Kukla's Korner Hockey
"I think Marian enjoyed, not just the time here, but everything about the experience. I think to continue that is something he would like and the team would like. So I would hope we could come to a meeting of the minds and get that done."
-Ron Salcer, agent for Marian Gaborik, via Lisa Dillman of the LA Times.
via Lisa Dillman tweets,
Breaking news ... OK, not really. But Kings will NOT be buying out the contract of center Mike Richards, according to Dean Lombardi.
Would have been surprised, actually, it if it had been the other way around. In other words, no compliance buyouts, DL says.
from Arden Zwelling of Sportsnte,
“With Marian, there’s a little bit of Teemu Selanne there. Selanne, when he finally won [a Stanley Cup]—he went to another level,” Lombardi said. “When you experience something like this, you realize sometimes there’s things more important than stats. So we’re certainly hoping he stays.”
What Lombardi is referring to as being more important than stats is Gaborik’s personality off the ice, where he’s been able to fit in seamlessly with the Kings roster, even living with Carter for a spell when he first came to Los Angeles. Lombardi knows it’s hard to find players who fit in so well so quickly, which is something he places value in.
But in order to keep Gaborik, he may have to say goodbye to Richards, and let go of a player he thinks is also an integral part of that organizational makeup. That decision won’t be easy. But it never is.
“One thing that you learn from the last Cup is, you have to prepare for July 1 in a hurry,” Lombardi said. “Because we know Phoenix is gonna be back. San Jose and Anaheim are great teams. Obviously, there’s Chicago and St. Louis. It’s a war in this conference.”
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have promoted John Stevens to Associate Head Coach, and re-signed both Assistant Coach Davis Payne and Goaltending Coach Bill Ranford to new contracts, Kings Head Coach Darryl Sutter and Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
The Kings, who set an NHL record by winning three Game 7s on the road, and tied an NHL record by playing 26 postseason games before winning their second Stanley Cup championship in three years, now have their championship-level coaching staff in place as they prepare to defend the Cup during the 2014-15 season.
“Our coaching staff has been an integral part of the success of our team the last three years,” said Lombardi. “We are extremely pleased that they will remain part of our team and continue together as we strive for excellence.”
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
If Lombardi sticks to his track record, he will try his hardest to keep Richards and make the other pieces fit. Other less sentimental general managers would likely take the easier, colder route and give him a compliance buyout.
But Lombardi has always done things in his own way, and because of that, Richards — who has won at every level — might not get bought out.
It will be much more difficult to fit in Greene and/or Mitchell, even with the salary cap increasing next season. Greene turned down a contract offer during the regular season. Mitchell turned 37 on April 23, and is believed to be looking for a two-year deal. He might explore options elsewhere if the Kings can only offer one year.
Gaborik looms as the No. 1 off-season priority. Acquired at the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets, he was a great fit. His reputation was greatly enhanced in Los Angeles after a mediocre run in Columbus. He scored a league-high 14 playoff goals.
But there’s no way the Kings can afford his current $7.5-million salary and make all the other numbers work.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 3:00pm ET but the pre-parade is on now, you can watch it below...
The Los Angeles Kings did it. Somehow, some way, they claimed their second Stanley Cup in three years. Despite facing three games sevens, despite losing their first three games of the playoffs, the Kings overcame all to be crowned as, well, kings of the NHL. And the absurd unlikelihood of that accomplishment should not be overlooked.
Entering the playoffs, the Kings were one of the more highly regarded teams, being given almost universal 10/1 odds to win by odds makers found on Gambling.com. An alarmingly poor start to their series with the San Jose Sharks dropped those odds so precipitously that even after the Kings had rebounded to force game seven in that series, they were still only sitting at 15/1 to win it all. Following their epic comeback from three games to none down against San Jose, many would expect the Kings to be physically and emotionally drained. Then they played another seven game series. And another after that. The odds of a team, especially in a low-scoring sport like hockey, coming away with victories in every one of those seven game sets is mind-boggling.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The Kings and Hawks are really good teams, and both will be contenders for years to come. But dynasties? No. You won’t see another NHL dynasty. There’s too much parity. Just look at how good the Western Conference is. You’ve got the Kings and Hawks at the top. You’ve got the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues, powers in their own right. You’ve got the up-and-coming Colorado Avalanche and the fast-rising Minnesota Wild.
‘‘It’s a war out here,’’ Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. ‘‘Just getting through this conference every year is going to be like this. . . . The matchup with Chicago, the two teams were so dead-on. If you look at it on paper, it’s a seven-game series every year. They’re so similar to us. And the way they’re set up, they’re not going anywhere. They’ve set the benchmark. We had to reach it.’’
That’s what these teams are. They’re the benchmarks, the model franchises everyone else is gunning for and striving to be. That’s good enough. Don’t dumb down the ‘‘D’’ word just because the current incarnation of the sport doesn’t allow for
total domination. Just appreciate the Kings and Hawks for what they are — well-built, well-run and well-coached teams that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
from Justin A. Cohn of the Journal Gazette,
Despite being a remarkable player, Robbie Laird only got to one NHL game.
He’s more than made up for that in his post-playing career. He hoisted the Stanley Cup for a second time Friday as a senior pro scout with the Los Angeles Kings.
“It’s amazing. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this organization,” said Laird, a Fort Wayne resident and former coach and player with the Komets....
“We have a great group of staff members here, and when you win something like this, it draws you closer together,” Laird said in a telephone interview Saturday as he prepared to go to a celebratory breakfast with other members of the franchise.
“When you’re part of a championship team, I think you remember what it took to win and all the hours you put in. The relationships usually last forever. It feels great, and it’s amazing what the guys accomplished.”
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.
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