Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
So let me say this then: the Kings could miss the playoffs and may very well finish last in the West (I think the Islanders have the best shot at finishing last overall), but I’d rather be the Los Angeles Kings than the Toronto Maple Leafs, or the Islanders, or the St. Louis Blues, or the Vancouver Canucks, or the Colorado Avalanche.
The Kings are weak in goal, no question about it. But it’s not all about the guys between the pipes, even though neither Jason LaBarbera nor Erik Ersberg will never be mistaken for Patrick Roy. No, the entire team has to take credit for the Kings 28th-place finish in team defence last season.
from the LA Kings,
Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown will serve as Kings captain for the 2008-09 season, Kings head coach Terry Murray announced Wednesday. Murray has also named center Anze Kopitar and defenseman Matt Greene as assistant captains.
via Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
It appears as though the Kings have reached agreement on a contract with Patrick O’Sullivan.
Rich will be updating his blog soon, so you can keep an eye on it if you wish…
added 6:28pm, According to Rich, the deal is done, three year contract, no $$$ yet.
added 6:30pm, According to Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Sources say it is worth an average of $2.925 million per year but will pay him $4 million in the upcoming season.
from Kelly Egan of the Ottawa Citizen,
The Los Angeles Kings are playing their second game of the season in Oakland. There are 2,668 fans in the stands. Mr. Regan is the general manager of the Kings and his boss, Mr. Cooke, is not happy.
The Kings are having their home opener in four days. There are only 1,400 or so tickets sold and Mr. Cooke wants his GM to do something about this. Mr. Regan is watching the penalty-filled Oakland game in the stands when he gets an idea: if the fans want rock ‘em, sock ‘em hockey, he will give it to them.
He decides to punch a referee.
via the LA Kings,
The Los Angeles Kings have acquired defenseman Sean O’Donnell from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional draft selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
added 9:17pm, via Ducks Blog,
O’Donnell is due to make $1.25 million this season. The Ducks had been $1.22 million over the salary cap before the trade.
The conditional pick means that if O’Donnell is traded again before the deadline this season, the Ducks will receive the Kings’ third round pick. If the the Kings keep O’Donnell past the deadline, the Ducks would get nothing in return.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The job is LaBarbera’s for now. If he can’t decisively claim it, the Kings—for so long so inept at grooming young goalies—have several good alternatives and won’t hesitate to use them.
Unlike last season, when Bernier was stuck with his junior team after the Kings returned him in mid-October, he can be summoned from Manchester any time. General Manager Dean Lombardi tends to be too cautious with his young players but is doing the right thing in letting Bernier regain his timing and rhythm in a low-pressure setting.
“It’s the best place for his development. I’m convinced it’s the best thing for him and the franchise,” Lombardi said.
from Dan Arritt of the LA Times,
Every day that O’Sullivan is held out of training camp, his conditioning and development suffer, Lombardi said. As a result, it’s more likely that the team’s fourth-leading scorer from last season won’t be at full strength until early next year.
“We’re not giving him a one-year contract because I might have to write off this season,” Lombardi said during practice Thursday morning.
In fact, Lombardi said he won’t offer anything less than a three-year deal. As far as sending the wrong message to other Kings, several of whom will be restricted free agents after this season, Lombardi said he’s trying to avoid that scenario.
From Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
...now I have much more detail on the situation with Patrick O’Sullivan. The Kings have requested that he not attend training camp until a deal is done. Lombardi explains, in the interview, why that’s the case. Second, when asked directly for an update on the contract negotiations, Lombardi said, ``We’re not very close. That’s the truth.’‘
From the LA Kings—
The Los Angeles Kings have signed restricted free agent center Jarret Stoll to four-year contract and restricted free agent center Brad Richardson to a two-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced Monday. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.
from Ross McKeon of Yahoo,
Everyone knew what was coming when general manager Dean Lombardi jumped aboard with marching orders to get the ship righted, much like he did in San Jose. That meant rebuilding, and rebuilding means stripping away what’s not working by selling off assets for picks, drafting well, development, patience with your blue-chip prospects, trying to keep key young players together as they climb the ladder and hope they’re ready when they get their crack.
But two seasons have passed and the Kings are still facing an uphill battle not only to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in six seasons but also toward respectability. Two years is probably not nearly enough time to accurately assess whether rebuilding is a success, but this is business and the L.A. market – surprisingly loyal throughout so many frustrating years – is losing interest and crowds are waning.
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.
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