Open Forum answers VIII

Here’s the next set. Still a little more to go!

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J.T. asked, “Considering the amount of time you spend with the team, do you think you’ll ever do any in depth, individual interviews with them? It would be cool to get to know them better beyond “Favorite Road Food,” as we see in the programs. It seems you’re in a great position to delve a little deeper.”

Answer: It is a goal to do some deeper interviews, but something like that is probably better served during the Olympic break, for instance, or the offseason. During the season, I don’t really spend hours upon hours with the players. I get my normal media access, but for the most part I only spend about an hour a day with them. Still, some in-depth interviews are a great idea, and as soon as time allows it, it’s something I will be happy to do.

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OnTheFly asked, “DL has shown he wants the younger players (Manchester) to get playing time this week during the Kings break. I would assume this will be the same during the Olympic break? How many times can these players jump back and forth before waiver rules can happen? If Manchester makes the playoffs, is there any rules on these players playing…like needs to be on team for so many number of games. Thanks.”

Answer: Unless there’s some “roster freeze” period I’m not aware of during the Olympics, the Kings would be able to send players to Manchester. The regular waiver rules would apply, and those have to do with the number of NHL games played and/or when the player’s pro contract was signed. In regard to Manchester’s playoff roster, the Monarchs must a “clear-day roster” in March (I believe) in which they list the players who will be eligible to be on their playoff roster. It can include players in the NHL who might be sent down, or junior players who might come up once their junior seasons are finished.

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JPKelly asked, “Given the loyal following which you’ve deservedly achieved over the years with your previous job and your Inside the Kings blog, I’m wondering, now that you travel with the team and do a guest spot with the Kings’ announcers and are such a big presence on LAKings.com, have you acquired any “groupies” yet, or a similar legion of cult fans? Do you ever notice any small bands of guys who dress like you and sport similar haircuts to yours, practicing their interviewing skills in the corridors? Any flocks of females with “I [heart] Bloggers” hanging out around the press box?”

Answer: No. Usually it’s just people asking, “Do you really know Juraj Mikus?”

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Nick asked, “1)How long until the Kings brass declare that Quick is our legit, #1 goaltender to the point where Bernier becomes expendable. Bernier is a blue chip prospect who would probably have significant value 2)Do you know if Luc and the business folks are planning on lowering the price of “Hockeyfest” next year. By the time August comes around I am dying for hockey, but not for $120 for the g-friend and I. I think that there are many other loyal fans out there that would have loved to come, but were turned away by the price 3)Any feeling that the Dean would make a serious play for Kovalchuk should he be on the trading block at the deadline? I know our scoring is way up, but Kovie is world class.”

Answers: 1) Not anytime soon, if they’re smart. Quick has done well in the NHL so far, but he has yet to even make it through a full season and yet to appear in one playoff game. I understand the tendency, the eagerness, to want to name Quick as “The One,” but it’s still very premature. 2) I really don’t know what they intend to do with pricing of HockeyFest next year. 3) Again, we’re back to that word, “serious.” That’s a word that can only really be defined by you, in terms of what you think Kovalchuk is worth. Would the Kings be interested in him? Sure, I don’t have any doubt about that. But if “serious” means giving up six first-round picks — just to illustrate the point, not that that’s the asking price — then they’re not going to be very “serious.”

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JPKelly asked, “Btw, any news on the signing of Jake Muzzin?”

Answer: Looks like Jan. 1, or shortly thereafter. I asked Lombardi about it briefly, and he praised his scouts for going out and locking up Muzzin. There seems to be some potential there.

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KopiFan asked, “First thank you for your continued dedication to this blog and your very loyal following of Kings fans. My question is: are you only allowed to interview the players at certain times or at certain places? For example: you are allowed to interview them right after on-ice practice in the locker room, but not in the gym. Or you can interview them wherever whenever as long as they are ok with it? If you would answer for at home and away, for practice and games I would greatly appreciate it. Just fascinated by all aspects of your new position. THANK YOU!!”

Answer: First, thanks much for the kind words (and same to everyone, actually). Second, yes, there are limits as to when and where media can interview players. After practice and games, interviews are done in the locker room and, when situation dictates, in the hallway immediately outside the locker room. Interviews would never be done in the gym or, in my new role, on the bus or plane. There are instances, on an off day on the road, when interviews are done at the hotel as part of the regular media availability. In rare instances, a reporter might talk to a player/coach away from the rink, for a feature story, but that’s entirely up to the comfort level of the player and is not something regularly done.

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YogaPhart asked, “I’m not sure if this question has been asked before, but is there a reason why Terry refuses to use Frolov in shootouts? Even on nights where Fro appears to have deserved a shot, he gets stiffed.”

Answer: By his own explanation, Murray bases his shootout lineup on two things: the players’ effectiveness in shootout drills in practice and their recent effectiveness in game shootouts. Frolov has not, in practice drills or in real-game breakaway situations, often been very good in shootouts.

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SteveO asked, “Is there any way to sinc up the kings radio feed with the ducks tv feed? When the Kings play the ducks and the ducks tv is the only option, I would rather not listen to the ducks comentators. It’s kinda nice hearing Daryl and Nick tell me whats going to happen in 5 seconds, but gets a little confusing.”

Answer: Unless someone can find a way to manipulate sound waves, I think you’re pretty much stuck.

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Contreras79 asked, “The Kopy Vs Kobe Segment on TSN was funny and all, but it left me confused. Is it Kopy, or Kopi? Are the Canadians just confused?”

Answer: I don’t think there’s any Associated Press style on it, but I’ve always written Kopi.

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Buster asked, “Do you think that Ivanans and last year’s fruitcake will go to some “lucky” team for future considerations?”

Answer: No.

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Bob Bobson asked, “1) This has probably been addressed in the past but why were Pete Demers (ex-trainer) and Al Murray (ex head scout) let go ? Was it just a matter of DL wanting a different philosophy from those two positions ? 2) The Kopy vs Kobe segment TSN did was silly. As much as I love the Kings I am realistic about their popularity here. Did anyone from TSN ask for your feedback about that piece ? 3) Do Canadian press give more attention to the Kings since they started off so well this year ? 4) Do you think the Kings will get Lecavlier b/c Eklund says…I kid I kid.”

Answers: 1) Yeah, I think that’s probably the best way to put it. You could go deep inside each of those situations, and I’m sure Lombardi (and the coach, as well) had reasons, but in general, it’s certainly not atypical for a GM to put his “own guys” in place. Al Murray did Lombardi’s first draft, because he had done all the work in advance of it. 2) I’ll be honest. I still haven’t seen the piece so I can’t really speak to it. A TSN producer did call me, but the extent of our conversation was about Kopitar and his improvement, the stuff we’ve talked about a lot (getting in shape, addition of Smyth, etc). I did tell them the story of how Kopitar learned English, but I don’t know if that got in the piece or not. 3) It’s hard for me to judge, because I haven’t been on the road, to these Canadian cities, in the past few years. But I think it’s safe to say yes. You’re seeing continent-wide attention for the Kings that you certainly didn’t see last season, with the possible exception of Doughty. 4) Oh yes, absolutely! They’ve got his locker ready, next to Ray Emery.

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Ken asked, “1. How many players on an NHL roster? 2. How many players are allowed under contract at one time in terms of the entire organization? 3. Do junior and college drafted players count against the total in question #2? 4. Is there a limit to the number of junior level and college level players allowed in an entire organization?”

Answers: 1) 23, not including players who might be on injured reserve. 2) 50. 3) Junior players would, only if they have signed a contract. Unsigned college players would not. 4) Each team has a 90-player maximum, including NHL players, prospects and players under team control (for instance, Brady Murray, whose rights the Kings still hold). I believe the Kings’ number is somewhere around 70.

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OneTimer asked, “What’s the story with the mysterious “\” that ominously appears in the upper left corner of your blog? (also shows up on printouts.) If I were to hold down control+shift + click on it (assuming I COULD click on it) … would Praetorians suddenly start showing up at my door, a la ‘The Net’? Would I be wisked away to a secret webcam in Dean’s office, Foxy’s wine cellar, or maybe the Kings locker room? Or maybe we would once and for all finally discover the truth of what REALLY happened in the wee hours of June 3rd, 1993 at Le Forum de Montréal. I’m scared of that thing. What gives?”

Answer: Oh… I wouldn’t mess with that if I were you…

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