To kick off the day, here’s the next set of Open Forum questions and answers…
PaulCat asked: Great draft coverage this past week…it was very appreciated and the chat room was terrific. Along those lines, I was curious what, if anything, you have in store for us with the site and your coverage this upcoming season. More of the same or will there be any new tricks up your sleeve? I miss the game day chats…understanding that at times there is a mental lowest common denominator with some of your followers but any hopes of bringing that back this season? Also, and this is a technical question/request, but when you post any video or audio pieces on the site, is there a way or can you make it iPhone compatible. So often on my long commute, I listen to a posted Kings Talk in my car and your coverage would be awesome to have while dealing with L.A. traffic.
Answer: Thanks… As for additions, I do have some ideas, but given that I’m not a “technical” guy, those ideas have to be run past people who can execute them before I really feel comfortable talking about them. Along those lines, though, if you (or anyone else) have any ideas about things you’d like to see added, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I always appreciate the insight and suggestions. The game-day chats are great. Moderation is the issue, as I can’t realistically watch a game, write and blog while moderating a chat at the same time. I’d like to get that worked out, though. As for the audio/video, I actually have nothing to do with that. I’d suggest hitting up firstname.lastname@example.org with that suggestion, although my real suggestion would be to have Steve Jobs join the 21st century and allow Flash…
LB asked: Do you have any more background on the trades made during the draft, where they moved up several times to take a certain player…did they somehow know that this guy is about to be taken by another team so they have to move up? For example they moved down from 49 to 47 to take Toffoli, so they must somehow know that the team drafting at 48 is about to grab him? Does Lombardi feel that he got all the players he targeted in this draft? Did any of the scouts or Lombardi/Hextall make a comparison of which current player Forbort resembles? EJ McGuire said – Rob Blake.
Answer: No, I don’t really have any specific insight as to why they moved when they did. Just to be honest with you, those are questions that probably could be asked, but given my limited availability with Lombardi, I would prefer to use that time to ask questions that are more relevant going forward. That might be a good thing to re-examime before next year’s draft…sort of a look back, although I’m not sure how much a team would want to tip its hand in terms of how it gets its intel. I don’t think any GM would say he got all the players he targeted. That would presume, in Lombardi’s case, that he only targeted five players, when his list had a couple hundred names on it, at least. The players are broken into tiers, and the GM’s task is to make the “tier” fit with where he is drafting.
Tebben asked: Hey im a big kings fan from Sweden! i just wonder if they sign Raitis Ivanans a new contract or not?
Answer: No. Ivanans is due to become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday.
berniernextroy asked: I know the Kings are trying to sign Kovalchuk and there’s a lot of speculation on years and dollars. My question is, I have heard that there is a limit to how many years the Kings can sign a player, which is 7. Is there a specific law on limiting the years a player can sign for? I have heard that 7 years is the max.
Answer: There’s no limit that I know of, unless it’s a 26-year limit, because Magic Johnson signed a 25-year contract with the Lakers in the early 80s. Plus, the Kings were prepared to sign Marian Hossa to a 10-year contract. I’d be really surprised, given the attention paid by Jeff Solomon and the Kings to this sort of thing, if they were unaware of such a law.
Roger asked: Any news on Lewis. I live here in Salt Lake City. I know the Lewis’s. Played hockey with him and his dad many times. He has got to make the team this year. Although his contract is up this year. So is it camp, see how he does, then contract talks? Looks like he did well in Monarch playoffs after injuries.
Answer: I would agree with you that this is an important season for Lewis, but he will certainly have a contract by the time camp starts. The Kings have already filed a qualifying offer, so it’s essentially just a matter of how much Lewis will sign for, and for how many years.
quisp asked: what happened to the Lombardi Q and A questions? is it just that my question was too long?
Answer: Not sure which Q&A…the one back from May? Honestly, I don’t have a recollection of the questions, but that Q&A was an odd one because there was only time for a handful of questions and then I went and talked to Hextall for more.
doughtyfan_08 asked: how come the kings dont have an all access cam like most nhl teams? or sum teams have this thing where they ask the players a different question every week, would love to see behind the scenes a lil more to get insight of who our players are and their personalities.. is it because its LA do they strive so hard to prove its nt about that but about hockey instead?
Answer: I have to admit, I’m not sure what you mean by “all-access cam.” The Kings do more in-arena stuff, in terms of Q&A, features with Heidi Androl, etc., than pretty much any team I saw last season, so I presume you’re talking about the telecasts? If so, that’s a FSN issue, and not really a Kings issue, as the Kings don’t dictate the programming.
John R asked: What is the Davis Drewiske situation? He started last year, and looked good, and then faded. Then he got hurt and basically never came back. What does he have to do to regain his spot, and is he working in it?
Answer: You basically hit it right, that Drewiske never really got his mojo back after that injury. Terry Murray has been pretty consistent in saying that for Drewiske to earn a regular spot, he has to bring the physical type of game that would be consistent with his size and strength. When Drewiske gets in trouble, it’s because he plays too much of a “contain” game rather than being physical. As to whether he’s working on it, the proof will be in the training camp and exhibition games. That’s really the only way to know.
smoKING gun asked: Alexander Frolov, I think the last word was maybe a 50/50 chance but does Lombardi still have ‘any’ interest in re-signing him at this point? Even if the money was reasonable? (reasonable meaning within 750K to what he’d currently received). Any ideas as to which clubs might be interested in him?
Answer: The best way to answer would be to say that the Kings haven’t ruled out Frolov’s return, but he’s a distinct “Plan B” at this point, and they might not even get to that Plan B if another team decides to sign Frolov on July 1. I’d be really surprised if Frolov signed for an average of $3.675 million, but I suppose its possible. Either way, I wouldn’t say that the odds are in favor of Frolov returning to the Kings, although I don’t have any reliable information on which teams might be interested. That one has been pretty quiet.
Dan asked: Hey Rich! Again, thanks for all you do for us. Do you think Marc Savard would be a good fit as the #2 center for the Kings? He has played with Kovalchuk in Atlanta and would be a great #2 behind Kopitar. Any thoughts?
Answer: I think the Kings would be much wiser, for various reasons, to use that money elsewhere and wait until Schenn or Loktionov is ready to fill that spot.
Nick asked: Whatever came from the heated comments between Lombardi and Jack Johnson over the season? Lombardi was pretty critical of him in the press. Johnson was equally critical in reply. Was this a motivational tactic by Lombardi and if so shouldn’t it have come from Murray?
Answer: Well, unless you’re inclined to believe otherwise, Lombardi did not intend to make those comments public, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in the idea that it was a motivational tactic. Lombardi should have known better, but he made a mistake. What became of it? Nothing, really. Johnson expressed his displeasure, Lombardi apologized and the season chugged along.
Primakov asked: In your interview with Michael Futa he mentioned that after the draft the Kings were looking to invite two undrafted kids to training camp that they thought should have been taken in the 5th/6th rounds. Is there an update on whether they accepted the offer and who they are?
Answer: No, I don’t have an update on that, and it’s not likely that we’ll hear anything definitive until shortly before training camp. Whomever these two players are, they’re not bound by any type of agreement or contract, so even if they told the Kings, tomorrow, that they would come to camp, they could still decide next month to do something else. If anything, the Kings probably don’t want to publicize those names, so as to let other teams know who they’re looking at.