Forum answers III

Here’s the third set of Open Forum questions and answers…

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#1faninvegas asked: What is the Kings record this season when Kopitar has a goal?
What are the Kings records against the teams they face up to the end of the season?
If memory serves me correctly, the Kings are still undefeated after leading at the end of the 2nd period.
Speaking of records: What is the Kings W-L-OTW-OTL-SOW-SOL after each period?
I know alot of info to look up, but Im all about the records right now!
With more losses and wins after the Olympic break, how do you think the rest of the season will go?
I say 8-4-2
Is Voynov and Schenn looking like they are ready to play next year?
Do you think Modin will resign with the Kings at the end of the year?
Who will be RFA and UFA at the end of the year for the Kings?
What top 5 players will be UFA at the end of this year?
Do you think DL will resign Frolov?
Last, but not least: How far do you think the Kings will go in the play-offs??

Answers: 1) 19-6-1. 2) I don’t have that breakdown right in front of me, and I hope you understand that I’m trying to get through a lot of questions. If you send me an e-mail, I’ll be glad to look it up for you. 3) That’s correct, still perfect. Either 25-0, or 26-0 if memory serves. 4) See No. 2. 5) Given that the Kings have been better on the road this season than at home, it’s tough to predict. Thursday’s game will be a good measure. 6) Talent-wise, it’s very possible that both players will be ready. Voynov probably has the edge, if only because Schenn’s contract, with $3 million worth of bonuses, might make it tough for the Kings if they’re close to the salary-cap ceiling. 7) I suppose it’s possible, if he continues to play as well as he has so far, but I wouldn’t say the odds are great. 8) UFAs are Frolov, Halpern, Modin, O’Donnell and Ivanans. RFAs are Richardson, Parse, Clune, Elkins, Lewis, Cliche, Bagnall and Gauthier. 9) Probably Kovalchuk, Nabokov, Marleau, Plekanec and Kubina. 10) The chances have probably increased a bit late in the season, with Frolov’s strong play, but I still think it’s 50-50 at best. 11) Playoffs are all about matchups (well, and goaltending). Other than Vancouver, there isn’t a team that I would absolutely think would beat the Kings in the first round.

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Mike asked: What’s the most surprising thing you learned about calling games on the radio and the job Nick Nickson does every night?

Answer: Two things, one big and one small. First was just how tough, mentally, it is to do the job every night. When you’re watching a game, or even doing my job, writing about it, you can let your mind drift for a little bit, have a conversation with the person sitting next to you, etc. When you’re calling a game like that, 100 percent of your focus and energy is devoted to the game. You have TV/radio timeouts, yes, but they’re brief. I didn’t anticipate how demanding the work would be. By the third period, I was exhausted! The small thing was simply Nick’s ability to memorize player numbers. It might seem obvious, but to memorize 20-plus players on 29 rosters and have instant recall of all of them, that was impressive to me.

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sandman asked: Any chance we can get you to publish a full RSS feed rather than the truncated version?

Answer: I’m really just a words guy, not a tech guy. I’m guessing that’s something that got switched during the server move. I’ll try to find out.

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Khanon asked: since ivanans is a free agent after this year, and with the emergence of westgarth’s offensive game, is it safe to say this is ivanan’s last season as a king?

Answer: I think that’s the plan, yes. The Kings probably would have been happy if Westgarth was ready to step in this season, but his overall game wasn’t ready in their eyes. As long as he is making satisfactory progress — and he seems to be — there’s a good chance he will be here next season.

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Scot asked: Just wondering how much time Bob and Jim spend together on the road.. Do they dine out together? Do they hang out or go see movies? Or do they completely do their own thing during the day, and meet up before the game to prepare and only see eachother at work.. And I assume their relationship during the offseason is maybe a few phone calls over the 4 months off? While they are doing the telecasts, I get the impression they are close friends even away from the rink.

Answer: Well, I could certainly have fun with this answer! The broadcasters, as a group, are a close group. There’s usually a “media dinner,” for lack of a better term, every night on the road, although some guys might have friends/family in that city and not join. I’ve said before, as it related to my job, that there’s really not as much “down time” on the road as you might expect. Between late-night flights and afternoon practices, sleeping, working and eating really dominate your time on the road. I’m not sure about their offseason communication, but I think that what you estimated is probably pretty accurate. Bob and Jim live in different parts of the L.A. area, so I’m sure they talk.

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YogaPhart asked: Would you happen to know if any of the players or coaches are avid followers of your blog? If so, do you have any insight into their reactions to some of the comments posted here? Obviously, there’s a lot of good-natured jabbing going on here from time to time. Would you happen to know if any players have been affected by our “playfulness?” Any feathers ruffled?

Answer: That’s a tough question to answer. I’m almost certain that most, if not all, of them are aware of it, but I’ve never had someone reference, in conversation, anything that’s been written on the blog. Also, the blog posts are printed out as part of the teams “clips” (media clippings) so players, coaches and management have access to that as well. But again, I have not had a player or coach specifically mention anything from the blog.

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deadcatbounce asked: I heard you when you did the color for Nick and was curious to know what goes on during the commercial breaks. Does he talk to you about the game, study notes, bitch to the producer, have a snack?

Answer: From my experience, it’s the first two. Nick is very organized with his notes and the cards he uses to do promotional reads, etc., so he always makes sure he has that in order. My experience with him was probably not a typical one for Nick. Because he was dealing with a total amateur, we took time during the breaks to float ideas. If you remember the broadcast, a few times he would lead me with questions like, “Rich, you’ve talked to Terry Murray about…” He did that for my benefit, to make things more comfortable than me. Intermissions give the broadcasters more time to stretch their legs, get a snack, etc.

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McDonalds asked: Can you explain entry level contracts? How is it that Schenn would be a 3 million dollar cap hit?

Answer: I’m not sure how deep you want me to get into them, because some of the stuff can get pretty boring, but essentially, the entry-level contract starts when a player plays his 10th game in the NHL. As far as the bonuses… Each contract has a base salary, which is fairly small (under $1 million), but it’s loaded with incentive bonuses. During a season, a player might, or might not, hit all of those bonuses (usually not), but in terms of the player’s salary-cap hit, it was decided that ALL of the bonus money must count toward the player’s cap hit at the start of the season, whether those bonuses are attained or not. So that’s why Schenn, if he makes the roster at the start of the season, would be a $3-million player.

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Player-X asked: Why is my Anze Kopitar bobblehead smaller than the Luc and Simmer bobblehead? It is like they made it 9/10 size, the base is less thick, the figure is much shorter, and I measured it so it isn’t that his black 3rd jersey is “slimming and flattering.”

Answer: You measured it? Hmmm… Not sure on that one. It’s possible that it’s a different company, perhaps?

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KingsFanMGM asked: Which scenario is more important to the Kings organization… Bernier starting in the playoffs for Manchester or joining the Kings in the playoffs to gain that experience and so that the Kings have a realiable goaltending tandem with the attempt to make a push for this year?
In the playoffs, many if not most or all teams carry 3 goaltenders, one of which is considered an “emergency back-up” and is at the arena but does not dress unless an injury to a goaltender occurs. In this case, what scenario do you see happening with the Kings?
A) The Kings start Quick and use Ersberg as back-up and call up someone such as Jones possibly?
B) Quick continue to has shaky starts since the Olympics and the Kings dress Quick & Bernier and Esberg is the “emergency back-up”
C) Kings start Quick, use Ersberg as back-up and Bernier as the “emergency”? (unlikely in my opinion)

Answer: Answering the first part of your question probably goes a long way toward answering your second question. The Kings’ goal, with Bernier, from the start of the season was to have him play a full season in Manchester and, they hoped, go on a long playoff run, to have that experience. So he’s doing exactly what they wanted him to do, and I can’t imagine that they would change course now. Now, the Monarchs aren’t doing so hot, and if they were to be out of the playoffs while the Kings are still in the NHL playoffs, that’s a different story. It’s almost impossible for me to think that Bernier would be a “No. 3” in the playoffs while the Monarchs are still alive. So at this point, I think it sort of depends on Manchester’s fate.

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Capt Jim asked: Now that you’re almost through your first season working in the Kings organization, do you still consider yourself to be a journalist or do you feel more like an extension of the PR/Marketing Dept?

Answer: Never once this season have I felt like a member of the PR staff. The Kings have held up their end of the agreement, 100 percent, and I hope I have held up my end of the agreement by giving them a quality product.

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