Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Inside the Kings,
OK, here we go. For those who enjoy soap operas, strap in…
We started with Blake’s statement that the Kings never made him an offer, and with my clarification that Blake’s agent, Pat Brisson, had called Lombardi on Tuesday morning with a one-year, $4-million contract request.
So here’s the time line, according to Lombardi, with quotes from Lombardi added where appropriate.
Here’s what Pat Brisson, Rob Blake’s agent, had to say tonight about the way things went down between Blake and the Kings. It’s lengthy, but if you’ve been following the saga today, you might find it to be a good read. As I told Pat tonight, all I’m trying to get is get the information out there. People can make up their minds based upon what they believe and read. What an interesting subplot to the week though, huh?
From Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
Just got off a conference call with Rob Blake, who says the Kings never made him an offer. (Left unsaid was that Blake’s agent apparently talked to the Kings on July 1 and asked for $4 million). Before Blake got on the call, San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said he called Blake’s agent on July 1 to inquire about Blake’s services. Here’s some quotes from Blake…
On not getting an offer: “No, i didn’t receive [an offer] from the Kings. As time went past on July 1… I made a decision a few weeks ago, a month ago, that i wanted to play again. That wasn’t going to be happen in L.A. and I had to start looking elsewhere.’‘
Note: Blake was signed for one-year at $5 million earlier today.
via Inside the Kings,
I have an unconfirmed report, from a source very close to Rob Blake, that he has signed with San Jose for $5 million.
Update 5:19pm ET: Confirmed by Inside the Kings:
Rob Blake has signed with San Jose, apparently for one year and $5 million. I’ve confirmed this with two sources close to the situation but the Sharks have yet to release word of this.
Update 6:02pm ET: TSN reports this as breaking news, “TSN has learned the San Jose Sharks have signed defenceman Rob Blake to a one-year deal.”
Update 6:06pm ET: From David Pollack at Working the Corners—
Expect the official announcement in about an hour, but the Sharks have signed veteran defenseman Rob Blake to a one-year, $5 million contract.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson declined to discuss the impending announcement of what will be the Sharks’ first free-agent signing of the summer, saying it was “a little premature.” But he didn’t shoot down the report that first surfaced on a Southern California web site.
A “Southern California web site”? Is it that hard to provide credit?? Sheesh.
Update 6:09pm ET: San Jose Sharks press release below.
via Inside The Kings,
It’s not too hard to figure out what happened today. The Kings made a play for Brooks Orpik and it didn’t work out. Now the attention, most likely, turns to another tier of defensemen and the Kings will look to grab a guy on a short-term contract, either via trade or signing.
The more interesting thing is that Rob Blake remains unsigned. I did not anticipate that, and perhaps if his agent would return calls I might get a little insight. But when there’s mutual interest people a player and team and there’s no deal, you have to follow the money, right?
Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings spoke with Kings GM Dean Lombardi tonight. Some highlights from that conversation:
—The Kings were right there on Brad Stuart, and apparently didn’t have a problem with either the term or the money, but Stuart decided that he wanted to play for the Red Wings. To this, Lombardi basically tipped his hat and said, ``I can’t blame him for that.’‘
—Lombardi still has his eye on a defenseman who, in his words, fits with both the present and the future. He’s not at liberty to name names, obviously, but I don’t think it’s hard to do some reading between the lines, right?
—Rob Blake is still there as a strong possibility, and discussions are ongoing.
The Los Angeles Kings have acquired defenceman Denis Gauthier and a second-round draft pick from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for two prospects.
Gauthier, 31, spent all of last season in the American Hockey League, playing with the Philadelphia Phantoms, putting up 18 points and a plus-16 rating in 78 games.
Update 2:23 pm ET: More on Gauthier from Rich Hammond.
The Edmonton Oilers have acquired defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Jarret Stoll and defenceman Matt Greene.
from Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
Question: Of course it’ll be up to the new coach, but does Lombardi REALLY see this team moving forward with LaBarbara in goal? And who would be the backup? Knowing DL, I highly doubt he expects Bernier to make the lineup next year, so what do the Kings intend to do? And are they planning on re-signing Ersberg? I could live with him starting in goal over LaBarbara.
Answer: The plan, at the moment, is to go with LaBarbera and Ersberg. That’s not to say that one of the young guys couldn’t surprise them in training camp, but the Kings don’t go into training camp counting on that to happen.
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Dan Cloutier may not be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Cloutier was expected to be bought out over the weekend after being put on waivers but, according to CKNW radio in Vancouver, there are questions regarding a team’s ability to buy out a player with an injury.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Burke could find out about Niedermayer’s status today, as to whether he will play next season or retire. “His wife had a baby yesterday,” Burke said. “I’m pretty sure talking to me is not high on his list of things to do.”
Then there’s the other veteran defenseman in Southern California, captain Rob Blake. Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi says he already has met with the 38-year-old Blake and will have additional discussions with him this week.
Blake will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, as will another former Kings’ defenseman, Brad Stuart, who was sent to the Stanley Cup champion Red Wings at the trade deadline in February.
The Kings can’t say whether they would make a run at Stuart yet because of tampering rules, but he was considered a good fit in the dressing room.
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