Friday, June 20, 2008
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.
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.
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.'"
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!
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.
A bunch more picks for tomorrow. Bright and early!