Sunday, June 29, 2008

Au Revoir Lubo

I can't help but wonder if Lubo would still be on the team if he and the Kings had agreed to a significantly lower contract during last year's off-season. I shouldn't linger on the past but maybe his huge pay raise and large drop in production will cause Lombardi to think twice this off-season before agreeing to long-term high salary contracts.

I'm torn about this trade. On one hand I thought last year was an off-season for Lubo. The Kings defense was terrible all-around and while they needed to focus on being stable defensively, Lubo was always more of an offensive threat. During the Draft the analysts kept speculating that Lombardi was trying to unload Lubo so the trade possibility was in my mind whether I liked it or not. I was prepared to hear about Lubo being traded but I'm still sad. At 31, he's on the older half of the team and we received younger guys in return, all part of the Lombardi Master Plan.

I don't know much about Matt Greene but I suppose we'll see him on the blueline come October. Because if we don't see him...who the hell will be playing defense? I didn't think the Kings were going to be big players during Free Agency, but now that a big paycheck was just unloaded, it's very possible that the Kings will sign one or two veteran defensemen. If I'm not mistaken, the only definite veteran blueliner is Tom Preissing and Tommy P ain't gonna be contributing much to the offense. I suppose Lombardi (and the future coach) will let up on Jack's leash and maybe Blakey will re-sign to assist on the offense. There are two defensemen I would like to see come to the Kings within the next couple weeks: Brad Stuart and Brooks Orpik. Can we afford both? Possibly. Do either or both want to sign here? I doubt it. But we need them. At the rate we're going, the defense could be even worse next year and the Kings will be down a man who can start the offensive rush from behind his own net.

Lubo, Good Luck in Edmonton. Edmonton, enjoy the $5.6 million/year salary for the next 5 years. Will Lubo be worth $5.6 million at 36? I think Lombardi made the smart move.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 1.3

Connie and I couldn't wait another week to talk about the Draft and all of our wonderful newbies. We review the Draft picks and trades and each of us grade Lombardi on how well he did this past weekend.

We also complain about Cloutier's endless journey to piss off Kings fans.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at: Kings World Podcast

Send any questions, comments, or feedback to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Are you in? Or are you out?

I had grand plans to mimic my UFAs post from last off-season and provide wondrous summaries for each player but my head isn't into it. Instead, I'm going to play a game of "Are you in? Or, are you out?", except that those that are in won't have to be hazed.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Mr. Robert Blake
Didn't he allegedly kill his wife? Oh right, the other Robert Blake. Well sure, he can come back, but for a cheaper price tag. If he really wants to be on this team and see it succeed then he better be ready to pony up to the "take one for the team" mentality that the Red Wings have perfected.

Lady-Slave Nagy
This past weekend one of my friends was trying to explain (to a bunch of industry people) why he liked the movie Transformers. One of the industry guys cut him off and said, "It's like what I say to religious people. 'I really want to buy into what you're saying, but I just don't get it.'" That's exactly how I feel about Nagy.

Scott Thorton
I don't see stand-up-veteran-locker-room-guy pulling the retirement switcharoo. Best of luck to Thornton.

Brian Willsie
I almost had a seizure just thinking of that shootout attempt.

Jon Klemm
Goodness gracious, no wonder we almost finished in last place.

Richard Petiot
He's in Group VI and at one point I actually knew what that meant, but it's so irrelevant I forget what it is. Regardless, as Hextall put it, "he plateaued" and was never able to make it in the bigs...with the Kings.

Kevin Dallman
Tampa Bay should be f'ing embarrassed that they finished behind the Kings.

Jeff Guiliano
I didn't think he had a shot in hell of staying on the squad this past year, but his hard work and HUGE legs contributed to his mild success. While Connie really wants to see him back, I think we can do better...and so do the Kings.

Brendan Buckley
I think I've heard of him before...

Wow, what a great group of UFAs. I guess only Blakey is willing (and deserving) to suck on a pacifier all day.

RFAs after the jump.

Restricted Free Agents

Joe Piskula
Hmmm....he's a toss up. On one hand, we really need defensemen and he could possibly become an NHL caliber player. But on the other hand, I expected him to be further along in his development, especially considering the organization had enough faith in him to sign him to a $1 million+ salary. Last season he made more than Kopitar! I really want to like this guy and believe that he can make it and be a solid defenseman. I mean c'mon, look at the guy! He's got the size and the look of a hockey player. I'm sure he wants to stay, but I'm not so sure the Kings want to keep him at that price tag. He'll either sign for less or the Kings will let him walk.

Patrick O'Sullivan
I can't stop thinking about his potential development and the awesomeness he exudes while playing. God help me if he isn't in a Kings jersey next fall.

Erik Ersberg
We gotta give him a chance.

Gabe Gauthier
I say pass.

Dany Roussin
He's so special, he went through the Draft twice!

Peter Harrold
Similar to Piskula but actually capable of playing in the NHL right now. I don't know who else would be on the blueline, so unless we pick Doughty or Lombardi has some tricks up his sleeve, I think Harrold will be back.

Petr Kanko
Believe it or not, he's scarier than Ivanans. You might as well keep the guy around to protect the boys in Manchester.

Matt Moulson
I'll be very disappointed if Moulson isn't re-signed. He exhibited a lot of smarts and skills during his short stint with LA and I was bummed that Lombardi sent him back to Manchester along with Boyle and Purcell. I just can't see Lombardi cutting ties with a promising young forward.

The Kings have some potential returnees on the RFA List but for most of them their return is questionable. Even if some (like Piskula) won't be ready to play with the Kings next season, they'll still be huge assets in the farm system, especially since the Kings continue to pick up younger and younger players who will need leadership from the veteran minor leaguers. So while the actual LA Kings team may not directly benefit from re-signing the majority of the RFAs I think it's in the entire franchise's best interest to re-sign them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kings World Podcast - Episode 1.2

Connie and I recorded Episode 1.2 of Kings World Podcast in which we talk about some Kings updates (Crow is outta here!) and the upcoming Draft. I finally got a decent mic so you can actually hear me in this episode. To listen, click the player in the left column, subscribe to us on iTunes, or go to our podbean website.

Leave comments, questions, or feedback at kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com and visit us on our Facebook group. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hit the Road Jack!!

Ok, so his name is Marc, whatevs...

Crawford is DONE!

I have been praying for this to happen since December and I honestly didn't think it was going to happen. Crow had one year left on his contract, but Deano pulled the plug.

I can't even begin to guess who will fill the vacancy.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The NY Times HNiB

Slap Shot Blog (*cough* of the NY Times *cough*) summoned its Hockey Night in Blogdom participants for one last hurrah: "What We Learned This Season"

In addition to answering what fans of our respective teams learned, we also answered what we have to look forward to next season.

Big Thanks to Jeff Z. Klein for putting HNIB together!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

At Least Malkin Finally Scored

Congrats to Detroit! It's crazy how good Detroit was throughout this series. I thought Zetterberg definitely deserved the Conn Smythe. It seemed like he was always on the ice making the smart play, being in the right position. I first really noticed Hank during the '05-'06 playoffs when Detroit surprisingly lost to the Edmonton Oilers. I was so impressed with his play and couldn't believe he was a 7th Round acquisition. He's such an unbelievable player and with his fellow linemates and teammates I'm not surprised Detroit finally won the Cup with this squad; I'm just surprised they didn't win it last season or the season prior to that one. Little tweaks over the past couple seasons provided just the right combination to win the Cup.

As sad as I was to see the Kings trade Brad Stuart at the trade deadline, I was happy to see him shipped off to a solid team. Despite a couple flubbed plays during the playoffs I think he was a great fit in Detroit, especially alongside Kronwall. He was able to showcase his defensive capabilities, toughness, playmaking smarts, and scoring. I almost got teary-eyed when I saw him lift the Cup.

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Congrats B-Stu

As silly as it sounds, I thought it was too soon for Crosby to win the Cup. He'll win it eventually, but this year wasn't his time. Who knows whether or not Malkin was injured but that boy will need to step it up in the Finals next time if he wants to see his team succeed. It was refreshing to see him finally score a goal, but his team needed to see him notch his first goal of the Finals in Game 1 not on the brink of elimination. The Pens have a great team and with minor adjustments they'll continue to be fierce competitors for seasons to come. Both teams put on a great show and I can't help but wonder who will play for the Cup next season.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kings World Podcast

Connie and I decided to take our ramblings about the Kings and turn them into a podcast! We introduce to you:

Kings World Podcast

06/10/08 UPDATE:
We moved our podcast to Podbean, so hopefully it'll be easier for listeners to access: Kings World Podcast

You can also find an embeddable player on the left side and you can subscribe to our podcast through iTunes.

In our first episode we introduce ourselves and discuss the Kings Roundtable we attended this past Saturday. All feedback and questions can be directed to our email address: kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com. Enjoy!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Triple OT...It's Going to End Here.

After the Pens tied it up and the horn sounded the end of regulation, I boldly predicted that Detroit was going to end it easily in the first OT. Oops...not quite.

Is it just me or does it seem like Zetterberg is ALWAYS on the ice? Through 5 periods he's played 34:42. And Lidstrom? A whopping 42:04. But the most minutes thus far? Whitney with an astonishing 44:51.

Will Doc please stop saying, "Next goal wins it!" Yes, we know. It's called sudden death.

And I don't normally get squeamish when a pucks hits the bullseye that is a player's face, but for some reason I didn't react well when Malone got hit. I think it grossed me out because he never covered his face as he got up and skated to the bench. He just bent over and let the blood drip off him...into Devorski's hand. *blech*

(Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

He ain't pretty no more.