[QUOTE=CarlaMuller;1194630]You had me until you suggested that DL is 'shopping him'. That would contradict everything Lombardi has said about how he plans to build this team and establish the non-existent "Kings' culture". I have no doubt other teams are fishing and DL is listening. If your suspicions are true, and Sully is being shopped, then I will volunteer to drive DL to the airport myself as he rightfully leaves town jobless.
I think that by not signing him prior to the rfa is a form of "shopping him". I believe a 3.5-4mil contract over 4-6 years is fair. We have the cap space and I think Sulli would have jumped on it. So by letting it get this far we now have let other teams throw in there 2 cents. taking a very real chance of someone offering him a sheet we are not willing to match. While listening to some trade offers. Maybe I'm a little down on DL right now because he has let it get this far with Sulli.
1) Last summer DL made it quite clear on numerous occasions that he had authority to spend to the cap and any money he didn't spend was his choice, not ownerships. I haven't heard anything remotely similar this year.
2) DL has made a big deal about the fact that ownership supported going young. This is the first time in the Lombardi tenure that there's been a public ownership position on how to build a hockey team. Since ownership is mostly concerned with the financial aspects of the team and since young is, for the most part, synonymous with cheap, this indicates to me a significant change from the approach described in #1 above.
3) A while back Rich Hammond, in response to a reader's question, stated that the important number to AEG is the actual annual payroll expenditures and not the cap effect. This indicates to me that their financial considerations don't correspond to effective cap management. This could have been a big factor in the Lubo trade since his contract was front loaded.
I don't have quotes/links for any of the above. If you remember them, terrific. If not, then you'll think I'm full of crap. Nothing I can do about that. I also recognize that these facts, as well as many others, are open to everybody's own interpretation.
Finally, I think the desire for a lower payroll by ownership is an inevitable (and reasonable) expectation. The Kings will likely suck this year even if they spend to the cap. Staples will likely be even more of a ghost town than it was last year. No valid reason to spend a bunch of money on this team right now.
For what this is worth, I can see the roster in its current form as easily as anyone else. There is this part of me that thinks the team will be a lot better than everyone thinks. The core group of this team will finally really be the only voices in the proverbial room. A lot of things - both good or bad - can result. Either way, I find myself far more intrigued and optimistic for next season than most others. I get I am probably in the minority and why I am in the minority - yet for some reason I am going to hold on to my delusions until I have a reason to think otherwise. :dancee:
Look at it this way. This time last year we were all saying the our D would be hard to get past...Boy were we wrong, so why not be an optimist.
Carla, you are not the only one who is optmistic about our "d" and this coming year. I think we are putting a team on the ice that is going to compete and compete hard. Night in and night out. Which should translate into atleast afew more wins than last season. Either way, I am still optimistic about the future of the kings this season.
Somehow I don't think it was Visnovsky's idea to be flip-flopped from the right to left side of the ice from shift to shift all year. Perhaps you hadn't noticed that happening. I did because I would say something about him being back on the side he likes and plays best on and then I'd look and he was on ther other side later. I would also contend that the play of Rob Blake had an effect on the play of Visnovsky. When Blake did not keep his man from scoring it went in Visnovsky's negative column as well if he was on the ice. He could not play both defensive positions at the same time but Blake left him hanging again and again, not a choice Visnovsky would have chosen I'm sure. I'm not saying that his play was at the same level as it had been in previous years, but then again the team was the worst it has been since he joined it. Another thing that was noticable was that Visnovsky was targeted all season since no one else on the team stood up for him to dissaude other teams from doing so. Even Ivanans didn't try to "hug" the offenders. So I have to disagree that all of the aspects leading to his drop in play were under his control.Quote:
Make no mistake, his play last year – all under the control of Visnovsky personally – had everything to do with why Lubomir is an Oiler.
Regarding the surprise about the trade I would assume it was not as much the actual trade but rather that it was not to a team he had been told were possibilities. I'd be furious if I was traded to the icebox in Bumfu!k Canada after listing several other teams as destinations.
As far as impugning him, although it may not have been to the level of Tampa Bay and Boyle, Lombardi did call Visnovsky a decent second tier player, not a top tier player. Well, please take a look at the points stats for all defensemen in the league. Visnovsky is at number 17, two places below Chris Pronger at 15 with 2 points more. So I guess Pronger must be a second tier player as well. His team wasn't as poor as the one Visnovsky was on, yet he only had two more points. So Visnovsky isn't in the top sixty defensemen? (Figuring that there are two top defensemen on thirty teams.) That may be true if he is on certain teams but not most of them. So, to me, that was a negative comment on the value of the player.
In my opinion it's a sad situation when a player who has been told that he is a cornerstone of rebuilding the team, and then because his play wasn't as high as his own personal record for one season, he is traded instead. Funny how Lombardi has signed numerous other players who had not played up to previous levels, and/or had serious injuries, to sizable contracts and yet on a team that sucked overall there was no benefit of the doubt given to Visnovsky that his play would rebound.