Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Are the Kings trying to become BoC contenders?

Umm, I know Rudy's on vacation, but I figured I'd drop a quick post so people can comment on the Kings' offseason activity.

In the last few day, the Kings have re-inked d J. Modry (1 yr) and g J. Labarbara (2 yrs), and signed f L. Nagy (1 yr), f M. Handzus (4 yrs), f K. Calder (2 yrs), d T. Preissing (4 yrs), and d B. Stuart (1 yr).

I can't speak from any Kings perspective here (go see Inside the Kings or Purple Crushed Velvet for that), but all of a sudden the Kings look like they want to make this Battle of California a real three-team affair.

So commenters (Kings fans or not), where does this get them? Where do they fit among the Stars, Sharks, and Ducks? For GM Lombardi, what remains to be done?

Have fun commenting, and have a safe and happy 4th, everyone!


Anonymous said...

Any and all moves Dean Lombardi makes are rendered utterly irrelevant by his goaltending situation. And with there being no quality netminders on the free agency market and with Vesa Toskala and Manny Fernandez already traded, the Kings' only real option is Ilya Bryzgalov and I doubt the Ducks would trade him to the Kings.

KMS2 said...

Kings look like they want to make this Battle of California a real three-team affair

Well, of course!!!

According to an article in the LA Times (which I normally hate reading unless Helene Elliot is the writer), DL didn't want to sign anyone to an incredibly long contract, such as those given to Briere, Drury, and Gomez.

Naturally, I still think our goaltending situation is unfortunate but I'm glad to see DL trying to improve the squad rather than Phoenix or Columbus who have hardly done anything.

And as for the ducks...Bertuzzi AND May?! yikes.

Earl Sleek said...

The Kings' only real option is Ilya Bryzgalov and I doubt the Ducks would trade him to the Kings.

Yeah, I'd say that too, but who knows? There aren't many teams in pressing need for a #1 goaltender now either.

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Anonymous said...

This doesn't make the Kings Cup contenders for this season, but if you look at the rebuilding timeline, that wasn't in the works anyway.

These strike me as good moves for a few reasons.

First, they don't hamstring the Kings with a ton of money committed beyond this year and next (only Handzus and Preissing got more than two years, which is justifiable given the persons involved and the contract terms). The Kings can still be players in the free agent frenzy in coming offseasons, when they'll be in a position to add players who can help put them over the top.

Plus, this also ensures enough payroll flexibility to lock up Cammalleri and Visnovsky to long-term extensions, which makes a hell of a lot more sense than doling out the kind of money guys like Scott Gomez and Kimmo Timmonen got in the past couple of weeks.

In addition, this lets the team improve, and it's not farfetched to suggest they could be a playoff team as early as this season. Granted, goaltending is a big question mark, but it sounds like the reins aren't going to be handed to Cloutier automatically. I still think Cloutier has something to show, I also think Jason LaBarbera could be a nice surprise. So long as the goaltending is more consistent, things should look up, and the goaltending should also be helped by an improved defense.

Maybe these moves were made with an eye toward getting back into the playoffs after a long absence, but they aren't the sort of gambling-away-the-future-for-a-first-round-exit-now moves that the franchise has made in previous years. I think getting to the postseason and getting the youngsters some playoff experience will be valuable, but the key is to do it in a way that allows you to build on that for the long term.

Count me among a likely minority of Kings fans, but I was glad they didn't land Drury, Gomez or Briere after seeing the kinds of contracts those fellows got. I just don't think they're worth that much money for that long. It's not like this was Sidney Crosby, folks.

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pete said...

Mirtle gets a cut of anything, Sleek. :)

Bryan said...

Definitely some impressive moves by the Kings. They do happen to find themselves in the toughest division in the NHL, meaning 24 of their games will be against the Ducks, Sharks, and Dallas. Then again, that isn't so bad the way the played against the Ducks. The problem is that there are only 8 playoff spots, and with Detroit, Ducks, San Jose, Dallas, Vancouver and the Wild being pretty favored to make the playoffs, the Kings will have to fight against St. Louis, who should trade places with Nashville as they plummet to bottom feeder status, Colorado, Calgary and Edmonton. It will be tough, but definitely a step in the right direction.

Tampa and Phoenix are 2 other teams off the top of my head that would benefit from Bryzgalov.