The third set of questions and answers follows…
Jesse asked: Do you think that Kopi’s brother Gasper will get an invite to camp this year? That would be awesome to have two Kopitars on our team…
Answer: Well, Gasper is only 17 and only played 10 games in junior for Portland last year, so respectfully, I’d have to say that doesn’t exactly qualify him for a spot at an NHL training camp. We’ll take another look in a couple years.
andy asked: Do you have any insight as to why no one picked fowler or etem before the ducks? they were very highly projected in all the polls i’ve read.
Answer: No particular insight, no. It could be any number of things. Teams could pick up something from watching players live, from watching video, from interviews, from the combine or any combination of those things. Whenever players who are ranked high by Central Scouting fall, it always raises eyebrows, but this is why teams dedicate a lot of time and money to scouting, and it’s why drafting is such an inexact science. What makes it fun is that, five years from now, we’ll be able to look back, and either the Ducks will look like geniuses or we’ll all see how obvious it was why other teams passed on those guys.
fridgemagnet57 asked: I keep hearing we’re “similar” or like the Chicago Blackhawks because of our youth movement and prospects. (Bob Miller also mentioned it as well as other NHL commentators) I do have a hard time believing this as the Hawks had two fantastic #1 picks w/ Toews and Kane. What do you think about the way people compare LA to Chicago?
Answer: I think the similarities mainly are in the style of building a team, the strategy of building through the draft and getting complementary veterans to fill out the roster and make a strong push. You could put Pittsburgh in the same rough category. There are two key differences, and you pointed out one of them, which is that teams such as the Blackhawks and Penguins were fortunate to hit with big top-three picks such as Kane, Toews, Crosby and Malkin. The Kings, for all their struggles, were only among the draft’s top three once, although they were in the top five three times. Anyway, the other difference would be that the Kings decided to build from the back end first. The young foundation was put in place with Quick, Bernier, Doughty and Johnson (and certainly Kopitar and Brown, who were existing parts). So I don’t think there’s anything particularly unique to the Blackhawks’ and Kings’ attempts. It’s more accurate to say the the Kings are trying to duplicate Chicago’s success.
Larry asked: Just trying to get a full understanding of some numbers. I was looking at NHLnumbers.com and want you to tell me if this makes sense:
We do not sign Modin – 3.5 mil We do not sign Halpern – 2.0 mil We do not sign Ivanis – .6 mil We do not sign Jones – 3.0 mil. We do sign (or try to sign)
Kovi – 10.0 mil Is that not a mere 1.0 increase in outlay moneywise? To me that still leaves money for a raise for Richie, a good contract for Drew, and about 3-4 mil for a top 4 defenseman. Your thoughts?
Answer: Well, some of your fellow readers have some this up, but there are a couple issues here. First, your figures for Modin, Halpern and Jones are not close to what they cost the Kings last season. In fact, in each case it was approximately half, so your $1-million increase immediately becomes approximately a $5-million increase. I can help you out a little by also subtracting Frolov’s contract, but as others have pointed out, you still have to replace these people whose money you are subtracting. But moreover, as others have pointed out, if we were talking about a one-year, $10-million contract for Kovalchuk, you might be able to make the math work, but I don’t believe Kovalchuk is looking for a one-year contract. The problem becomes the third, fourth and fifth years, when you’re trying to keep Doughty, Johnson, Simmonds, Quick/Bernier, etc., in the fold while dedicating approximately one-fifth of your payroll to one player.
Woody asked: We often talk about players’ contracts on this site. Without you however, we wouldn’t get the chance to do so. Just want to make sure that you’re deal has been extended past this coming year. You certainly deserve the “max”! Thanks for everything you do.
Answer: Thanks, that’s very kind of you. And yes, I had a multi-year commitment when I agreed to take this job last October, so I’m good to go. I promise I won’t hold out in training camp!
Eric asked: I believe all our RFAs got QOs, but I’m wondering if there’s any additional status report on those potential contracts. Can we expect any of them to be buttoned up this week? Did the guys have a kid targeted with the #79 pick (Gudas?), and once he was selected (by Tampa?) they decided to move the pick?
Answer: I’d be surprised if any of the RFAs got new contracts this week, since none of them are high-profile, big-salary players. Richardson would be the only one I suspect might get done fairly soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the other four announced at the same time later in the month, after free agency dies down. I don’t know, but I don’t suspect that’s what happened, since the Kings made a pick at No. 70 (Jordan Weal) after Gudas was picked. Gudas may or may not have been in that “tier” for the Kings, but most likely all of their players in that tier were gone, so they traded out of the pick. Given that the Kings could have signed Gudas last year, and didn’t, I think people might be projecting a little too much interest in Gudas on the Kings’ part.
Question: The Kings need a bit more size and speed up front, of the current group of nearly NHL ready forwards, King, Moller, Loktionov, Cliche, Clifford ,Elkins, Holloway, Schenn and few I forgot, Which ones combine both?
Answer: Wow, that’s a tough question. If you’re looking for a player with tremendous size and speed, there aren’t all that many of them in the NHL, period, so that’s a pretty high standard. Dwight King has size and speed, but his talent is still relatively raw. Schenn might fit that category. But really, like I said, that’a a high standard. A prospect with NHL-caliber size and speed is most likely already in the NHL, unless he’s a junior player, and it’s very hard to find that mix in an 18-20-year-old player.
fuzzerson asked: Which line will Kovi be on?
Answer: I’m going with either “conga” or “the one for the new iPhone.”
Jammers asked: When do the players start reporting to camp? Are you aware of any upcoming player appearances? Does Doughty weigh 300 lbs or 350 lbs? Which Kings player is most likely to date Heidi: JMFJ or Doughty? Why does a game-worn JMFJ jersey cost $1,000?
Answer: 1) That hasn’t been set yet, but it’s usually the early part of the second week of September, somewhere in that range? 2) No, not offhand, but keep an eye on LAKings.com, as they often post that sort of stuff. I’m usually not aware of player appearances. 3) Not unless he’s had a few big meals since I saw him on TV on Wednesday. 4) Heidi Hamilton, from KABC? I think she’s taken. 5) It only costs what someone is willing to pay for it, right?
IceHotties asked: Who was the first team to start using the Ice Girls. Have they won an award yet?
Answer: My guess would be Jerry Buss. Hockey teams just added skates!
MacSwede asked: Do you know if an offer has been made to Alex Frolov? Do you think that sometimes the management is a little to quick to judge a player based on a time of low performance? I mean, isn’t it sad that Frolov, a player we got via draft, end up getting nothing in return. Ofcourse he had a bad season what we are use too, but before that he was our best scorer for several seasons. Same with Camalleri. He had a bad season, though it started good. But instead of having a little patience with him the management (DL) trades him for a pick (Teubert), and whoops, we are short on left wing for a whole season. We could sure use a player like cammy now, what if (not a fan of what if’s) we kept him. Do you follow my point, based on the original question?
Answers: 1) No offer has been made to Frolov, and apparently no offer will be made before July 1. Honestly, I can’t say I agree about Frolov. He’s not a player who only got a brief look with the Kings. He was with the team for seven full seasons, for 536 regular-season games, including four full seasons with this management group, so I think that’s plenty of time for evaluation. There can certainly be debate about whether Frolov should stay with the Kings, how much money he might be worth, etc., but I think it’s hard to argue that after four years (or seven, depending on how you look at it), there’s some type of rush to judgment. 2) Cammalleri, under no circumstance, would have been a member of the Kings this season. If you go back in time and void the trade, he still becomes a free agent last summer and he still signs elsewhere, because there’s no way the Kings would have paid him $6 million a season. You can argue that the Kings should have made a better trade, but no matter what, Cammalleri would not have been a King last season.
seabass asked: When will the name change from the LA Kings to the LA Defensemen be made official?
Answer: That would look too awkward on the front of a sweater.