Open forum answers IV

Getting back to the Open Forum, here’s the fourth set of questions and answers…

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Question: Can you share what happens when a player is traded or picked up off waivers during the season? For instance Randy Jones gets on a plane lands in LA…who picks him up from the airport? Where does he stay? How long until his family arrives? Is there any player on the team that will help him acclimate to a new city?

Answer: There’s one part I’m not certain about, which is how the player gets picked up. It might be a Kings staff member, or they might send a car. Perhaps it depends on the situation. As for living situation, it’s generally up to the player. Short term, they can stay in a South Bay-area hotel, or maybe take a spare room of a (new) teammate they might know from the past. It can be tougher for older players, who might have a wife and kids in school, etc. Nobody is really in charge, particularly, with helping the new guy. There always seems to be a connection though. This guy played with that guy in junior, or that guy’s brother, or they played on some youth team. It’s like a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing.

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Question: How does the waiver system pertain to each goaltender on the Kings bench and prospect in Manchester? A lot of people here are suggesting changes in the goaltending paring. They basically want to move one down to Manchester and bring another one up. Would any goaltender be put into jeopardy under the waiver system by such a move–or is it just one or two that cannot be moved without the chance of being claimed off the wire? Maybe it’s just that no one can’t be sent down without the worry about the waivers, so they’d be stuck with three goaltenders on the roaster?

Answer: Erik Ersberg is no longer waiver-exempt and neither, I believe, is Jonathan Quick, since has now played in more than 60 NHL games. So yes, what you’re writing, in terms of the risk of losing a player, would be correct. It’s definitely not as simple as moving one player in and the other out. If you want to make your head spin for a while, there’s a good breakdown at http://www.nhlscap.com/waivers.htm Or just ask Quisp!

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Question: After years of terrible goaltending we now have Quick who does a good/decent job but isn’t controling games or winning games on his own. Is this first full year ups and downs or is this Quick – DL/TM mentioned before his ‘chip’ on his shoulder before where he would have an edge to him that is lacking this year – do you see that?

Answer: I do agree that the “chip” is the intangible that Quick has been missing for parts of this season. It’s an attitude in goal that’s very hard to describe and put into words. I definitely saw it in his game against Tampa Bay. That’s why I asked him, after that game, about his comfort level in net. He looked much more comfortable, much more in control, than he had of late. He said he didn’t feel any different, but it certainly didn’t look that way on the ice, at least to me.

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Question: Great job with the blog and interviews Rich. Lots of in depth material. Could you find out who I need to get ahold of to ask them to ‘pause’ selling refreshments during the National Anthem? This is done at Dodger Stadium,and I, and many of my fellow soldiers, feel it would be very respectful. Some things are more important than the ‘almighty dollar’. Thanks

Answer: That’s something that would fall under the arena’s control, or maybe even under Levy Restaurants’ control, since they operate the food services. I would recommend trying to get in touch with someone at the arena, because I don’t believe anyone from the Kings would have control over that, just as the Lakers/Clippers wouldn’t during basketball games.

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Question: Oh, another question. Was it somehow legal when that player launched Quick’s stick into the corner? Well, we know it’s not completely legal, because sending a stick flying isn’t legal, but what if he just gradually nudged it away from where Quick left it? How could that be legal?

Answer: Unless Quick’s stick was broken, and I don’t believe it was, then knocking a goalie’s stick away from him like that should be an interference penalty. I suppose it’s a ref’s judgment call as to how far it can be “nudged.” The play was so hectic that the officials most likely didn’t even see the stick. It appeared that Quick lost sight of it also.

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Question: Whats the reason that NHL teams will not disclose what type of injuries players get? It’s either an “upper body injury” or a “lower body injury.” I remember teams being more specific back in the day as to what part of the body is injured. Any reason for this?

Answer: Well, the stated reason is that coaches don’t want players to be “targeted” by opponents who know what they’re hobbled with. The theory goes that if an opponent knows a guy has a bruised left knee, for instance, he will go after it. I’ve never heard much anecdotal evidence that that really happens. We used to go around and around with Andy Murray about this. On one hand, Andy used to say (I’m paraphrasing), “We never play a player unless he’s 100 percent.” and he would also say, “We don’t want him to be targeted.” Well, if he’s 100 percent, what is there to target? He’s completely healthy, right? My feeling is that if a player is injured enough to miss a game, the public should know why he’s not playing.

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Question: Last question because someone is going to ask it. Any interest from the Kings in Forsberg? There is a lot to play into this – Kings standing come March, Forsbergs health, injuries, does he want to play here and so forth, but would DL have any interest?

Answer: Forsberg says he is staying put.

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Question: Rich, when you speak with Mark Morris, you might ask him about the defensemen rotation, and how he’s going to fit Martinez (when healthy) into what appears to be a pretty solid group so far. Every time I think a Campbell or a Kolamatis (sp?) should be a candidate for demotion to Ontario they come up with a big game. Also, is Mullen playing D or F?

Answer: Good question for Morris indeed, Marc. Mullen has been playing defense of late, from what I can tell.

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Question: Also, do you find yourself working more than when you were at the dailynews? I notice a lot more updates, plus your game stories, plus your weekly features, and saw a game preview written by you for nhl.com. That sounds like a hectic schedule.

Answer: Well yes, I would definitely say I’m working more hours than I did at the paper. That’s certainly not a complaint though, because I love what I’m doing. It’s a blast, covering a team the way I’ve always wanted to, so every day is fun and challenging, and it’s a great opportunity to always learn and improve as a writer and a reporter. The great support from the readers keeps me going as well.

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Questions: Have Luc or Foxy gotten you out on the ice yet? Are you starting to get used the being the person being asked the questions on air after so many years of sitting in the crowd asking the questions.

Answers: 1) No, not yet. Jamie Kompon was joking a couple weeks ago about getting on the ice. I like to skate, so I wouldn’t mind logging some time, but there’s no way I could keep up with those guys. 2) TV is definitely new, but I’ve done a lot of radio interviews over the years, so it’s not entirely different. You definitely have to be sharper on TV though. Quicker answers, right to the point, relate to the person you’re working with. It’s been fun to try.

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