Moving Up The Depth Chart: Alec Martinez

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As soon as he was named President/General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings a little over two years ago, Dean Lombardi made his philosophy for building a team very clear…that a team should be built from net on out.

Translation: the way to build a hockey team is to start with goaltending, then work on the defenseman corps and, finally, build up the forwards.

Lombardi inherited some good, young forwards, with Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Michael Cammalleri and Alexander Frolov already on the roster, along with some developing forward prospects in their system. But outside of that, the cupboard, in terms of goaltending and defenseman prospects, was pretty much bare.

Fast forward to the summer of 2008 and oh what a difference two years makes.

In the last three drafts, Lombardi has added goaltending prospects Jeff Zatkoff and Linden Rowat, not to mention another young goaltending prospect with a boatload of potential in Jonathan Bernier. Lombardi has also added several defensemen, including Thomas Hickey and Drew Doughty, first round selections in the 2007 and 2008 NHL Entry Drafts, respectively.

To be sure, Lombardi has been following his “formula” for rebuilding and one of the defensemen prospects he is high on is Alec Martinez, who was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

“[Martinez is] going to challenge for a job and we’ve got a couple of other kids in the minors and they’re not going to give up either,” said Lombardi. “We’ve got a lot to look forward to and get some players out of [the Kings’ system].”

After three seasons with Miami University (Ohio), Martinez signed a three-year, entry-level contract on April 29, 2008. He was in Southern California for the Kings’ annual development camp in July and immediately noticed the difference from playing at the collegiate level.

“The pace is a lot quicker, the guys are smarter and more skilled,” said Martinez. “There’s a lot less running around. When you get more skilled guys and smarter guys, they know their position and they play it well.”

“It’s a different game, it’s more controlled for sure,” added Martinez. “It’s great to be out there. The guys are so good and you’re surrounded by great players. It’s definitely a faster pace and it’s more fun.”

The native of Rochester Hills, Michigan was originally listed at 6-0 and 188 pounds, but Martinez has since grown in inch and put on an additional twenty-five pounds.

“That’s really old, when I was seventeen years old,” Martinez said about his height and weight. “I’m 6-1, about 213 right now. I’ve grown a little bit and I’ve gotten stronger.”

Martinez said that he is working to get even stronger and is also working on his skating.

“You’re playing against older guys, strong guys,” he said. “You’ve got to build your strength and your speed as well. We’re working with the strength and conditioning staff and they’re doing a great job.”

“There’s guys in the NHL who are stronger now than when they started their careers and that’s only benefitted them,” he added.

As with all of their young prospects, the Kings’ coaching staff worked with their young defenseman to refine their games, and Martinez was no exception.

“There’s always little things,” Martinez explained. “You can improve your deception, picking your head up a little earlier, surveying the ice to get better vision. There’s definitely room for improvement.”

“The great players are great because they do all the little things well,” Martinez elaborated. “A lot of guys are skilled, a lot of guys can move the puck, but if you can do the little things well, that’s the difference between good and great.”

“They’re talking to the defense as a whole and we’re working on the little things every day—the deception, being positionally sound,” said Martinez. “Hockey is all about the next play. If you catch yourself out of position, the other team—the skilled guys and the smart guys are going to capitalize.”

And what does Martinez need to work on specifically?

“I could be more positionally sound,” he said. “Players my age tend to drift a little bit too much. That’s one thing we’re working on-staying between the dots. As a defenseman, if you’re in the right position, everyone else in the zone is reading off you and everyone else tends to be in the right position.”

Even though there is great concern about the Kings and the direction the franchise is heading, if Martinez is concerned about that, he certainly isn’t showing it.

“I don’t think you can really look at that stuff too much,” said Martinez. “If you look at that and get focused on it, it can get the best of you. All I’m trying to do is go out there, get better every day and [when training camp comes along], see what happens.”

“Obviously, the LA Kings are up and coming. They’re going to be a young team. It’s exciting. There’s a great group of guys here.”

Photo courtesy Miami University.

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74 thoughts on “Moving Up The Depth Chart: Alec Martinez

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  1. I heard that Martinez won “Best Defensive Defenseman” award this past season in the CCHA, a league that has sent many players to the NHL.

    His stats have improved every season:

    At the very least, he looks like a bigger, stronger version of Peter Harrold, and that ain’t bad.

    Manchester is going to have a very interesting (and IMO, strong) team this season.

    Martinez will surely need a year or so in the AHL before moving up, but he does look to have solid potential.

  2. This sounds bad but Alec Martinez’s name came up a lot during the end of last year as a guy that could potentially join the big club. But in the hoopla surrounding Drew Doughty and Colton Teubert I completely forgot about him as a prospect that can step in. However if he makes the club, the continuing problem is the Kings may end up with too many rookies on the blue line during the season.

  3. Teubert will NOT make the team. He needs at the very least another 20lbs., and he needs work on his lateral movement, just for starters.

    Doughty and Martinez are the only two rookies would could make the team.

  4. Teubert will make the team as he’s better prepared to step in now, Doughty may not, Martinez will not. AHL talk aside, the Kings should have taken Bogosian instead of Doughty.

  5. Not a chance…Teubert has WAY too much to work on in terms of his positioning and not flying all over the ice just to throw a big hit. Taking the body and playing tough is great, but if it takes you out of defensive position, that’s bad. But that’s Teubert’s problem right now. He could get away with that in juniors but he won’t be able to at the NHL level. He definitely needs more time in juniors (he still has junior eligibility).

    As for Doughty, he is the most likely to make the club out of camp and I would bet that he is on the opening night roster. He has the skill. And Bogosian over Doughty? Why, given the fact that the Kings were able to get Doughty AND Teubert?

  6. Looking long term. Bogosian is more of a Phaneuf, Doughty is…???

    Teubert can change that problem overnight if it’s even an issue for the coaches. Plus, they didn’t seem to mind Zeiler, Giuliano and Brown doing it…Teubert fits right now, heavy or light….

  7. It’s a lot different for a forward to do it than for a defenseman. And Brown was never out of control, at least, not the last couple of seasons. He picked his spots wisely and rarely took himself out of the play.

    Zeiler and Giuliano? Not a good comparison…Giuliano never had long-term NHL potential. Not sure Zeiler does, either. Teubert, on the other hand…

  8. on the other hand has nothing to lose but experience. He’s gonna be the guy…
    Teubert in no way throws the Kings off track this season and mentally he’s not prone to suffer from mistakes. Let him make them now.

  9. No, he doesn’t throw them off because they aren’t going to be good at all this season, but yes, he is prone to mistakes at this point in his career because of the way he plays. Hit first, at all costs. He was often out of position during the development camp, trying to make a big hit to impress the coaches and scouts. He has to learn that’s not going to make that big of an impression. Solid defensive play, solid positional play with the ability to take the body and play tough will. He is still missing on the first two points.

  10. did the kings even have a coach at that time? don’t remember.
    He wants to be here. He’ll be the guy to make the team. Development camps are all about making a splash.

  11. Has everyone forgotten about Thomas Hickey? I want to see him take Visnovsky’s place. Go Martinez!! Trading Cammalleri was a real stupid move no doubt.

  12. Hickey needs to make a mark in camp.

    I would also like to know why Brian (brianguy?) feels Cammi was a bad move. He would need to be signed across next summer and last time he felt they under bid him. He would no doubt have asked for a substantial increase. We pretty much got all we could for him.

    Cammi did not put up great numbers last year (overlooking that he led the league in goals early on). For the “old time” fans – he was a one trick pony much like Mike Murphy and Jimmy Fox. It looked like the scouts pointed out how to play him.

  13. the Cammalleri trade was bad because he’s a proven scorer and he plays hard despite his size. The management was able to swindle Kopitar’s slovenian agent into a horrible bargain and could have used the loot to pay Cammalleri. Isn’t it pointless to argue Cammalleri’s demands when this club has the lowest current payroll in the league?

    Cammalleri’s production was down last year, but he was injured, and on the 2nd WORST team in the league. And, think about all the ice-time he logged in face-offs after the opposition scored against the Kings.

    There do not seem to be too many waves coming from management about Handzus’s, Nagy’s, Calder’s, Gauthier’s, or Cloutier’s contract numbers. And I don’t see them dying to add on bonuses to Kopitars insulting package.

  14. Nope…even on a team as bad as the Kings are at the present time, Cammalleri is not worth $6 million+/year.

    Also, I am convinced, based on first-hand observations and in talking with sources close to the team, that Cammalleri was just going through the motions after the first month or two last season. His injury notwithstanding, he was simply not the same player or leader in the dressing room that he was early in the season. Why? I think he was not motivated. Sure, the team was bad, but he was getting paid to give a 100% effort and I don’t think he was doing that. I believe he was ticked off at the Kings not being willing to meet his salary demands.

    If Cammalleri thinks he’s a $6 million/year caliber player, even though he has had just one solid season in the league, he is badly mistaken. Now, if he does it again this season, maybe. But not now.

    BTW: What are you referring to in your comment about “swindling” Kopitar’s agent? Right now, Kopitar is signed to an entry-level deal. At this point, I haven’t seen any details about current negotiations for a new deal.

  15. Is Kopitar worth less than a million? Is Kings management worth the lint in my pocket? I’d have gladly given Cammalleri 6 million a year last year instead of spending a combined 16 million on Handzus, Nagy, Cloutier, and Calder. At least if he wasn’t performing as you wanted you could trade him because he’s a proven scorer and he’s young. Compare him to Drury and Briere and you don’t find much difference recently, except that they are on teams moving forward. I’m not putting down your opinions, just the rhetoric from management. They still believe they’ve not traded any young players. Its pure lies.

  16. I don’t know if you’re aware, but there is a cap on entry-level salaries. Until Kopitar is out of his entry-level deal (that’s why they’re working on a new contract for him), he’s capped at the rookie max, whatever that is.

    The young players they’ve traded weren’t going to be part of the mix anyway, really.

  17. The mix is a mess, to be honest. I realize there is a rookie salary cap thanks in large part to AEG, but, really, Kopitar must have hired the slovenian village idiot to negotiate his contract because there don’t seem to be any bonuses to speak of. Even Carey Price has some decent bonuses in his contract.
    Again, if you’re ‘saving’ in Kopitar’s case, those are 2 years in which you could pay Cammalleri, keep him happy, and let him score you goals. There’s no way around it, Gann. Remember, Stuart is only 26 too. Its all lies about the young players. Show me the young player management has brought in that has Cammalleri’s skill. Not to mention, the guy’s a midget and has to go up against the likes of Pronger and O’Donnell, and Phaneuf. How much would it take to coax you into the corners with those guys if you were one of the only scoring threats and were 5’4″?

  18. Comparing Cammalleri and Stuart is comparing apples and oranges.

    Sorry, but given what I’ve witnessed first-hand, Cammalleri wasn’t worth what he was demanding and he let his anger get the best of him last season, which is unprofessional, at best.

    The trade of Cammalleri allowed the Kings to select both Doughty and Teubert, rather than having to just select Bogosian. That’s a better deal to me.

    Here’s more on why trading Cammalleri was important…

    2008 NHL Draft: Lombardi’s Plan Comes Together

  19. I’m not going to read Lombardi rhetoric, Gann. I stand by my opinions, and see how the Cammalleri trade brought in Doughty. The Kings, if they are full of great prospects, should have been able to have Bogosian and Teubert if management are geniuses. If they were really so good, they should have had Stamkos. It’s also unclear yet whether Teubert and Doughty will be better than “just” bogosian. I’d take Phaneuf over Suter and Barker if given the option. Both were drafted before Phaneuf.

    Anger getting the best of a player in Hockey is not unprofessional, its what happens when you’re really competitive and management is wasting money on Cloutier, handzus, Nagy, Calder, and so on…

    There’s just no getting around it. Their rhetoric is lies. Cammalleri and Stuart may be apples and oranges in terms of position, but in terms of age, they’re not.

    Gann, when the rats are jumping ship there is a plague on board. In this case, you spell plague L I E W E K E. See – LA Galaxy for details.

  20. Why is Bogosian the better choice over Doughty, if they also have Teubert? Doughty is the more complete player, Bogosian is better physically.

    You are correct in that no one knows for sure about prospects, but given what we know now, I’d say that Doughty and Teubert is better than just Bogosian, which is what the Kings would have likely had if they didn’t trade Cammalleri.

    And how were they supposed to select Stamkos if they didn’t have the first pick and if Tampa Bay wasn’t trading the pick?

    As for Cammalleri being angry, sorry, but he brought that upon himself with his ridiculous salary demands and yes, it is entirely unprofessional. These guys get paid a lot of money to play their best. Anything less is unacceptable. He signed the contract, after all. It is binding on both parties.

    As for AEG’s credibility, yes, they have a big problem. But I believe you’re misinterpreting the situation in Cammalleri’s case.

  21. If Cammalleri is the only guilty party in this sense, why were Cloutier, Handzus, Nagy, and O’Sullivan not traded? They were all under-perfoming and guilty of contibuting little.

    Management is guilty of not having the no. 1 pick because the blew even the advantage of last overall in the last week of the season. Why did they bring in Ersberg? It makes no sense. Why did they not fire Crawford before the last month of the season? it makes no sense. Why do they alienate the one sniper on the team when they’re bleeding money on rubbish like Cloutier? It makes no sense.

    Like you said, there is no way to predict who will be the best player of these guys, but I’m going to predict its Bogosian. All the toughness in the world won’t help Teubert if he’s not good enough to defend in the NHL. All the fancy numbers won’t help Doughty if he’s not tough enough to defend and go forward in the NHL. From what I’ve seen and heard (little) i’d say Bogosian is the complete player with toughness and skill. Now if the Kings had been capable of holding on to last instead of bungling even that, I would take Stamkos and have traded Cammalleri and anyone else but Brown Kop and Frolov in order to get Bogosian. That’s just me. But I wouldn’t lie about what I’m doing and try and hype my draft picks when they have yet to prove a thing. Lewis, Hickey, Bernier…none have proven anything yet.

  22. You make it sound so very simple. Who would be interested in Cloutier or Handzus? There was interest in Nagy until he got a neck injury that was actually career-threatening. And why on Earth would they trade O’Sullivan (or did you mention him by mistake)?

    Handzus has a four-year contract. Not a smart move…definitely a gamble. Crawford wanted Cloutier bad, so he gets a bit of the blame for getting him AND pushing Lombardi to sign him to an extension before he even played a game for the Kings. Another ill-advised move by Lombardi, his biggest blunder so far.

    Why did they sign players like Handzus, Calder, McCauley, Thornton, Willsie, etc.? Because they were cheap placeholders. Little was expected of them, well, except for Handzus…they expected more than they got last season, but not a lot more. These guys were all placeholders, biding time until the Kings could start bringing up young prospects, as they’re now starting to do. And…who else was available? They weren’t going to sign the top guys for $7-10 million/season. That would’ve been utterly stupid.

    Did you expect the team to tank games at the end of the season? Sorry, but they’re professionals. They get paid to win. Sure, last place would’ve helped them more, but the vast majority of players aren’t going to go out there and play like crap intentionally. They have too much pride.

    Why is it that just because the prospects you mentioned “have yet to prove a thing,” that the Kings are lying about them?

  23. I should cut to paragraphs as some of my points are becoming confused when read.

    Gann, come on. They played like crap all year. If you’re going to rebuild, get the coach out, and take the 1st overall pick. Nobody could say you were throwing games. What do you call this season to come? Do you think management is trying to win as many games as possible? Did management hire Crawford as a “bridge” coach? If you add it all up it amounts to a pack of lies and excuses. Nobody is guilty of signing Cloutier but 1 man, the GM. Add to that the dozen or so other gargantuan blunders and you have the mess that is the LA Kings today.

    What’s the risk? Can the Kings lose their spot in the NHL? Can they tighten the purse any more than they have? How would they afford the ice-girls? Did management suggest the ice-girls?

    The Kings traded Cammalleri because he “reportedly was angry and not giving his all” to paraphrase your arguements. O’Sullivan was sent back down for the same reasons but was not traded. Maybe Cammalleri did not like the coach. Could you blame him? Maybe he was frustrated that the Kings are trying to market him and sell the fans on a team that management was doing nothing to improve. Have you never been in a work environment that is not only dangerous, but a– backwards? I have, and it takes the life right out of you. I’m sure the happiest person in all of this is Cammalleri himself because as a hockey player, he has a chance to realize his dream and win the Cup. As a fan of this team in our city, however, I am unhappy.

  24. The team was bad enough to be last, but let’s face it…the Lightning, despite their offensive talent, was worse. Even worse defensively (and in goal, if you can believe it) than the Kings.

    And sorry, what you stated the Kings should have done late last season amounts to intentionally throwing games.

    Crawford gets a bit of the blame for lobbying so hard for Cloutier. But in the end (and I’ve said this before), it’s Lombardi’s fault.

    How do the ice girls fit into this? They have nothing to do with the product on the ice.

    Your comparison to O’Sullivan’s situation is another apples and oranges thing. His situation was entirely different and look at how he came back.

  25. The ice-girls matter because they’re an indication and proof that AEG does not have their hand out of the cookie jar, as they would lead us to believe. I find it difficult to support the expulsion of Cammalleri when this project will cost how much? In my opinion, the management is throwing money all over the place when its the players they should be paying. How much does the AEG/Kings marketing staff cost each year? Why is the team’s debt to revenue ratio so high (93%)?

    As for the end of last season, I don’t agree that firing a horrible coach and playing a rubbish goaltender that is earning 3 million dollars a year is tantamount to throwing games. This season -trading one of your only scorers for draft picks, failing to sign any experienced free-agents, going forward with 4 defensemen with NHL experience, and hovering around the salary-minimum when the best prospect in a few years is going to be drafted next year – is intentionally throwing games.

  26. Cheers, Gann. I love arguing with you. I hope you do, too.

    Ice-girls…what a disgrace. Nobody can convince me that NHL ownership is headed in the right direction. They continue to let Bettman run the league, for pete’s sake.

    Maybe you can find out, but I truly would like to know how much the Kings Marketing dept. costs the team every year. I would truly love to know how much the ice-girls will cost every year. I saw that AEG owned Sparta Prague has ice-girls too.

    Have you ever met the CEO, Gann? You know who I mean. He’s completely muffed the Galaxy, although they are profitable with D.B.

  27. We’re not arguing…it’s called “debate.” :-)

    I have spoken to Tim Leiweke several times. I’m sure he won’t remember me from the next guy, but I have spoken to him.

  28. What’s your impression of him? How does he interact with the plebeians?

    argument – debate…..semantics, right? Gann, you are quality, that’s for sure…

  29. Leiweke has been quite personable in my experiences with him. But I haven’t had a lot of interaction with him, so I’m not the best person to ask.

    “Argument” has more of a negative connotation. “Debate” is a much more accurate description.

    And quit trying to butter me up. :-)

  30. Doughty will make the club this season. Teubert will not. Martinez might. Doughty was a smarter pick than Bogosian for the simple fact that this is where Doughty WANTED to be, and given how bad the Kings are going to be, it was important to pick the guy who already bought into what was going on. The Kings’ defensive corps this season will be a constantly rotating and evolving unit (which couldn’t possibly be any worse than the train wreck on the blue line last year).

    I buy what Lombardi’s doing inasmuch as he seems to be an astute deal maker (something his last several predecessors have not been) and the Kings do seem to have a lot of young, high-potential players. Cammalleri needed to go, and trading him for Teubert is a deal I’d do again about a thousand times. But as someone who has watched the Kings slide steadily downward since the Finals run in 1993, it would be nice if we had something to cheer about.

  31. You get what you get with Ivanans and you should be happy with it. The guy is not a skilled, two-way forward who is going to put points up on the board and be a guy who can shut anyone down. He is an enforcer who can score on occasion. That’s his game.

  32. I meant as an actual defenseman, Gann. I have no idea if he’d be capable of performing as a defensman. I haven’t seen him up close and don’t know what he’s capable, or incapable of.

  33. With all the kid defensemen presently organization, why would the Kings even consider moving Ivanans back there? The Kings could use a veteran defenseman to mentor all the kids (Mathieu Schneider would be perfect for this role if the Ducks ever get around to trading him so they can sign Selanne), but moving a forward of marginal talent back to the blueline is not the answer here.

  34. Was just a thought Nick.

    i’ll take Gann’s assessment for value, though. If he can’t skate well enough, enough said.

  35. Agreed, I’ll defer the hosting to the host. Didn’t mean to tee off on you, Cristobal, just I’ve spent the entire summer stewing about the defense situation. You & Gann have a great repartee going and I look forward to reading more as the season approaches.

  36. No one needs to defer to anyone around here (well, unless you do something inappropriate and I contact you about it) and I don’t think you “teed off” cristobal. And everyone should feel free to join in the “repartee” and encourage other Kings fans and hockey fans in general to do the same.

  37. Wow…Ivaness as a defenseman??? May have been a thought, but what are you smoking? I need some…

    Cristobal…seriously…I know your pissed off, but this irrational hatred is getting out of control. I can’t believe I just wasted that much time reading all of this.

    Doughty is basically already on the team.

    Martinez would need to slip up big time to NOT make the team.

    Teubert is at the very least 1 year and 20lbs. away from making the team. You do NOT put a kid his size on an NHL roster…you might as well break his leg or arm right now. At this point in time, his hockey sense consists of, who do I hit now? He has so much to learn it’s sick! The talent is there, but he’s as close to an NHL roster as I am.

  38. Oh, by the way…I actually play with Matthieu Schneider’s brother-in-law, and said last week and Matthieu would love to play for the Kings again (probably because he doesn’t want to move his family), not to mention a friend of mine is his attorney (don’t ask how I know these people…just dumb luck) is being pretty tight lipped with me, so she knows something (I knew he was signing with Anaheim about a week before he did last year)…so the only thing probably keeping him from LA is Lie-weekly (they had a falling out).

  39. Mrbrett – Ivanans is a much better skater than most of the goons the Kings have brought through in the past like McKenna, Johnson, and Brennan?. McSorley moved to defense and was stellar at the position, in my opinion. I haven’t seen Ivanans up close much, though, cuz i don’t go to games, just watch the tube.

    Schneider never wanted to leave the Kings in the first place a few years back. I’m sure he’d come back because he seems like a quality guy and would be earning a lot. But there’s the problem. Why run off Cammalleri and Visnovsky but then turn around and pay Schneider rediculous amounts? I wouldn’t be surprised b’cuz management seems so backwards, but it would just be another move that makes little sense.

    The whole anger-because-i-read-what-you-posted arguement is a little long in the tooth at this point. If I want to say Teubert will make the team and Doughty won’t, I only have 1 month to be proven wrong. Just say I told you so. Its my opinion. Disagree, but don’t call me irrational just because you believe this management group. I also said they should have taken Bogosian and I’m sure there’s 50% of the GM’s in the league that would agree. Who would you have drafted in 2003: Phaneuf, Suter, or Coburn?

  40. Well guys, this was just to fun to keep my mouth shut over.

    As I have basically agreed with the brunt of cristobal’s commentary on various sites, I must chime in my thoughts after reading here. The biggest point was that I honestly believe that Dean [Lombardi] has finally come to realize one of the biggest factors in bringing in new talent (above and beyond their actual skills/abilities)-that they want to play in L.A. Whether or not he considered it a factor before he arrived, I’m sure he understood “the situation” after losing out on Brier, Gomez and Drury. And To be honest with y’all, I am personally delighted-even if we didn’t have the team last year-that we didn’t get any of those over-paid hockey zealots. If they want to play in Philly, N.Y., where ever, who cares? The thought of seeing the Kings organization actually developing like the old time Dodgers used to do it absolutely thrills me. And thanks to their marketing/sales team having finally figured out that not all of us have our weeknights and Saturday nights available for games, I further applaud them for having offered up a “Flex Plan” for fans to pick their 10 game packs to attend. So after 40 years of following them, I am now going as a part-time ticket holder. I think they’re on the right track! So that covered everything from picking Doughty over Bogosian to trading Cammi and my excitement over the coming season-win, lose or draw!

    Now my second point was regarding the salary cap: I do believe that Dean has things under control and that it will be to his benefit when other teams started bleeding from their bloated payrolls. I wish everyone would quit talking like the players are getting raw payoffs on their entry level contracts. I’m delighted we have the players we’ve got and I’m happy they settled for what they get paid. I’m sure they will get giant pay hikes to stay-once their productivity increases. And if they do not conform/live up to their abilities, I now feel confident that they will be jettisoned. I’m sorry to talk that way, and it certainly eliminates any hopes of ever seeing player photo/souvenirs again at Staples-as many of our players aren’t around long enough to develop a following, but the new climate is about business and the Players Association wanted it that way, too. Back on Cammi, ya, I liked him too, and I believed he played his best (with or without arguing with his gal-something that sort of reminds my of Palffy-what can I say?), but a distraction is a distraction and we cannot assume his motives were all for the good of the team-just because we are down on the team and he is now gone? I mean, Sean [Avery] still complains and he’s now on his 2nd change.

    About the Ice Girls, let’s face it, it’s an “L.A.” thing. No matter how ridiculous it is, there are always gonna be perverts paying just to see them. And don’t give me that ‘holier-than-thou’ crap about Kings fans. I’ve had my share of beer dumped on me by some of those – – – – heads as they drunkenly go back and forth between the beer line, the bathroom and then talk on their cell phones during the games. This year I’m sittin’ third row, center, to avoid these lower life forms. For me, it’s hockey first…period. <—leave your business at home!

    And finally, I cannot say I like the womenly gesture of giving out concession points for overtime losses. It helped push the Sharks into the playoffs and was a mindless way to appease fans of semi-decent teams, but to me, aside from a tie-meaning two teams fought hard and could not settle the victory, a WIN or a LOSS are just that. Giving out extra points is pretty much like passing some of these idiot high schoolers through with D’s and telling them just keep playing well and you’ll go some place. Ya, but they’ll still be idiots. Sorry, that about cover the nfl!

    Anyway Gann, I liked your report on Martinez and will watch with interest to see if anything comes of him in training camp. And I will hold my breath to see if I get leveled or agreed upon by you and cristobal RL

    p.s. Gann, do you really think Teubert will make the team so early? The later reports on him before the draft were that he really needed to work on his skating and his “thinking” when he made his hits~

  41. robert e lee – hey, i’m glad to see that there’s someone with a lot to say. don’t agree with all of it, but love debating the stuff without getting personal. i try to keep my venom for management and ownership. in terms of lombardi, i can accept cleaning house, but it should be done already. this guy obviously tried his hand at getting the team into the playoffs the last 2 years and realized he’s in over his head here.

    players are players, and sooner or later they want to be paid what they believe they’re worth. unless this turns out to be a team of martyr-like accolytes of lombardi, they’re not going to stick around long enough to all play together even if they all turn out to be hall of famers. look at what’s going on in buffalo and what happens when these kids find that people are willing to pay them ridicuous amounts. don’t forget that the agent’s are always at their ears and make a percentage of the contract, so its simply naive to think its all gonna come together flawlessly. as for signing players – lombardi has no track record to speak of in this department and he mortgaged san jose’s future and some prospects on veteran players shortly before he was FIRED. i’m not going to say being fired means he’s worthless, but why did san jose cut ties with a guy that was in the organization so long?

    I’m not into overpaying a few players to come over, but do the homework and spend the money wisely. he’s wasted so much money on free-agents its unbelievable.

  42. Robert…thanks for the kind words. Be sure to tell other Kings/hockey fans that you know about this site and encourage them to join in the discussions!

    Oh…for the record, I did not say that Teubert would make the team out of training camp.

  43. Well, as usual cristobal, your thoughts are right on target and I wish I could argue on behalf of Lombardi, but after so many years of hearing the same rhetoric, I would be remiss to defend. I just want to believe that someone in the organization means well and that this isn’t about putting on a show, trying to fill seats, and/or setting up a playground for young talent that will later on be jettisoned off for profits. I mean, I could understand if McNall had done it (but I don’t believe he did-of course, HE WAS USING OTHER PEOPLES MONEY!), and I know Jerry Buss would never have done it, and, of course Kent Cooke wouldn’t have blinked at at missing out on a profit

    The bottom line is that we are now 50 days away from “the show” and soon enough, we will find out where, exactly our Kings organization stands in terms of: creating a winning team-developing its young talent-turning a profit-and caring whether or not its fan base returns from year to year. I’m giving them this year ($2500 for 2-tickets-10 games). If they play well-no matter the outcome-I will regularly purchase said packet. If they play as some of us are fearing they will play, I agree with you that its not our job to watch them ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ with such moves as getting rid of Cammaleri-a legitimate scorer-to continually bring in younger and younger (unproven) models!

    Hey Gann, sorry man, I re-read what you had said and you definitely said Teubert needs more time in Juniors. And unfortunately, this seems to remain the line for the brunt of our up-and-coming talent. So it would be nice if they’d [@ least] hang on to the producers until we have new guys to replace them!
    best guys

    p.s. I was an early fan of Jason [LaBarbera] and I recognize-fully-how inconsistent he is. And if he ever reads these blogs, I hope he understands that those of us who pull for him are terribly concerned at the impression he gives that he has the attention span of a hungry rodent. I hope and pray he will learn to focus his mind for the full 60+ minutes of each game-whatever it takes. A buddy and I created a poster to encourage him, but he played so pitifully for much of his short stint last year that we rather left the poster in mothballs until he proved worthy of our efforts. Meanwhile, GO ERSBERG AND BERNIER!!!

  44. robt. e lee – i think lombardi genuinely want to do well, both for his own sake and the club, but wonder if he’s really got a grasp for what he’s doing. he may eventually leave in the manner of FA’s like blake, stuart and others. I’d really love to talk to D. Taylor about his tenure and find out wether he was able to make the moves he wanted or not. Especially the “boucher” deal makes me wonder if he wanted to retain him but wasn’t approved the funds. I’d also love to know what went on with Blake (to colorado), Allison, Palffy, and some others. I tend to give Taylor high marks but do remember some of the poor moves: i.e. ronning, ac carter.
    I think everyone freaked over labarbara after his first 10 games with the club. he seems to have the potential, but can’t get it all together. its hard for goalies to look good here, historically. Remember Fuhr left in shambles then went on to play really well for a couple years w/ st. louis(?), healy went to ny after being booed outta town and thrived, dafoe had some good years in boston, legace did ok, and hrudey still had some left (though no kings fan didn’t like him).
    I said Teubert will make the team, Doughty won’t. Really its uninformed. Based soley on watching the draft day clips. Also, to stir up comments. But I could see it happening. Sometimes the skilled guy can’t translate to the nhl while the “rough” player adapts quickly. Really, we won’t know for a few years. Bogosian looks to me quite interesting though. It may have been better to go with him if he’s able to provide 2 aspects of the game well. I covet a Phaneuf like players, not a Rafalski or JM Liles (though they’re great and i’ll take that too).

    cheers – keep posting

  45. Cristobal,

    I gotta agree with you on one point: I too covet Phaneuf. I was nearly certain, in the run-up to free agency on July 1, that the Kings were going to sign Liles (don’t know why I thought this, but I’m glad they didn’t).

    As loaded as the Kings are with kid defensemen, I would have liked to see them add one more veteran. Marek Malik is still available, as are Jassen Cullimore and his +21 rating, Bret Hedican and his desire to play for a California team, and ex-King alternate captain Aaron Miller (he replaced Blake on the Kings blue line once, why not a second time?)

    Is it just me, or does August feel like the longest month of the year?

  46. Nick – there’s a good little article on Bogosian at THN online. I think he’s who I’d have taken in the draft. But, i don’t know much about him or doughty, really. Hedican, Malik, and Cullimore all interest me. I’m not too familiar with Cullimore, but I am with Aaron Miller. I don’t think he’d be good. Millers to one dimensional for this team that already has some big, defensive defensemen that are relatively immobile and not know for their ability to move the puck forward. Malik and Hedican are better fits, in my opinion.


  47. Cristobal,

    Am I wrong or are you not impressed with the fact that the kid-Doughty-wanted to play in L.A. It was his dream to play here. I mean, how many players-even though IT REALLY IS A PRIVILEGE TO PLAY IN THE NHL-would pick L.A. above #25 as their choice for a place to play? I know, I’m still defending DL, but what if it really is true about the way FA’s feel about/see the Kings? We’ve gotta start somewhere, right? So we’ve gotten rid of some vets.; but they also had a terrible year and I hardly see how any of our aging defensemen/lost will truly hurt us? With an average rating of minus 19 or so, I doubt we can do much worse. Meanwhile, I sincerely think we’re gonna see some real hitting this year from our team. I know, we’ll likely take more bad penalties too. But it could be quite an exciting experience, watching these guys grow together as a team. I mean, every hockey player-no matter their age-was taught the same way: IT’S ALL ABOUT TEAM/TEAM FIRST That’s it, right? So no matter whom we get to play, they will have been instilled with the same thinking. We just have to hope our coach can somehow skirt the usual waiting period for players to jell together! RL

  48. Robert e lee – I think Doughty isn’t in hollywood by accident. I mean, what Canadian kid would love the Kings? just a joke. But, seriously, this season may turn out to have been for the better, but it could also be like “leading the lamb to slaughter.” These are kids, and their are monsters in this league. I don’t know, but it sounds as though Lombardi must have drafted Hickey on little knowledge, the kid hadn’t more than a year of juniors under his belt. I hope he’s good though.

    who’s 35, has won 4 cups with the same team, has never scored more than 37 points, And, got paid less than a million dollars this past season while winning another cup?

  49. cristobal: You said the magic word…35 years old. Doesn’t matter who it is. A 35-year-old is not the answer for this team…or even a significant contributor.

  50. i was just posting trivia. but i do think it’d be great to have him on the club. a guy with his resume would be a welcome addition to my club. his tiny little contract would be a welcome addition to AEG, i’m sure. He’s the prototype for what I hope Lombardi is building: great player, does his job the way he’s asked, doesn’t require huge compensation, and a dedicated member of a winning tradition. i think the Kings could do worse. actually, they do.
    Gann, i tried months ago, before crawford was fired, to stir up the name Larionov. Would you have been in favor of asking him to coach the team? I’d have loved to seen him hired, myself. convinced is probably the better word…they’d have to convince him to come.

  51. Awe, gees, you guys go so fast. I was too late to say: “Maltby”

    I had an off day and went into the storage room and dug out the Kings scrapbook from 1969-75. I suddenly came across a bunch of the trades and it just brought up more bad memories including Byers to Buffalo (remember the old “Bee & Buzz Saw lines?). I won’t even be nice enough to repeat the deal. And frankly, shaking up a team by sending it’s best scoring line to Philadelphia never really made sense to me either. Perhaps kent cook should’ve hired a shirnk instead to get the boys goin’. They got three Stanley Cups and we got……and I came across Rogie’s injury [in ’71 I think] and do you remember whom they brought up…anyone…anyone??? Hold your noses folks because it was Billy Smith. Yup, hall-a-famer Billy Smith. Well, at least I didn’t cut out that deal for the book! And, oh, Guy LaFleur…first NHL goal…here comes…against the Kings and Rogie…First time back for Denis Dejordy against Rogie…anyone? Naw, Rogie wouldn’t even want that score posted. Let’s just hope our future keeps brightening…as in overwhelmed, not blinded!!!

    cristobal, I’m throwin’ in my highest hopes for Thomas Hickey to make the roster this year. I sincerely doubt he will learn much more in Manchester that he can’t better learn out here. And if he gets stuffed a bit, then he’ll know to increase his weight training and strengthening regime next off-season. But I think they may have made a good call; just get him up here and put him on the ice. Having Doughty out here competing at a high level is the best thing of all. I think it might help all the guys work a bit better. I can only pray they can quickly learn to work together. Heck, our teams are startin’ to become like All Star teams…noone quite knowing what the other will do next? ;-)

  52. robert e lee – eeeehhhhh, i’m nervous. i’ll like seeing the new guys, i just…mmmmnnnn…it could be rough. The ducks, sharks, and flames could be punishing teams this year.

  53. I’m sure the Ducks, Sharks, and Flames will all be punishing the Kings this year. The Kings could easily go 0-16-0-0 against those 3 teams.

    It’s going to be a long season, but things should start to come together in ’09-’10… possibly sooner if Wayne Simmonds puts on some weight. (They won’t win much more, but it’ll be fun watching Simmonds, Doughty, and Teubert flatten people.)

  54. First, a big thank you to all who have provided link to alternative thoughts, views and additional hockey news. I have found some fascinating reading…I might also have to up my dosage of meds. after some of the stuff said about Dean L. No, seriously, Gann couldn’t have picked a better subject to interview as I am getting real queezy about the coming season. I already can see that cristobal has done his homework, so cannot argue against him and I can see that Nick is likely gonna be right as well. Further, if you check out the Kings schedule-and the team likely had some input-it appears as if they purposely buried themselves with the last month of the season basically being played on the road. What’s the matter, are they actually mad they beat the Sharks 2 to 0 to lose the high stakes drawing for Stamkos? Because if they are, I really will be sick. And if that was the case, I want them-entire Kings management/ownership (aside from Luc)-out of L.A. forever. Leave our team and just hit the road. I never complained in the late ’60’s/early ’70’s when (as Rogie once put it): “we weren’t very good!” So what. We weren’t terrible either. We had nights where we would get shellacked and other nights when we would unbelievably turn the tables and do the same thing-to whatever team happened to be around when our guys woke up. It was an exciting game and we saw a lot of great players-on both sides. I haven’t forgotten Terry Harper, Danny Maloney, Mike Corrigan, “the Bee Line”, the “RPM line”, “the Buzz Saw Line”, Gerry Desjardins, Dennis Dejordy, Rogie, Butch, “the Thunder Bay Kid”, Donny Kozak, Gilles Marotte, Frank St. Marseille, Bob Pulford, and so many others-from the early days-who provided a lot of great effort and excitement. And so what if Boston usually owned us? We got to see so many records set while they played here, that alone was worth the price of frustration ;-) Naw, in the olden days, games were fun, tickets were around $10 or less and the players either parked around back of the Forum or were bussed out and passed by us down the tunnel on the way out so we could talk to them. Everything and most everyone was accessible…no “holier-than-thou” players who were supposedly small gods of the game…screw ’em. I liked the guys who worked like we do and talked to us as fans/friends/fellow hockey lovers. I guess those times are dead and buried now…along with Terri Sawchuk, Wayne Rutledge, Gilles Marotte and a number of others who have been completely forgotten by the Kings at their passing! Thanks for nothing RL

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