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

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cal Worthington and his dog Spot > Los Angeles Kings

D.C. may have Eastern Motors, but they got nothing on Cal Worthington and his dog spot. If you have lived anywhere in California over the last 20 years you have been bombarded by this random car salesman hawking the worst looking automobiles imaginable while riding everything from grizzly bears to a flock of penguins. The commercials usually aired in the coveted 1-4AM time slot, better to appeal to the less than sober consumer.

According to NHLscap.com, the Los Angeles Kings are sitting at a 2008-09 salary of $29.5M. A whopping $27M under the $56.7M salary cap and $11.2M under the $40.7 million salary cap floor. With 10 NHL forwards under contract and 4 NHL defenseman, a dip into free agency and the continuation of Dean Lombardi's rebuilding youth movement are definite possibilities. With the free agent ranks approaching Who's Left? territory, launching an offer sheet on restricted free agents becomes more attractive by the minute.

Before Barry Melrose accepted the head coaching job with Tampa Bay, he said that he thought the open San Jose Sharks position was the best one available in the NHL. New Kings head coach Terry Murray takes over a Los Angeles Kings team that tied Tampa with only 71 points, but based on win totals the Lightning (31-42-9) edge out the Kings (32-43-7) as the worst team in the NHL. While the Lightning have gone off the deep end signing almost 2 teams worth of NHL forwards, the Kings are another story. During the press conference today announcing Terry Murray's hiring, general manager Dean Lombardi said, "I think this is the toughest job in the National Hockey League right now". With an incomplete NHL roster, a hole in the crease and several young defenseman expected to fill significant roles on the blueline there are significant question marks for Los Angeles moving forward. Unless 2008-09 is going to be the season-long campaign to draft John Tavares first overall, Lombardi needs to identify targets, specifically a goaltender (Khabibulin?) and a veteran NHL defenseman who can absorb minutes like brawnee paper towels, then work the phones to make it happen.

If you need a better goaltender, go see Cal. For the best deals on defenseman, go see Cal. If you want your buyout payments low, if you want to save some dough, go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal. Any player, any team, go see Cal. If you want one who uses afrosheen, go see Cal. Its a giant supermart, save a bundle play it smart, go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal.

[Update] Murray to be introduced as the Kings' new coach, Flyers assistant will be the 22nd man to hold the top job for L.A., succeeding Crawford - Los Angeles Times.


RudyKelly said...

The Kings will be fine in terms of the cap.

Labarbera is better than Khabibulin.

PJ Swenson said...

I am on board with those praising Labarbera's talents, prior to the start of last season I called him the best goalie not playing in the NHL, but at this point in his career I don't know if he is a true #1. Bernier, who I have seen in a few rookie tournaments, again is going to be solid down the line but I am not sure he is going to be a capable #1 either this season.

Khabibulin is better almost across the board that Labarbera, even at this stage when he is in the twilight of his career. It boils down to are the Kings going to field a competitive roster for 2008-09, or is this going to be yet another rebuilding year where the fan base has to sit through yet another wasted season.

Nut said...

I don't think its a good idea to trade for players because they have a bad contract, especially when they are not an upgrade. And I seriously doubt the Kings will be in contention for Tavares. If Jeff Finger is any indication, Toronto will be going for that title, along with the Islanders maybe?

PJ Swenson said...

Given the Sleek-table below, the Kings will finish second worst again behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, 70.7 projected points to 73.3.

I guess 6 fewer games against Dallas, San Jose and Anaheim will not help out LA that much after all.

Nut said...

guess thats why they play the games, eh?

Mike in OC said...

I personally hope they get Khabibulin.

I would feel better about watching a Kings goalie get peppered with shots and "occasionally" hung out to dry when he is making multiple millions of dollars.

Ian said...

Growing up, I always heard "go see Cal" as "pussy cow," which didn't make a whole lot of sense, but then again, a gumby cowboy was riding a tiger around a car lot, grinning like a maniac.

There's a (metal?) band in LA called Pussy Cow, btw, so I'm not the only one who had that misapprehension.

Now follow the bouncing dot! Pete Ellis Dodge. Long Beach freeway, Firestone exit, Southgate!