Archive for December, 2007

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The time to trade Cammy is this season.

December 22, 2007

Lets evaluate the reasons for trading Cammalleri. It’s obvious he isn’t happy with how things went down in the off season when the arbitration backfired on him. Cammalleri wanted somewhere around 6-7 million a season because the market for players like Cammy were high, ie Briere, Gomez, Drury. Dean Lombardi countered that each of those players led their respective teams to the playoffs and more importantly knew how to win games for their teams. Lombardi won that argument. So ever since then Cammalleri hasn’t exactly addressed his feelings on the subject, leading many to speculate that he is upset about the ruling. Not saying that Cammalleri is a bad guy at all, but if there was ever a time to trade him…it’s this season. The reason why is because well…money. We will have to end up paying him 6-7 million dollars down the road anyway, and with guys like Jack Johnson, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Bernier, and the rest of the young guys that will be coming up later. We will need that money to extend Kopitar and Jack Johnson. I just do not think Lombardi has Cammy in the long-term plans for this franchise, we already locked up Dustin Brown for 6 years and he in return he is leading the Kings in Goals.

Secondly from what I know about arbitration and then signing the player to a long-term contract…it’s rare that it does happen. So it would be a benefit to get a players/prospects/picks in return. It’s true that he is in a rut right now, but his value is still very high. For one he has good hockey sense, is a sniper when he shoots the puck, also can provide leadership. Possible future captain on a team wherever he ends up. So the value is there, and for teams that are going to the playoffs, that is a very valuable asset to have.

So that being said, what could we be getting in return for Cammy. Looking at the obvious, a contender team will make a bid for Cammy to boost it’s chances at a cup. The teams that are not going to get Cammy are those in our own division. Cammy is most likely to end up in A) Canada or B) The east Coast. I would think the Bruins would be a logical destination for Cammy. It makes sense because Boston is an up and coming team, plus the Bruins currently sit at 4th place in the playoff standings. But…I have a problem with this trade. On one site (HF boards)it says the Bruins have 460,000 in cap space and on NHLSCAP.com(clicky linky) it says the Bruins have 4 million in cap space. So assuming the Bruins have actual cap space, then below is the proposed trade. On the other hand I see the Canadians as the most credible destination

To the Bruins:

(C)Michael Cammalleri ( 3.25)

To the Kings:

2008 First Round round pick
(D) Matt Lashoff (850,000)
(LW) Milan Lucic (850,000)

To the Canadiens

(C) Michael Cammalleri (3.25)

To the Kings:

2008 First Round Pick
(C) Ben Maxwell (in Juniors)
(RW) Guillaume Latendresse (850,000)
(D)
Alexei Emelin (playing in Russia)

Of course other teams could be interested, like the Pittsburgh Penguins who desperately need somebody to help out Crosby. The only drawback though is that their GM is not gonna trade his young players, but I don’t think he was referring to a player like Cammy.

Who knows? One thing is for sure though, I am not Eklund saying Alexander Ovechkin could be traded to Los Angeles for Bernier and the rest of the lot of young kids we have. Will the trades above happen? Probably not, but it is to illustrate what to expect in return for Cammalleri and where he will end up (east coast & contender).

Rumors…

Also I have been told by a friend in Denver, CO that follows the Avalanche pretty well. He has some connections and has told me about Granato… “sources tell me that Granato could be the Kings next Head Coach before long”

I’m in the process of finding out who the “source” is and what was said exactly. Right now I wouldn’t take this seriously. I mentioned it in one of my previous entries about it because of Granato’s time in LA , San Jose with Deano, and also his track record coaching the Avalanche. Stay tuned…

Bernier/Hickey/Simmonds/Stamkos Watch- Looks like Canada beat Slovakia in exhibition game #2 by a score of 6-1. Jonathan Bernier had the start and made 23 saves for the win. Wayne Simmonds just got 2PIM, while Thomas Hickey had two assists, one on the PP, for Canada. Potential Kings draft pick Steven Stamkos with an assist in the game.

(Thanks to Rob2716 on LGK)

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Going for…Stamkos?

December 20, 2007

So that’s what a team looks like? No sorry wasn’t speaking of the Kings when they got pasted by the Red Wings tonight 6-2. God I envy that team so much, they just know how to freaking win and they keep doing it because they know how to develop players the RIGHT way. Some day we will be right there King fans, we have a bunch of prospects and young players on the Kings. The day is coming…

Anyway might as well focus on some positive things like the Kings selecting Stamkos in the next upcoming draft. There are debates on Hockey Future board that Stamkos is actually a better prospect than the next wonder kid of the 2009 draft Tavares. That’s for another day to debate when we actually get to see those two on the ice at the NHL level. It should also be noted that the Kings could finish dead last and still not get the number one pick, which of course would be just our luck. Anyway did some reading on Stamkos and FutureConsiderations.ca posted on Hockey Future a great write up and interview on Stamkos.

Click on the link above and it will take you to the interview along with three other prospects that are highly touted.
Some things to take away from that intereview-
“Steven’s strengths are his incredible offensive instincts, anticipation and pro type shot. He skates extremely well, possesses that extra gear, and handles the puck at top speed like not many can. His puck protection and playmaking abilities are strong but his best asset is his game breaking ability. He plays a very complete two-way game and works extremely hard on each shift. Steven could work on adding some much needed muscle to his frame but that will sort itself out in time.

Already showing that he is the offensive catalyst for the Sarnia Sting and one of the most offensively gifted players in the CHL, the assistant captain of the Sting will no doubt continue to have a monster year in the Ontario Hockey League.”

Sounds like a winner doesn’t he?

Also I really liked his answer to this question…

Question: So much has been written about your on ice strengths, in your best estimation, what do you perceive to be your strengths and what are the areas you need to improve upon as well as what type of NHL player do you see Steven Stamkos as.

Steven’s Answer: “I think my strengths are my skating ability, leadership, and overall hockey sense. In order to keep improving, I need to improve on my overall strength and my face offs, as puck possession is key. Right now I see myself as a player that loves to score and put up points, but also responsible in my own end of the ice and likes to throw some hits to mix it up. If I got the opportunity to play in the NHL, I don’t think I would change my style of play.”

So the Kings can keep tanking it for all I care, just long as we get Stamkos at the end of the day. Stamkos, Kopitar, Jack Mother****ing Johnson, Jonathan Bernier and I can keep going down the list and the future just keeps getting brighter everyday. Not to mention that I am pretty sure Cammy will get traded if the right price came along, and it will be a hefty price. However that’s for another day and I narrowed the list of possible suitors that Cammy would go to, so stay tuned.

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Reality sets in….Kings suck.

December 18, 2007


Losing this much already into the season is…well unexpected for this King’s fan. There was plenty of optimism about this team in the off-season with holes being plugged with several signings with Nagy, Handzus, Preissing, and Calder. Couple that with the young players we have in the fold. Everything looked hunky doory for this season. With these signings, there was some talk of the Kings finishing in the 6-8 range and making the playoffs. Obviously this team isn’t in any way, shape, or form close to those projections. One of the reasons is the lack of play of the defense and the Goaltending and maybe it is the coaching that has some questions. If anything has been answered in this horrible making of a season, is that this season shows why not one star hockey player wants to “play for LA”. We have a young and inexperienced team, we know that, but that doesn’t answer all the problems the Kings have…

So if you are Dean Lombardi what do you do at this point with the team you are running is 12-20 at this point of the season with your team being the worst in the NHL? First thing I would do if I was Dean Lombardi is ask myself if Marc Crawford is the right guy for this job? We all know about his track record in Quebec when he inherited a young team and made them cup contenders literally overnight. Same for when he went to Vancouver, though I don’t think Cup contenders would describe the Canucks in those years. The fact is though that Crawford was able to take young teams and mold them into winners. So what’s the problem with LA? We have a very capable staff to support Crawford and all the money you could ask for to get free-agents. Dean is surrounding the franchise with hockey-minded people. That’s great, but we aren’t seeing the results this season. In fact this season COULD be worse if this keeps up. The problem the coach has with this team is that it can’t play consistent hockey night in and night out. I have questions about Crawford’s tactics on defense, and I can’t figure out what in the world the plan is for defense. Our goalie gets whacked by Ryan Smythe of the Avalanche, and where is the defense to clean out the garbage after that play? Does this team have balls? Doesn’t look like it, and I know we have Jack Johnson and all…but he isn’t a one man wrecking crew yet. Not to mention that Crawford brought that embarrasment named Cloutier over from the Canucks. Do I need to list more reasons?

“Yeah ok, but who do you replace Crawford with?” There’s a few candidates out there that stick out. One being Babcock, if the Red Wings lose again in the first round….does Babcock stick around in Detroit? Probably not. So he would be a wise choice assuming he was available. One name that I do like and it is feasible, is Tony Granato. Granato has been in Colorado learning the way of coaching, even after he did so well in his first stint as Head Coach for the Avalanche. The more you think about it, the more Tony makes sense. So my preferred choice if Crawford gets canned is Granato.

“What about the players?” What about them? The only trades I see involving Kings players are going to be Nagy, Stuart, Blake and possibly Cammalleri. “What? Why Cammalleri?”Because Cammalleri has the most value on this team and Dean has everything geared for ’08. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple very nice prospects and a first round pick of pick or possibly picks for Cammalleri. Let’s face it, Cammy is going to get paid sooner or later. His value is the highest right now since he still has another year on his two year deal. More on potential deals when the season continues to unfold. The main priority for this team should be Goaltending but that is moot with all the eggs in Bernier’s basket.

Prospects watch:

Bernier watch: Bernier with a partial shut out in Team Canada’s tune up for the World Juniors.

Simmonds watch: Gets an assist for Team Canada on their first goal in the game.

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Falling Hard….but future still bright.

December 5, 2007

This is really nothing new with King fans. However we read articles in the previous offseason about how the Kings youth movement is going to improve this team dramatically, and (gasp) talking about maybe playoffs this year. The last couple games I have watched there has been slow skating, and more importantly no urgency. I don’t know if it is the coach or the players or what but now isn’t the time to make any irrational moves. We have young players and they need to learn to fight through this slump period.

Blake should retire in the offseason, he does not have it anymore. The Kings defensemen lack intensity other than JMFJ the rest of the crew is soft as Charmin. Stuart is alright, but he is on a one year contract and really don’t care if he comes back or not. When you look to the future regarding D-men, I don’t think you will see Goalies getting run on because teams will fear the 6-7 250 pound beast named Boyle and Piskula will throw his body around as well. I don’t need to mention Jack because we know what he can do.

This team is letting the season slip away and needs to get back on track pronto, and hopefully it happens tonight vs the ‘Yotes.

Well some very positive news about the kids-
Bernier (11th overall in 2006) , Hickey (4th overall 2007 pick), and Simmonds (61st overall in 2007) were all named to WJC Team Canada Selection Camp roster.

Oscar Moller (52nd overall in 2007) and Niclas Anderson (117 overall in 2006) was named to the Swedish roster.

Teddy Purcell ( UFA pickup in 2007, 22 yrs of age) wins the AHL rookie of the month honors. Congrats to Teddy!

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The Kings hit a wall.

December 1, 2007

The Kings hit a wall in November and like my previous post says, November was a crucial month as far as Divisional play goes. Now the Kings could go on a tear soon and they are capable of doing so. Doing well in November would have gone a long way to the dream of making the playoffs this year My thoughts of the Kings are a mixed bag. We did very well against San Jose and at times against Dallas. The problem with the Kings is that they still need to put together 60 minutes of the hockey we all know they are capable of playing. We are seeing some flashes of greatness from some of our core players like Jack Johnson but it’s not going to be enough to get us into the playoffs. Another thing that was upsetting is the fact that we get outplayed by the ‘Yotes. Even though we played subpar and sloppy in those games, we were more than capable of beating that team. So right now the Kings have hit a wall, and they have to bust through that wall soon.

So as it stands now the Kings are in a familiar place being in last place in the Pacific. Even though it looks like the season is getting away from us right now, the plan being implemented by Dean will work. Despite the stupid rumors of Dean in the hot seat, Dean is in year 2 of his rebuilding of this franchise and it has come a long ways from 2 years ago. How long have we waited to have a pipeline with quantity and quality prospects? The long term future of this franchise is still very bright. It wasn’t long ago we were ranked number one in Hockey Future with regards to prospects. We have a franchise goalie about to make his mark in the NHL real soon in Jonathan Bernier, I would like to see what he does before we do anything stupid like firing Dean Lombardi. Is Dean Lombardi perfect? Of course not but I trust his track record in drafting and developing prospects. Dean will learn from his mistakes like signing Cloutier to a extension. Like everyone of us does when we make a mistake, we learn from it. At the end of the day we will soon have a championship caliber team.

Bernier Watch: Bernier stopped 32/35 shots in a game against Moncton that ended up in a shootout. The coach of the Maineacs was not pleased with the effort of the team, “We had a little meeting with the boys after,” said Harding. “I said, ‘You guys shouldn’t be happy.’ It comes down to the older guys and leadership. We should have been able to put that team away 4-0 or 4-1. This has happened four or five times this year. We haven’t gotten over that hump yet. We’re a better team than Moncton, and we proved it early on. Then we gave up 19 shots in the third. We did some stupid things. They thought it was going to be easy in the third period.”

Read more on the Maineiacs here-
http://www.sunjournal.com/story/241141-3/LocalSports/Maineiacs_escape_with_win_in_shootout/

Like I said earlier in one of my posts about Bernier, he is playing on a young and inexperienced team.

Moller Watch– Another article on the Bruins and Oscar being mentioned,

“When I’m at the point I’m usually trying to generate as many shots as I can,” Moller said. “If I see an opening shooting late I’m taking a slap or wrist shot that’s either going to go in or create a rebound in front.”

Of Moller’s 23 goals this season, eight have come on the power play, and half have come on shots from the blueline.

Read more here-

http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/theprogress/sports/11859131.html