It’s A Matter Of Trust For Dean Lombardi, LA Kings, AEG

As reported in the first installment of this series (see Lombardi Answers His Critics), the Los Angeles Kings and President/General Manager Dean Lombardi are under heavy fire from a vocal segment of their fan base who are furious about the direction of the team, but they also have those who support their rebuilding efforts.

In this, the second and final installment in the series, Frozen Royalty takes a close look at one of the root causes of the Kings’ disconnect with their fans.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — These days, one has to wonder if Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has added “professional gambler” to his job title.

Indeed, given the serious gambling he has been doing, both with his roster and with his relations with Kings fans, it’s not hard to imagine Lombardi spending hours on end at a high-limit blackjack table at a Las Vegas strip casino.

But whether he is being dealt winning hands or losing ones is a debatable question.

For those who support the rebuilding efforts, Lombardi is clearly being dealt winning hands the majority of the time.

But for those who view his rebuilding efforts, his emphasis on youth, and his free agent acquisitions, among other actions, as a recipe for disaster, Lombardi is entering the third year of a losing streak that is so bad that he has not won a single hand while losing a fortune the size of the gross national product of United States. Read more of this post


LA Kings Dean Lombardi Answers His Critics

The following is the first in a series about Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, his rebuilding plan and how it is being received by fans.

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The 2008 off-season has been a relatively quiet one for the Los Angeles Kings. To be sure, outside of the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft in June in which they selected, according to most pundits and hockey media outlets, one of the strongest draft classes, the Kings have been virtually silent in terms of free agent signings and trades.

Indeed, the Kings have a defensive corps that has just three veteran players in Tom Preissing, Denis Gauthier and Matt Greene, with the rest being very young players, including Jack Johnson and Peter Harrold. Add to that the fact that the number six and seven spots could be filled from a crop of young prospects, including Drew Doughty and Thomas Hickey, and it becomes clear that experience is not going to be the strong suit of the Kings’ defensive unit in the coming season.

Clearly, unless the Kings can add another veteran defenseman to that mix—they are definitely in the market—they will be awfully inexperienced, not to mention that while some have a boatload of potential, none of the blue liners currently in the lineup jump out at you as being top-notch defensemen on a team that gave up goals in bunches last season.

The fact that the Kings do not have what many would consider to be an NHL-caliber blue line corps at present is among the many reasons Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has had to don a flak jacket and helmet while trying to dodge heavy incoming fire from a very vocal segment of fans who are absolutely livid about the current state of the franchise, and that would be putting it mildly. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Re-Sign Peter Harrold

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On July 21, the Los Angeles Kings signed restricted free agent defenseman Peter Harrold to a three-year contract. Read more of this post

Qualifying Offers and Other News

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On June 25, the Los Angeles Kings made qualifying offers to the following restricted free agents:

Erik Ersberg, goaltender
Gabe Gauthier, forward
Peter Harrold, defenseman
Matt Moulson, forward
Patrick O’Sullivan, forward
Joe Piskula, defenseman
Brad Richardson, forward

Players not receiving qualifying offers were forwards Petr Kanko and Dany Roussin

Restricted free agents had to receive a qualifying offer today, or they would become unrestricted free agents, able to sign with any team without compensation to the Kings.

In other news, on June 24, the Kings announced that they have added an additional game to their 2008-09 pre-season schedule against the San Jose Sharks that will be played at the E-Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, October 5, 2008.

From the “in case you missed it” file…

On Friday, the Kings placed goaltender Dan Cloutier on waivers. Twenty-four hours later, when he cleared waivers, the Kings bought out the remainder of Cloutier’s contract, which will have a $1.03 million salary cap hit over the next two seasons.

However, there is a glitch in the process in that Cloutier is seeking a third opinion on his medical condition. If the third doctor says that Cloutier is unfit to play, that could nullify the buy out.

Two doctors, Kings physician Dr. Ronald Kvitne, and a doctor Cloutier consulted when he sought a second opinion, have found that he is fit to play.

If the first two doctors’ opinions hold up, the contract buy out will be finalized.

Stay tuned…

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Los Angeles Kings: A Glimpse Of The Future?

LOS ANGELES — With the Los Angeles Kings mired in last place in the league standings and eliminated from playoff contention for the fifth straight season, the only thing left is to start looking at what might be for the 2008-09 Kings, and two young prospects are already making a case for roster spots with the big club next season. Read more of this post