Kukla's Korner Hockey
from E.J. Hradek of NHL.com,
If you’re a Los Angeles Kings fan worried about the slow-moving contract negotiations between dynamic young defenseman Drew Doughty and the team, GM Dean Lombardi has a message for you.
“This isn’t a standoff like we’ve been seeing in Washington,” Lombardi said, joking about the current federal government gridlock as a way to find perspective for his efforts to re-sign Doughty. “I’m fairly confident that we’ll be able to get this done.”
The Kings boss and Doughty’s representatives (Don Meehan and Mark Guy of Newport Sports Management) have been in communication during the past few days in an effort to move the conversation toward a resolution.
“We’ve been talking,” Lombardi said. “We’re trying to hammer it out, but I don’t think I really have a handle on it yet.”
If I am a Flyers fan, I suppose I am happy about getting rid of Bluto and D-Day. But I also have to wonder about Bryzgalov, who has won nothing, and Voracek, whose potential has been plied to a much lesser degree than his refrigerator. And what about Chris Pronger? He has a reputation for splitting locker rooms and probably had a hand in jettisoning Bluto and D-Day, if not leaking the “Dry Island” story, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, know what I mean
-Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch where you can read the rest of the story.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Center Mike Richards was still torn about being traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles a month after the surprising deal was done. His perspective changed after he took a stroll along a South Bay beach.
“I started thinking it’s not a bad place to be and not a bad place to start a new career,” he said Wednesday.
Richards, projected to ease the scoring burden carried by top-line center Anze Kopitar, got his new uniform Wednesday in El Segundo and said he looked forward to joining a team that “made a lot of big steps in the last couple years.” The next step for the Kings will be to re-sign restricted free-agent defenseman Drew Doughty, but that doesn’t appear to be imminent.
General Manager Dean Lombardi said he and Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, on Tuesday had their first extended conversation in a while.
“It’s safe to say we’re still having dialogue. Just keep trying to move forward,” Lombardi said. “We’ll be talking again here shortly. … We’re still on track.”
from Neil Reed of the Sunday News,
Rachel Hunter has been in demand around the world as a supermodel and actress.
Now the Kiwi sensation’s 17-year-old son to rocker Rod Stewart, Liam, is being chased from the UK to the US for his ice-hockey skills.
A star for glamour NHL franchise the Los Angeles Kings’ junior squad in the 2010-11 season, Liam is being wooed by Great Britain for an international junior team.
But despite being born in the London and possessing a British passport, he is not eligible to play for the age-grade side as he’s never played ice hockey in the UK.
Like his sister Renee, he has spent most of his years living in America with Rachel.
But his famous mum is now leading a bid to gain a dispensation to the eligibility rules so her son can play for the UK.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Don Meehan, who teams with Mark Guy in representing Doughty, said Tuesday he hadn’t spoken to the Kings about Doughty since June 23. Meehan said he assumed the Kings were focusing on their trade for Mike Richards and (ultimately futile) pursuit of free agent Brad Richards, but those deals are long done.
It’s believed the Kings are offering up to nine years at more than $6.5 million per year.
“I think he’d be happy to stay if we agree upon terms that are acceptable to him,” Meehan said. “And those are our instructions, to negotiate with L.A. on that basis to secure something that he’d be happy with.”
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said the sides haven’t agreed on term or money. “They both kind of work hand in hand,” he said.
There’s no salary comparison for Doughty, who struggled at times last season but has franchise-player talent. Doughty and Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos, chosen second and first, respectively, in the 2008 entry draft, could create a new tier behind the league-high cap hits of Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538 million) and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin ($8.7 million each).
If you have nothing better to do on a Saturday night, why not watch a live stream of the LA Kings Ice Girls Auditions?
The stream should start around 7:30pm ET and run for about 3 hours.
The stream is embedded below…
“The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word.”
-LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi on the Smyth/Fraser trade with Edmonton. Fraser is injured and Lombardi is not happy with that. More at Helene Elliott’s twitter account.
added 9:13pm, David Staples of the Edmonton Journal with his opinion,
My take is there’s plenty of room for medical specialists to disagree about an injury, and to do so in good conscience. If Lombardi has a real complaint, he can take it to the NHL. Until he does, this comes off as something of a snit fit from a GM not used to having a star player holding a gun to his head and demanding a trade to a single specified location.
added 9:15pm, Helene’s story just made it at The Fabulous Forum, where the story gets a little more in-depth.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with defenseman Alec Martinez, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Martinez, who turns 24 on July 26, recorded 16 points (5-11=16) and 18 penalty minutes in 60 regular season games with the Kings in 2010-11. He appeared in all six postseason games with the Kings, recording one assist and two penalty minutes. Martinez also suited up for 20 regular season games with the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs in 2010-11 and had 16 points (5-11=16) and 14 penalty minutes.
Among NHL rookie defensemen last season Martinez was tied for sixth in goals, 10th in assists, eighth in points, fifth in plus-minus (+11), eighth in shots (74) and ninth in hits (69).
Note: Martinez was originally scheduled for salary arbitration hearing on July 27
Update 5:21pm ET: From Helene Elliott via Twitter—
Alec Martinez contract w/Kings is $737,500 per year for two years.
from Helene Elliott of The Fabulous Forum,
Asked Tuesday if there were anything new regarding his negotiations with Doughty, Lombardi said no, and added this via email:
“I am getting the feeling on Drew that unfortunately this could take a while. As we just saw this past week free agency produces a frenzy for players at all levels. We must be judicious about not getting into this market for our own players. Therefore it is critical with Drew that the dollars reflect a fair rate of return regarding the term of the contract. We must be prepared to do what it takes to get it right.”
Lombardi also said the Kings would match any offer sheet Doughty might sign with another team.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Hextall said the Kings, who have nearly $12.6 million of salary cap space, will consider other moves, but added, “I don’t see anything of impact happening.” He also said management will now zero in on re-signing defenseman Drew Doughty, who became a restricted free agent Friday. Doughty can sign an offer sheet from another team but the Kings have the right to match it.
They have exchanged proposals with Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, but no deal is imminent for the 21-year-old defenseman, who might command an average of $7 million a year. Lombardi was in the offices of Meehan’s firm, Newport Sports, Friday but they didn’t meet. Although that seems odd, Hextall called the process “normal negotiations back and forth.”
read on for some Simon Gagne talk…
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