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!


KQ949 June 30, 2008 at 8:45 AM  

What can I say...there goes my HAM (Cammy) and CHEESE (Lubo). I knew once Ham went...cheese wouldn't be far behind. I think both of these are good trades! I'm liking what Dean did this off-season. Now, if he gets a good coach, then I'll be a happy camper going into Fall!

Steph June 30, 2008 at 1:39 PM  

HAHAHA that's what you get for texting me at 11ish on a day I had to be at work at 6 am. Although apparently my lack of sleep provided unintentional amusement so it's all good!

I hear our chances of resigning B-Stu look to be getting slimmer and slimmer...sad :( The shoulder injury, I hear, was nothing, though - but then again it caused a pretty big stir for 'nothing'...

I hope Stoli has a better year out in LA than he did in Edmonton last year - it was rough for him; right as he started to get his game back he wound up with that concussion that just set him back again. But hey, Lupul had a HORRIBLE year with the Oilers two seasons ago and went on to kick ass last year for the Flyers - so who knows! I'll miss him though :( Now you have to take care of him AND Matty Ellis for me.

Moose June 30, 2008 at 5:57 PM  

What's up, Connie? I wrote a little something about the trade on our blog, but I think this deal has the potential to be good for you guys. Stoll was a guy who probably deserved a chance at a bounce-back year, and could very well do it in L.A. Great faceoff guy (right handed), good penalty killer, and plays the point on the PP (he can fire it). Tough to seem him go.

Greene is a little error prone, but he's tough, he'll fight, he'll hit and has good mobility for a big guy. As long as you don't ask him to do too much, he's a nice compliment to the higher end puck moving d-men. Plus, he's a great locker room guy - hilarious quotes, prankster, etc.

I'm interested to see how you guys are gonna get up to the salary floor ($40m), being as how you're at $26m or something right now. Stoll will probably cost you around $2.5. How much for O'Sullivan? Seems like you'll need 3 or 4 more free agents to get there.

Kirsten June 30, 2008 at 8:11 PM  

Jarret Stoll will probably have an amazing come back year from having concussions and then post concussion problems. Then I will curse the name of Klowe some more and cry into my Grey Goose. *sigh* Being an Oiler fan is hard.

Connie June 30, 2008 at 11:28 PM  

KQ - Ham and Cheese!! That is ridiculously funny. I'll admit that this Lubo trade was hard to digest, but I can see what the big picture is. It's still hard to see Little Lubo go though. =/

Steph - I do <3 your texts! I'm super curious about B-Stu. I'm only hearing good things about Stoll, so I guess I have to listen to the masses! I'll take care of them both, don't you worry. =P A hug.

Moose - I'll definitely check out that post, thanks. I hope that Stoll can be the point man on one of the PP units since we've gotten rid of BOTH of our quarterbacks!! I'm also interested to see what Greene can do...

$2.5 for Stoll sounds reasonable. Hmm, cap floor. Well, if we can get Blake to buy in again.. and we do have a bunch of RFAs to re-sign. Brad Stuart perhaps? Sully... the longer they hold out on a decision, the more nervous I get... Plus we need to keep room for when Jack and Kopi can start their negotiations.

Kirsten - Haha, I feel you. I do. And I'm sure Lubo will be able to help in some offensive output. *sigh* I'm gonna miss that fella.

Kirsten July 2, 2008 at 8:11 PM  

I'm depressed about the upcoming season already! The Oilers had such a strong finish to the season. *sigh*

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