Dan Cloutier, and so far his 2-1-1, 2.77 GAA, 0.882 SV% is better than Cloutier's stats. Oh make me proud! Who knows, Ersberg could make a career in the AHL or he could possibly come out of nowhere and make a viable run for a spot on the team in the next several seasons.

Last season I held Gabe Gauthier in the same light as the likes of Noah Clarke and John Zeiler. Needless to say, that's not good for him. However, while Clarke was let go by the team and picked up by Jersey and promptly sent down to a farm team and Zeiler continues to be that "energy" guy who makes more successful hits on the glass than actual players, Gauthier is ripping it up down at Manchester. Last season he was 14-28-42 in 69 games and was a +16. So far this season he leads the Monarchs with 4-8-12 in 8 games and is a +2. On the other hand, Guilano, Cliche, and Tukonen have 0 points combined. Will we see Gauthier this season? If he keeps up his play, I don't see why not. But then again, he could very well be one of those guys who excels in the AHL and then has nothing to show once he's in the NHL. I'm going to keep an eye on him and if he gets called up I'll be supporting him this time, if for no reason other than he's a hometown boy; I don't mean "hometown boy" as in Verne, CA, I'm talking about Torrance, CA! Represent, Gabriel!

As for the questions I posed at the beginning of the post, it seems like Patrick O'Sullivan would be the next likely candidate to receive a contract extension. Even though he sees a lot of PK time the recent move to put him on a line with Frolov and Nagy has so far paid off. If that line continues to produce like they have the past several games, I don't see why Patty couldn't be a 20 goal scorer this sesaon. He'll definitely see a pay raise considering he's not even making $1 million this season.

When I first read that Dustin Brown signed a 6-year contract I was a bit worried he would be bringing in a mighty big paycheck. After finding out that it's just over $3 million/season I began to think that Brownie might not have gotten the best deal. Actually, you know who really got kicked in the crotch over that deal? Michael Cammalleri. I wouldn't be surprised if Cammy has a bounty out for the arbitrator who awarded him his contract. I'd like to think that Brownie really wanted to stay in LA (and according to several LA Times and Kings articles it seems he does) and was willing to take the risk of being underpaid in the future in order to stay with the team.

I'm sure once JMFJ, Anze, and Frolov get ready to renew contracts they'll be offered long-term deals as well. In fact I bet most of the younger players in the NHL will be signing 4-6 year contracts while the veterans will be the ones signing one-year deals, like Brendan Shanahan did. I just hope DL doesn't make another contract extension goof like he did with Cloutier. Thank god he didn't sign him to a 5-year deal; I'd be bleeding out of my eyes if I knew Cloots was making Manchester suffer while he was raking in millions.


KQ949 said...

That's not Brian Boyles's his helmet! :)


CKim said...

Gauthier's from Torrance?!?! Sweet action!

Was anyone else surprised to see that Anze isn't even making $1 million this year?? I was kind of shocked. Brady Murray's almost making as much as him and he's no where NEAR the level that Anze is at.... But I DEFINITELY see the Kings extending Kopi's contract for a couple more years, I'm gonna say 5.

Oh look, KMS2, Zeiler's locked in until 2011. Fantastic.

KMS2 said...

it's his helmet!

Haha! Very good description.

Zeiler's locked in until 2011

I sad is that?

CKim said...

Wanna know what makes Zeiler even more awesomER? In interviews he tries to say "you know" as many times as he can. It's truly amazing.