Moving on, here is the sixth set of the “Open Forum” questions and answers…
PurpleRocks asked: Again thank you for all your amazing work! It really means a lot! If there is a lockout do you know if they will try and revamp the schedule that was realeased or will they completely scrap it and make a new one? There are so many great games on that schedule that I hope stay. I am really praying there isn’t a lockout but I don’t get a great feeling about what could possibly happen. Thanks again!
Answer: Thank you, and as to your question, it would depend entirely on how long the (presumed) lockout went. For instance, if it’s a lockout that ends after one week, there probably wouldn’t be any changes. If it took a big chunk out of training camp, the players/owners would have to decide when to start the season and how to rearrange the games. Remember, a lot of buildings — Staples Center, first and foremost — are booked pretty tightly in the fall. The league would have to decide how it wanted to structure the season — for instance, still play six games against division opponents, or just four? — and then plan from there. The longer the (theoretical) lockout went, the more “revamping’’ would be necessary.
JohnD asked: Rich – how were the Kings mentally for the beginning of Game 6? We’re they confident? Worried?
Answer: I wasn’t in the dressing room or the bench, so only the people who were would be able to tell you. Justin Williams gave a speech before the game about playing together and having no regrets. Best I could tell, there wasn’t any worry or panic among the players.
NMKingsFan asked: Gotta know…did you touch it? Well did ya?
Answer: It’s hard not to. I almost tripped over it at the Jimmy Kimmel taping. (Who left it sitting on the floor, anyway?) I definitely wanted to see, first-hand, some of the famous misspellings and crossed-out names, etc., as well as just the history and all the names of legendary players.
Paulhb asked: Did or will David Courtney get a day with the Cup? Did he at least get to hoist it? I know he’s not strictly a Kings employee but he’s in some ways as much “the voice of the Kings” as Bob Miller or Nick Nickson. I hope the Kings recognize that. “LOS ANGELES GOAL….”
Answer: I don’t know, but I don’t believe so. Again, I understand the sentiment of wanting to give everyone associated with the team a “day,’’ and David has certainly been a big part of the organization over the years, but it’s just not feasible. You’re talking about roughly 25 players, four coaches, about a dozen team-support people, a dozen scouts, management and team broadcasters. That’s approximately 70 “days’’ right there, not to mention other obligations. I’ve seen the schedule and the Cup is literally booked every single day into September. On the other hand, it’s fair to say that most everyone associated with the team has had some time with the Cup in small settings.
DesertKing asked: If the NHL let us host the the Winter classic between us and the Sucks at Dodger or Angel Stadiums, do you think we could convince the local ski resorts to donate their snow blowing machines for the day?
Answer: Based on Gary Bettman’s sneering whenever this subject comes up, I think it’s more likely that you’ll need those snowblowers in Hell than at Dodger Stadium, unfortunately.
Irish Pat asked: 1.) Now that the Kings have won the Cup, when can we expect to see “Royal Ascent” at our local bookstore?… 2.) It’s been stated on here that Bernier has been a great teammate and super supportive, but won’t this recent escapade by the King’s backup netminder be hard to ignore in training camp? If he doesn’t settle down won’t they have to trade him?… 3.) Why is it whenever a sad scene takes place in a movie that is set in Los Angeles it rains?… 4.) Was Quick inebriated at the Kings championship rally?… 5.) Have you ever had a bacon vodka shot?… 6.) Next time you see Jim Fox and Bob Miller can you give each of them a “high-5″ from Irish Pat? I’m sure you’re aware, but they’re pretty rad and I want to thank them for all they do to enrich my enjoyment of the Kings each season. Give yourself one too. You’re pretty rad as well… Cheers Rich.
Answers: 1) Good memory! Actually, I have contributed approximately 9,000 words of text to the commemorative book that will be coming out shortly. I’m really excited to see it. I almost suggested that as a title… 2) Be careful not to blow this out of proportion. What we’ve seen is one translated report out of Quebec that didn’t offer a lot of context. I’m not (at all) suggesting that Bernier was misquoted in any way, but at the same time I’d be careful about being hasty in terms of labeling it as an “escapade’’ or suggesting that Bernier will be a problem. Bernier and Lombardi have spoken regularly about this topic and I’d be shocked if Bernier makes it any type of public issue in the locker room. 3) Well, as I’m typing this, it’s about 72 degrees outside under a blue sky. Who could be sad about that? 4) Yes. 5) No. But that sounds oddly intriguing. 6) Bob and Jim are fantastic broadcasters and even better people. Your appreciation for them is very well-founded!
Itchy asked: Will The Kings do another red/white/blue jersey for veteran’s day that get auctioned off to fans?
Answer: I don’t know for certain, but that definitely sounds plausible. Those commemorative warmup jerseys seem to be a good way to raise money for charity.
Reign Mafia asked: Rich (or fellow royalty): If there is a labor impass (Lockout, strike, or whatever,) will that affect players under a Kings Contract at the affiliate level (ie., Manchester or Ontario….hey I can hope for some talent at the AA level)? Also, who will be doing the announcing at CBBA in Ontario for the Kings/ Ducks preseason game (on ice and TV)
Answers: 1) During the 2004-05 lockout, a number of the Kings’ well-regarded young players — Dustin Brown, Michael Cammalleri and Mathieu Garon in particular — played for Manchester. Assuming it’s a lockout, and not a strike (which seems far more likely at this point), there’s a good chance you could see some younger players in the AHL. Would there be a trickle-down to the ECHL level? Perhaps. That would probably depend on how much NHL-caliber players ended up in Manchester. 2) Good question. Perhaps they will compromise and have David Courtney do one period, have the Ducks’ announcer do one and have the Ontario Reign announcer do one? I don’t believe there will be any TV for that game, although it’s possible that Fox Sports might add some Kings preseason games at some point.
Anaheim Kings Fan asked: I haven’t seen this mentioned yet as the reason for the Kings Stanley Cup success this season but it seems clear to me: the uniform change! Agreed?
Answer: Well, given that the Kings wore those jerseys when they lost to Vancouver and San Jose the previous two years, I’d have to go with “no’’ on that one.
Robyn asked: I know it’s hard to evaluate a player’s psyche, especially when you don’t know them very well, but do given that a report recently came out that Shane Doan is “interested” in LA Kings, he’d give up the incredible about of money that some teams are reportedly offering him since we have significantly less room under our cap than those other teams? Given all that you know about Doan, do you think location or money is more important? One other question… Do you think Cam Janssen’s recent interview accurately showcases how a lot of players truly are on/off the ice? Do you think there will be any negative fallout publicly, besides the harsh criticism he received?
Answers: 1) I do believe Doan is sincere about location and about wanting to stay in Phoenix. At this point, it’s been almost a full month. If money was the motivating factor, he would have signed elsewhere. He wants to stay in Phoenix but only under what he feels are the proper circumstances. If he’s not satisfied with that, I think he will look at the next-best option, not not just the most money. 2) It would be unwise to look at Janssen’s comments and say, “That’s how players are off the ice.’’ It’s no more accurate than hearing a lawyer make off-color comments and saying, “That’s how all lawyers are.’’ Pro sports are just like any other profession. There are a lot of good people and some clowns. I wouldn’t paint with a broad brush simply because of what Janssen said, and I don’t think most people do. So, I don’t believe there will be any long-term, widespread fallout. I think most people understand that it’s just one guy shooting off his mouth.
Cruiznblue asked: Hey Rich…do we get Heidi Androl back next season?
Answer: Not unless she returns to Fox Sports. At this point, I’m not aware of any plans of that.
Meman asked: This question goes back a couple years, and I may have missed the answer but… A couple years ago Lombardi had you scouting a player at a Hitmen game in Calgary, did the Kings ever draft that player? Or did he get drafted? And I don’t suppose you will mention who it was now?
Answer: Just to clarify, at the game you’re referring to, it wasn’t just about scouting one player. Lombardi gave Nick Nickson and me a list of players — I can’t remember how many, but approximately 10 — and asked us to rank them at the end of the game. The top player was David Musil, who ended up getting drafted by Edmonton in the first round last year. One of the other players was Alex Roach, whom the Kings later signed. I’m not aware of the other players. I probably still have the list somewhere but none of the other names have jumped out at me.