Continuing with the “Open Forum” questions and answers, here is the third set…
LB asked: Rich, given that you’re not a Kings fan, what were your feelings when they won the Cup? Also were you shocked by their playoff dominance? What is the team’s biggest need for next season or is there one?
Answers: 1) On a professional level, my thoughts immediately went to all the work that would be ahead in order to cover the festivities the best way possible. Personally, I felt happy for a lot of people — whether it was players, coaches or broadcasters — who had dedicated years of their lives to reach that moment. I don’t think you have to be a fan to have the human emotion of being happy to see someone realize their dream. It’s a great moment. I’ll never forget riding down from the press box with Bob Miller and seeing the smile on his face, after 39 years. Great moment. 2) The biggest need is to avoid complacency, and that’s a big one.
Marbles asked: 1. Is the Stanley Cup going to be at Frozen Fury this year? If it is, do you think fans will be able to take pictures with it? 2. Do you think Bernier will be traded before training camp? 3. Where do you think Gagne will fit in the lineup at the start of the season if everyone is healthy?
Answers: 1) No idea right now. I don’t even know if the Kings still have access to it at that point. As noted in an earlier answer, they don’t keep it for an entire year. At some point it goes back to Toronto and/or goes on its normal trips. 2) If I had to bet, I’d bet no. 3) Second- or third-line left winger.
zdfun asked: I have question about the stick of Marty in 1993 SC Finals.
My questions are, 1. Did Marty told the equipment department what stick he want them to order? 2. Did the equipment department know about it’s illegal? 3. I know we didn’t, but if we really want to blame on someone, should it be Marty more or the Equipment department?
Answers: McSorley knew it was illegal and he played with it. He was far from alone in terms of playing with an illegal stick during that era.
Old Man asked: Could you tell me all the players or others whose names will be on the cup.
Answer: I don’t have a full list, but it’s anyone who appeared in a Stanley Cup Finals game or who played in 41 regular-season games and is still in the organization. Then there are the coaches and management members, and then the team has some discretion to add members of the organization such as scouts. Teams are limited to a total of 52 names.
The Grice Boys asked: I am MORE interested in this commemorative book being put out? I assume it is a hard cover? Also any approximate details on when the book will be released, where it will be available and cost?
Answer: It’s definitely hard cover, and it’s been worked on furiously right now. I don’t have an exact release date but the plan is to have it out well before the start of the season. I’m pretty sure that the availability will be quite widespread — Amazon, bookstores, Kings website, etc. — and as for cost, that’s harder to answer. There will be a couple different versions of the book. There will be a basic hardcover book and then one or two “special editions’’ with some extra features. I can’t give a lot of details at the moment, because things are still being finalized, but there’s some cool stuff. I’ll definitely keep folks updated on this.
HockeyNerd asked: Which prospects do you think have a decent chance of playing for the team in 2012-2013, (if not on opening night than as a replacement due to injury)? Also: were you very surprised at what this team accomplished? At what point in the playoffs did you begin to feel there was a very strong possibility of winning the cup?
Answers: 1) At the start of the season, probably none, unless there’s an unforeseen change to the roster. In terms of midseason call-ups, that depends entirely on the position of the injured player and how the prospects are playing in Manchester. For instance, let’s say a defenseman gets hurt. Is it a puck-mover or a stay-at-home guy? If it’s the latter, who is playing better in Manchester at the time, Campbell or Muzzin (or others)? There’s no list, in terms of, “OK, now it’s your turn,’’ so it’s tough to say. Anyone playing well in Manchester would have a chance if the right oppThe player who will be most interesting to watch is Tyler Toffoli, to see how his transition to the AHL goes. 2) After the Kings won the first two games in St. Louis. The Vancouver series win was impressive, but given the way the Blues had been playing at home, I thought that would be very tough. When they went up 2-0 against St. Louis, I felt like they had overcome a huge challenge.
BobsYourUncle asked: My only question to you is more about the lakingsinsider.com site, when is the theme going to be updated to the new LA Kings logo or even better, the Stanley Cup Champions logo?
Answer: Actually, the format will be changed soon, to streamline it a bit more with LAKings.com. The content isn’t changing, and the look will be real similar, but there will be a different look with a different logo, etc.
Mark asked: Rich, What is the bottom line on Bud Holloway? Is he good enough and under what circumstances could he potentially join the team given his contract overseas? I saw his probability of success stat drop to F at hockeysfuture.com. Not sure who does that rating, but it seems like someone’s trying to send a clear message by giving him the only F. Thanks
Answer: This is going to sound unnecessarily harsh, but I really don’t understand the fascination with Bud Holloway. He’s a great guy and had some success at the AHL, but he’s 24 years old and it’s not as though he dominated at the AHL level. Given his style of play, he would most likely have to fit into a top-six role at the NHL level. Is he going to beat out Brown, Kopitar, Williams, Penner, Richards or Carter? Or even King or Stoll or Lewis? Or Tyler Toffoli or Linden Vey? I have no idea how that website evaluates players. The Kings thought Holloway made a mistake going to Europe, because he probably would have had a chance to get called up at some point, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Holloway to be a regular NHL player at this point.
JackKentCooke asked: 1. Besides a new assistant coach, what other organizational personnel changes have occurred or are possible? 2. If they made you GM what would you be looking to do at this time? 3. Concerning the Insider about what do you feel the most pride and the most regret? 4. Has there been any speculation how long Daryl Sutter is likely to keep coaching? 5 Has DS bought any additional acres in Viking or elsewhere? 6. Doughty’s attorney predicted a dismissal of charges was imminent. Then Gloria Allred appeared on the scene.. What do you hear/think? 7.Is Bob Miller returning next year? 8. What is your opinion on the likelihood of Farmer’s Field being built? When? 9. If AEG gets an NFL franchise how would that impact their ownership of the Kings/ 10. Has winning the Cup prompted Kings alumni to take a more active role in supporting the club? !!. Is it possible for the Insider to try to sell out a box to subscribers who would buy tickets on a individual game basis? This could be a limited time, off-season effort contingent on the box selling out in advance for the entire year. 11. What can you tell us about Penner’s off season workouts? 12. Have you had to add bandwidth to accommodate Duncanz’s posts?
Answers: 1) None that I know of, other that Manchester assistant coach Scott Pellerin leaving to take an AHL head-coaching job. 2) Working really hard to figure out the CBA. 3) Just general pride about the fact that, for three years, we’ve been able to have success and follow the exact plan that the Kings and I set forth. They were honest with me, I was honest with them, and the partnership has worked out great. Beyond that, not necessarily pride but gratitude toward all the readers who have made that possible. No regrets. 4) He’s only 53, so I doubt he has plans to retire any time soon. 5) No, he and his brothers already have a massive amount of land up there. 6) This is done now. Regardless, a criminal investigation had nothing to do with a civil attorney. 7) Yes. 8) Really beyond my scope. Not sure. 9) Not at all, I wouldn’t think. Staffs would be independent. 10) Not sure. It’s only been one month, basically. Perhaps long-term it will. 11) This is also beyond my scope. If someone else wanted to organize something like this, I’d do would I could to help, but I just don’t have time. 11) I don’t know anything about them. 12) No crashes this season!
GMB3 asked: Do you think Kyle Clifford will get his spot back again on the 4th line (or do you even think he deserves it)? I know roster spots are pretty tight right now & nothing is really guaranteed. I personally feel he has great potential & it’s a must to have a player like that on the team who will take no you know what & back it up. Just wanted to hear your opinion. Thanks for all the great work this season!
Answer: It’s definitely a big season for Clifford. In a way, he was almost the victim of his own success last season. In 2010-11, he far exceeded expectations with his all-around play. Going into 2011-12, there were reasonable expectations, in some circles, that Clifford might be able to play a bigger role, play more minutes, etc. Perhaps he wasn’t quite ready for that, or perhaps the increased expectations made things a little tougher for him mentally. Either way, he’s not in a bad spot. He’s a 21-year-old winger with a great attitude, great work ethic and NHL skills. The only problem for him is the competition. At left wing, the Kings have Brown, Penner, Gagne and King, plus Richardson. Stoll and Lewis are third-line locks, as is Fraser on the fourth line. Nolan looked like a very strong fourth-line player. Clifford will need a good training camp and will need to show Darryl Sutter that the Kings must have him in the lineup.
Team JMJF asked: Couple questions…first, what is the song played when the kings come onto the ice? And then which kings jersey is your favorite? Past or present
Answers: 1) On the ice immediately before the game? I believe it’s “Back in Black,’’ isn’t it? Funny how I can sit there for 50 games and not be 100-percent certain. 2) I’m still partial to the Gretzky-era silver, black and white. I actually like the current road jerseys but I don’t like the home jerseys. I like the vintage purple-and-gold jerseys as a special third (or perhaps fourth) jersey, but I wouldn’t want to see it as the full-time jersey.