My King-Dom For A Goalie

The Los Angeles Kings were one of the most active teams this summer in an effort to rebuild a squad that has appeared to be only good at missing the playoffs of late.

GM Dean Lombardi has been very busy since arriving last summer:

-He has restocked the Kings organization with some bright young players including Jack Johnson, Marc Andre Cliche and Patrick O’Sullivan via trade and Thomas Hickey and Jonathan Bernier via the draft. They join former first rounders Trevor Lewis and Lauri Tukonen forming a very large list of very good prospects. In time they will come to support the Kings current young nucleus that include Mike Cammellari, Alexander Frolov, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar.

-Lombardi has been busy signing defencemen to shore up one of the weaker areas of the roster. He extended the contract for Lubomir Vishnovsky. He re-signed Jaroslav Modry and picked up Brad Stuart and Tom Pressing via free agency. He got Johnson under contract with an entry level deal and last summer he inked Rob Blake bringing him back to LA.

-Pressing and Stuart were not the only free agents brought in as the team signed Ladislav Nagy, Michal Handzus and Kyle Calder to support their young core group of forwards and add needed depth to the team’s forward ranks.

-And of course he has been busy shuffling the front office of the team and last summer brought in coach Marc Crawford.

Lombardi has done a great job so far and has really turned the Kings into a team that has a very bright future.

However one thing has been glaringly missing from his to-do list and taht is to acquire some goaltending. His one blemish on his resume during his LA tenure was the signing of Dan Cloutier to be the team’s number 1 goalie. That has turned into a 2.5 million dollar mistake that he has yet to resolve.

Not sure what it is that has stopped Lombardi short of addressing such a major hole in the lineup. Perhaps it has to do with the lack of goaltending available at a good price.

His choices are limited. There was no way the Sharks were going to trade Vesa Toskela to one of their state rivals. He ultimately ended up in Toronto. I am sure the Ducks feel the same way which is likely why they wouldnt trade Ilya Bryzgalov to LA even though he is one of the goalies currently available.

While the team could have targeted Tomas Vokoun, it appears that restocking the organization with youth was more important. This is why he likely would have shyed away from dealing prospects/first round picks for the former Nashville goalie who went to Florida.

There is former Hart Trophy winner Jose Theodore but his $6 million salary has turned off pretty much all suitors looking for goaltending help. His inconsistent play the last few years really wouldnt offer much more potential or hope than what the team has now in Cloutier.

Another possibilty would be the Sens Martin Gerber. Problem may be though that there is little to no demand for 3.5 million dollar goalies who cant stop pucks and cause teammates to lose confidence in their goalie. The Kings were probably hoping that the Sens other goalie Ray Emery would get into a huge Arbitration battle with the Sens that would lead to an inreconcilable breakup. That was a longshot at best and has now been fully put to rest with him signing a long term deal with the Sens.

Another goalie available is Andrew Raycroft of the Maple Leafs. The question is whether he is any more of an upgrade over what they have now. He comes relatively cheap ( 2 million per for the next 2 years) and would maybe give the Kings a half decent platoon in nets with him and Cloutier. But his inconsistency and rather poor goalie stats dont really put him in great demand.

The Kings could dip into free agency but the choices are limited. Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph are over 40 and just about finished as NHLers. Belfour played ok last season but he has such a poor attitude, it wouldnt be prudent for LA to add such negativity to a young dressing room. They could add another headcase in Robert Esche whom Lombardi is familiar with from his time as a Flyers scout. But from what we saw last year, Esche is alot of talk and very little action to back it up.

I like what Lombardi has done with the Kings. If Kings fans remember the Sam McMaster the Disaster years, anything opposite to that is a good thing. The future is indeed bright. But LA has dished out plenty of money this summer with some aspirations for a playoff spot. It will however be all for naught if they dont add a half decent goalie. While vastly improved over last year, the Kings dont really stand a chance to make the playoffs in this goalie dominated NHL.

Lineup

Top Line: Frolov-Kopitar-Cammellari
2nd Line: Nagy-Handzus-Brown
3rd Line: Thornton-Armstrong-Calder
4th Line: Ivanans-Ryan-Willsie

Top Pair: Blake-Johnson
2nd Pair: Vishnovsky-Stuart
3rd Pair: Modry-Preissing

Goal: Cloutier-Labarbera

Depth: Zeiler, Kanko, Pishkula, Petiot

Forward Prospects: Lewis, Tukonen, Cliche, O’Sullivan, Boyle
Defence Prospects: Hickey, Fransson, Fast, Ryan
Goalie Prospects: Bernier


23 Responses to My King-Dom For A Goalie

  1. Asquaredx2 says:

    Your Gerber comment wasn't very fair….he was a victim of the Sens brutal play in the beginning of last season, but improved greatly afterwards. He was a wall for Carolina throughout the 05-06 season. He's a good goalie.

  2. thegoalie1976 says:

    Why they didn't resign Garon is beyond me. The only goalie to have a winning record for the last 2 seasons for a terrible LA team.

    The best goalie they had by FAR….

  3. gambit101 says:

    They could do well if they get a good Goaltender.

  4. Norman280 says:

    I think the Kings should go after Andrew Raycroft he is fairly cheap and got 38 wins last year , but on the other hand his stats were not to great. But i believe that they turned out that way because he was forsed to play 72 game last year which he was not capeable of doing and not use to. Also he did win the calder a few years back with Boston that only shows that he is capeable of being a #1 goalie in the future. I believe that Raycroft has great potential and will only get better in the future.

  5. wayne2 says:

    Agreed and would get a decent chance with the kings.He was the one that brought Carolina to the playoffs having a great season,he wasnt strong in the playoffs but h..l he`s the one that took them there so he is a good goalie,maybe just lacked playoff experience.

  6. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Because, like all other smart hockey players, he chose to go play for a Stanley Cup Contender in the Mighty Oiler's of Edmonton. Smart move if you ask me.

    GO OILERS GO!!! 2008 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!!!

  7. thegoalie1976 says:

    I like it…LOL

    Garon was VERY excited about playing in Edmonton. He should really push Roli for games.

    Now Mac T can look down the bench and be comfortable with 2 options.

    With the new D Edmonton should be an exciting team to watch again.

    2008 champs might be a little pre-mature 😉

    How about a 9 or 10 finish this season, and back to 7 or 8 next year?

  8. riseagainst says:

    maybe part of the sens bad start could be blamed on Greber, thats face it you need strong goaltending to get you over those humps.

  9. TheDonkey says:

    Exactly.  Why bring a second bum into the organization.  If the Kings are going to look for a goalie, go hard or go home.  Two overpaid sieves instead of one is not an improvement.

  10. Asquaredx2 says:

    Bernier is their goalie of the future, no question. They just need someone to fill in until he is ready. Not sure about Raycroft going to LA, since I don't know that the Leafs won't keep him as insurance.

  11. Glucker says:

    Leafs are willing to let Raycroft and McCabe or Kubina go, and they want a 1st line winger.. could something be negotiated for Frolov?(I know Cammy ain't going anywhere)

    or could they trade for Emery still(Cammy MIGHT go for him)…

  12. ranger_fan says:

    We will trade you one of either Kasparitis, Mara, or Malik plus Al Montoya for Vishnovsky and a prospect or pick

  13. Glucker says:

    are you high?

  14. brianc689 says:

    i can see the la fans laughing in your face now lol. i would love frolov in a leafs jersey but thats not happening.

  15. brianc689 says:

    im not a fan of the kings, but i fully agree with everything you said. la made some good moves this summer to compliment their young players and could definitely be a playoff team if they acquired a decent goalie, or if one of their current ones steps up as a true number 1. that top line could be lethal with the speed and skill those three guys have. the only thing i would change is i think o'sullivan might be ready to play for the big club. that guys got skill and i would love to see him make the team this year.

  16. Asquaredx2 says:

    Why would they give up a star like Frolov for an average goalie who isn't their goalie of the future? Bernier's going to be there in a couple years. LaBarbera is not a whole lot worse than Raycroft.

  17. ranger_fan says:

    Montoya > Raycroft
    Malik [2.5; +100 in 3 yrs] probably has more value than an overpaid Kubina [GOOD LUCK GETTING RID OF HIM!]

  18. allTheKINGSmen says:

    1) How you went for Matt Ryan ahead of O'Sullivan is beyond me… O'Sullivan played in 44 games with LA last year … he IS in the line-up from the get go.

    2) and the line-up will look more like this…

    frolov – kopitar – cammalleri
    nagy – handzus – brown
    calder – O'Sullivan – Willsie
    thornton – Armstrong – Zeiler

    with Brian Boyle , Teddy Purcell , Joe Piskula, and Lauri Tukonen being very close to cracking the line-up.

    players like Ivanans , Dallman , and Tverdovsky will fill in for injuries…although Tverdovsky's heavy salary will make him more likely to stay with manchester.

    the def is right on , but that's a no brainer…

    and DL promised he will start the season with 3 goalies instead of 2…with LaBarbera leading the way…Cloutier as the back-up and Erik Ersberg being the 3rd goalie… both LaBarbera and Ersberg can surprise many this year…

  19. allTheKINGSmen says:

    If LA signed GARON again , they wouldve been stuck with Cloutier / Garon again… Burke is gone, Brust is gone , *****ufuji is gone, Garon is gone , then Cloutier is next ..it's just that Garon's contract expired sooner is all…

    we have LaBarbera…we won Best Goaltender , Fewest Goals Against , and made the 1st All Star Team in the AHL… he even surpassed Garon two years ago when they shared the load

    Erik Ersberg is another goalie promised to be in the line-up…

    we'll give Cloutier a couple of chances, but if he fails again…it'll be a LaBarbera/Ersberg tandem before we even go for filler-upper goalies like Joseph or Belfour…

  20. I_hate_LA says:

    Rofl that's a great one. Who knows though, maybe the Oilers might just win it all 2008

  21. I_hate_LA says:

    If the kingkies don't find a goalie soon, they can call it a season before it even starts. Not that I mind it at all though. LA fans are bunch of classless Raiders fans, which is why they don't deserve a cup in LA. Anywhere, except for LA is fine with me. I don't think kings fans will ever live to see their team raise the cup 🙂

  22. IKovalchuk17 says:

    Shows how little you know about Kings fans.. comparing them to the Raiders is hi-larious….. must be another bandwagon faggot ass O.C. queer.

  23. nosnow_here says:

    The Kings could have done better than Cloutier by signing Adam Hauser to another year instead of letting him go to Germany.  They never gave the kid much of a chance and now they are whining about quality goaltending.

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