Open Forum answers V

Before I head out for the morning skate, here’s the fifth set of questions and answers…


Ckachi asked: Can you fill us in on how the trade process works for an NHL player? Are they just called in my management and said here’s the decision And you are off thanks!? What are the procedures of a player transitioning in or out of one NHL franchise to the next? Is there a traditional protocal set by the NHL or does every organization have their own way of going about the trade process…

Answer: I’m not totally sure about the specifics of what you’re asking here. First, yes, a player would be informed by his current team that he’s being traded. If you’re asking about how a player would physically change teams, the new team would set up his flight to the new city, and most likely make hotel arrangements unless the player already had arrangements in the new city. That’s pretty much it. You’d come to the new rink and meet your new teammates and start playing.


AK47 asked: 1) Any news on Trevor Lewis, Thomas Hickey or Andrei Loktionov? I know the kings could use Lewis as a 4th line center and move Moller up to the Handzus and Frolov line. 2) Why do you personally think the Oilers are struggling so much? 3) Sticking with the Oilers, what would it take to get Andrew Cogliano? Purcell and a 2nd? Cogs isn’t really having a good year, so we could use that in our favor and try to rejuvenate his career? 4) Colts or Saints for the Super Bowl?

Answers: 1) Reading all the questions about Hickey, Loktionov, et al, tells me that I must have done a very poor job, at the time of their injuries, of pointing out the severity of them. In each case, the player got hurt in late November and faces a four-month recovery time. It’s barely been one month. As for Lewis, I’m not totally sure what his recovery time is because he got hurt in Manchester, but I don’t think his return is imminent. 2) I didn’t expect them to be that great, but they were doing OK until their goalie got hurt. After that, the offense fell off the table, so a number of guys can take that responsibility. 3) I haven’t seen that the Oilers have any interest in trading Cogliano. 4) I’d like to see the Saints win, but I think it will be the Colts.


badGoaltending asked: being at these road games, you obivously see the game entirly different. Would you say that the kings should take the risk at getting kovalchuck or even make a trade?? how do you see the situation playing out??

Answer: If you can make a trade that will help your team in the short term without greatly harming it in the long term, you should make the trade. I wouldn’t, at all, be concerned about this “breaking the chemistry” idea, but I have no idea how it will play out.


John West asked: I have a question for Bruce McNall that I hope you can ask him since he is back with the organization as an ambassador. In the new book ‘Gretzky’s Tears’, McNall admits that Gary Bettman, his hand-picked selection to lead the NHL, obviously turned out to be the wrong choice. As a fan all I can do is watch the NHL lose market share and respectability year after year and blame it on Bettman’s incompetence, but McNall knows more about what went on behind the scenes so what would cause him to come out now and make such a strong indictmemt against Bettman, especially when he is still in charge?

Answer: I have yet to see McNall at Staples Center, but I would love to interview him sometime. I finished that book a couple weeks ago. It’s a really good read.


tornado12 asked: 1)Frolov is having off year in a contract year. If the Kings resign him, what will it take money wise. Do you think he gets less money from his poor stats? 2) Concerning goaltending, Now that quick is our bonafide #1, and I dont see Bernier as a permanent backup, where does that leave Bernier? Do you bring him up next year as a backup or leave him in the minors until needed (ie-injury) 3) Can you ask Foxy, to ask the jacket when it is going to come out again?

Answers: 1) I have no idea what it would take to re-sign Frolov. Only he and his agent know that. His cap hit is $3 million this season, and that will certainly go up. Salaries are certainly negotiated off numbers, so yes, certainly Frolov won’t get as much as if he was on a 50-goal pace right now. 2) Again, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. I know there’s a lot of eagerness to consider the goalie situation resolved, but Quick is only two-thirds through his first full NHL season and Bernier has played four NHL games. In the short term — next season, for instance — I could definitely see Bernier as Quick’s backup. 3) Jim has said that the jacket, holding powers nobody can really explain, makes it known when it is time to be worn.


krushelnyski asked: When watching the games on tv this year, I’ve noticed FSW is consistently ‘late’ to catch stuff happening behind the play, be it pushing and shoving or full blown fights. It feels like the lead camera will continue following the puck after the whistle is blown for a good couple seconds before finally cutting to the fight, effectively missing the most exciting part of the action. I’m wondering if you had any insight into this, be it a conscious decision made by the NHL or FSW to limit the amount of fighting they show in games, or possibly the result of a change in personnel for the broadcasts?

Answer: Seeing as how I’m at the games, and don’t watch them on TV, it’s hard for me to comment, and it’s paricularly hard for me to comment on FSN matters that fall way outside my scope. I would suggest contacting someone at the network. I can tell you that, from watching replays, etc., in the press box in other cities, that would be far from a singular problem. I have still yet to see a replay of the Simmonds/Boll/Johnson hit, because they simply didn’t show one (that I saw) on the FS Ohio broadcast.


HawKings asked: Here is my question (re-posted from after the Columbus game), unless someone already asked: It relates to plus/minus and Kopi’s first goal in the Columbus game. On the goal, it started with a long outlet pass by Simmer to Smyth. By the time Kopi scored, Simmer had gone to the bench for a change, was off the ice and Brown was on the ice. Simmer got the assist but does Brown get the + since he was on the ice when the puck actually went into the net?

Answer: Simmonds got both the assist and the “plus” on the goal. On the stat sheet, he was officially listed as having been on the ice.


Sebastian asked: Rich, Any idea why Ryan Smyth is the only player on the team (and probably the league) that still uses a wood stick blade? Just curious, since it always catches my eye but I’ve never heard anyone talk about it.

Answer: There are a few others around the league with wood sticks, but not many. Smyth is very old-school in terms of a lot of that stuff. It looks as though he has used the same shoulder pads for years and years, and he’s also the only King who skates without a helmet in warmups. Pro athletes get into a routine with certain things, and they just stick with it.


Phil asked: Rich, just curious what Bob and Jim do during games on a road trip when the Kings aren’t on tv (Toronto and New Jersey, for example). Do they do other work related things, or do they get to just relax and enjoy the game?

Answer: During the games themselves? For the most part, they can sit in the booth and watch the game. In Toronto though, for example, they did work before the game, doing some radio/TV spots, and Bob filmed a segment at the Hockey Hall of Fame that was used in the next broadcast. They will also, of course, maintain their notes and stats that they use for every broadcast.


Dave in Inyokern asked: How did you enjoy the road trip back east aside from attending the games? What did you do with your free time? How tiring was the trip? Was it all you hoped it would be? Is there an inside the organization story behind the acquisition of Brad Richardson? Who was responsible for recommending/deciding he was worth a second round pick? Brad had a rocky start right after he joined the team. Appeared to be a waste of a pick. Did the Kings doubt themselves after acquiring him? Whomever was responsible looks like a genius now.

Answer: 1) The road trip, aside from the weather, was very nice. There’s really not as much down time as you might think, between my writing/blogging, the games, practices, flights, bus rides and the ever-elusive quest for sleep. We got a chance to watch the conference championship games in Toronto, and I always try to get out and do a little sightseeing (not in Detroit). 2) I don’t necessarily know who would take the credit for that. I would guess that Richardson was identified and then looked at by the Kings’ pro scouts. Ultimately, it’s Lombardi’s decision.


Jason asked: Do you feel he should be traded? Do you feel he has lived up to his expectations?

Answer: My question back to you would be, “Whose expectations?” That’s a very loaded word. Has Frolov matched, offensively, what he has shown himself to be capable of? No. Has he also been, for the most part, a strong defender and penalty-killer, and filled the role asked of him? Yes. Lombardi has already said that he won’t trade Frolov for draft picks, and there’s not a very strong chance that a team will give up a quality player for a player (Frolov) with an expiring contract.

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