Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy Hockey Day In Canada & All Around The World

First off, Happy Hockey Day In Canada And Hockey Weekend in the US.  It doesn't get much better than this.  Games on all day.

Make sure you take a break from the NHL hockey and check out a bit of the KHL All-Star game.  The arena in Minsk looks amazing.  The KHL is still a bit of a joke; they had one guy skating out there unidentified with a blank jersey but the offensive talent displayed was on par with an NHL All-Star game.  Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier were on-hand as guests of the Belarusian Hockey Federation.

When asked about the NHL-KHL relations, Gretzky replied:
“I’m not here for the NHL, I don’t work for them, but I think we all have the same common goal to make the game of hockey bigger and better worldwide. I think the NHL knows and understands that. I hope that when they (the KHL, the IIHF and the NHL) meet in Vancouver (during the Olympics), they can all come to an understanding that will make both leagues happy.”
Gretzky and Messier bring instant credibility to the legitimacy of the KHL.  Although, I think Gretzky could be there gauging how much of a threat the KHL is to the NHL.  By the looks of the All-Star game; there's some definite talent over there.  If Kovalchuk makes the move to the KHL; I wouldn't be surprised if alot of other Russian players followed.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kopi 101 & Greener's Ipod

A couple awesome videos here.

First Up: Kopitar 101- First Hundred Goals.

Amazing video.  I actually watched all 101 goals; you should too.  I still think Kopi should shoot more.

Next Up: Puck Daddy did an interview with Matt Greene about what's on his iPod. Funny stuff.

Greener is a warrior.  I love him.  Love the Hall & Oates; those are guys are awesome.

Kovalchuk Talk Part II

With the second-line clicking; I can't help but imagine pairing Kopitar with a real sniper on his left wing.  If Atlanta allows teams to begin negotiating an extension with Kovalchuk; the Kings need to do everything they can to acquire him.  The Kings are in a position to be 'buyers' according to Dean Lombardi.

"I think I can safely say we are actively trying to improve this team. For the first time as a general manager you kind of get excited," Lombardi said.
Kevin Allen provides a rundown of at what to look for and expect once the Kovalchuk Sweepstakes begins.

Everyone's got their own ideas of what it will take to acquire Ilya.  ESPN's John Buccigross came up with 29 proposals.

Kovalchuk for Jonathan Bernier, Alexander Frolov, Oscar Moller and a first-round pick
The Kings covet a star to put on billboards, plus they have some cap space, some good young prospects and Frolov, who clearly needs a change of scenery. Frolov also is playing for a contract, and the Thrashers could benefit from that drive. Plus, if he plays well and doesn't ask for too much money, the Thrashers could re-sign him.
I don't mind this proposal but I think Atlanta would prefer a defenseman to a goaltender.  I also think the Kings have been patient enough with Bernier that it'd be tough to include him in any deal.

-  Bernier is a franchise goaltender but I'm not sure Atlanta's interested anyways.  The Thrashers have two solid options in Ondrej Pavelec and Kari Lehtonen.  Pavelec started off the year hot but his play has tailed off of late.  Lehtonen, the 2nd overall pick in 2002, has struggled with injuries his entire career but still has the potential to be a franchise netminder.  Both Pavelec and Lehtonen are RFA's at the end of the season.
-  Frolov.  I love his game and accept him for what he is.  I'd want to see him paired with Kovy but fair enough.
-  Moller's upside is terrific.  He's a top-6 forward and could pair with Evander Kane to form a lethal 1-2 center combination for Atlanta.
-  First-round pick?  Not sure Dean would ever trade a first-rounder.

The next proposal comes from my favorite fantasy hockeysite on the web:  Staff contributor Jeff Angus came up with five proposals from each rumored team.

The offer. Jack Johnson, Alexander Frolov (with extension), and Jarrett Stoll.
GM Dean Lombardi wants to put his stamp on this team, and acquiring Kovalchuk would definitely do that. Los Angeles wants to ship out Alex Frolov, and Atlanta may be interested in his services. Playing in Los Angeles may be an attractive proposition for Kovalchuk as well.
I take this deal and run.  Although, I think Atlanta would probably want picks included as well.

-  The Thrashers would love to add JJ their young blueline.  JJ, Bogosian, Enstrom and Valabik form a pretty solid top-four going forward.  The Kings are deep enough with blue-chip prospects Hickey, Teubert and Voynov that losing JJ wouldn't cripple their blueline.
-  An extended Frolov playing on a line with Antropov and Afinogenov isn't so bad.
-  Jarrett Stoll.  Interesting.  I really love Stoll's game this year: gritty, great point shot and key on faceoffs.  Dealing Stoll means the Kings would need to promote Zeus or Moller into the second-line center; not sure if the Kings would be too keen with either options.  But for an extended Kovalchuk; it's a small issue to deal with.

This post wouldn't be complete without a Kovalchuk Top 10 Goals Video.  Enjoy.  I wonder what # Kovy will wear in LA?...

Four In A Row

Kings win 4-1.  Jonathan Quick carried the Kings early and then the offense took over.  Kings dominated the play while the Blue Jackets fans booed the home team off the ice.  Rich Hammond's Game Recap.

Quick would have had himself his second shutout of the season but Sean O'Donnell had a classic OD moment in the 3rd. He turned the puck over in his own end and then got back to the net just in time to watch the shot bounce off him and past Quick.

Kings lost Jack Johnson in the 3rd period to an 'upper-body injury.'  It doesn't sound too serious according to Terry Murray.
“Jack got hit on the hit that Simmer had on Boll. It’s a little bit of an upper-body injury. I haven’t got any medical report on it, quite honestly. I don’t think it’s something we are overly concerned about. We’re hoping that he’s able to recover from it and help us be a part of the next two games on the road.”
With Davis Drewiske possibly returning to the lineup this weekend; a healthy blueline is exactly what the Kings need going down the stretch.

Kings finish the roadtrip this weekend with Boston & New Jersey.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Remember Kevin Dallman?

Before Drew Doughty; the Kings had another former Guelph Storm standout on the blueline.  Kevin Dallman.  Dallman signed with the Kings after spending three years with in the Boston Bruins organization.  After two years split between Los Angeles and Manchester; Dallman left for Barys Astana of the newly-formed KHL.  Last season, he led all KHL defenseman in scoring (28 G, 30 A, 58 PTS) while also earning the KHL's Best Defenseman Award.  Yahoo's Puck Daddy interviewed him after his outstanding debut in the KHL.  I knew he had a good season last year but had no idea he was so popular.

Dallman earned the most votes for this weekend's KHL All-Star game.  Having another fantastic season with 12 goals, 26 assists and 38 points in 49 games.

The absolute winner of the fans’ vote was last season’s best defenseman, Barys captain Kevin Dallman, who received 114,957 votes.
Pretty cool that Dallman's found a home in the KHL.  Knowing that he beat out guys like Jagr, Radulov, Yashin and Zubov says alot about how popular he is over there.  Congrats to Kevin.

Check out the full rosters of Team Jagr & Team Yashin.  And if you're interested in checking out Kevin skate with former Kings center Jozef Stumpel and former pick Martin Strbak, tune in at 5:15 A.M. PST on  Steve Levy and Barry Melrose with the call.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Canada Loves Drew Doughty

Kings beat the Leafs 5-3 at the ACC on Tuesday night.  Rich Hammond's Game Recap.

Drew Doughty makes it look so effortless, it's mind-boggling to think he just turned 20 last month.
I apologize ahead of the time for the hyperbole, but an NHL scout recently told me Doughty was a "right-handed Scott Niedermayer in the making."
...the most complete young defenceman in hockey is just 20, too.
After missing out on the Calder Trophy last season, he will likely be in the Norris Trophy mix this time around (and for years to come).
His selection to the Canadian Olympic team on Dec. 30, however, is what really put Doughty on the map this season, as he beat out older stars like Mike Green and Jay Bouwmeester for a roster spot. After missing out on the Calder Trophy last season, he will likely be in the Norris Trophy mix this time around (and for years to come).
It's terrific to know that Canada's finally figuring out how good this kid is.  I Can't wait to see him work his way up the depth chart for Team Canada in Vancouver.

A Leafs recap wouldn't be complete without watching Steve Dangle's take on the game.  One of the most entertaining video blogs on youtube.

Kovalchuk Talk

 It's been speculated for weeks that the Kings are looking to acquire Ilya Kovalchuk. Now, THN's Ken Campbell is reporting it; he's also provided readers with a possible list of names that Thrashers GM Don Waddell is interested in.  Rich Hammond confirmed that the Kings have made an offer to Atlanta.  He's also provided a pretty complete round-up of everything Kovalchuk.

Per Ken Campbell. 
"There is speculation that the group of roster players includes the likes of defenseman Jack Johnson and/or Oscar Moller or Wayne Simmonds and the prospects include 2009 first-rounder Brayden Schenn, along with defenseman Colton Teubert, Brandon Kozun and Andrei Loktionov."
If Atlanta thinks they're getting ONE of these players let alone a package of them for two months of Ilya;  I'll pass.  I'd rather offer up some picks for Ray Whitney or Paul Kariya and take my chances on signing Kovalchuk on July 1st.

Per Rich Hammond.
"So far, there has been one offer made by the Kings, and one offer/request made by the Thrashers of the Kings"
At least Waddell and Dean talking.

Per Kevin Allen.
"The Atlanta Thrashers have not given any team permission to talk contract with Ilya Kovalchuk's agent and they aren't planning to do so."
I don't understand Waddell's hardline stance on this.  Allowing teams to discuss an extension will only guarantee that Atlanta gets a better return.  It might be his way of saving face with a dwindling fan base, especially if Kovy signs for less than the rumored 10-year, $85 million that's been offered.


Welcome to the new blog.  Thanks for following me over here.  I decided to go with a completely different look.  I decided to change the title of my blog.  The LA Kings Outsider was actually going to be the title of my first blog but Rich Hammond stole a bit of my thunder...

Anyways,  thanks again for following me over here.  Hopefully, I can keep you entertained!

- Chasen