Here’s the fourth set of questions and answers, as I head out the door for today’s media availability. Check back for updates on that soon!
mrbob25 asked: 1) Who makes the decision to wear alternate jerseys for home games? 2) Will the Kings continue with their black-purple-silver uniforms with the crown or must we witness another uniform modification/change of using the alternate “LA” uni’s as primary? Good to know for the fans considering an authentic jersey purchase.
Answers: 1) I’m not actually sure how they set the regular-season schedule. It is pre-determined though, because I saw the schedule, early in the season, of which games the players would wear the black uniforms in. For the playoffs, the players decided to wear the black jerseys. 2) I don’t know of any significant changes on the horizon. I think they’re staying with the black alternates, and I know that, for at least one game next season (and perhaps three more), the Kings are going to wear an old-school purple-and-goal uniform against the Vancouver Canucks, because it will be the Canucks’ 40th anniversary.
John asked: Will Patrick O’neal be back next season? He sure made it seem like he wasn’t on the last postgame show.
Answer: I really have no idea. That’s a matter for Fox Sports, but I certainly haven’t heard that Patrick is going anywhere. I didn’t see/hear the last postgame show, as I was working.
cefox17: This is unrelated to the Kings, but more related to your coverage of them: What do you use to type up your stories, and to upload them to the site? Laptop? Netbook? Mac? Do you use one device when you are home and another on the road? Also, for your quotes, I’m guessing you use a digital recorder of some sort. Do you archive those recordings at all? Just wondering what your preferences are regarding the technology you use in your work.
Answer: From games, and during road trips, I use an HP laptop the Kings provided me, along with a Verizon aircard that is perhaps my most valuable possession. I’ve been thinking about buying a netbook on my own, because I think the size and ease might be good for me, but I don’t know much about them. When I’m at home, writing practice reports, these blogs, etc., I’ll use my iMac. I do use a digital recorder, yes, but as far as archiving the interviews, no I don’t. Pretty much anything of significance ends up on the blog, so it’s archived here, and usually the sound quality of the recordings isn’t good enough to do anything with (such as posting, etc). That’s why Nick Nickson’s interviews are good for me to post.
GOALIEFN: What’s up with the blog? It has been going down a lot lately–like after the game last night. I no longer see a REPLY button to reply to blogger’s comments [which is my favorite part]. Are you no long unable to directly reply to a post? Also, where are all the links to the other team blogs and your bio is naked as your picture has disappeared? Why the changes?
Answer: I dislike this phrase, because I reject the idea behind it, but there has simply been “too much traffic” for the server to deal with. They’ve been trying different things to keep it up and running, and cutting back on some of the features helps keep the site, on a basic level, running. All of the features, and hopefully more, will be back soon.
Cruel asked: I always wondered who was rooming together during the road trips. The only one I know is that Brownie and Doughty were roommates. How about Johnson, Kopitar, Quick, Stoll, Zues, Greene, Fro, Simmonds, and Williams?
Answer: Goalies have their own roommates, as do veteran players such as Handzus. I believe it’s Johnson and Greene, Stoll and Simmonds. I really can’t remember the rest off the top of my head. I believe Williams might have been with Clune.
Andy asked: Hey Rich, Why is Brayden Schenn making 3million dollars, and why is Thomas Hickey making 1 million, while everyone else is making six figures?
Answer: It’s all about bonuses written into entry-level contracts. The two guys you mentioned are high first-round picks, so their potential bonuses are going to be higher. They may or may not (and probably won’t) reach all of those bonus levels in their rookie seasons, but the bonus amounts have to be included in their salary-cap hits.
Jammers asked: 1. The question on the mind of every Kings fan: When is Heidi Androl going to become Heidi Doughty? 2. Do you feel like there is a friendly (or non-friendly) rivalry between JMFJ and DD? Do you think we will see them play together more next year? 3. Why does Frolov suck so bad? 4. Will the third jersey become the regular home jersey next year? 5. What is the extent of Clunatic’s injury? 6. What are the chances that someone in the Kings organization is going to admit that they overplayed Quick this season? 7. Who are the major free agents around the league this offseason and who would be the best fit for the Kings? Please don’t say Frolov.
Answers: 1) I didn’t know Drew’s parents were adopting her! 2) I think there probably was a competitive rivalry with the Olympics this year, but other than that, I don’t sense anything different between those two than any other two players. I think, long term, the Kings probably see a Doughty-Johnson pairing as pretty intriguing, but 5-on-5 this year, they weren’t very good together. 3) He’s probably in the top one percent of people who do what he does for a living. I wouldn’t call that sucking. 4) No, I don’t believe so. 5) They’re saying he suffered a “stinger,” which is basically just a nerve injury that takes a little time to die down. 6) Probably zero. 7) Kovalchuk and Marleau will probably be the two biggest names out there. They would fit in terms of filling a need for a goal scorer. It’s impossible to say if they would be the right fit for the Kings until we saw what it looked like.
Jammers asked: 1. How many times would you estimate that DD said “you know” this year?
Answer: You know, I’m not sure.
gr81scores asked: Now that the Kings had a great regular season, will FSW finally televise some games from Canada next season?
Answer: I don’t know, but given that the Kings improved this season and ratings were up, and given how much grief they got for it this season, I think I’d bet on it.
nosoupforyou asked: I’d like to hear TM’s thought process behind pulling Quick, and then pulling Ers in game 5. Did he feel that Ers was going to get hammered for the rest of the game and didn’t want the rest of the team to continue to go through that?
Answer: Yeah, I’d say you summed up my thoughts pretty accurately there.
KOHO asked: If you had a chance to do a blog like this for the Cubs full time would you take it over the Kings? I wouldn’t hate on you if you did…everyone has a dream job. Is that yours?
Answer: I appreciate the question, but as I answered the very first question in this forum, no, I would never want to cover a team that I’m a fan of. If you’re emotionally invested in something, it’s usually much more difficult to be rational and objective about it, so I don’t have any real desire to do that. I’m genuinely happy covering hockey.
Kings Outsider asked: I’m Sarah’s Dad. Thanks for taking care of her. It was special. I have only one question, relating to the future b/c trades and free agent signings are in DL’s good hands. It seems we have several really hot prospects other than Bernier. Focusing only on those players who didn’t skate for the big club this past season, can you rate their talent, compare them with other teams’ up and coming talent, and give your “honest” predictions on which Kings prospects have the best shot at stardom in the NHL and why. Thanks and have a great summer.
Answer: Great meeting you this year! Sarah is a great kid… Rating prospects is obviously a very subjective thing, but a few different organizations/media outlets have had significant praise for the organizational depth in L.A. One website/magazine that focuses on prospects, hockeysfuture.com, has the Kings as the second-best organization in terms of prospect talent. TSN recently said the Kings had the best draft classes of the past couple years. To mention some specific names, other than you-know-who, Brayden Schenn and Andrei Loktionov are two forwards who should have a chance. Schenn, realistically, could play in the NHL now. The only question with him is exactly where he might fit in. He’s not a No. 1 center. Is he a No. 2? Perhaps, and that’s a big, big role if he can fill it. Loktionov has enormous skill and hockey sense, but he’s tiny and he needs to bulk up. If he and Oscar Moller can get some bulk and body control, they will be NHL players. On the back end, Vyacheslav Voynov and Thomas Hickey are good puck-moving defensemen, but Hickey is regularly hurt and that’s stunting his growth. Look out for Jake Muzzin, an undrafted kid whom the Kings signed during the season. It wouldn’t stun me to see him in the NHL next season. Want a total wild card? Brandon Kozun. He’s tiny, but all he does is pile up points. I can’t wait to see how he looks in the developmental camp.
mk_42 asked: Any way you (or someone in the Kings organization) can compile a list of legal ways to watch games online? I understand that it’s complicated with conflicting broadcast rights but I feel like *we* (the fans) shouldn’t be the ones to figure it out. There’s the occasional game on a reputable site (I think yahoo had one of the canadian no TV games), sites affiliated with cable companies (I think Comcast has a thing), pay sites which may or may not be legal… I’m all for banning links to pirate sites…but how about identifying some legal options?
Answer: Honestly, other than the GameCenter thing NHL offers — and the Yahoo thing that I’m vaguely aware of — there really aren’t any other options that I know of. The Yahoo thing seems very hit and miss, and I’ve yet to see any kind of schedule from them, but otherwise the NHL controls the online distribution of its games, as far as I know. Locally, FS West isn’t going to be allowing anyone to stream games (other than GameCenter).