GM-Blake Appreciation Thread + Oilers Jab.

symbology

TEAM LGK
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Posting this for two reasons. To prop up our Kings, and to take a jab at the Oilers.

I have to give GM-Blake credit for getting out of the Cal P. contract. Yes, he put himself in that position, but he found a way to get out of it and make the team better. PLD is a work in progress. Has had a bad few games, but maybe he is under the weather? Anyway, GM-Blake has not been perfect to say the least. But he has built a pretty darn good team here. He should be applauded.

No compare the Kings to the Oilers. The oilers are horrible this year. They are spending 7.6 million on bad to average goaltending. A place where GM-Blake saved some money this year. The impact for the Oilers? No depth. For players that played at least 2 games this season the Oilers have 11 players with fewer points than our bottom point getters in Spence and Laferriere (3 points). Let that sink in. GM-Blake has put together a solid (no perfect, yes there are some issues) roster that is well balanced. The Oilers are more top heavy than ever, lost some solid middle 6 players that would be helping that team right now. Could not afford it. Gotta love Ken Holland.

The Oilers are just about out of the playoffs. If they do not go on a big run right now it will be to late for them. For those that did not watch the Oilers melt down last night against the Canucks, you missed a great game. Draisaitl and McDavid both got Misconducts while trying to mount a comeback. Woodcroft got ejected while the Oilers were on the PP. If you missed the game, you missed a good time. McDavid looks frustrated because I think he realizes this team is not good enough to make the playoffs. They would need to go on a 104 point pace from here on out and their team is not as good as they were last year. 104 point from here on out will only get them a total of 95 points which was good enough for the playoffs last year. Anyway, that 104 point pace for this team is a very tough ask. Good thing they play the Sharks next.

So yes, the Kings are in Cap Hell just like the Oilers. The difference being the Kings can Ice a solid team, while the Oilers cannot. Life is good. Also, the Kings are being recognized across the league, they made it to TSN’s #1 spot on their Power Ranking this week. The only thing better than the Kings doing well is watching the Oilers implode.

Go Kings……


Screenshot 2023-11-07 at 09-33-03 Toronto Maple Leafs plummet hard in this week's NHL Power Ra...png
 
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i still think the oilers make the playoffs, they're just too good. I realize their goaltending is struggling and their defense is not as good as you'd hope with the money they pay some of those guys. But i think any team with McJesus and Drai has a chance. Those two guys can carry a team on any given night, so at some point i think they turn things around.

With that said, ive been thinking about this a bit within the context of the criticism that some kings fans have for Maclellan. I've often heard people comment about how he's done nothing in SJ. Nothing in Edm, etc... "Look at EDM now that they have a better coach". Well, lets see about that. They underperformed with Tippet (who many consider to be one of the best and most underrated coaches back in his hayday). The struggled under Maclellan. He got them into the playoffs, then they faltered. Now, under woodcroft, theyve had some highs and theyre back down struggling mightily right now. Sometimes teams need a new voice, but sometimes it's maybe not the coach? You can have all the talent in the world, numerous 1st round picks. Sometimes you have to look at teh players after the carousel of coaching changes doesnt bring the results you're after.
 
I agree the Kings look good, and coaching appears to be solid this year, but I am not ready to applaud Blake just yet. Keep in mind, Blake signed Petersen to a ridiculous contract then gave away Walker for free as well as absorbed a $2m cap hit for Provorov for the next two seasons in the process. Honestly not a bad deal to get rid of Petersen, but not something I would laud over. In order to get PLD he gave away a top young player, solid prospect, solid vet and a 2nd in additional to a salary (8.5m - 2030/31) which crushed us financially. Additionally he was forced to give away Durzi for essentially free just to clear cap space to make way for PLD (who has posted 7 points in 11 games and is currently a +7). Like or dislike Durzi, he is a good player who had value but urgency drove necessity to make a deal fast. The only thing really saving us right now is picking up Talbot for cheap and Talbot actually playing like a quality starter so far this season, and, unfortunately, Arvy beign on injured reserved which has freed up cap space should any short term injuries to other players take place. While I will say Blake is doing an above average job, and our team truly is better this year than last, we have been very fortunately in serveral regards as to how things have worked out so far. Hopefully Talbot can keep playing like a quality starter, Byfield can keep growing and PLD can start playing like a $8.5m player (though I suspect his true value comes playoff time by being a key contibutor getting us past the first round). Beyond the players, though, I have to say McLellan so far has actually been our key to success this season, moreso than Blake.
 
The Oilers lost some pieces from last year, including Yamamoto, Kostin, and Bjugstad. The loss of Bjugstad, I feel, is especially painful for them, as he added a key depth piece at center. These losses in personnel are not to be underestimated. As for the Kings, as DryKing noted above, the LTIR to RV is, in some ways, a blessing in disguise, especially regarding the cap. While certainly no one wants a player injured, this has provided cap relief for the Kings. All of this said, it is early in the season. One Oilers hot streak and one Kings slump, and then suddenly "objects in the rear mirror are closer than they appear".
 
I agree the Kings look good, and coaching appears to be solid this year, but I am not ready to applaud Blake just yet. Keep in mind, Blake signed Petersen to a ridiculous contract then gave away Walker for free as well as absorbed a $2m cap hit for Provorov for the next two seasons in the process. Honestly not a bad deal to get rid of Petersen, but not something I would laud over. In order to get PLD he gave away a top young player, solid prospect, solid vet and a 2nd in additional to a salary (8.5m - 2030/31) which crushed us financially. Additionally he was forced to give away Durzi for essentially free just to clear cap space to make way for PLD (who has posted 7 points in 11 games and is currently a +7). Like or dislike Durzi, he is a good player who had value but urgency drove necessity to make a deal fast. The only thing really saving us right now is picking up Talbot for cheap and Talbot actually playing like a quality starter so far this season, and, unfortunately, Arvy beign on injured reserved which has freed up cap space should any short term injuries to other players take place. While I will say Blake is doing an above average job, and our team truly is better this year than last, we have been very fortunately in serveral regards as to how things have worked out so far. Hopefully Talbot can keep playing like a quality starter, Byfield can keep growing and PLD can start playing like a $8.5m player (though I suspect his true value comes playoff time by being a key contibutor getting us past the first round). Beyond the players, though, I have to say McLellan so far has actually been our key to success this season, moreso than Blake.

Yep, he signed Cal to that deal, but he did bite the bullet and made a deal to get rid of him. The Kings would be crap without Gavi on the team and with Cal on the payroll. Also, Walker was not going to fetch much as he has not played much due to injury and was basically the Kings 7th defenseman. I was not claiming GM-Blake has been perfect. However, with everything that has gone on over the last 3-4 years this Kings team is looking pretty darn good at the moment.

The Oilers lost some pieces from last year, including Yamamoto, Kostin, and Bjugstad. The loss of Bjugstad, I feel, is especially painful for them, as he added a key depth piece at center. These losses in personnel are not to be underestimated. As for the Kings, as DryKing noted above, the LTIR to RV is, in some ways, a blessing in disguise, especially regarding the cap. While certainly no one wants a player injured, this has provided cap relief for the Kings. All of this said, it is early in the season. One Oilers hot streak and one Kings slump, and then suddenly "objects in the rear mirror are closer than they appear".

Yep, losing Kostin and Bjugstad is real painful for them. Some of the young guys they brought up are not getting it done. That signing of Brown was applauded my most, but has zero points in 9 games and will probably be waived before he plays his 10th game and gets his $ and that money hits their cap.

If you did not watch that game last night, you really should try to watch it. At the very least watch McDavid's presser after the game. He looked cooked. He looked mad, frustrated and kind of hopeless. This was not just my take, but the take of a lot of Oiler media folks. This Oiler team's start reminds me of the Kings start a few seasons ago. Played well in the offensive zone, not score and then make dumb mistakes and the puck ends up in their net. The difference between the teams is the Kings worked through those issues. Sure they were frustrated etc... but they never reacted anything like way the Oilers have been reacting. Kings had and have better leadership than that. To add to this, the Oilers absolutely lack effort, on top of making bad mental mistakes.
 
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There's a reason Detroit dumped Holland for Yzerman as GM. Yzerman is more patient and makes smarter decisions compared to Holland who seems to love making front-loaded contracts with certain players and eventually get burned for them. Hopefully RB won't fall into the trap that Holland did with his management of his teams.
 
I just love all these backseat GMs....who have never had to deal with cap restrictions, hold over contracts, minor league development and most important: The ability to have thick skin when computer genius' claim they know more than Blake does.

The CAL contract - at the time - was a good idea - as Quicky was slowing down and Cal was solid. THE FUTURE.
Unfortunately, Cal pissed away his chance, Quicky reclaimed his spot (for one more season) and THE FUTURE got cloudy.

But Blake & Luc had a plan...he's traded & drafted wisely.
Sure, Turcotte has fizzled (We could have drafted Zegras!) but...the Ducks are being led by other young players. Trevor is invisible (so far)

A healthy Turcotte has reclaimed his confidence (according to reports) and he might be a trade chip or a future Kings winger.

Byfield has grown up (he's only freaking 21) and waiting in the wings is Clarke (how old is he now?)

I have had no problems with Blake & Luc and their plan.

4 Lines Rolling is a bitch to defend. Depth is the key.
 
I just love all these backseat GMs....who have never had to deal with cap restrictions, hold over contracts, minor league development and most important: The ability to have thick skin when computer genius' claim they know more than Blake does.

The CAL contract - at the time - was a good idea - as Quicky was slowing down and Cal was solid. THE FUTURE.
Unfortunately, Cal pissed away his chance, Quicky reclaimed his spot (for one more season) and THE FUTURE got cloudy.

But Blake & Luc had a plan...he's traded & drafted wisely.
Sure, Turcotte has fizzled (We could have drafted Zegras!) but...the Ducks are being led by other young players. Trevor is invisible (so far)

A healthy Turcotte has reclaimed his confidence (according to reports) and he might be a trade chip or a future Kings winger.

Byfield has grown up (he's only freaking 21) and waiting in the wings is Clarke (how old is he now?)

I have had no problems with Blake & Luc and their plan.

4 Lines Rolling is a bitch to defend. Depth is the key.
I agree with you that Blake, since taking over, has drafted really well, has a solid trade history and his FA signings have been top notch.

What I cannot agree with you on is the financial side of things. Signing Petersen at the salary amount Blake signed him for was at no point a good idea. You really think Petersen, in his short tenure, earned a cap hit similar to that of Quick's? PLD, for example, was signed for potentially too much, but that contract should age well and become a deal at some point based. Additionally there was enough NHL history on PLD, and data points, to justify the contract. But for Petersen to have been worth the money he signed for, he would have to have hit near All-Star levels within 2 years or led the Kings deep into the playoffs. There was very little data or NHL history to show either had a high potential to happen, however, especially when it came to NHL playoff experience.

As to backseat GMs, honestly it doesn't take someone with GM experience to understand finances or how to run a business. If the criteria is that one needs to have held the role in order to render a valid opinion, then we really shouldn't be discussing anything on the board unless we are either a previous GM, coach or NHL player...
 
So Arte Moreno signing 31 year old Albert Pujols, with Hall of Fame stats & World Series rings to a 10 year $254 Million would be considered good in your eyes?
 
GM-Blake > Dumpster Diving Dave

Just my opinion not based on any stats or facts, since I'm not an armchair GM and don't really have the time to look up stuff from years ago to compare to today. I think Blake has done a great job of balancing the team with the aging veterans and bringing up the youth, and sprinkling in pieces to fit.
 
Blake survived his two biggest errors, the first of which was his first hire as a coach Willie D. That combined with signing Kovalchuk was a far cry from the moves he's made since. Take the executive he was at that time and then compare what he navigated through this past summer.

Gabe Vilardi needs a deal, and Blake has no cap room, at this point he'd used it all on Gavrikov. Gabes eventual deal at 3.4 million is enough that to do it Blake is trading AI off the roster just to keep Gabe. Staring that in the face, having another RFA in Kupari who is an either or prop with Lizotte and JAD, and knowing he has a logjam on the right side of his D he's got a unique conundrum. If he wants to shake loose cap room and alleviate the log jam his only trade chit with value is Roy who's got one more year at 3.5 million. But Roy just had a pretty great year and looked good with your resigned trade deadline target (Gavrikov). And again it's trading within himself to shed assets for futures just to keep the same cast. Now he hears PLD might be available but its going to cost assets. Blake has assets. Not only does he have assets he needs to move some of them. It takes some finagling but getting Durzi off gets him extra cap room and the second. Kupari, AI and Vilardi get the Jets what they want in terms of roster and replacing production.

Its a huge bet to bring in an 8 year guy, first time a true sign and trade for max years has been pulled off. Blakes all in and for better or worse he knows he's set the direction for the franchise for the next 3 years. Its the best way to build job security to have an undoable plan. Now we just have to hope it all works.
 

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