2022 Offseason Thread

I agree on the all in on Quick for next season. Clearly, he still has a lot left in the tank. I am not much on Petersen over the long haul of an entire season. He has shown glimpses of being very good but also the other way. Would not mind seeing what Villalta can do at the NHL level or perhaps trade for a backup with Petersen going the other way.

There's a BIG problem with that. In recent years, Quick has been injury prone (especially the back) when forced to carry the load. Peterson playing every other game allowed Quick to be healthy for the playoffs. If you have 37 year-old Quick carrying the load at his age, you better darned well expect to have only Villalta for the playoffs.
 
Trading Kempe and Kopitar. Is it summer on LGK already?
 
I agree on the all in on Quick for next season. Clearly, he still has a lot left in the tank. I am not much on Petersen over the long haul of an entire season. He has shown glimpses of being very good but also the other way. Would not mind seeing what Villalta can do at the NHL level or perhaps trade for a backup with Petersen going the other way.

I think A LOT of Quick's success this year was the fact we didn't go "all in" on him. The splitting of games likely rejuvenated him. He's a proud competitor who will play all 82 if you let him, but no one should. It benefits us in every way to have them split the regular season. A) Quick isn't overworked B) Petersen has to develop and continue to learn or we have a waste of some serious cap space. Playoffs more than likely go to Quick, but we need to learn from this year - Quick played less than usual and it led to him not getting hurt and a complete return to form. The Sutter style of riding a goalie into the ground has to go when the guy is getting near the end of his career (and it probably should have went away before that frankly)
 
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Remember that the hockey world was ready for Jeff to hang them up when he was struggling here. For two full seasons/offseasons he was asked about retiring because of his declining play and the impact it would have on the Kings cap situation. I wonder if Jeff re-discovered his love for the game once he left LA and realized he wasn't ready to be sent out to the pasture just yet. Management and coaching isn't to blame for a player like Jeff Carter giving up on puck battles and refusing to go to the tough part of the ice to score. That's internal.

All that you mention is is the external, observable stuff. I am wondering about the ?internal? part. Guess we may never know what made him shut down his game as a King. He had done that before when he was in Columbus, but it was easy to infer why Carts was unhappy there.
 
Trading Kempe and Kopitar. Is it summer on LGK already?

Trading Kopitar is impossible with that cap hit coupled with his declining play. Kings will stand by Kopi as they did with Brown.

And I am definitely not recommending the Kings trade Kempe. Just have a feeling it could very well happen given all the prevailing circumstances.
 
Still pondering the aftermath of this season. They haven't done the exit interviews where they list out who was playing with what injuries and so forth and who's going to need offseason recoveries that are more formal. In the absence of that I do think there are a few items worth considering as the team preps for the draft and UFA:

1) Getting additional bullets for the top lines: Arty got time with Kopi and Kempe in games 6-7 and I'm pretty sure they resisted that for as long as possible for good reason. Unlike in situations with the US national team this was the most ineffective he's been in that roll in terms of pure production, but he was getting shots off from very in tight passing from Kopi. I think there's a world where Arty and Kopi can get paired, possibly still with AI. That being said, it's time for Kopi to accept a role with 15 mins of 5v5 play and that he's going to get less PP time. This means for the immediate future the team has to do some serious soul searching on what they have in their youthful centers. Running Danault as 1a/b next season with Kopi or Byfield relies heavily on Kopi actively moving to reduce his role combined with a level of growth from Byfield that is hard to project. Outside help is even more difficult, if this front office thinks there's a hint that they can get Forsberg they have to swing for that fence. A 28 YO Center over 1ppg in Nashville will translate well to Kings hockey. It would put Kopi off the PP but leave him with perfect 3c responsibilities to continue to play his pace. Byfield (or others) would then simply have to play those guys out of their positions which is really all you can ask. In that scenario you can then look to priority 2.

2) Solidifying the back end: This october/november I was fully on the Chycrun train. After seeing Mikey's playoffs, Spence and Durzi blossom, and knowing that Doughty will be coming back with talent around him to keep his game elevated there's a similar opportunity here to get that 3-4 depth piece that puts this team into the Tampa back end stratosphere (I've no idea if Chrycrun represents that, its on Blakes team to evaluate). If that takes Kempe as VCRW suggested it should absolutely be on the table. For a Kempe however I'm not sure we can get the player we'd need. Nic Hague would be a heck of a piece in this spot and wouldn't take Kempe. Colton Parayko however would be the kind of player we'd want and would represent St. Louis's last chance if for any reason they decided their issues were on the front end instead of the back end. Unfortunately with the development of Kyrou and Thomas I can't see that happening there unless they suddenly got serious cold feet on Colton. Representing the UFA market, if Stralman can be convinced to stay in the west, he might represent that physical bridge role that Edler filled should Edler have decided that he needs more security than the 1 year that the Kings handed out.

The goaltending situation is not yet dire, but it's looking like they don't have in Cal the player that Quick was when he stepped into the role and wouldn't relinquish it regardless of who was the anointed one. I do think he's a good goalie, but being judged against Quick is being judged against a player who is a Conn Smythe trophy winner for a reason. Not many players have that title, and even less goalies. Cal not being Quick isn't dire, but its something that bears watching.

Blake has a lot of avenues to pursue this summer and I'm reasonably confident that he's going to do it his way. Unlike last summer however when I was on the nepotism train of thought for his process I'm absolutely fascinated to see what happens. Last summer worked out about as well as it could've. The real question is if that is the level of operation for this front office or if there will be a regression to the mean. That Kovalchuk signing still sticks out there, but it's further and further in the past.

One thing I'm absolutely not going to do is care one whit about the prospects in the pipeline. I'm sure there's someone out there that is going to ride their OG Spence knowledge to grandstand fame, and it's great that Spence, Durzi, Mikey, Moverare and Toby are bona fide NHL Dmen under 23. They are all still eligible to improve and show new dimensions to their game. Clarke might be better than them all, but if he's not better than them for his 19 yo season he can go sit in Jr's and work on it. Same for the forwards out there that we all have been itching to do their thing. Once they're in the lineup great. They're all still young and eligible to improve. How much they will is something that Blake's group is going to have to eyeball in their planning.

The final thing is there are legitimate expectations now. Blake and Luc put out the story that it was playoffs or bust at the beginning of last season and they backed it up. That wasn't however the expectation from outside the organization on a wide scale. I can't imagine they aren't going to raise that bar internally and publicly again. The difference is this time more of the fandom is going to believe them and hold them to it. The rest of the NHL is also going to hold them to that. Deals will be made with an eye towards not setting up a California powerhouse. This team will no longer see the backup goaltender on the second night of the B2B (or the first).

I'm not quite to "in Blake we trust" territory, but my fandom has a little swagger and Blake deserves his kudos for that.
 
Imagine being Byfield , Vilardi , Spence and Kupari . Watched on the sidelines as the NHL team lost and also watched as the AHL team lost to Colorado ina sweep. This is some messed up development by the management . While people wonder why our prospects don?t do ****.

They all got in multiple playoff games. Kupari was in 5. The team flight back was on Sunday so playing on Sunday night in Ontario after a month or more away wasn't in the cards.
 
Team needs a keeper...Quick is getting up there and and some point he is going to hit the wall. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Team needs a power play......coaching coaching coaching

Sure could have used a Mr. Game 7.
 
Sure could have used a Mr. Game 7.

Before Game 7, Lisa Dillman asked Justin Williams about what advice he could give the youngsters. Read his answer and tell me he wasn't spot on.

https://theathletic.com/3312081/2022/05/14/kings-game-7-justin-williams/

?It?s really just another game. It really is,? Williams said. ?You have to want to be the guy and believe you can be the guy to make the difference and to be the one that wins the game for the team,? Williams said on Friday night. ?Or to have the biggest impact. You can?t wait for anybody else to do it.

?That?s a lot of the advice I give ? don?t wait for anybody else..."

The Oilers played to win that game. The Kings played to not lose.
 
Before Game 7, Lisa Dillman asked Justin Williams about what advice he could give the youngsters. Read his answer and tell me he wasn't spot on.

https://theathletic.com/3312081/2022/05/14/kings-game-7-justin-williams/

“It’s really just another game. It really is,” Williams said. “You have to want to be the guy and believe you can be the guy to make the difference and to be the one that wins the game for the team,” Williams said on Friday night. “Or to have the biggest impact. You can’t wait for anybody else to do it.

“That’s a lot of the advice I give — don’t wait for anybody else..."


The Oilers played to win that game. The Kings played to not lose.

1000% on point with that quote. The Kings didn't have ANYONE who wanted to be the difference maker. They were all content with just blending in and "sticking with the system", even when it's clear it wasn't working. And that's the most frustrating part to me. Guys like Williams and Richards. Those were the nitty gritty dudes who would do whatever it took to win the game.

And I hate to pile on Kopitar but he absolutely did not take control of the game or even tried to make a difference. That's the biggest difference between a player of his caliber and a guy like McJesus. The only guy on the Kings who has that quality is Quick, but it's a shame he's not a forward now or else he'd probably be clutch as hell.
 
I think Lemieux was the only one going for it, but bless his little heart doesn't have the skill.
 
The final thing is there are legitimate expectations now. Blake and Luc put out the story that it was playoffs or bust at the beginning of last season and they backed it up. That wasn't however the expectation from outside the organization on a wide scale. I can't imagine they aren't going to raise that bar internally and publicly again. The difference is this time more of the fandom is going to believe them and hold them to it. The rest of the NHL is also going to hold them to that. Deals will be made with an eye towards not setting up a California powerhouse. This team will no longer see the backup goaltender on the second night of the B2B (or the first). .

Prior to the start of the season I was one of the people on here who was 100% all in that the Kings would make the playoffs this year. That said, I fully agree with you that next season will be much harder to repeat that success as teams will now take the Kings a bit more seriously in terms of match ups and competition in the west will get stiffer. Additionally the potential for a sophomore slump in several players may also pose a hurdle as scouting on them is likely to increase.

As big as this season was for the Kings to create an identity, next season will pose a tougher task of solidifying it.
 
Among the kids, I think Kupari is ready for a breakout season in ‘22/‘23. In my dreams, I would love to see him at LW with Kempe and Forsberg. Closer to reality, maybe Turcotte will finally be healthy and could center 9 & 89. As The Mayor has said, Turcotte is “sneaky good” and he can keep up with Ras and Juice.
 
Among the kids, I think Kupari is ready for a breakout season in ‘22/‘23. In my dreams, I would love to see him at LW with Kempe and Forsberg. Closer to reality, maybe Turcotte will finally be healthy and could center 9 & 89. As The Mayor has said, Turcotte is “sneaky good” and he can keep up with Ras and Juice.

Turcotte was just announced to have suffered his second concussion this season. The poor guy cannot catch a break.
 
Turcotte was just announced to have suffered his second concussion this season. The poor guy cannot catch a break.

Hope this doesn’t become career-threatening. The kid deserves his shot after so much adversity.
 
The guy who hit Turcotte looked like he was trying to impress Scott Stevens. It was a cheap and brutal hit and on plays like that the offender should have to sit until the victim comes back. The report I saw said staff (I assume they were referring to) were concerned.

Turcotte is a super sneaky play maker. Sometimes you have to make sure the linemates have enough hockey I.Q. to be able to anticipate where the play is developing. I saw several times where his teammate had no idea that Turcotte had passed him the puck and it was in the players feet.
 
Among the kids, I think Kupari is ready for a breakout season in ‘22/‘23. In my dreams, I would love to see him at LW with Kempe and Forsberg. Closer to reality, maybe Turcotte will finally be healthy and could center 9 & 89. As The Mayor has said, Turcotte is “sneaky good” and he can keep up with Ras and Juice.

I'm hoping for the best for Turcotte but he's now in his 3rd season post draft and we're talking about how sneaky good he might be. Meanwhile the kid picked right after him looks like he's at worst a 1st pairing D-man for the next 15 years if he stays healthy.
 
Turcotte was just announced to have suffered his second concussion this season. The poor guy cannot catch a break.

They just announced it? It was pretty obvious when he got KO'ed and staggered off the ice that he was concussed.

The worst part is Englund got 1 game for that hit. It looked like something out of 1994 with the head as the primary point of contact. At some point the NHL and AHL need to start getting serious about contact to the head-- either intentional or accidental-- with major suspensions for intentional hits.
 
Between Turcotte and Byfield, one of them will hopefully be a great centerman and the other one will be traded in a package for a top 2 defensemen.

The injuries for Turcotte don’t look promising, as we have seen with another highly touted prospect in Villardi who has had injuries slow down his development.
 
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They just announced it? It was pretty obvious when he got KO'ed and staggered off the ice that he was concussed.

The worst part is Englund got 1 game for that hit. It looked like something out of 1994 with the head as the primary point of contact. At some point the NHL and AHL need to start getting serious about contact to the head-- either intentional or accidental-- with major suspensions for intentional hits.

Don't kid yourself. You know better than that.
The NHL went to great lengths not acknowledge any liability in the concussion lawsuit brought by the former players.
The league's responses to concussions is borderline laughable.

If they were serious, they would have acknowledged their part.
If they were serious they would ban fighting from the game.
If they were serious head contact (intentional or unintentional) would be banned from the game, with serious fines and suspensions.

The NHL is not serious about concussions, and truth be told: The fans don't care either. They love to see the opponent's heads get clocked in a fight, or a huge hit.
Violence is embedded in the game and the culture......violence to the head.

If you take that out of the game, the league fears the amount of fans would be less.
It's all about the $$$$.

Players are only commodities.
If you don't like it, let your team know it.

Until the fans demand better for the players they love and cheer for, nothing will happen.
 

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