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April 29, 2011 6:00 pm

Forum answers VI

The sixth set of “Open Forum” questions and answers…


Cortex949 asked: We hear a lot about players contracts all the time. The length, the dollar amount, the break down year by year, and even the performance incentives, but I want to know how they actually get paid. When do they take a check home? Is it monthly? Is it a big lump sum when the contract is signed? Is it after every game? I’d imagine the performance incentives need to be paid at years end but I’d be interested in hearing about the rest.

Answer: Players, I believe, get paid on a biweekly basis. In terms of end-of-season bonuses, yes, that is something that would be resolved during the summer.


kb asked: Hey Eich – This is more of a question for you. Any thoughts on posting recorded interviews with DL or TM post game etc? It would be a neat feature on the blog to be able to listen to some of this stuff rather than have to read it. Not that i don’t love reading your beautiful transcriptions. I would however love to be able to listen in on Kings info while i go about doing other things in my day. Just a thought you might consider. Thanks for everything!! Much appreciated.

Answer: It’s certainly a good idea, but I don’t know exactly how feasible it is in the context of what I do now. In the immediate aftermath of the game, my first concern is to get quotes for use in my game story and on the blog. I’d have to think about a way to do that. There are, however, KingsVision videos regularly posted — at least after home games — of the postgame interviews with Terry Murray and players, so that might be a good option for you. Posting more multimedia stuff from the road is definitely one of my goals for next season.


MacSwede asked: (1), do you still think that Lombardi is searching for another high scoring winger this summer? Both Penner and Smyth have pretty high salaries. I noticed though that Lombardi mentioned something about the offense is needed to be better. So, (Question 2), do you think it is more likely that DL will go after a second line center? A real offensive center? I dont think we will land Richards, allthough I would be happy if we did. I think that if DL is going after a center it will be by trade. (Question 3). We have a real logjam at center, especially if DL aquires another one. Do you think that Kings will keep both Handzus and Stoll (even if DL does not get another center)? Handzus is UFA, but Stoll can be used in a trade. Do you think that DL would take a chance and hope that either Schenn or Loktionov will break out next season? If they dont and we have let one of Stoll or Hanzus go we are very short on centers.

Answers: 1) Yes, I still think they will go after a forward. 2) I don’t think there’s any advance decision, in terms of specifically targeting a potential addition through either trade or free agency. It’s more about evaluating potential targets and determining what it would take to land them. A trade might seem more likely, but then again, other players could be traded to create salary-cap room for a free agent, so anything can happen. 3) Handzus is a free agent and Stoll has one more year on his contract, so those are two different scenarios. I could easily see both players being on the roster in the fall. I don’t think any decisions will be made based on the idea that Schenn and/or Loktionov is ready. They have to prove that first.


michal asked: in your mind would DL consider trading j.bernier in a package if it means getting a much needed forward? we can possibly go get a vet. goalie to back up JQ or perhaps zatkoff….

Answer: Any player has the potential to be traded. If you trade a goalie for a forward, and the net result is that your team is better for it, you do it. Some players are more likely to be traded than others. I wouldn’t consider it particularly likely that Bernier would get traded, but it wouldn’t be the most stunning thing in the world either.


jonsey asked: Rich, if someone like Florida offer sheets Doughty for an unreasonable amount of money, what do the Kings do?

Answer: Who is setting the standard of “unreasonable”? In any event, it’s not going to happen, and it’s unlikely to even reach that stage, but in the wildly hypothetical, the Kings would match an offer sheet.


goes to eleven asked: Why do we often get the opaque “lower body injury” for weeks, yet we knew the extent of the Kopitar injury almost immediately? What determines how much information they give out and do you think we can ever make any assumptions if they continue with the obsfuscation for an extended period vs. coming clean right away?

Answer: There is no league-wide standard on this, although I believe there should be. Either give out information or don’t, but at least be consistent with it. There is, at least, a mild consistency. In terms of Kopitar, he was gone for the season. There was no sense in trying to mask what was wrong with him. In a case in which a guy might be trying to play through a bruised shoulder or a sore knee, etc., the thought is that teams don’t want opponents trying to target a player who might not be 100 percent.


number 6 asked: So I guess that would be my question to you. If you’ve got all these assets which is lovely, but you can’t trade them because they’ve proven nothing, yet you now have a better team, so unlikely you’re going to be drafting top five or top ten in the near future, have they sort of created a difficult situation for themselves?

Answer: I have to be honest and say I’m not really sure where you’re going with the question. Is the point/question that it’s harder to improve your team by trading prospects because prospects haven’t proven anything at the NHL level? If so, I understand the point, but teams also have extensive scouting staffs. Brayden Schenn has played only nine NHL games, but quite a few GMs around the league would love to pluck him from the Kings. In particular, teams that are looking to get younger and cheaper with their roster would be happy to take on prospects in trades.


7holesniper asked: Hey Rich, i watched pretty much every game of the 1st round in the NHL Playoffs, every other player who left their feet on a hit was suspended. what happened with the demers hit? was it not looked at or did the stoll his overshadow it? there we’re two hits where he left his feet AND made contact with the head in the series, which neither were called for. (penalty or disciplinary action.)

Answer: There wasn’t even a hearing for Demers, so no, the league did not seriously look at suspending him.


Pond Hockey asked: Any info available on how the Kings TV Ratings have been trending the past couple of years ? Puck Daddy had the top 5 and bottom 5 teams by TV Ratings, we were not on either list (not surprising that we are not in the top or bottom). Just like attendance, improved TV ratings puts more $ in the team’s pocket, which hopefully gives management more options.

Answer: I don’t have those ratings available to me, know. As I recall, the numbers that were posted were also tied to market size, meaning they’re projected out over the entire population of L.A., so they’re sort of estimations at best. The only thing I had hears was that the ratings were up over the past two seasons. By how much exactly, I don’t know.


KFII asked: I seem to remember reading somewhere that Luc is the one who designed our current 3rd jersey. Is this true? Can you tell us how many fans are currently signed up as Insiders? And how much the fan base has grown since this forum started?

Answer: I’m sure that Robitaille, as president of business operations, had a lot of feedback in terms of the jerseys, but I don’t believe he actually designed them, no. As for how many different people post, I really don’t know. There really is no sign-up or registration process, so I don’t track them. One thing I definitely can tell is when people post for the first time, and it’s amazing — in a very positive way — to see how many people are still discovering the site, almost two years later.


Vahe asked: Who will win a championship first the Cubs or the Kings?

Answer: The Cubs need to worry about getting to .500, then making the playoffs. At least the Kings have taken those two steps,

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