Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
Kings associate coach Mike Johnston has spoken twice with Dean Lombardi and Ron Hextall about the head-coaching job. There were a pair of 90-minute interviews, on Thursday and Saturday, but no hiring is imminent. In fact, Lombardi said the Kings will wait until after the draft—coming up Friday and Saturday—to conduct any more interviews.
It may not be in Ottawa, but it appears Peter DeBoer will be coaching somewhere in the NHL next season.
On the same day Craig Hartsburg was named the head coach of the Senators, the Kitchener Rangers’ website says their head coach will be leaving the organization to accept a head coaching position in the National Hockey League, adding that details would not be released until Monday.
Earlier this week, DeBoer met with Eugene Melnyk regarding the Senators’ post but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement.
DeBoer is also among the candidates for the head coach position with the Florida Panthers and is expected to interview with the Los Angeles Kings this weekend.
added 3:22pm, via the Florida Panthers,
Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin announced today that Peter DeBoer has been named the 10th head coach in the club’s history. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. A formal press conference will be held on Monday, June 16 at 11 a.m. at the BankAtlantic Center when DeBoer will be officially introduced.
Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings managed to talk to Marc Crawford today. A sample:
(on his future…) “I have talked a little bit with my wife and my family. The good thing is, I have two years left (on my contract) with the Kings. That gives me time to think. Having two years to do that is pretty good. You don’t have to rush in if the situation isn’t right. Quite truthfully, I want to be passionate about the next opportunity. I want to use my passion and give the team everything I have. A big reason that people are attracted to me is that I am passionate and I want to win. I want to make the right decision. If the right opportunity comes quickly, great, or if it takes a while, that’s OK too.”
read on for more
*Hammond’s interview with GM Dean Lombardi was linked—in all its parts—earlier today on KK.
From Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings, the transcript from Dean Lombardi’s press conference yesterday, plus a series of posts where Hammond asks Lombardi his own questions.
Here’s more from Lombardi, talking about the natural assumption that the Kings might already have a new coach in mind…
“People can think whatever they’re thinking, but we haven’t done any research or anything like that. I think we were solely focused on the right fit here, but I think it’s safe to say we realize the importance of this hire and I’m not going to hurry it. I guess one indication that we don’t really have anybody in mind is that I don’t see myself rushing to get someone here this week. I guess if I had somebody in mind, I’d be on the phone signing him right now, but I’m not anywhere near something like that. I mean, whenever you fire someone, a coach or whatever, the thought is always in the back of your mind. `OK, who are we going to get to replace him?’ But in terms of us already finding someone and saying, `This is the guy who would fit,’ no. We’re not even near that.”
Also, Helene Elliott at the LA Times takes a look back at Crawford and the Kings organization.
The Los Angeles Kings have fired head coach Marc Crawford.
Kings president and general manager Dean Lombardi made the announcement Tuesday that Crawford will not return next season as the team’s head coach despite having one year left on his contract.
Note: Kings press release
LA Kings executives met with season ticket holders…
from Inside the Kings,
The next fan had wide-ranging criticisms, mostly about the signings of underachieving free agents, and summed up his question by basically asking, ``Why should I give you my money now, and not wait two or three years to see how this turns out?’‘
(Ron) Hextall said, ``I’m not going to try to sell you on the fact that we’re going to win the Stanley Cup next year, because quite frankly I don’t see it happening. We’re trying to build the team. ... The guys we signed last year, we didn’t expect them to step in and be star players. Michal Handzus, that was the worst year I’ve seen him have. ... You won’t see how good he is until we get to the playoffs and he shuts down a guy like Ryan Getzlaf or Joe Thornton.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Kopitar will face two of his L.A. teammates, Dustin Brown and Patrick O’Sullivan on Team USA Sunday. Today he faces Kings’ assistant coach Mike Johnston.
“He’s a star player,” says Johnston, a veteran of seven world championships. “If you are looking for a player to build a team around, he’s that kind of guy. He’s a key guy to what we’re trying to put together in L.A. He’s already capable of dominating games. He has size, poise and maturity.”
Kopitar’s goal of holding Canada to five goals?
“Don’t believe him. He’s going to go out and try and control and dominate the game,” said Johnston
Canadian captain Shane Doan sees a lot of the young Slovenian playing against him with the Phoenix Coyotes.
“He’s big and strong and he has a great shot. Even though you have guys on him, he’s capable of beating them. He creates space for the guys he plays with.”
from Rich Hammond of the LA Daily News,
The Kings declined to release specific numbers, but said they’re losing more money per year now than before the lockout. At the start of the lockout, the Kings claimed to be losing $8 to $10 million a year.
“We’re building our organization differently, to meet the reality that we’re losing even more than we did before the lockout,” chief marketing officer Chris McGowan said. “We have to run a better business.”
Thus, the ticket-price increases, even coming off a season in which the Kings tied for the fewest points in the NHL. The Kings believe the increases are necessary, in part, to help stabilize their bottom line.
Even though the LA Kings failed to reach the playoffs, Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings has been keeping busy.
It is not an easy job to continue blogging when the team you cover is done for the season, but Rich has been giving daily updates on the Kings and his player evaluations have been great.
Stop by and check them out if you have a chance.
from Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
While some are still clamoring for a major trade or free-agent signing, Dean Lombardi attempted to explain why that’s not likely to happen. Here’s what he said:
“That possibly is not even there to tempt you. We saw this two years ago, when we put Cloutier on the two-year deal. It didn’t work out. You can talk about trades. How many proven No. 1s do you feel really good
about (trading for)? I don’t think there’s much of a shot. I don’t think there’s a No. 1 out there like that. Vokoun fits that category, but we tried that last year and it didn’t work out. Is there going to be that caliber of player on the market? I don’t think so…”.
more on the LA goalie situation…
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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