Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.4

Monday, June 30, 2008

Please join Marie and me in our examination of what the hell our team is going to do in Free Agency! But we first spend some time talking about the trading of Lubo to Edmonton for Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene. We then move onto who we think could come to LA and who we would want to be signed. There have been no definites as of this writing, but soon, there will be some relief for us in knowing who will maybe man the blueline next season. We then top off the evening with job ideas for Clouts, give some shoutouts (that actually had a sweeter tone than usual), and then close out the episode with some vital information for the listeners.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at:

We welcome any and all feedback! Please direct any questions, comments, or thoughts to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


1st Trade Toward Free Agency

Sunday, June 29, 2008

First trade of the Free Agency FRENZY... well, for the Kings.

Kings trade Lubomir Visnovsky to Edmonton for Jarret Stoll (C) and Matt Greene (D).

My first reaction:


A more eloquent reaction to come...

[Update]: Ok, I've gotten enough sleep to think about this for reals.

I guess my initial reaction was thinking more in terms of players on the roster than in terms of salary hits for the next couple of years and the respective ages of the 3 players involved here. Lubo is 31 this year and will be 36 at the end of this contract. When you look at his contract, you can think of it in two ways. (1) Will he be worth $5.6 million when he's 36? Or (2) you can think of it in his actual salary terms, $7m, $7m, $6m, $5m, $3m, respectively. Do I think he'll be worth $3m when he is 36? My answer is yes; he would have been an older puck-moving defenseman while making just $3 million. But on the other hand, that'd only be worth it if the first three years of the contract showed vast improvement from this past season. And, to be honest, with who's projected to be on the blueline, I'm not 100% certain that he would have made that turnaround in one year. And when I say "who's projected to be on the blueline," I really mean, "the gaping holes that are left." When you take a veteran like Lubo away (puck mover and power play quarterback), who do we definitely have left at this point in time? Jack Johnson, Tom Preissing, ... so how exactly does that reassure Kings fans of the fact that we're trying to keep the puck of our own net?

Ok, let's think about this, a cap hit of $5.6/year is now off the books. Who could we feasibly get? Better question, who in their right mind wants to come to LA?

The answer: Someone who wants to be a difference maker. Someone who can get on the roster and make his presence known without being too much of a liability.

Before you say Brad Stuart, I'm actually thinking of someone else. Don't get me wrong, I heart B-Stu and would love him to be back here, but what's this I hear about a shoulder injury?? I don't want to set myself up to be disappointed if he decides to sign with Detroit. Sure it'd be an extremely difficult challenge to try and repeat in Detroit, but how much more attractive is the idea to B-Stu of coming back to LA and really working for it? Not to say that he wasn't working his damned hardest in the Motor City; he was definitely earning his paycheck. But how much greater would the satisfaction be if he were to come back on the Kings roster and help take this sub par team into the playoffs for the first time in... many, many years? Well, only B-Stu can gauge that type of satisfaction. We, as fans, can only speculate what he's going to do in the next couple of days.

So the guy that I really want? Brooks Orpik. Demon on the backend who was part of the Pittsburgh roster in the Cup Finals last year. Yeah, he didn't win the Cup, but just look at the Kings. Wait, no, don't look....

Granted, I don't know as much about Orpik than I do about B-Stu, but I watched every game of the Stanley Cup Finals and I liked what I saw. He got the work done every time he was out there, as much as he could while his team was being dominated by a superior Red Wings squad. He showed enough emotion to where I saw him almost crack a ridiculously frustrated smile on the ice. Character guy who is a difference-maker? Sign him up!

But how much is he worth? Last year he made $1.075 and turned 28. Of course he'd be getting a fatty pay raise, but how much would it take to lure him away from the east coast? $3 million? $4 million? If we were, by some miracle, able to get BOTH B-Stu and Orpik over to the sunny side of So Cal, how much could we spend on those two guys? Well, if we take away Lubo's $5.6 million cap hit and Blake's $6 million, I'd say we have enough leeway to at least garner a valid consideration, no? Let's just hope Blake re-signs (at that discounted rate) to try to lure some Dmen to WANT to come here and try to help make a change.

I now can see why and feel like the no-trade clause and the no-movement clause are handcuffs for both the organization and the player. If Lubo hadn't been traded, the clause would have kicked in on Tuesday and would have 100% committed both parties to this contract. With Dean Lombardi making this move, we free the Kings organization of a risky 5-year contract while getting two roster players who are younger than Lubo. I can't really comment on the two players we received since I don't follow the Oilers at all. Although I did get a funny text from Steph that wasn't actually supposed to be funny. It's hilarious how one misspelled word can change the context of an entire sentence:

"Greene's getting better as he gets older but he makes some stupid mistakes and turns the suck over a lot."

So I'm not sure what to expect from Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene. Although I DID get super excited when I read "Greene" because I thought, "What?!?! Mike... oh ... who's Matt?" In any case, I will greatly miss Lubo in LA, especially since I never got a chance to meet him. I know it's gonna be eff-ing cold in Edmonton, but he's Slovakian. I have no doubt he'll be fine in the snow up there. Kings fans will still see him 4 times next season, but I just hope he's not booed. That's so annoying when a player is traded (but doesn't ask for it) and then gets booed by the fans of the old team!


Year-In-Review – 14 – John Zeiler

Friday, June 27, 2008

The time has come to take a look at the forwards. Joy. The 07-08 season was filled with random line combinations and foul language escaping my lips, but there definitely were bright spots here and there. It's been said so many times that it's becoming cliche, but the youth of this team is promising and they will be the ones who will take over this team in the coming seasons. Man, that sounds so promising, it really does. But will that be the truth? It's questionable when we take a look at the goal scorers, wannabe goal scorers, and energy guys from this past season.

I originally wanted to organize these players by lines and start at the bottom, but I realized that it had gotten so muddled on the 3rd and 4th lines that my order would just seem random. So I'm going to tackle this feat going alphabetically and in reverse order. Why not, who's really reading these anyway? Anyhoo, here goes nothing.

You think he got past that BJ? HA!

John Zeiler... right off the bat, I could say with confidence that he was definitely a fringe player on the team this year. He was supposed to be here to provide a spark on the lower lines, but, really, he was lots of suck. He played 36 games getting zero goals, one assist, was at a -6, and had 23 PIM. I will admit, he was able to throw up some hits, which would get the fans riled up. But when I really looked at how the hits were going down, I realized that he wasn't doing well in that department either. I can remember plently of instances where he would be running after an opposing player who was trying to get possession of a loose puck. Once said player would get near the boards, Zeiler would make him eat glass.

Loud noise. Crowd cheers.

But I honestly believe that he threw those kinds of hits because he couldn't skate fast enough to beat the other guy to the puck. He had these short,choppy strides that annoyed the hell out of me; talk about inefficient! Anyway, so he'd get out-skated to the puck, and the only way for him to even have a chance at gaining possession was for him to lay the dude down. That, to me, isn't skill. If you want an example of how hitting SHOULD be done by the boards, look at Dustin Brown. Zeiler isn't even in the same league as Brownie. Literally. The coaching staff sent him back to Manchester because he couldn't handle the pressure out on the ice. What was my reaction? Laughter... and relief

I really don't have too much else to say about him. After realizing what he was "contributing" to the team, I hated whenever he was out on the ice. He did nothing for me. Who knows where he'll end up next season. Saying that his showing this past season was less than impressive is an understatement. It makes me laugh (and Marie cry) to see that he's signed until the 2010-11 season. If he can't do something to improve his overall game, he'll be stuck in the minors for a long time. He's only making half a million for the remaining years on his contract, but I'm still annoyed that he has to get paid that amount. But, you never know, he could shock the hell out of Kings fans and have a breakout year, a la Patrick O'Sullivan.



"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 20

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This week I am joined by Sherry from Scarlett Ice and we had a full agenda to discuss. Sherry first lets us know whats going on with the Ottawa Senators and then I go into the Kings. We then talk about the NHL Entry Draft from this past weekend. She and I end that discussion with grades for Brian Murray and Dean Lombardi.

We then chat about the ridiculous show MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives. Basically it was lots of suck. Then Sherry lets us know what's going on in her life that will lead her over the Atlantic for a year. We end with the customary shoutouts and then sign off. Enjoy!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at

You can listen from the player under my picture to the left, subscribe to it on iTunes, or you can go to the above link and either listen from the site or download it.

As always please direct any questions, comments, complaints, thoughts, ideas, or rants to: imnotapuckbunny[at]gmail[dot]com.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.3

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

For this week's episode Marie and I meet up to chat about updates from the Kings for the past week and discuss Dan Cloutier and his situation. We then set our focus on the NHL Entry Draft and how our beloved team fared from the weekend. The Kings entered the Draft with 15 picks but how many actually turned into prospects? Tune in to find out what went down.

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at:

We welcome any and all feedback! Please direct any questions, comments, or thoughts to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


Cloutier is a Stain

Monday, June 23, 2008

According to reports being released today, Dan Cloutier is trying to find a doctor that will deem him unfit to play. Bottom line, if he can find a doctor that will say this, the Kings won't be able to buy him out. It must also be known that he's already had two doctors tell him that he's cleared to play.

What does this mean?

1) He won't become an unrestricted free agent for the 08-09 season.
2) The Kings will have to pay him $3 million for next season instead of the buyout rate of $1.03 million per year for the next two years.
3) Cloutier will not play in a Kings jersey but will remain on the long-term injured list.

This just makes me wonder, why would you want to still be a part of an organization whose name you've dragged through the proverbial mud? Is the money really that important to you? More so than your dignity? He said during the year that he wanted to see what it would be like playing for another club, but it seems that he's going back on his statement for some unknown reason. Hearing this news pains me, it really does. One party is trying to cut the cord, but the other side is holding on for dear life (it seems). Ottawa has successfully let go of Ray Emery. Look at how easy that was! Waivers, buyout, happy. For the Kings it's more like "waivers, buyout, ... wait..."

But there's good news for Clouts, I hear there's a new Russian league looking for players and they're willing to pay big bucks. If they're willing to let Chris Simon play over there, imagine the possibilities for you!

x-posted to HLOG


2008 NHL Draft - Day 2

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kings buy out Dan Cloutier! Story

I'm glad that Michael Cammalleri had a sense of humor about his being traded to Calgary. Check this article from the LA Times for that particular quote.

2nd round

32nd pick:
The Kings choose Vjateslav Voinov who is a defenseman from Russia. The Kings top three picks go to Dmen. Very nice.

61st pick:
Kings trade this pick to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Brad Richardson. Stats. The Aves pick Peter Delmas who was Jonathan Bernier's backup/1B in Lewiston this past season.

3rd round

63rd pick:
Kings draft Robert Czarnik, a forward out of the US National Development Program. Thing to note about this player is that he was ranked 88th by Central Scouting, but, really, the ranking does start to get hazy as the rounds continue on.

74th pick:
Kings acquire this pick from the Buffalo Sabres and draft Andrew Campbell. According to the TSN analysts Campbell wasn't ranked by Central Scouting. I think I'm more confused on why the Kings traded up to get this player as opposed to taking him with the 88th pick.

88th pick: Geordie Wudrick is the pick. In his interview with TSN he said that the Kings was his number one choice. It's really interesting to me to hear these kids say things like that. How do Canadian kids find their way to have allegiance to LA?

4th round

Both picks were traded. Are you confused yet?

5th round

Andrei Loktionov who is a center from Russia was chosen. He along with Voinov still have contractual obligations to fulfill in Russia, but it's a little more complicated than we are probably aware of. All I know is that we don't need them right away, so I'm in full confidence of DL picking Russian kids. I just hope they're as pretty as Nikita Filatov.

6th round

153rd: Justin Azevedo! HOLY CRAP!!! I didn't think he'd still be available this late in the game! Leading scorer of the Kitchener Rangers to the Kings? Deano... I'm so proud.

7th round

Garrett Roe. Who?

Is it over?....


2008 NHL Draft - Day 1

Friday, June 20, 2008

To start:

The Nokia Theater at LA Live is a fantastic venue. But it was hot outside and the last thing I want to do when it's hot is stand in the sun waiting for the doors to open. I had never been to Nokia before and currently do not have any suggestions to management on what they could have done to make Kings fans not feel like cattle. But I, along with my entourage, hung out in the TeamLA store across the street in the air conditioning.

On to the meat:

This morning I came across the news that Dan Cloutier had been placed on waivers. All I have to say is, "It's about freaking time!" But I'm going to be nice and give Clouts some advice: Don't talk crap about the organization that pays your salary. It's a privilege to play in the NHL, not a right.

The Kings made a trade before the draft started that got the crowd hootin' and hollerin'. This is officially the 2nd transaction between the Kings and Ducks. But it turned into somewhat of a threesome with Calgary joining in the trade.

To the Ducks went Calgary's 17th pick (2008) and the Kings 28th pick (2008)
To the Kings went Calgary's 2nd round pick (2009) and Anaheim's 12th overall pick (2008)
To the Flames went Michael Cammalleri and the Kings' 48th pick (2008)

When this was announced I was in a bit of shock because I didn't think the Kings would move Cammy this early. I was thinking maybe he would have been moved at the trade deadline in 2009 since he would have hopefully upped his trade value to make himself more attractive to other teams. Turns out Calgary was eyeing our 5'9" short stack already. I thought this was such a good move by Lombardi and he definitely still has my full support.

2nd pick:

I was completely nervous watching DL and Co. walk up on stage. Even as they were walking up the stairs, I had no idea who he would pick. But when Drew Doughty was chosen, the feeling of relief came over me and we all watched him pull that beautiful jersey over his head. This was definitely the pick that we needed. I know I said that I wanted Luke Schenn, and I still kind of do; but watching Doughty being interviewed after he was chosen and then seeing Bob Miller and Jim Fox talk to him on the speaker phone was great. This is definitely the kind of mindset that will beyond endear him to Los Angeles:

"I saw Dean Lombardi shaking hands with the Calgary GM. I kind of buried my head in my hands and said, 'Oh, no.' I really wanted to be a L.A. King.''

I think the thing that shocked me the most was how much weight he has lost. I knew he was dropping the weight, but I didn't he would lose 24 pounds! That's a couple of Thanksgiving turkeys! I am super excited for Doughty to make his way over to the west coast and start the process of making the roster next season. In looking at the blueline, I feel that he could definitely make an immediate impact. I don't want to jump the gun by believing that Thomas Hickey will be on the roster as well, but I can't help thinking about that scenario. I hope everyone realizes that the Kings now have 4 prospects from the Team Canada roster that won gold at the World Junior Championships in 2008. The Russian Super Series? Killed that too.


12th pick:

The Kings trade down to the 13th pick. Buffalo gives up their 3rd round pick in 2009. Good old Deano. Always looking to stockpile. Well done.

Great quote from Lombardi to Rich Hammond:

"Finally I went to (Buffalo) and said I won't trade with this other team if you tell me who you're taking. So we wrote down who we both wanted and kind of turned the paper over. Sort of like blackjack, showing your cards. We didn't have the same player written down, so we made the trade.'"

13th pick:

The Kings select Colton Teubert (D Regina Pats). The thing that stood out to me while looking at the reviews of this kid was this particular quote from an unnamed scout through The Hockey News.

"He's not as polished with the puck as Schenn, but he's meaner than Schenn. He's a nasty guy to play against."

I was so happy reading that because instead of getting Schenn, we get a player who could gain the necessary skills to make himself a top flight defenseman AND he's force in the defensive zone. Oh yeah, we also got Drew Doughty!

The aftermath:

After about the 15th pick, Bob and Jim were joined by Marcel Dionne and Jonathan Bernier up on stage. Obviously I flipped out a touch when Baby Bernier walked out on stage, but the whole situation was made even better when Luc came out and sat down next to Marcel. Great job to the Kings staff for making the event a memorable one. Although it was irritating when I wanted to take a picture with the gigantic Kopi mural at the end of the event. I wanted to get on the stairs to get some height on this vertical mural thing but was denied. Dude, security staff guy, you need to chill out. I just wanted to stand on the stairs and get my picture taken with the picture of Kopi.

To the CMO: Thumbs up on the ice block in the lobby. People probably passed by without a second glance, but it was a very nice 1st class-type of touch to the event. Your asking means that you really care what the fans think, and I really appreciated that.

On tap:

A bunch more picks for tomorrow. Bright and early!


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 19

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Welcome to the first episode (19) of the brand new format that we will be implementing from now on. I will be playing host while having a set rotation of different Fangirls/bloggers every week.

The first week of every month will be Steph from No Pun Intended
The second week will be Finny from Girl With a Puck
The third week will be Cat from Untypical Girls
The fourth week will feature a different guest from month to month.

This week Finny and I talk about updates for our respective teams, about what we think is going to happen at the draft, and then we discuss an interesting topic concerning the Associated Press and what they are trying to implement on bloggers.

Please give us any feedback you may have concerning the new format, and definitely let us know if you would like to be a guest for that last week spot.

Check us out at our respective blogs and at

You can listen from the player under my picture to the left, subscribe to it on iTunes, or you can go to the above link and either listen from the site or download it.

As always please direct any questions, comments, complaints, thoughts, ideas, or rants to: imnotapuckbunny[at]gmail[dot]com.


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.2

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Here is the second episode of our new venture! Marie and I take a look at what was up with T.J. Fast and how we felt about the sending off of Marc Crawford. We then take a glimpse into the Entry Draft that is coming up on Friday and Saturday. This short episode is ended with some shoutouts and well wishes. We hope you enjoy listening!

Check out the podcast on Facebook! Search by the email and leave some comments!

Please check us out at our respective blogs and at:

We welcome any and all feedback! Please direct any questions, comments, or thoughts to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


Year-In-Review – 13 – Jaroslav Modry

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jaroslav Modry was one of the defensemen that started out the year with the Kings but ended up on a different roster in February. He played in 61 games for the Kings this season getting 1 goal, 5 assists (for 6 points), ended at a +2, and had 42 PIM.

Modry had been the Kings fans' whipping boy in the past, and the beginning of this season was no different. I, personally, thought that the ire pointed his way was a little unfounded seeing as how he wasn't making glaring errors compared to other people on the roster. At the beginning of the season he was paired with Jack Johnson, and I thought this made sense. In my review of JJ, I explained why I thought this was acceptable. But there WAS one issue that I did have with him though. He had been one of the bigger bodies on defense but didn't utilize that as well as he could have. Maybe it was because he was older and relied on his positional play more, but I remember thinking that he could be more aggressive and throw his body around a little. He ended up seeing plenty of PK time, but I really can't remember if he was on the 1st or 2nd unit.

On February 19th, Modry was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. They needed a veteran on their blueline to help them get into the playoffs, and they were willing to give us a 3rd round draft pick for him (2008). As the trade deadline day was getting closer and closer, we all knew that Lombardi wanted to get younger by getting more picks. But what I didn't realize was that we were also going to get smaller in terms of size. We sent off Modry and Brad Stuart and then brought up Peter Harrold. But this also allowed for a change in the defensive pairings by finally putting JJ with Rob Blake. This also put Harrold with Lubomir Visnovsky, which was interesting to me in that they were two players who played the position in a similar style while also being smaller in frame.

After he was traded to the Flyers, he played in 18 games, had zero goals, 3 assists (for 3 points), ended at a -11, and had 8 PIM. He definitely did his part with getting the Flyers into the playoffs where he played in 9 games, had zero goals, 3 assists (for 3 points), finished with a -6, and had zero PIM. I'm not sure what his future holds since he's 37 this year and is now a UFA after making $1.2 million this past season.

He was the Kings' Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominee because he had been dealing with his father's illness throughout the whole season. His father passed away while he was with the Flyers but I thought this was an appropriate gesture from the Kings. If memory serves me correctly, he was given a total of 3 leaves of absences this year to fly back to the Czech Republic to be with his father and to attend his funeral, which was actually during the playoffs. I'm definitely glad he was able to play in the playoffs after being with the Kings this season. Although I will admit it was weird seeing him in a Flyers jersey at first. I'll be curious to see where he lands for next season and will check back from time to time.


Year-In-Review – 12 – Tom Preissing & Kevin Dallman

Friday, June 13, 2008

I think I spent more than enough time during the season bagging on these two guys. I'll try not to go back to those ways for this review. I put these two in one post because (1) they were paired together by the end of the season, and (2) I don't really have enough to say about them to warrant their own posts.

Tom Preissing played in 77 games last season getting 8 goals, 16 assists (for 24 points), ended at a respectable -6, and only had 16 PIM. At the beginning of the season he was paired with Brad Stuart. In my post on B-Stu I explained why I thought this pairing could have had more potential than it actually ended up having (which was nil). I don't really have too much to say about Preissing because I just didn't notice him on the ice during the middle of the season. Yes, he was there, but did he do much? Negative. For awhile I called Preissing and Stuart "Invisible Pair." They did nothing for me. But by the end of the season, Preissing was getting more minutes since the blueline had thinned down and was being consistently paired with Kevin Dallman. Preissing was also getting time on the power play, which I wasn't really angry about since, by that time of the season, I was just over it.

Brownie looks like a giant next to Dallman!

In looking at Kevin Dallman, he played 34 games, had 3 goals, 4 assists (for 7 points), was one of the FEW Kings players who ended the season in the plus at a +4, and had just 4 PIM. I think my biggest problem with Dallman was his size. He lacked the size we really needed, but I just accepted him by the end of the season because, really, he was better than bringing up a rookie from Manchester to put on the blueline. It's funny with players who only have a few goals in a season beause you tend to remember more of those than someone who was racking up the goals (i.e. Dustin Brown). I totally remember what his first goal looked like and remember the feeling of shock that I had when he scored. And I'm pretty sure his second goal was scored in the exactly same fashion.

That's totally David Boreanaz with the O-Face

By the end of the season, I didn't mind these two on the ice. Dallman was throwing up hits left and right against guys that were bigger than he was, so that was cool. Preissing was... competent and responsible. This season he made $2.75 million, which is what he will make for three (3) more years. I have no idea who he'll be paired with next season since B-Stu is gone and I'm pretty sure Dallman will be gone too. For Dallman, I guess I was glad that he was able to play in a bunch of games (out of necessity) since he was a fringe player at the start of the season. He made $490,000 this season and will become a UFA this summer. I don't think I have any more to say on these guys...

So, see you next season, Tommy, and see you later, Dallman.


"I'm Not A Puck Bunny" Podcast - Episode 18

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In this last episode of the 07-08 season and Stanley Cup playoffs, we brought in Steph from No Pun Intended to talk about her team winning it all. Finny and I first give updates for the Kings and Ducks and then we move right along into the Red Wings. We discuss everything from the individual games to how sloshed Jiri Hudler was at the rally that was held after winning to who might be in net next season. Enjoy!

Check us out at our respective blogs and at

You can listen from the player under my picture to the left, subscribe to it on iTunes, or you can go to the above link and either listen from the site or download it.

As always please direct any questions, comments, complaints, thoughts, ideas, or rants to: imnotapuckbunny[at]gmail[dot]com.


Crawford Is Out

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Marc Crawford has been released from his duties with the Kings. Did anyone see this coming? ....cause I sure didn't. Why did they wait so long after the season ended? Was there a reason to wait a week and a half before the Entry Draft?

I noticed how many coaches were being released from teams across the league, but I guess I'll take a closer look now that we're in need of one!! I've done my part of making a flyer to try to help out the Kings.


Birthday Hockey Cards!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

So for my birthday, my good friend, Marie, got me a box of hockey cards with two storage cases. I didn't realize that had I made it easy for her when I told her my interest in cards. =P But, I'm writing this post because I realized that I really didn't know the protocol of hockey cards. Here I was with this unopened box wondering what to do. I couldn't wait; I HAD to dive right in. So before I went to bed, I tore through about half the packs and wanted to share with the readers of what I've found so far in this treasure trove from the 1990-1991 season.

So here is what the outside of the box looks like.

Here are the empty packs strewn about my desk.

Yes, that's me being anal and cutting open each pack with scissors

I got a Gretzky card to match the outside of the box!

Here are some of the goodies I've found so far

Mats Sundin looks like he could have played Rolfe in the The Sound of Music

That seriously looks like a watercolor of him and not a photo

Steve Yzerman!

Stay tuned for more choice cards from when I finish going through the box!


Year-In-Review – 11 – Brad Stuart

Friday, June 6, 2008

I guess it’s fitting that I move on to Brad Stuart now since his team has won the Stanley Cup.


I think I felt just about every emotion while watching Stuart play this year; among them and (for the most part) in order: wonder (didn’t he used to be a Shark?), impatience, nervousness, anger, annoyance, hatred, contentment, confidence, elation, lust, sadness (post-trade deadline), and finally… acceptance. Talk about taking me on an emotional rollercoaster, Brad!!

At the beginning of the season I thought that his coming to LA with Tom Preissing seemed promising enough because they had been in San Jose at the same time (courtesy of Dean Lombardi). Subsequently, they were paired together at the beginning of the season, which I was excited about since the Sharks had done well and was hoping he could bring something big to the table. I definitely was NOT impressed. But I guess I’ll give some kudos to Marc Crawford for at least TRYING out that pairing to see if there was any chemistry left from back in the Teal days. His injuries at the beginning of the season resulted in a less-than-stellar first half of the season, which caused much boiling of my blood. He seemed invisible whenever he was on the ice; couple that with Preissing being invisible as well and you get a recipe for disaster. It just wasn't good for B-Stu in the beginning. He was soft on the puck at times and couldn't keep the puck in the zone on the attack; it just wasn't pretty.

(Nichole Glaze)

As he got healthy through the year, he actually started to improve in all aspects. He was throwing hits left and right, taking huge bombs from the blue line, and basically earning his paycheck. He played 63 games for the Kings getting 5 goals, 16 assists for 21 points, was a -16, and had 67 PIM. But February 26th was the day my heart was broken; the Kings FINALLY had a D-man that was consistent from game to game and who provided a huge physical presence on the blueline. But when you have a one-year contract and are playing well, other teams become interested in adding to their roster for their own playoff run. Enter the Detroit Red Wings.

After the trade to Detroit he played in 9 regular season games tallying 1 goal, 1 assist for 2 points, was a +6, and had only 2 PIM. He played in 72 regular season games and in 21 playoff games he got 1 goal, 6 assists for 7 points, ended at a +15, and had 14 PIM.

I thought that once he made the move to Detroit, his play was magnified by the fact that, not only was his team leagues better than the Kings, but that his new team really needed his type of presence. I’m not discounting the fact that the Kings needed him too, but when you’re looking at a squad like the Red Wings who just needed that extra push in the size department, they definitely needed B-Stu. As much as I was irritated with Kings management for sending him off, he had the most value out of all the defensemen on the Kings roster. His leaving definitely thinned down the backend even more, but the two picks we got in return (1 2nd round in 2008 and 1 4th round in 2009) will definitely help us to either trade for an NHL player, acquire already-drafted prospects who may be NHL ready, or pick new prospects. As much as I love him now, I can retrospectively say that there really wasn’t any point in the long term picture to keeping B-Stu on the roster. His contract was just for one year and who knows what would have happened at the end of the season; he could have easily left and signed with another team effectively leaving the Kings with a gigantic hole in the second/third defensive pairing.

The small transaction at the trade deadline of Detroit trading picks to get Stuart was exactly what the doctor ordered. He got there, clicked with Niklas Kronwall, and started hammering opposing players to the ice. But I’m not going to hide the fact that he was a defensive liability at times. There were glaring errors that he committed, but, at the same time, he made plays that lead to goals in the playoffs (i.e. His work inside the offensive blueline to keep the puck in the zone in one of the games against Pittsburgh. He made a pass to Jiri Hudler who backhanded the puck past Fleury in an opening that was maybe 2 inches wide.) When you talk about someone joining a team and being a difference-maker, B-Stu definitely fits that mold.

Blocking shots and taking names

I definitely want to thank Steph over at No Pun Intended for helping me to keep tabs on our boy and watching him get closer and closer to the Cup. At the start of the season, who would have guessed that Stuart would have been hoisting the Cup with Detroit on the last day of the post-season. It was cool to finally be able to have an emotional attachment to the playoffs in a way. This journeyman definitely had an eventful season; although, I would definitely describe it as a whirlwind after he started wearing the Red Wings jersey. The birth of his second child really showed how classy the Red Wings organization was. They let him take a couple days off from the playoffs to fly back to LA to be with his wife. This not only showed the class of the club but the depth of the team as well. He was part of the 2nd defensive pairing with Niklas Kronwall, and the Wings were strong enough to dress another defenseman and be comfortable with the situation.

In conclusion: I am happy that Brad Stuart was a part of the Kings organization for two-thirds of this season. It was an interesting journey from my point-of-view to watch a player change over the season and have my opinions of him change as well.

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
How sweet it is


Kings World Podcast - Ep 1.1

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hello Kings fans! Marie from Purple Crushed Velvet and I have started our own podcast dedicated to our dear team. We thought that it'd be fun to chronicle our weekly adventures by discussing once a week about the happenings of the Kings. For the summer, we're actually going to be recording every other week since the summer doesn't bring too much information. But we suspect our team will be very busy in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for our thoughts and analysis. Enjoy!

Just click on the little RSS box and you'll be on your way to listening to the first episode! View RSS XML

Or you can throw this address into your iTunes if you want to do it manually:

Please update your subscriptions everyone!! Here is our new feed!

We are here as well:

We welcome any and all feedback since this is our first podcast together! Please direct any questions or comments to kingsworldpodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.


Year-In-Review – 10 – Lubomir Visnovsky

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Little Lubo

Lubomir Visnovsky played in all 82 games this season tallying 8 goals and 33 assists for 41 points. He ended at a -18 and had 34 PIM (although I'm going to count that as 24 since he received that errant 10-misconduct at the end of the season against the Ducks). Lubo definitely had an off year evidenced by the fact that in the 06-07 season he ended with 58 points and at a +1.
Look how happy he is!

At the beginning of the season he was mostly paired with Rob Blake in 5-on-5 play and was the point man on the 1st PP unit. I can't really remember who he was paired with for part of the middle of the season (can someone help me out here?), but by the end he was helping Peter Harrold on the blueline. During the time when the Kings were realistically still in contention of making the post-season, my trust in Lubo fell off. I couldn't trust him to make that pass out; I just wasn't feeling it. But as the season continued, I realized that it wasn't 100% his fault so my not trusting him with the puck really wasn't justified. At the end of the season, I was glad for his presence on the blueline because the roster had definitely thinned out by then.

I thought that his being a puck-moving defenseman was relied on a little too much because there were times when everyone had already left the zone waiting for his pass out. But this lack of support proved to be the killer when an opposing player would put pressure on him and strip him of the puck leaving the Kings goaltender (whoever it was at that time) to face a breakaway. But you could argue that if he was a great player, he'd be able to make that pass without a problem. Yet, on the other hand, what does it say when the opposing player has enough confidence to apply that kind of forechecking pressure on Lubo.

It was no secret that he was putting a lot of pressure on himself to perform and one could argue that his contract extension was weighing heavily on him as well. I could also point out that no one really earned their paycheck this year except for Alexander Frolov, Dustin Brown, and those still on their entry-level contracts.

A picture that came up when I typed his name into Google

After the NHL regular season ended, he traveled up to Halifax/Quebec City for the 2008 World Championships and joined the Slovakian team. While he was there he faced only one Kings teammate, Anze Kopitar (Slovenia). In the end, Lubo helped Slovakia escape Relegation, and he ended the tournament playing 5 games getting 2 goals, 7 assists, and +5.

Next season he will be starting his new 5-year contract, which is front-loaded with $7 million coming in the first year. This will be more than anyone was making this past season. There is really no other option than for him to put this last season behind him and get back on the ball.


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