I Hate to Say I Told You So..
Anyone who ever says that is a cocky liar. That said:
[Brad] Richards will sign with either New York or Toronto (with Buffalo and Montreal as dark horses) for over $7 million/year and over 5 years. Lombardi may be in the fold, but he will not offer the amount of years or dollars that others will. He will probably sign [another] name to a one year deal and they will disappoint greatly.
OK so it was a 9-year, $6.67MM deal. But it was the Rangers. And then Lombardi signed Gagne, which was a signing I actually really liked. His injury made the signing somewhat of a disappointment but it actually made the Jeff Carter deal a necessity. Things happen for a reason, I suppose.
It couldn’t be more improbable that Mike Richards coming to the Kings is so bittersweet, as Mike Richards has always been one of my favorite non-Kings. Easy for me to say now, right? Here’s proof from three months ago:
Zach Parise will remain there until someone else scores a goal that earns the U.S. an Olympic gold medal. Though ‘Clitter’, as he is known by his teammates, is definitely making his presence felt.
Thus, the fact that I’m not so excited I’m camping outside of Staples Center for the first home game on October 18th is somewhat perplexing. I guess this has to do with the possibility of what Brayden Schenn can become. He could be a stud. He could be a superstar. But the more I reason with myself, I realize that the odds of Schenn becoming a better player than Richards are less than favorable, strictly based on percentages, so if I’m Dean Lombardi I make that deal every single time.
Still, that slim chance is present in the back of my mind, like a spider that crawls under your bed, knowing that one day it could crawl out and bite me. Whenever Schenn starts to light it up on the the big stage, every goal he scores will be like a punch to the gut of every Kings fan.
But I have come to this realization: if Mike Richards can somehow help the Kings win the Cup, it will exterminate the bugs.
I sure wish I phrased that last sentence better, so that I wouldn’t have to include that whole back-story and quote it as the ridiculous metaphor it is. It sounded good at the time.
Today, after reading everything and anything I could find on the Kings coaching situation, I became nervous about the thought of Darryl Sutter as the Kings new head coach. Sutter seems to be everything that Terry Murray was except angrier.
Same focus on defensive hockey. Same old school mindsets. Even worse grimace.
So.. that wasn’t so impressive. Thankfully I did end the article with:
Whoever Lombardi appoints, even if its pterodactyl face, we should assume that he is the best person for the job.
We’ll call that one a draw.
Some other things that I like that Sutter has done:
- Benching Kevin Westgarth regularly– From everything I’ve read or seen, Westgarth is a great guy, a great teammate, and works his ass off. But, as I’ve said before, his role is simply not needed.
- Getting everyone in the special teams mix– he has been throwing all lines in on the power play in spurts, and putting just about everyone out on the penalty kill. This boosts players’ confidence and, as mentioned in the principle point of this article, gives the top players more rest.
The bottom line is- this team is playing for him, and they are starting to put together an identity. It still looks like they play down to bad teams and up to good teams, but for some reason I get the feeling that the days of faltering after success are over. No more losing streaks after winning stints; no more choking with a 4-0 lead. At least I hope.
If this guy, the one we all were so reluctant to let take the reins of our beloved team, is the one to keep this team focused and guide them to what they are supposed to be, it doesn’t matter if he reminds me of incoherent Sylvester Stallone.
Obviously I didn’t say or ever think, “Sutter will take this team to a Stanley Cup championship.” I’m not Latoya Jackson.
But in seriousness, Penner has a chance to turn a page and start a new chapter in his career tonight. Yes he’ll be on the fourth line, but we (his coaches and fans) just need to see that he cares. Throw some checks. Block a shot or two. I mean, ideally, score a goal. But if not, at least work hard, like Sutter said. Then, keep doing it. Keep working. We need you.
Sutter also eludes to the fact that there are two directions this story can take. It’s Penner’s choice which word goes before ‘Ballad’:
‘Horseshit‘ or ‘Inspirational’.
One direction will cause our collective head-shaking grimace; the other, our compliments to the chef.
Well done, Pancakes. Well done.
Trading some or all of players like Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson, or another part of what has been labelled as ‘the core’ in a package to acquire an elite-level goal scorer like Rick Nash.
- Likely result: mixed emotions from fans. Whoever it is will experience a decline compared to their career average PPG, but may still help the Kings’ GP60. There is no single player that can make the Kings score over 2.50 GP60 for the remainder of the season. Thus, it will likely be looked at as a failed transaction unless it somehow causes the Kings to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. Likelyhood: 25%.
I really didn’t think Lombardi was going to make a move as substantial as the Jeff Carter deal, hence the 25%. And I was wrong about one player not making the Kings score over 2.5 goals per game, as they averaged 3.0 after the trade. It’s hard to know for sure if the last sentence is true or not, but speaking honestly, the trade likely would be labelled successful even if the Kings lost to Vancouver.
Thus, Nash will probably be a Blue Jacket on February 28. Jeff Carter? Likely not. They’ll be willing to move him for a decent prospect and a draft pick. I just hope that offer isn’t coming from the Kings. Though having a reasonable cap hit compared to his potential, with 10 more years left on the deal and about two and a half left on his knees and shoulder, his contract is as much as a liability as his bar tab. I really think the Kings could find a better option.
Well. Partly accurate I guess. I often like when I’m proved wrong.
Here is one statement I’m proud of:
Jonathan Quick is the best goaltender in the NHL.
Of course I heavily qualified that statement immediately after since I was making it two years ago, but I saw glimpses of what many now say to be true. Did I think he’d win the Conn Smythe this year? Hell no. But I’m not surprised to see the Vezina nomination in the least.
Looking back, this little mash-up is pretty damn enjoyable as well.
Remember those Inception ‘mashup’ videos from last summer?
This idea is kind of a rip-off from those, using the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo teaser trailer. Though, in essence, aren’t all ‘mashups’ a rip-off of something?
Thanks to everyone for reading. What a spectacular season it has been.