Going forward, as we deal with this oh-so-intense Carmageddon stress, here’s the fifth set of the open forum questions and answers…
bbb7 asked: (1) Is there a list of activities considered too ‘dangerous’ that contracted players cannot partake in them during the off-season? Like skydiving or race car driving? (2) Will there be a new ‘homage to the blogger’ salute that goal-scorers will use this year to replace the typing motion one from last season? (3) If the police arrest a mime, do they still have to tell him he has the right to remain silent?
Answers: 1) As I understand it, most professional-sports contracts do have some type of clause prohibiting dangerous activity, although those clauses aren’t universal. I’m not aware of the specific activities, but it’s fair to assume they would be the standard high-risk physical activities. 2) Not sure, you’d have to ask the players that. I mean, they’re the ones that come up with that stuff, you know? 3) Yes. But what happens when the mime has to enter a plea in court?
king lopes asked: what number will MR wear?
Answer: Still 10.
Happy Lappy asked: Rich, can you delay your vacation until I can come up with a question?
Answer: Yes, no problem. Wait, you just asked a question though. Bye! Incidentally, hope to see you at one of the suite games this year.
MacSwede asked: Q1: How come the Kings have not organized a public press conference for the signing of Gagne and bringing in Richards? I mean, when they put on their new jerseys and so on. I here the other teams that did big trades/signings have done so. It is because Richards is on vacation in Canada? When Jeremy Roenick signed I remember they did so. Q2: Jack Johnson got a little breakthrough last season, but he still has a terrible +/- (I know, that stats are what they are). Do you think that JJ together with Doughty is the two pieces that Kings should build their defence around? Much like Kopitar/Richards is for the offense now? This has always been the plan as I understand, but as of now I think JJ has to step up even further to prove that. Q3: Any chance we could follow you on twitter sometime? (Do you have an account, or will someday?) Q4: Will you travel with the team to Europe for the NHL Premiere? I will be at the game in Stockholm, and would really like to say hi to you. I write for a Swedish fanpage, so I will have a presscard or what you call it.
Answers: 1) This was sort of asked and answered above, but those things are sort of just photo-op events. To ask two guys who live on the East Coast to fly all the way out here, just to have their pictures taken for 30 seconds, isn’t really feasible or fair. Both were very gracious in terms of answering media questions by phone. And, as you probably saw yesterday, Gagne came out to scout houses so he had his press-op moment. 2) Yes, I think those are clearly the two defensemen to build around. Jack Johnson is 24 years old. Many defensemen are just getting their start in the NHL at that age. So I wouldn’t worry too much about him needing to “step up” or “prove himself” right now. He’s doing just fine for his age. 3) There’s a feed of blog posts at @LAKingsInsider. Other than that, I have a great venue to express myself here, at more than 140 characters at a time. 4) I’m not sure if I’m traveling with the team, per se, but I will be there. I have no idea what the media setup will be like, though, so I’ll just be going with the flow.
kb asked: Rich – Recently i was lucky enough to spend some time with the stanley cup. it was amazing since i’ve wanted to see the thing since i was 8. (no i didn’t touch it!) if you want to see a pic of me and cup all you gotta do is google “stanley cup mariposa” and click images and i’m the one in the white shirt about to pounce the cup! nice! yay! go me! anyways – MY QUESTION IS: Rich – If you could spend A Day with the Stanley Cup what would you do?
Answer: I’m not sure. Maybe take it to Tommy’s and have them fill it with chili-cheese fries.
Osaka asked: I remember you did a scouting excursion with Mr Lombardi a while back and if I remember correctly you did pretty well (ranking the player high that Dean had ranked high). Could you resfresh my memory what are the different criteria that a player is evaluated? Is there a certain skill or trait that Dean values over others? It seems to me lately that the Kings have gone for more rounded players instead of of guys who might be exceptionally gifted in one aspect but not so much in other. Would you say that is a fair observation? With your past scouting experience, who jumped out at you in prospect camp?
Answer: Well, the players are evaluated through just about every criteria possible. If there’s one thing that the Kings, under Lombardi, have leaned toward, it’s probably that subjective “compete level.” I say subjective because there’s no statistics to back it up. It’s something that scouts/coaches/management observe and get a feel for. And no, honestly, I wouldn’t say that the Kings have made any type of change in terms of the type of players drafted. To be certain, there’s been more of an emphasis on forwards. As for the last part, I’ll refer you to the half-dozen questions above, along the lines of “Who was good at camp?”
jonjon asked: hey rich, it seems we have a few holes we can fill on this team at the forward position. im thinking its probably going to happen from within so my question: if we do go that route, out of all the prospects *cough* kozun or toffoli *cough* do you think is most ready/likely to make the team this upcoming season?
Answer: Again, I’m not sure where the holes are. You’ve got a clear top six, then you’ve got Clifford, Stoll, Richardson, Lewis, Parse, Westgarth, Loktionov, and we haven’t even got to prospects. If you think a prospect is going to beat out guys such as Parse or Loktionov, then OK, I’ll go with you on that, but I wouldn’t say there are any holes to be filled, and certainly not “a few.” It will take something rather extraordinary for one of those prospects to make the NHL roster.
donjon asked: any chance kings vision will release that presentation they showed richards?
Answer: I don’t know, but given that he didn’t sign with the Kings, I sort of doubt it.
Osaka asked: Can you name a couple players on the Kings who for you are great to work with? I don’t know what would make your day more enjoyable from a players’ perspective: good quotes, makes himself available, polite, serious, lighthearted, positive, negative, curtious, rude….?
Answer: A variation of this topic came up at the rink the other day. This might sound like fluff, but the truth is that once you’ve covered other sports — and by “other sports” I mean baseball — all hockey players are great to deal with. They really are. It really wouldn’t be possible to single out a handful of guys, because they’re all quite good to work with. Some of them are more quotable than others, but there isn’t a single guy in the locker room who I couldn’t sit down with and have a pleasant conversation. In general, players who are considered the “best quotes” are the ones who come up with witty observations or have the ability to put things in perspective without using a lot of cliches. Justin Williams is the one name that pops in my mind, as an example of the above.
PaulHB asked: I’m not sure if you’d know the answer to this or if it’s a question best saved for Jim Fox if he gives us another question/answer session this year? Why doesn’t Bob Miller (or Foxy for that matter) ever get to do any national TV games? Doc Emerick and the other guys that VS and NBC use are ok but it’s a real east coast bias. It would be nice to hear Bob on some games.
Answer: I really don’t know how those contracts are done up, or even if those guys would want to do national games instead of doing Kings stuff. I know that Jim, during the playoffs for a couple years, did some national stuff for NHL Radio, but just speaking from what I know, I haven’t had the sense that they are really itching to do stuff beyond what they enjoy, which is the Kings.
Poorman asked: I’m sure you’ve received some other journalist job offers since you’ve been doing this blog. Two Questions: 1. Does your contract allow you to do other jobs in addition to this 1, and 2. Can you share some of the other offers you’ve received and/or turned down. Thanks!
Answers: 1) I could do some minor freelance work that doesn’t compete with what I’m doing here, but to be honest, I don’t really have the time or desire to go out and do other stuff. This keeps me quite busy enough, really. 2) No, respectfully, I don’t think making that stuff public does any good for anyone.