June 2nd, 2008, 07:14 AM #1
Twelve Less Angry Fans - Part III
Here is the third installment from Saturday’s Town Hall Meeting.
DO THE KINGS PLAN TO MISS THE PLAY-OFFS AGAIN?
Hextall repeated his earlier response that the rebuild will take as long as it takes. This regime has no interest in just contending for a play-off spot, hopefully win a game or two and call it a day. They are looking to build a Cup contender, rather than just a contender to get into the play-offs. (This apparently should not be interpreted as he prefers that the team be a play-off wallflower until they are contenders.)
There is now a big plan in place with projections for this team for several years, not just next year.
WHY BLAKE, WHY NOW, WHY EVER?
Since I am not a big Blake proponent, I admittedly enjoyed when another season ticket holder suggested that the game had left Blake behind and why does an over-the-hill player who plays passionless hockey take a roster space from essentially anyone else. (To be fair, the two people who most wanted Blake gone had vocal opposition who felt otherwise about #4.)
Hextall respectfully disagrees that Blake is a less than professional has-been player. He continued that Johnson would say otherwise as would the other younger contingent of players. Blake’s passion and work ethic is held in the highest regard by both Hextall and Lombardi. (My take: The most I can say is that Blake’s value and salary for this organization is just as much for what he does in the weight room, and as a mentor and for what he also does on the ice.)
EFFECT OF ‘LOSING ENVIRONMENT’ ON OLDER PLAYERS:
Hextall answered that older players have a hard time losing and simultaneously being at the top of their game. (My take: I find this contention really difficult to accept. I have no doubt that there are older players that who so love the game and want to stay in the NHL that they would be doing anything their heart, body and mind would allow in their quest for winning and accepting nothing less. Think Stu Barnes, Mike Keane and go from there.)
KINGS’ CULTURE AND SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:
I had unsuccessfully hoped to get Hextall to respond to something said by Robitaille at the first Town Hall Meeting. Luc explained that perhaps the reason the unrestricted bridge players fail to meet expectations is because they do not have defined roles. Thus, I asked the most reasonable question of what are the Kings planning to do to address this.
Hextall’s response was that because this team is ‘hard to coach’, and because no one wants to come here, the Kings will take no responsibility to establish a culture or define players’ roles. The short version is my question was never really answered. Hextall’s actual answer was to explain how the development of the youth over time will make this organization successful so that unrestricteds will want to come here then.
(My Take: Until that unknown time when the team starts winning, apparently we need to appreciate that the Kings are not on any players’ wish list and trying to help these UFAs become successful is not on the Kings’ “To Do List”.)
CRITERIA FOR NO TRADE CLAUSES AND NO MOVEMENT CLAUSES:
This was the second question I asked. None of me believes that whatever Thornton brought here could not have been found elsewhere and without a no trade clause. I said as much.
For unknown reasons, Hextall never said what the Kings’ criterion is for giving out these player controlled movement clauses. (My best speculation is that because Lombardi and Hextall don’t find free agents who want to come here that we need to cede control to bridge players for them to grace the Kings with their presence. Insert my complete disappointment that my question never got an actual response from Hextall.)
BLOGGER GETS CALLED OUT:
Before I asked my questions, Chris McGowan asked why I was taking notes for the entire Town Hall Meeting. I replied that as the Hockey Buzz Kings’ Blogger as well as letsgokings.com that I needed to take notes to draft an accurate blog on what was discussed. Mr. McGowan then warned Hextall to ‘be careful’ before responding to whatever I asked.
Saturday was the second time I asked Hextall a question that essentially went unanswered. Take that for what you will.
WHERE DOES THE ONTARIO REIGN FIT INTO THE KINGS’ ORGANIZATION?
The Reign and Royals will both be Kings’ affiliates. The details are being worked on as we speak. Hextall told season ticket holders at the least meeting that there was no restriction for the Kings to use two ECHL franchises. Both will be utilized.
HOW MUCH PATIENCE DO THE KINGS EXPECT FANS TO WAIT UNTIL PLAY-OFF HOCKEY COMES TO TOWN?
Hextall confirmed the organization appreciates fans’ patience. He then continued that trade offers were exchanged over the last two years that could have enabled the Kings to participate in the post-season. He followed by asking, “Is just getting in good enough?” Hextall finished by saying that no one in the Kings’ organization is happy either with the losing.
IS THERE A WAY TO COACH THE PLAYERS MORE EFFECTIVELY TO PLAY GRITTIER?
Hextall said that this team is hard to coach. No other response was given much less any obligation imputed on Crawford to coach more effectively to help execute grittier efforts on the ice.
WHAT CAN THE KINGS DO TO INCREASE PRINT MEDIA COVERAGE WITH THE TIMES?
Chris McGowan took this question. He said the Kings have an excellent relationship with the Los Angeles Times. When the on ice results change, then more coverage will follow. (My take: If the Kings gave access to media sources who were giving the Kings’ greater coverage than the occasional article from the Times, rather than merely waiting for the team to win, greater media coverage could exist far sooner, as in right now.)
One fan shared my preference for night games and asked what could be done to decrease the afternoon contests. McGowan stated that Robitaille shares that preference and efforts are being spent to get the maximum number of evening games. With a three tenant facility, that is a challenging balancing act.
It is time for Hextall to ‘man up’. I find it a complete cop-out to say that veterans do not want to come here so the organization and its fans should not expect these players to play to their potential because there is no culture or defined roles for them. The notion that the Kings take no responsibility to help make this happen is offensive and a free pass for these filler players to mail their effort in.
The overall response with respect to media, unrestricteds and coaching was that this team as currently comprised is hard to coach, hard to be successful and once the team starts winning, (with nothing being done from the neck up other than developing the younger players) then and only then will there be a culture and defined roles for every player. Crawford got the same free pass other than Hextall saying that everyone could do their job better. After all, this is a hard team to coach. Huh?
I find it backwards to correlate Lombardi saying that the youth have to take responsibility for winning and Hextall saying that the organization, its coaches and its veteran players bears no similar responsibility for winning and success. Last I checked, this is a team game.
Last edited by Carla Muller; June 2nd, 2008 at 10:36 AM.
June 2nd, 2008, 12:17 PM #2
June 2nd, 2008, 12:28 PM #3
Hard to coach? BS. That's your job. It seems to me that not only are these people not taking responsibility, they are *****y leaders.
Cut the dead wood and give me an admin/coaching staff that will do something for the team other than make excuses and tell me to wait longer.
June 2nd, 2008, 01:04 PM #4
Thanks for the write ups, When you where asked why the notes and when you answered.
I thought to my self I bet that is Carla.. and I was right!
Afterwards, Hubby complained about the scratches on the glass in front of our seats, McGowan (he wrote down where are seats are) started to talk about Luc's time at the Worlds and how "ICE GIRLS" came out to wipe down the glass, and how they where considereing going to do that here.. I looked him in the eye and asked him NOT to use "ICE GIRLS" (sorry boys) He said he had no clue what he was going to do about it. I then said mix it up a have guys out there to..
Last edited by wngr2552; June 2nd, 2008 at 01:08 PM.
June 2nd, 2008, 02:40 PM #5
What are you trying to do, set us back even more!!!!!(J/K)
Originally Posted by wngr2552
June 2nd, 2008, 02:47 PM #6
Originally Posted by wngr2552
Why? Why do you hate others being happy?
June 2nd, 2008, 02:52 PM #7
Its not that I want people to not be happy, Its just that if you are going to have girls out on the ice make sure they know what they are doing out there.. Watching them for that ONE games last season they didn't pick up enough ice in front of the goalies. Half the time they would come out I would watch the goalie move the lose ice to the side of the net.
Not to mention how much it bugs to read on this board on how people where moving down from the upstairs to sit in seats that where not theirs to take pictures of them during the games. I pay alot of money each season to sit in my seats and its not fair that people are doing this.
EDIT: Hubby was right there, He doesnt care if they have the girls doing the work, Just as long as they do the job right and not a half a** job.
June 2nd, 2008, 02:55 PM #8
I usually like your writing, but not this time. I will tell you why. "DO THE KINGS PLAN TO MISS THE PLAY-OFFS AGAIN?" That in itself is not an accurate question. I'm sure they want to make the playoffs, but not at the expense of the future. I wouldn't call it a dumb question because of the frustration we all have but if you look at every player in the organization right now, the Kings are about 2-3 years away from being what DL wants them to be. "WHY BLAKE, WHY NOW, WHY EVER?" Passionless hockey? I guess you missed those 2 games in a row he got the boot this past season. Just kidding, I'm sure you didn't. But that was the most passion I've seen from him in his career considering it took him this long to get thrown out of 1 game let alone 2 in a row. I think he is slightly overpaid, but his knowledge is priceless. I do not hold a grudge for the Colorado trade thing like many do, so I'll admit I might be a little biased about Blake." EFFECT OF ‘LOSING ENVIRONMENT’ ON OLDER PLAYERS" I agree also with that." KINGS’ CULTURE AND SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS" Who in the hell wants to play for a team that has nothing but a history of losing? That is why this is taking so long. The marquee UFA's don't really care about the warm weather. The only reason Anaheim is getting them is because they show a desire to succeed NOW. This thing has been messed up for so long that nobody wants to play in LA."CRITERIA FOR NO TRADE CLAUSES AND NO MOVEMENT CLAUSES" I agree with you also on that. I think the future now will be without no trade clauses unless you are a top 1-10 player in the league."BLOGGER GETS CALLED OUT" This one really bothered me. I don't think you should be boxed out like that and you should pressure them to give you some kind of an explanation. Thats total BS on the Kings part."WHERE DOES THE ONTARIO REIGN FIT INTO THE KINGS’ ORGANIZATION?" I like this."HOW MUCH PATIENCE DO THE KINGS EXPECT FANS TO WAIT UNTIL PLAY-OFF HOCKEY COMES TO TOWN?" How does Hextall know if these trades would have put them in the playoffs? Were they getting Crosby and Ovechkin? Again, we are all frustrated so who knows what trades were offered and who cares."IS THERE A WAY TO COACH THE PLAYERS MORE EFFECTIVELY TO PLAY GRITTIER?" It's hard to coach any team that is out of it in December."WHAT CAN THE KINGS DO TO INCREASE PRINT MEDIA COVERAGE WITH THE TIMES?" Who cares about the Times? We have our buddy Rich Hammond covering the Kings. Seriously, the Times will cover them when the Kings start winning. Hockey is not a mainstream sport yet, especially in LA. That time will come."MATINEE GAMES" I agree, get rid of them."MY TAKE" The youth have to take responsibility in winning, at the minor league level. The UFA's are not coming to LA if there is no chance in winning the Cup. You wrote an article the other day about how much hope there is in the youth level in this organization and it is still there. That is what every Kings fan should focus on right now. These young players will slowly trickle up to the Kings and improve as they learn the NHL game. In the meantime we should all be patient and let this happen. The UFA's that they sign will be fillers that make them competitive. Eventually they will have what they need to make a run and THEN the UFA's will come.
June 2nd, 2008, 03:07 PM #9
They weren't even supposed to be doing that stuff, they were asked last minute when their original plan, debuting an Allysa Molano clothing line by skating around and just showing it off, fell through. They had them there, they got asked to help out, they did.
Originally Posted by wngr2552
Though I understand your desire to have stuff done right, for this group at least, they were ill propared. I wouldn't write off the concept because of it.
June 2nd, 2008, 03:57 PM #10
The goaltenders LIKE the ice in the corners. They do this on purpose. The little berm helps keep the puck out of the net on a wrap around. I'm sure if they were given a choice, they'd tell the ice girls to F*** off. You can have ice girls all you want, but the goaltenders are gonna scrape ice to cut off that corner as soon as they leave the ice and no one's looking.
Originally Posted by wngr2552