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yave1964

Kings offseason primer

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FINAL RECORD 2017-18 45-29 8 98 POINTS ELIMINATED IN FIRST ROUND BY THE KNIGHTS

 

Kind of a strange year for the Kings, they fired their longtime braintrust duo of Dean Lombardi and Sutter and brought in Rob Blake and John Stevens after missing the playoffs in 2016-17 and the hope was a fresh set of eyes would change things around. Right off the bat the year before they had lost Quick for most of the year, this season they lost Jeff Carter only four games in until the final month and a half. Drew Doughty who is known to speak his mind had ripped coach Darryl Sutter's system in recent years and responded with a great year as did center Kopitar who had his best year of his career, as did Dustin Brown. Quick stayed healthy and was solid, young vets Muzzin, Toffoli and Pearson all responded to the challenge with solid seasons. They made deadline deals for Phaneuf and Tobias Reider and the hopes were that their addition as well as getting a motivated Carter back who hit the ice on fire would be enough to push the upstart Knights out of the postseason. It didn't happen, the Kings bowed out quickly never really finding their groove in the postseason.

  As far as what went wrong, while the vets stepped up and answered the bell the kids were not effective. Gravel, Ladue, Brodzinski, Amadio and Andreoff played a combined 145 games with a paltry 14 goals. Alex Iafello was given third line minutes all year and only had 9 goals and Adrian Kempe had a hot start but finished with only 16 goals mostly on the top line for much of the year.  

 

TOP PROSPECTS

 Most of the kids listed above are thought highly of with Kempe being the most so, they hope he develops into a 30 goal guy and he might but I don't see it. Iafello is best suited to a 4th line P/K role but played above his weight class because the other kids underwhelmed. Gabriel Vilardi was last years 11th pick, the Kings don't usually rush the kids but he has top line written all over him and while Stevens/Blake clearly favor vets he might force this issue. Kale Clague is a defender who might force himself into the mix especially if Martinez and Forbort have slow starts again but again, this is a veteran team coached by a coach who clearly prefers veterans so he will likely be in the AHL most of the year.

 

FREE AGENTS

For this year only Torrey Mitchell and Kevin Gravel are free agents, neither is expected back. The real concern in next.

Drew Doughty is an UFA after this year, like fellow defenders Karlsson and OEL among others. Doughty has been critical in years past of the organizations direction although he seems to like Coach Stevens, losing him would create a hole that could never be filled on the back end. There has been little talk of him being moved as there has of Karlsson and others, but keep an eye on things if the Kings do not resign him soon and if they start slow next year.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS

 

 DOUGHTY. Cleary the Doughty stuation needs watching. Again, you don't want to lose him for nothing but with 10 million committed a year to Kopitar and long term financial investments already in place for Carter, Brown, Martinez, Quick and Phaneuf and Doughty making it clear that he expects a huge payday they may not have the money to keep him.

 

CAN THE KIDS PLAY? a lot like the Penguins who have their nucleus and fill in on the cheap with kids, the Kings use the same philosophy but while the Pens have found young gems in Guentzel, Rust and Sheary, the Kings rolled out kids nightly who underperformed for the ice time given. Truthfully, I don't really care for any of them save for Vilardi who probably wont make the team this year so another year of over relying on the vets is in the cards.

 

DO THEY HAVE ANOTHER CUP IN THE VETERANS? If you make the playoffs anything is possible and these guys are a veteran team full of lots of playoff experience. I would say it is highly unlikely but anything is possible.

 

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Nice notice and analysis with respect to the younger players! 

It appears a couple more pieces need to come together for 

the :kings: to get a :stanleycup: with this group. Methinks it's a specific kind 

of offensive power which I hope to "secure for them" in our 

HF Mock Draft. 😉 

 

This team's been a difficult one to figure. Carter's gone for 

most of the regular season, but LA stays competitive nonetheless, 

while Kopitar and Brown enjoy career years along the way. He returns,

plays great, but then the offense goes MIA for Quick in the playoffs. 

 

The coaching and office changes seem to have the team 

on a better track. 

 

Kopitar's at ten-million a year?! I thought it was eight-. 🤑 

Either way that's cap-tastic given the Doughty situation. 

I can't see letting the latter go, given he's likely not 

immediately or eventually replaced with commensurate 

quality, but I have to wonder about Doughty leaving when 

this team's still a contender. Maybe he's content with his 

LA-related hardware and's willing to work for a team that 

coughs up the cashola even if it doesn't look a contender 

right away...? 

 

There are a lot of first-round defense prospects for this 

year's draft. Perhaps the Kings will go that route in hopes 

they'll get a bright star there who gets brighter quickly 

while Drew's a ❔  

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      Post
      Nice notice and analysis with respect to the younger players!  It appears a couple more pieces need to come together for  the  to get a  with this group. Methinks it's a specific kind  of offensive power which I hope to "secure for them" in our  HF Mock Draft. 😉    This team's been a difficult one to figure. Carter's gone for  most of the regular season, but LA stays competitive nonetheless,  while Kopitar and Brown enjoy career years along the way. He returns, plays great, but then the offense goes MIA for Quick in the playoffs.    The coaching and office changes seem to have the team  on a better track.    Kopitar's at ten-million a year?! I thought it was eight-. 🤑  Either way that's cap-tastic given the Doughty situation.  I can't see letting the latter go, given he's likely not  immediately or eventually replaced with commensurate  quality, but I have to wonder about Doughty leaving when  this team's still a contender. Maybe he's content with his  LA-related hardware and's willing to work for a team that  coughs up the cashola even if it doesn't look a contender  right away...?    There are a lot of first-round defense prospects for this  year's draft. Perhaps the Kings will go that route in hopes  they'll get a bright star there who gets brighter quickly  while Drew's a ❔  
    • 1
      Post
      FINAL RECORD 2017-18 45-29 8 98 POINTS ELIMINATED IN FIRST ROUND BY THE KNIGHTS   Kind of a strange year for the Kings, they fired their longtime braintrust duo of Dean Lombardi and Sutter and brought in Rob Blake and John Stevens after missing the playoffs in 2016-17 and the hope was a fresh set of eyes would change things around. Right off the bat the year before they had lost Quick for most of the year, this season they lost Jeff Carter only four games in until the final month and a half. Drew Doughty who is known to speak his mind had ripped coach Darryl Sutter's system in recent years and responded with a great year as did center Kopitar who had his best year of his career, as did Dustin Brown. Quick stayed healthy and was solid, young vets Muzzin, Toffoli and Pearson all responded to the challenge with solid seasons. They made deadline deals for Phaneuf and Tobias Reider and the hopes were that their addition as well as getting a motivated Carter back who hit the ice on fire would be enough to push the upstart Knights out of the postseason. It didn't happen, the Kings bowed out quickly never really finding their groove in the postseason.   As far as what went wrong, while the vets stepped up and answered the bell the kids were not effective. Gravel, Ladue, Brodzinski, Amadio and Andreoff played a combined 145 games with a paltry 14 goals. Alex Iafello was given third line minutes all year and only had 9 goals and Adrian Kempe had a hot start but finished with only 16 goals mostly on the top line for much of the year.     TOP PROSPECTS  Most of the kids listed above are thought highly of with Kempe being the most so, they hope he develops into a 30 goal guy and he might but I don't see it. Iafello is best suited to a 4th line P/K role but played above his weight class because the other kids underwhelmed. Gabriel Vilardi was last years 11th pick, the Kings don't usually rush the kids but he has top line written all over him and while Stevens/Blake clearly favor vets he might force this issue. Kale Clague is a defender who might force himself into the mix especially if Martinez and Forbort have slow starts again but again, this is a veteran team coached by a coach who clearly prefers veterans so he will likely be in the AHL most of the year.   FREE AGENTS For this year only Torrey Mitchell and Kevin Gravel are free agents, neither is expected back. The real concern in next. Drew Doughty is an UFA after this year, like fellow defenders Karlsson and OEL among others. Doughty has been critical in years past of the organizations direction although he seems to like Coach Stevens, losing him would create a hole that could never be filled on the back end. There has been little talk of him being moved as there has of Karlsson and others, but keep an eye on things if the Kings do not resign him soon and if they start slow next year.   OFFSEASON QUESTIONS    DOUGHTY. Cleary the Doughty stuation needs watching. Again, you don't want to lose him for nothing but with 10 million committed a year to Kopitar and long term financial investments already in place for Carter, Brown, Martinez, Quick and Phaneuf and Doughty making it clear that he expects a huge payday they may not have the money to keep him.   CAN THE KIDS PLAY? a lot like the Penguins who have their nucleus and fill in on the cheap with kids, the Kings use the same philosophy but while the Pens have found young gems in Guentzel, Rust and Sheary, the Kings rolled out kids nightly who underperformed for the ice time given. Truthfully, I don't really care for any of them save for Vilardi who probably wont make the team this year so another year of over relying on the vets is in the cards.   DO THEY HAVE ANOTHER CUP IN THE VETERANS? If you make the playoffs anything is possible and these guys are a veteran team full of lots of playoff experience. I would say it is highly unlikely but anything is possible.  

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