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Kings abdicate- year in review


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Next out of the hopper....


PRESEASON OUTLOOK Quiet optimism, Kovalchuk was the big prize among free agents luring him back from Mother Russia on a three year deal, Doughty signed long term, a smattering of kids with promise hitting the lineup the hope was that it would be a turn around year and the Kings would get into the thick of the Wide open Western Conference.


FINAL RECORD 31-42-9 71 points dead last in the West 2nd worst record in the NHL.


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR They sat at 2-1-1 four games in after Quick shut out the Canadiens and that WAS the high point of the year as they went on an immediate six game losing streak and never became relevant again. They hung around most of the winter kind of sort of within striking distance mostly because Dallas and Colorado had not pulled away yet at that point.


LOW POINT OF THE SEASON So many. The six game llsing streak in October they announced to the league they weren't going to be any good being outscored 29-8 during that stretch. They went on a 10 game losing streak in February during which the once solid defensive team gave up 4 goals or more in 8 of the 10 losses.


WHAT WENT RIGHT: They got a nice haul for Muzzin from the  Leafs, Grundstrom looked okay in limited duty, Durzi is a real prospect and they got a first, Hagelin netted them a pick from Washington, Kopitar scored 60 points to lead the team, Dustin Brown scored 22 goals. Alex Iafello established himself as a middle six center with promise. Jack Campbell may have finally found an NHL home and prospect goalie Cal Peterson looked good at times in a limited look. Austin Wagner and Matt Luff are a couple of kid wingers who upped their games and look like potential middle six guys.


WHAT WENT WRONG Oh so much. Jeff Carter is absolutely way past his prime, as is Phaneuf, as is Martinez, all are shadows of their former selves. ten separate players were minus double digits. Doughty was a minus 34 and looked awful for the entire first half. Kovalchuk was nothing like the player who once bolted for Russia. Toffoli quit scoring as did Tanner Pearson who they shipped out. The biggest bust of the year was Quick who was among the worst goalies in all of Hockey finishing with a horrible 3.38 goals against and an awful .888 save pct, for perspective Campbell was 2.30 and .928 with the same bad defense in front of him playing a goodly amount of minutes and Peterson was 2.61 and .924. Quick was not just bad, he was biblically bad. Lots was hoped for from Adrian Kempe he failed again to deliver.


FREE AGENTS None. Oh Jonny brodzinski who usually gets a game or two a year but that is it. Nex year Toffoli is an UFA so that needs addressed soon.


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS How do you clear the old farts, Carter, Phaneuf, quick, Trevor Lewis,  Martinez, Kyle Clifford are all under multiple year deals and none can really play much any more, others such as Brown, Kopitar and Doughty are under long term deals and while they can still play are no longer the players they once were. They became victims of their own success signing players for too much for too long rewarding past performance instead of thinking of future production and are now stuck with half a roster that no longer can play like they used to.

  So that leaves the kids, Luff, Grundstrom, Gabe Villiardi, Wagner, Jaret Anderson dolan are all good prospects, a few others as well mixed in but none are great and the Kings who had the 2nd worst record in Hockey fell to 5th in the draft because of the lottery. Some serious help is needed here. And on defense, at least the kid forwards can play a little, the defense could be a five alarm fire. They brought in Todd McLellan to coach because he prefers a veteran bunch, well I like ice cream just not a gallon at a time.

  So the question is if you cannot trade most of the vets do you trade Doughty to get out from under his 11 million per year deal that has 7 remaining years? Can you? Would the assets make it worth while? Can you find a taker for Quick and hand the net to Campbell/Peterson for the rebuild? If you can trade Quick will it be for more than pennies on the dollar? Can yoyu talk Kovie into 'retiring' again?

 This is a dysfunctional organization with little hope in sight for the immediate future. They say it is always darkest before the dawn well they are wearing sunglasses at night and it is going to get even darker.

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