Question for the doubters

Bollocks

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Oct 9, 2008
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If you were VGK...would you give 30yo Pietrangelo nearly 7x8,8 (equivalent to 9,1 in today's cap) in 2020, considering their top 4 was Schmidt, Theodore, Martinez and up-and-coming Hague needing as much TOI as possible?

Would you, in 2021, trade for injured Eichel on 10 million contract, for a blue chip propect in Krebs, up-and-coming and cost controlled Tuch, a top-10 protected 1st in 2022 (which wouldn't need protection anyway) + a 2nd swap for a 3rd rounder, while already having Marchessault, Stephenson, Karlsson, Roy, Howden, Janmark as capable centers...?

Point is, sometimes you have to pull the trigger in order to improve at position where - at first glance - you don't really need to improve. Because there's an opportunity to acquire top end, already established talent without giving up the farm, that can help your team break from the not-there-yet limbo to actual contention.

Both Gavrikov signing and the trade for PLD has the potential to leapfrog the Kings deep into the playoffs, if nothing else by giving them better seeding, thus being able to gain some momentum in the playoffs for tougher matchups. All they need is more luck with goalies (like VGK had; hopefully the Kings "spent" all their bad luck last year) and one of the talented kids to have a breakout similar to Vilardi...and contention can be very real as soon as next season.

And then just hope Kopitar gives them a very nice home town discount for a couple of years to ride the wave of success. ;)
 
There is a main difference through. Vegas didn't trade for Pietrangelo while having significant holes in their offense, or Eichel while having significant holes in their defense. Both Pietrangelo and Eichel were also both true top line/pairing players; Pietrangelo with a history of success and leadership. Eichel definitely was a riskier move, but Vegas also felt they needed a top line center as their main area of need to fill at the time in which they acquired him.

Not saying that PLD was a bad acquisition, but I think the key to it is that he was brought in to fill a future need when Kopitar either retires or declines vs Vegas who filled what they felt was a current need. Kudos to Blake for being proactive but when he now talks about rolling with a short roster and still badly needs to fill a need in goal, it'll be interesting to see how it plays out this season. In 24/25 if when we will see his plan truly take flight.
 
There is a main difference through. Vegas didn't trade for Pietrangelo while having significant holes in their offense, or Eichel while having significant holes in their defense. Both Pietrangelo and Eichel were also both true top line/pairing players; Pietrangelo with a history of success and leadership. Eichel definitely was a riskier move, but Vegas also felt they needed a top line center as their main area of need to fill at the time in which they acquired him.

Not saying that PLD was a bad acquisition, but I think the key to it is that he was brought in to fill a future need when Kopitar either retires or declines vs Vegas who filled what they felt was a current need. Kudos to Blake for being proactive but when he now talks about rolling with a short roster and still badly needs to fill a need in goal, it'll be interesting to see how it plays out this season. In 24/25 if when we will see his plan truly take flight.

Remember, Gavrikov was brought in to bolster defense. Sure, neither Gavrikov nor PLD (for now) are on level of Pietrangelo/Eichel, but this isn't a comparison between the players...the Kings needed a 1st/2nd line center and top 4 D, not top line center and top 2 D. And Blake made it happen, even though he did it with a bit of an overpayment on Gavrikov's end. But it's a 2 year contract.

Anyway, there's a common theme - these are all fairly bold moves that improve the team when the right opportunity presents itself. This spans back to last season - no way Gavrikov signs with the Kings as a UFA had he not been here as a deadline acquisition.

I think Kings' fans are a bit too worried of history repeating itself - black hole years, then the DL post 2 Cups fiasco...Rob has so far shown he is willing to pull the trigger to avoid the black hole AND he seems to be a shrewd negotiator - there are bargains wherever you look EXCEPT the Cal catastrophe (hope he learned)...and considering he got the job because of specific DL's shortcomings, I expect him not to repeat them (i.e. if Kopitar asks for 3x8 after next season, let him sign elsewhere - but this is of course something that's yet to be seen...).
 
Question for the non-doubters-- on what planet is PLD comparable to Jack Eichel and Gavrikov comparable to Pietrangelo? PLD has never scored 30 goals, never been a PPG player (even with Kyle Connor on his wing so I am not expecting Fiala to unlock some magic scoring ability). PLD has had sheltered minutes with way more offensive zone starts. And if you watched any of the playoffs last year, PLD did great in game 1 and got absolutely destroyed by Eichel in games 2-5 in the battle of the top centers for the respective teams. I am not a big fan of the Eichel trade tbh but he's a true 1C whereas PLD aspires to be a true 1C.
Pietrangelo was a FA signing. He didn't cost Vegas anything but cap space (unless you count moving Schmidt who is decent and they got a 3rd for him). Unlike Gavrikov, he's also a 3x all-star, finished multiple times in the top 5 for the Norris and he had captained a Cup winning team. He was a top 2 D who provided leadership no ifs, ands, or buts.
And Vegas found a way to juggle their cap space to fit those guys in. Blake cannot do that. Another player MUST GO just for the Kings to sign a bargain FA goalie. So yes, Blake has made bold moves like Vegas did. Only not as good as Vegas did. He didn't get a true 1C or a true top 2 D and his cap handling has been poor compared to what Vegas did. Vegas always had goalies. Vegas didn't have to non-qualify guys like JAD because they were capped out.
 
Question for the non-doubters-- on what planet is PLD comparable to Jack Eichel and Gavrikov comparable to Pietrangelo? PLD has never scored 30 goals, never been a PPG player (even with Kyle Connor on his wing so I am not expecting Fiala to unlock some magic scoring ability). PLD has had sheltered minutes with way more offensive zone starts. And if you watched any of the playoffs last year, PLD did great in game 1 and got absolutely destroyed by Eichel in games 2-5 in the battle of the top centers for the respective teams. I am not a big fan of the Eichel trade tbh but he's a true 1C whereas PLD aspires to be a true 1C.
Pietrangelo was a FA signing. He didn't cost Vegas anything but cap space (unless you count moving Schmidt who is decent and they got a 3rd for him). Unlike Gavrikov, he's also a 3x all-star, finished multiple times in the top 5 for the Norris and he had captained a Cup winning team. He was a top 2 D who provided leadership no ifs, ands, or buts.
And Vegas found a way to juggle their cap space to fit those guys in. Blake cannot do that. Another player MUST GO just for the Kings to sign a bargain FA goalie. So yes, Blake has made bold moves like Vegas did. Only not as good as Vegas did. He didn't get a true 1C or a true top 2 D and his cap handling has been poor compared to what Vegas did. Vegas always had goalies. Vegas didn't have to non-qualify guys like JAD because they were capped out.
Let's also add that Vegas has gone significantly further in the playoffs every year since they joined the league, minus last year.

Kings have had 5. 5 playoff GAMES won since Blake took over. In that same span, Vegas has won 51.

Vegas has made moves to push them over the edge. Were they risky? Yes. But were they calculated risks based on some semblance of success? Yes.

These aren't the same calculated risks. It's a strategy of "make the playoffs and anything can happen" minus the team identity or vision that made those teams successful.

It's worse than the black hole, because at least we got a Vilardi-caliber player with first-round picks. Here the Kings are trading Vilardi players away for an even worse pick but not making an impact in the playoffs.
 
Question for the non-doubters-- on what planet is PLD comparable to Jack Eichel and Gavrikov comparable to Pietrangelo? PLD has never scored 30 goals, never been a PPG player (even with Kyle Connor on his wing so I am not expecting Fiala to unlock some magic scoring ability). PLD has had sheltered minutes with way more offensive zone starts. And if you watched any of the playoffs last year, PLD did great in game 1 and got absolutely destroyed by Eichel in games 2-5 in the battle of the top centers for the respective teams. I am not a big fan of the Eichel trade tbh but he's a true 1C whereas PLD aspires to be a true 1C.
Pietrangelo was a FA signing. He didn't cost Vegas anything but cap space (unless you count moving Schmidt who is decent and they got a 3rd for him). Unlike Gavrikov, he's also a 3x all-star, finished multiple times in the top 5 for the Norris and he had captained a Cup winning team. He was a top 2 D who provided leadership no ifs, ands, or buts.
And Vegas found a way to juggle their cap space to fit those guys in. Blake cannot do that. Another player MUST GO just for the Kings to sign a bargain FA goalie. So yes, Blake has made bold moves like Vegas did. Only not as good as Vegas did. He didn't get a true 1C or a true top 2 D and his cap handling has been poor compared to what Vegas did. Vegas always had goalies. Vegas didn't have to non-qualify guys like JAD because they were capped out.

Literally one post before you I made it pretry clear it's not about direct comparison of player level but to fill a need in order to put the team into another gear.

I see your irrational hate affects your reading comprehension. ;)

So if people that defend Rob are his burner account, are you Dean's burner account? :)
 
Not sure what some of you want from Blake. The Kings just had a very strong season. Did that carry into the playoffs? Unfortunately, no, but it was partially due to an unfortunate knee injury sustained just weeks before the post-season began to a key piece of their playoff aspirations. If the Oilers had had to contend with a healthy Fiala, things might have been different.

But back to the discussion at hand. Blake & Co. have had to decide on the best course for the upcoming season, and how to compete with Vegas, Edmonton, and an up-and-coming Seattle team. They have to keep their eye on the bottom line, which at this point means they have to host playoff games. Now, is he likely also looking beyond '23-'24? Or course, but as so many of you like to point out, the window on Kopitar and Doughty being positive championship factors is closer to closed than fully open. So is he supposed to horde future assets and hope that those other Pacific Division teams stumble a bit? Or does he look for an angle that will get this team another 100+ point season and a playoff series ($$$)?

Look, I was not a fan of going after PLD. I like the player that Vilardi is becoming. I think that Iafallo is the type of forward that every contending team needs. I didn't like seeing the rumours about PLD's character. But I'm not going to be delusional enough to think that somehow I know better than Blake & Co. about what this young talent can provide for the Kings.

Do GMs make mistakes? Of course they do. We see it every season across the league. But the bottom line is that Blake has the reigns, and the fans don't. I'm willing to live with that. (That's what comes with being a fan for almost 50 years.)
 
Literally one post before you I made it pretry clear it's not about direct comparison of player level but to fill a need in order to put the team into another gear.

I see your irrational hate affects your reading comprehension. ;)

So if people that defend Rob are his burner account, are you Dean's burner account? :)
Not Dean's burner account. :) I do wonder if he is still with the Flyers. FWIW, I was going to reply earlier but was busy at work so I resumed the existing post and hit send. And tbh your reply at 1:57 was light on stuff requiring refuting. But here goes to make you happy...

So the Kings didn't need a 1C (even though you've implied Kopi is old and will be taking a pay cut next summer as he eases into the end of his career). So PLD is a 1C or 2C depending upon how it suits your argument. Blake can't lose if you conveniently move the goal posts for him. IMO for every bargain (like Mikey and Kempe) that Rob signs, he ends up getting married to a player and overpays (PLD and Gavrikov)

The reality of 2023 is Blake has traded Iafallo, Vilardi, Kupari, '24 MTL 2nd (Durzi), Quick, 1st, 3rd-rd picks, Lemieux, a 5th rd pick, Walker, Peterson, Grans, and 2024 2nd Round Pick for the ability to rent a few guys and extend Gravikov at 2x5.875 plus PLD at 8x8.5. An additional depth gutting move will be required to add a backup goalie.

I think these moves will put the team into another gear, but that gear is Reverse.
 
I’ll just enjoy the upcoming season without any expectations. Like I said earlier, I let you know how this trade works out in a couple of seasons. Some here already know. I’m just not that knowledgeable.
 
Remember, Gavrikov was brought in to bolster defense. Sure, neither Gavrikov nor PLD (for now) are on level of Pietrangelo/Eichel, but this isn't a comparison between the players...the Kings needed a 1st/2nd line center and top 4 D, not top line center and top 2 D. And Blake made it happen, even though he did it with a bit of an overpayment on Gavrikov's end. But it's a 2 year contract.

Anyway, there's a common theme - these are all fairly bold moves that improve the team when the right opportunity presents itself. This spans back to last season - no way Gavrikov signs with the Kings as a UFA had he not been here as a deadline acquisition.

I think Kings' fans are a bit too worried of history repeating itself - black hole years, then the DL post 2 Cups fiasco...Rob has so far shown he is willing to pull the trigger to avoid the black hole AND he seems to be a shrewd negotiator - there are bargains wherever you look EXCEPT the Cal catastrophe (hope he learned)...and considering he got the job because of specific DL's shortcomings, I expect him not to repeat them (i.e. if Kopitar asks for 3x8 after next season, let him sign elsewhere - but this is of course something that's yet to be seen...).
I agree with you on the Gav signing, he would likely not have signed here had he not been traded for and has exposure beforehand. I feel, however, that contract negotiations are one of the weaker aspects of Blake's game as GM. He traditionally overpays to get the players he wants which GMs have to do from time to time, but he seems to do more consistently than most. Additionally I have yet to see a player take a home town deal to stay with the team. Additionally he gave McLellan the highest salary of any coach in the NHL with term! That is a pretty crazy spend for a B level coach.

Maybe this changes though in the future as Blake has turned the team into, at the least, playoff contenders within many experts projecting will be Cup contenders within the next couple years.

Also you are right, I personally do worry about the black hole years repeating themselves when we give away home grown talent honestly due to mismanagement of the cap or getting too transfixed on one player to the detriment of the team by overspending / giving up too many assets to get him. I also worry about the team culture which Blake is creating which can work in situations such as Vegas, but only if the team is consistently successful year after year (which the Kings have yet to be by either not making the playoffs, or making the playoffs only to have a 1st round exit).

In the end, I think Blake needs much stronger finance team in order to drive long term success. On the flip side, I think there are few GMs who understand NHL talent as deeply as Blake does. He's great at identifying his targets.
 
The POS trade was one of the most painful for me in my 20+ years as a fan. It felt like Dean abandoned a kid who overcame serious adversity and was totally bought into the team for a player that despite the Cup looked only marginally better stats wise. And one who had a serious injury record to boot. I had no idea what the team was getting in Justin Williams.

Also, I had thought POS was going to be part of the team’s future core. Turns out he wasn’t one of the players Dean wanted to build a team around. Clearly, we have that same conclusion now re: Vilardi and Blake’s designs.

Like a lot of people, I thought otherwise. But I’m starting to see it differently. Vilardi seems a nearly sure bet for 30+ goals next season if he stays healthy. Health is probably a big if for him. That’s number 1. But also, is anything really a sure bet after only one season?

Number 2, I had said prior to this season that Gabe needed to remember that hockey was fun. Sure enough, this season he clearly was having a good time and was finally productive. It was the feel-good story of the season.

However, his track record prior doesn’t go away. This is not speculating on anything we don’t know about his attitude this year. This is what we do know, that this player had serious attitude issues which included a nearly full-year demotion. A player who McClellan said sucked the life out of the room. A player who accomplished a personal best this last year by not sticking his foot in his mouth and sounding like an entitled punk in an interview. One year with 41 pts cut down by 19 games due to injury and no cringe interviews is not a stellar resume.

In contrast, reading up on PLD, he has gotten praise from past WPG teammates, coaches, and those who covered the team alike. While all we have is talk at the moment, he’s provided all the words you could hope for. In his post-trade interviews he is respectful, enthusiastic, and has emphasized how much he has yet to learn and to improve. He also clearly wants to be here and is excited about it. And on paper, three 60+ point seasons as a center compared to one at 41 as a winger is a little more than marginally better.

Blake is banking on getting more out of PLD. This team got more out of Danault and Gavrikov, both moves I didn’t understand and the latter I hated, so I’m willing to trust the process on this trade too. Blake traded potential in Vilardi for potential in PLD and took a bet on which has the higher ceiling. I now think it’s clear he’s banking on the ceiling of the player’s value to the team’s culture as well.
 
The POS trade was one of the most painful for me in my 20+ years as a fan. It felt like Dean abandoned a kid who overcame serious adversity and was totally bought into the team for a player that despite the Cup looked only marginally better stats wise. And one who had a serious injury record to boot. I had no idea what the team was getting in Justin Williams.

Also, I had thought POS was going to be part of the team’s future core. Turns out he wasn’t one of the players Dean wanted to build a team around. Clearly, we have that same conclusion now re: Vilardi and Blake’s designs.

Like a lot of people, I thought otherwise. But I’m starting to see it differently. Vilardi seems a nearly sure bet for 30+ goals next season if he stays healthy. Health is probably a big if for him. That’s number 1. But also, is anything really a sure bet after only one season?

Number 2, I had said prior to this season that Gabe needed to remember that hockey was fun. Sure enough, this season he clearly was having a good time and was finally productive. It was the feel-good story of the season.

However, his track record prior doesn’t go away. This is not speculating on anything we don’t know about his attitude this year. This is what we do know, that this player had serious attitude issues which included a nearly full-year demotion. A player who McClellan said sucked the life out of the room. A player who accomplished a personal best this last year by not sticking his foot in his mouth and sounding like an entitled punk in an interview. One year with 41 pts cut down by 19 games due to injury and no cringe interviews is not a stellar resume.

In contrast, reading up on PLD, he has gotten praise from past WPG teammates, coaches, and those who covered the team alike. While all we have is talk at the moment, he’s provided all the words you could hope for. In his post-trade interviews he is respectful, enthusiastic, and has emphasized how much he has yet to learn and to improve. He also clearly wants to be here and is excited about it. And on paper, three 60+ point seasons as a center compared to one at 41 as a winger is a little more than marginally better.

Blake is banking on getting more out of PLD. This team got more out of Danault and Gavrikov, both moves I didn’t understand and the latter I hated, so I’m willing to trust the process on this trade too. Blake traded potential in Vilardi for potential in PLD and took a bet on which has the higher ceiling. I now think it’s clear he’s banking on the ceiling of the player’s value to the team’s culture as well.
If the trade were PLD for Vilardi with both having similar salaries I'd be there with you, even with an extra pick included going back Winnipeg's way. The problem, however, comes down to finance and building a competitive team within the salary cap. PLD now accounts for 10.2% of our payroll, if you add Kopitar, Fiala and Doughty that comes to 45% of payroll going to just 4 players. Now it should get better next year with Kopitar's contract expiring (and hopefully extended for quite a bit less) but it's very hard to build a competitive team of 20 (or ideally 23) with 4 players taking up almost half of your payroll allocation. How can you do it? Either those 4 players are top in the league (which they, as a whole, are not) or you get very lucky drafting, or trading for prospects, and utilize a good amount of entry level or RFA contracts. Problem is, as others have pointed out, Blake has effectively cleared out a good chuck on our entry level / rfa contracts. What this leaves is a very unbalanced team which will struggle to compete come playoff time unless we get multiple diamonds in the rough who step up big.

It's sad, but it's not longer just about talent, it's also almost equally about payroll management. Did we get better from a talent perspective from this trade? Short term, yes, long term probably not. Did we get better from a payroll management perspective? Short term, no, long term, potentially.
 
I'll say this, LGK isn't as depressive as it's been in past off seasons. In the past, I've had to be like, OK Doomers. :mhihi: ;)

I like this cautious optimism.... ;)😎
 
If you were VGK...would you give 30yo Pietrangelo nearly 7x8,8 (equivalent to 9,1 in today's cap) in 2020, considering their top 4 was Schmidt, Theodore, Martinez and up-and-coming Hague needing as much TOI as possible?

Would you, in 2021, trade for injured Eichel on 10 million contract, for a blue chip propect in Krebs, up-and-coming and cost controlled Tuch, a top-10 protected 1st in 2022 (which wouldn't need protection anyway) + a 2nd swap for a 3rd rounder, while already having Marchessault, Stephenson, Karlsson, Roy, Howden, Janmark as capable centers...?

Point is, sometimes you have to pull the trigger in order to improve at position where - at first glance - you don't really need to improve. Because there's an opportunity to acquire top end, already established talent without giving up the farm, that can help your team break from the not-there-yet limbo to actual contention.

Both Gavrikov signing and the trade for PLD has the potential to leapfrog the Kings deep into the playoffs, if nothing else by giving them better seeding, thus being able to gain some momentum in the playoffs for tougher matchups. All they need is more luck with goalies (like VGK had; hopefully the Kings "spent" all their bad luck last year) and one of the talented kids to have a breakout similar to Vilardi...and contention can be very real as soon as next season.

And then just hope Kopitar gives them a very nice home town discount for a couple of years to ride the wave of success. ;)
/me Rubs his eyes……

Did Bollocks just make a post that was fairly POSITIVE regarding the team?

Can’t actually remember seeing that….ever.

BTW, I totally concur. You hit the nail on the head.
 
Not Dean's burner account. :) I do wonder if he is still with the Flyers. FWIW, I was going to reply earlier but was busy at work so I resumed the existing post and hit send. And tbh your reply at 1:57 was light on stuff requiring refuting. But here goes to make you happy...

So the Kings didn't need a 1C (even though you've implied Kopi is old and will be taking a pay cut next summer as he eases into the end of his career). So PLD is a 1C or 2C depending upon how it suits your argument. Blake can't lose if you conveniently move the goal posts for him. IMO for every bargain (like Mikey and Kempe) that Rob signs, he ends up getting married to a player and overpays (PLD and Gavrikov)

The reality of 2023 is Blake has traded Iafallo, Vilardi, Kupari, '24 MTL 2nd (Durzi), Quick, 1st, 3rd-rd picks, Lemieux, a 5th rd pick, Walker, Peterson, Grans, and 2024 2nd Round Pick for the ability to rent a few guys and extend Gravikov at 2x5.875 plus PLD at 8x8.5. An additional depth gutting move will be required to add a backup goalie.

I think these moves will put the team into another gear, but that gear is Reverse.

PLD would be 1C on some teams, on the Kings, who have Kopitar as 1C, PLD is projected to be a 2C - for now. No goal posts moved. He's clearly not on elite level, but he has the tools and talent to be there in the future. Additionally, he's versatile and can play as a LW, too, giving the team flexibility if QB makes a breakthrough and ends up playing as a center.

On-the-cusp depth can become quite worthless if it stays on-the-cusp long enough. Trading this excess talent for a long-term quality addition (which immediately makes your 2 very good lines into 3 very good lines) is therefore a good move unless you're still in a retool phase, in which case you try to "recycle" them into picks. At this point the Kings aren't in a position to do that, but now that Rob made his splashes he will have to do that, too, in order to avoid a longer period of prospect pool depletion. So it's a TBD on that front.

Cal is Rob's by far the biggest and IMO the only proper, impactful mistake so far. Definitely makes any bigger mistakes on his part a firing offense, and that's on him.

Let's also add that Vegas has gone significantly further in the playoffs every year since they joined the league, minus last year.

Kings have had 5. 5 playoff GAMES won since Blake took over. In that same span, Vegas has won 51.

Vegas has made moves to push them over the edge. Were they risky? Yes. But were they calculated risks based on some semblance of success? Yes.

These aren't the same calculated risks. It's a strategy of "make the playoffs and anything can happen" minus the team identity or vision that made those teams successful.

It's worse than the black hole, because at least we got a Vilardi-caliber player with first-round picks. Here the Kings are trading Vilardi players away for an even worse pick but not making an impact in the playoffs.

How is this worse than the black hole? The Kings talent level for top 9 and top 4 just improves significantly and goaltending is unlikely to be as bad as last year. This likely means a better seed for the playoffs and considerably better chances of success.

In 2012 it turned out Sutter and Carter were the missing pieces that brought the Kings from being barely a playoff team with bad PO performance to Cup winners. You don't need to completely overhaul your team to become a contender and even in case of complete overhauls (total rebuild) it's VERY often that approach simply doesn't work (case in point - hugely talented Edmonton team). Had Quick not develop into one of the best PO goalies ever, the Kings wouldn't have won 2 Cups. This is a very small, tiny margin of difference in the large scale, isn't it?

For a decade all I hear about playoffs is that once you're in them, anything can happen, yes. Had VGK not made those moves maybe they don't win it this year, next year or ever, despite having an awesome PO record. Maybe they would win regardless. Fact is, it worked and both acquisitions played a major part in their Cup win.

If you disagree about the entire direction of this team, I doubt Rob is the correct recipient of your disappointment, but rather those that pay him. But this move is a good move regardless, it is good now and will be a bad one only in case PLD s**** the bed and Vilardi+Kupari improve significantly, thus putting a big stain on Rob's (and his advisors') judgement. A firing offense. He's willing to risk it and I think that's just the attitude needed to make it with a team like the Kings are now. Other options are being passive (much more likely it turns out to be a black hole team) or aggressive...in rebuilding from the ground up, which after a very successful retooling period would be kinda insane.

I agree with you on the Gav signing, he would likely not have signed here had he not been traded for and has exposure beforehand. I feel, however, that contract negotiations are one of the weaker aspects of Blake's game as GM. He traditionally overpays to get the players he wants which GMs have to do from time to time, but he seems to do more consistently than most. Additionally I have yet to see a player take a home town deal to stay with the team. Additionally he gave McLellan the highest salary of any coach in the NHL with term! That is a pretty crazy spend for a B level coach.

Maybe this changes though in the future as Blake has turned the team into, at the least, playoff contenders within many experts projecting will be Cup contenders within the next couple years.

Also you are right, I personally do worry about the black hole years repeating themselves when we give away home grown talent honestly due to mismanagement of the cap or getting too transfixed on one player to the detriment of the team by overspending / giving up too many assets to get him. I also worry about the team culture which Blake is creating which can work in situations such as Vegas, but only if the team is consistently successful year after year (which the Kings have yet to be by either not making the playoffs, or making the playoffs only to have a 1st round exit).

In the end, I think Blake needs much stronger finance team in order to drive long term success. On the flip side, I think there are few GMs who understand NHL talent as deeply as Blake does. He's great at identifying his targets.

Financials are only really the problem with Cal. As I said, a big mistake that I hope Rob learns from.

Other deals he made are either good value or straight up bargains. Kempe, Anderson, Danault, Fiala and I believe PLD will fall into the same category of very good value for money. Moore is maybe paid too much, but last year he had that injury that surely affected his performance. Gavrikov would worry me as too much of an overpayment if it was a longer deal, but as a 2-year deal I believe he will be very motivated for THE big payday after this contract is up. Definitely TBD.

/me Rubs his eyes……

Did Bollocks just make a post that was fairly POSITIVE regarding the team?

Can’t actually remember seeing that….ever.

BTW, I totally concur. You hit the nail on the head.

You have me confused with someone else lol. I was nearly always the optimistic/positive one, except maybe in the late DL-era.

Who argued with Mondo about Kopitar for years before Kopi won 2 Cups with the Kings? :)
 
Financials are only really the problem with Cal. As I said, a big mistake that I hope Rob learns from.

Other deals he made are either good value or straight up bargains. Kempe, Anderson, Danault, Fiala and I believe PLD will fall into the same category of very good value for money. Moore is maybe paid too much, but last year he had that injury that surely affected his performance. Gavrikov would worry me as too much of an overpayment if it was a longer deal, but as a 2-year deal I believe he will be very motivated for THE big payday after this contract is up. Definitely TBD.
You're forgetting Drew Doughty who Blake significantly overpaid and couldn't sway to take a home town discount especially given he had spent his whole career with the Kings and "wants to win more cup" (apparently by taking a large portion of the payroll and handicapping the teams ability to sign top FAs in the process).

Peterson was a bad move that made very little sense, but Doughty was a worse signing imo.

Daunault was also seen as an overpayment at the time of signing, though I think it was a good move. Gav is also an overpayment but something I think we can live with and what it took to retain him, so not faulting Blake for that one.

To me, there is no question that Moore is overpaid presently. It'll probably turn out to be a pretty decent deal though.
 
If the trade were PLD for Vilardi with both having similar salaries I'd be there with you, even with an extra pick included going back Winnipeg's way. The problem, however, comes down to finance and building a competitive team within the salary cap. PLD now accounts for 10.2% of our payroll, if you add Kopitar, Fiala and Doughty that comes to 45% of payroll going to just 4 players. Now it should get better next year with Kopitar's contract expiring (and hopefully extended for quite a bit less) but it's very hard to build a competitive team of 20 (or ideally 23) with 4 players taking up almost half of your payroll allocation. How can you do it? Either those 4 players are top in the league (which they, as a whole, are not) or you get very lucky drafting, or trading for prospects, and utilize a good amount of entry level or RFA contracts. Problem is, as others have pointed out, Blake has effectively cleared out a good chuck on our entry level / rfa contracts. What this leaves is a very unbalanced team which will struggle to compete come playoff time unless we get multiple diamonds in the rough who step up big.

It's sad, but it's not longer just about talent, it's also almost equally about payroll management. Did we get better from a talent perspective from this trade? Short term, yes, long term probably not. Did we get better from a payroll management perspective? Short term, no, long term, potentially.
Financials are a concern. They have to be when you ice a 21-player team to start the year. However the cap is believed to go up to about 92M in 24-25. That’s significant. A lot will hinge on what Kopi demands. One silver lining to Byfield’s play so far is that his next contract will be for a low number.

I disagree about the team being unbalanced. The entire forward lineup and top 4 D are excellently balanced now, like right up there in best of the conference balanced. The worst all-around player in the top 9 now is Kaliyev, but he could very well put up 20+ goals playing next to PLD and Fiala if that’s how the lines work out.

The 4th line is Grundstrom Lizotte and Lewis with JAD or Fagemo as the 13th skater. That’s a very good 4th line.

The bottom pairing is questionable given who the LD is, but the prospect of seeing what Clarke can do is thrilling. If Englund can prove in camp he can actually play defense for 10 minutes a night, he’ll make a good protector for Clarke and give the team much needed physicality. Otherwise I’d like to see the safe and boring play of Moverare there. Regardless, three players will be battling for that spot and that’s good competition to have.

Goalies are clearly the weak spot on paper but I’m not drawing any conclusions there based on how completely that position has been turned on its head the last year.

Longer term, the Kings have a steady stream of RFAs who will be competing for spots to keep cheaper talent cycling through. Pinelli, Chromiak, Laferriere, Thomas, Helenius, Hughes, Ziemmer (this kids looks way legit), and Lee. Turcotte will make an excellent 3rd line player if he ever stays healthy. That’s 9 potential NHL forwards. Not all will make it here or anywhere. But they only need 3 or 4 to hit over the next several years. Not to mention will see what happens with JAD and Fagemo.

On LD Krygier is an enticing prospect no one seems to talk about. Dvorak is intriguing. We’ll see if Kirsanov ever makes it over. Maybe in 2 years when Gavrikov prices himself out.

Outside of Clarke, Vilardi was the most promising young talent. That hurts, but provided the PLD gamble is the right one then the Kings have plenty of options to ice a strong and balanced team right up to the cap through the foreseeable future.
 
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I was a doubter going into last season but I will say that the team’s overall play throughout the season and even into the postseason actually made me hopeful for the first time since the Lombardi era.

I fully back the bold moves Blake has made to get off of Petersen’s awful contract and even though he paid through the nose in assets for Dubios I believe his game is something the team absolutely needs to get to the next level.

In many ways the 2023-24 season is make or break for the franchise.
 
If you were to choose to trade for (and keep) Gavrikov and Dubois, would you be willing to give up the following assets?
  • Quick
  • Walker
  • Petersen
  • Grans
  • Durzi
  • Vilardi
  • Iafallo
  • Kupari
  • 1st rd pick
  • 2nd rd pick
  • 3rd rd pick
  • sacrifice $2 mil in cap space for Provorov
  • (Did I miss anything? I may have... and if I did... isn't that a bit troubling that there's more?)
Because that's what Blake did. Is this great asset management? Would this be a good package if it meant Eichel and Pietrangelo coming back? But that's not who we have. (Oh, and Gavrikov is only signed for 2 years)
 
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