Into the home stretch, here’s the seventh set of “Open Forum” questions and answers…
Jonah asked: Throughout the season and especially in the playoff series I noticed players getting kicked out of the faceoff circle fairly often. What occurs when a player is asked to leave? It seems like such a minute infraction but it makes players and sometimes fans upset.
Answer: There’s a variety of criteria, and it’s all at the discretion of the on-ice officials. A player can be kicked off for how he handles/places he stick before the puck drops, if he “jumps” the draw or makes contact with an opponent, or even if one of his teammates commits some type of encroachment penalty. It’s up to the officials to look for these violations and enforce them.
michael asked: why would upper management allow the kings to start in europe next year???dont we have a tough enough travel schedule as it is and why should we lose out on a home game?? fatique will be an issue and an excuse that will be thrown around next year….bad decision..we’ve been there already let some other teams in the east get out there aside from the rangers.
Answer: The league asked/invited the Kings to be a part of the series and, after some negotiation and discussion, they agreed. The fact that AEG owns all those buildings in Europe certainly didn’t hurt the cause. The whole thing of Europe being a season-killer is proving to be a little overrated. Chicago opened the 2009-10 season in Europe and, as I recall, that season ended with the Stanley Cup. Losing one home game out of 41 isn’t a big deal, and the plan is for the Kings to mitigate part of the travel concern by playing at least a couple East Coast road games before they return to Los Angeles. Also, the Buffalo Sabres are going, so that’s two teams from the West and two from the East.
Minnesota Kings Fan asked: To add to the uniform questions(s) what about something with purple & gold?
Answer: The current plan is for the Kings to wear the purple-and-gold vintage uniforms for three home games next season.
Stuart asked: Hey Rich, any chance that you’ll use that instant messenger type thing during next years playoffs or during choice games? I really missed that this year.
Answer: Yes, there’s a good chance of that. Still working out the details. I can’t do it the way it was done before, because some people don’t have the emotional maturity to handle an open chat room, and it ruins the experience for the adults among us. But that’s a priority, to figure out the best way to handle that.
jules asked: hi rich – you covered nearly 90 kings games this season. in your opinion, what’s the main issue with the powerplay: personnel, execution or coaching? If you were in charge, what would be your solution? thanks!
Asked: I don’t know if you listed them in that order on purpose, but I would say that all three have some responsibility, and I would list them in that exact order in terms of level of responsibility: personnel, then execution, then coaching.
sparkyTioBudd asked: I have noticed that, at times, team wear their road white uniforms while at home when they are supposed to be in their dark color? This most often happens when they play someone within their division and little travel is involved. What is the NHL’s policy on this, is it something the two teams agree upon before hand? Thanks for doing such a great job.
Answer: I’ve only seen this a handful of times, including when the Canucks did it in this season’s opener against the Kings. In each case, I believe it revolved around the other team wearing some type of special jersey or some type of anniversary or special event. It’s not just, “Hey, we want to wear white on Thursday, is that OK?” It might even require the approval of the league.
DieHard #66 asked: I read this blog daily and i feel like when i read the comments most of the users are clamoring for a bigger offensive threat for the Kings. While it’s obvious to me that the Kings need more offense, what isn’t obvious to me is that the offense they seek will come with a big free agent acquisition like a Kovalchuk last year or a Richards this year. From my perspective the issue that the Kings have is based in the system they run for their offense. I feel like a lot of their offense is based on waiting for the opposition to make a mistake rather than having a system that puts the defense in a position to make a mistake. For example, our system is to have the puck deep against the boards with a supporting forward somewhere by the hash marks. As long as we can control the puck against the boards we MAY be able to tire out the defense and find an opportunity to get the puck to the F3 for a shot. Either that or send the puck to the blue line to get a shot on net that MAY produce a big rebound. I also watch the Flyers and find that their offensive system seems to create more opportunities to get the defense out of position, resulting in high percentage shooting opportunities. My questions are this, do you think that adding an offensive threat like a Kovalchuk(example from last year) or a Richards will open up the offense or do you think that we need to adjust our scheme to create more opportunity? I’m getting tired of seeing talented forwards struggle with productivity with the Kings and excel with other teams (Boyle, Moulson, Purcell), and i am concerned that we are going to see the same issue with supposedly talented offensive prospects like Parse, Penner, Schenn, Vey, Toffoli, Loktionov, etc.
Answer: I understand that a lot of people get anxious about the Kings’ system. I have to admit, that was a really, really long question/statement, and in trying to answer 200 of these questions I really don’t have sufficient time to go over it in great detail, but I’ll say this much. On one hand, I think the main flaw in what Terry Murray tries to accomplish is that it requires a high level of perfection. If players get away from it, even for a five-minute segment of a period, it’s tough to get back. It requires a lot of intelligence, patience and hard work, and that can be hard to maintain for 60 minutes. That said, there’s nothing wrong with this system. If you have the capability — I think the stories are archived on the website — check out Sports Illustrated’s recent story on the Washington Capitals. Almost to the letter, the Capitals are trying to do exactly what the Kings try to do. They have more experience, and more talent up front, but it’s the same thing. So it’s a matter of having the talent, it’s a matter of properly instructing the talent and it’s a matter of the talent getting it done on the ice. All three are important.
deadcatbounce asked: Rich, I really do appreciate the coverage of the Kings that you provide to all of us. With Phoenix and Atlanta both being in desprate straits and there’s all kinds of talk about relocation, does it appear to you that Phoenix will really go back to Winnipeg, and if they do move this summer and Atlanta is sold to someone who wants to relocate them, where do they go then? Phoenix?
Answer: I think it’s likely that one of those teams will move to Winnipeg, but the whole thing is just a circus. There are so many “deadlines” that aren’t deadlines at all, and so much posturing and so many threats in the media that the whole thing just becomes a big sideshow. The only positive thing is that the NHL will release its schedule in a few weeks, so by that point, all of these people will have to stop the nonsense and actually make decisions.
Alex asked: With the Kings trip to Europe in the fall, will that affect preseason hockey here? Enjoy making the trip to Phoenix for the split-squad (we’ll see if that happens again) and the home and home with Anaheim. I know they may be playing in a couple of exhibitions in Europe, so will they still be playing preseason games here in the States? Other than Frozen Fury, of course.
Answer: The preseason will definitely be impacted in some way, but I don’t believe it’s been set in place yet. The plan is for the Kings to leave for Europe from Las Vegas after that Oct. 1 game, so clearly there won’t be those post-Vegas games in Southern California. I would imagine that, before Las Vegas, the Kings would keep all of their preseason action local, given that they’ll be doing quite enough traveling in October, but like I said, I haven’t even heard details floated about other preseason games yet.
BringBackKingston asked: where can I find a current list of 2012 FAs? I’m currious to see who may be available since that’s the year a couple of big contracts are scheduled to come off the books.
Answer: I really have no idea about 2012. I don’t think anyone has even come up with a list, or at least put it online. My only recommendation at this point would be to go through a site such as capgeek.com and check out the individual rosters, but I don’t think anyone else has thought that far ahead.