Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,
...for the first time in years, there is excitement about hockey in Los Angeles—and it seems real and feels real. At the end of August, the Kings are looking to capitalize on that excitement with a three-day fan extravaganza called “Hockey Fest ‘09” that brings together the present-day team with the club’s stars from the past.
“When I first got here, not one player stayed here over the summer and worked out,” said Lombardi, who’s entering his fourth season as GM. “Here we were in the most beautiful place to play and not one player stayed, which is abnormal.
“This year, we had bunch of guys here at the end of June not only working out but pushing themselves, which is a huge step in building a culture here, building an identity.”
The Kings recently held tryouts for the 2nd edition of the METAL Ice Crew. Meet Carrlyn, who is trying out with the hopes to return for a 2nd season!
Also, her father, Frank Bathe, used to play for the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers. Watch (below) Bathe fight Lindy Ruff.
from Brad Oswald of the Winnipeg Free Press,
U.S. cable’s pre-eminent sports network, ESPN, is marking its 30th anniversary later this year with an ambitious and fascinating documentary series, 30 for 30, that will see a very interesting and unusual collection of directors—some Academy-Award winners, some first-time film-makers—contributing docs that explore some of the most important (but, in some cases, unexpected) sports stories of the past three decades….
Football-inclined film-maker Peter Berg (the guy behind both the big-screen and TV-series versions of Friday Night Lights) is making a documentary that’s simply titled #99—despite his gridiron inclinations, it turns out that Berg has always been a big hockey fan, and he has chosen to make a film about the impact of the 1988 trade that made Wayne Gretzky a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
Berg was an L.A. resident and a huge Kings fan when the trade happened, and he readily admits that the news of the trade rocked his world in the most dizzyingly positive of ways.
The LA Kings held their Ice Crew auditions yesterday. Click for pics...
Jim Fox of the LA Kings broadcasting crew answers questions from Kings fans at Inside the Kings…
Are we there yet? Is this team going to be competitive? Black hole, better than Black hole or worse? Could you comment on pieces/parts you can’t wait to see together. Thanks Jim
I think the personnel has improved from last year…not many “impact” pieces have left and the acquisition of Smyth and Scuderi bring 2 impact players to the lineup…both guys do not need to change their game…they need to play the way they have for years…Scuderi’s style is be a simple “shut-down” defenseman…many time this is not thought of as an “impact” role…but if you are as effective as Scuderi, then the impact is invaluable…
via Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
The Kings will most likely announce a new contract for Teddy Purcell soon. The fact that today is Friday could complicate the final stages of contract approval, etc. Talks with Jack Johnson’s agent have also been going well but seem to be headed toward a short-term deal, which would be interesting. I’m not sure if either of those will get finalized today.
via LAKings Twitter,
At 11am PT, LAKings.com will have an important player-related announcement!
added 1:54pm, The Kings updated their Twitter, Johnson is signed.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Kings conducted a conference call late Monday in which fans were able to call in and pose questions to General Manager Dean Lombardi, assistant general manager Ron Hextall, team captain Dustin Brown and new acquisitions Ryan Smyth and Rob Scuderi.
Some interesting tidbits emerged:
Hextall, asked about the expectations for next season, was straightforward. “Quite frankly, I fully expect to be in the playoffs, but we’ve got some work to do to fill our team out,” he said. “Obviously, in training camp our guys have a lot of work to do. I think you go into every season with your goal to make the playoffs and I think for our club this year it’s realistic.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
One of the NHL’s biggest issues during that down turn was how weak its teams were in the three major U.S. markets – New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The iffy results in Boston, another attractive Original Six market, weren’t great either. But the Rangers have been OK for a few years now; the Bruins soared to the top of the Eastern Conference last year; and the Blackhawks possess one of the best young teams in the game.
So now it is just left for the Kings to execute their turnaround in the standings, a painfully slow process that some thought would be expedited this July in the unrestricted free-agent market. It didn’t happen, but not for lack of trying.
The Kings ended up with one strategic signing – defenceman Rob Scuderi, off the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins – and one addition made via trade, acquiring former Oilers winger Ryan Smyth from the rebuilding Colorado Avalanche.
read on plus Chicago, Heatley and Wings talk too…
Ryan Smyth, recently acquired from Colorado, met with Daryl Evans on his first day in Los Angeles as he joins his new team.
As he often does, Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings answers questions from Kings fans…
Question: Do you think we will be signing any other UFA’s or are we just about done? What are your thoughts on Moller playing this year or being sent to Manchester?
Answer: Lombardi seems open to the idea of bringing in one more veteran defenseman, probably one in the $1-million range who could fill that 6/7 spot. He mentioned, in passing, bringing back Denis Gauthier, but I don’t know if that will happen. That’s the only addition I would anticipate the Kings making before the start of training camp.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com