John Hoven has the exclusive report on Rob Blake joining the Kings' front office in the near future. Blake will fill the void left by Ron Hextall. While Blake's tenures as a King are polarizing at best, it's probably good to remember that he was a pretty excellent player and the face of the franchise for a considerable portion of his career. It seems bad to me to have one of the most prominent players in the history of your organization loathed by the majority of the team's fans. Perhaps this is step one on the rocky road toward rebuilding his image (and likely toward retiring his number). At worst, an assistant GM -- as far as I can tell anyway -- is basically just a dressed up scout with some extra input and a significant role as team spokesman. He'll be the GM of the Monarchs, a role that is mostly just...well...scouting the players that aren't yet good enough to play for the Kings. I'm just sad that we don't have a goal scoring, face punching goalie in our front office any more. If you refuse to forgive Blake (understandable), this will probably give you a chance to boo him more often.
More from the Kings
- Jon Rosen has the goods on the pre-season schedule. Frozen Fury is ready to make its return. Plan accordingly.
- He also has a phone interview with Ron Hextall (courtesy of Flyers TV).
- As we all know, Dustin Penner vacated Southern California for Other Southern California. He heads back to Anaheim, where he will presumably find his goal scoring touch and go from fan favorite to goat (or, a mule, if you're Ryan Dunn) (seriously that link is always worth reading).
- KingsVision has some cutting room floor footage from their Stanley Cup Moments series. Watch and listen to Jim Fox discuss the Dustin Brown trade rumors.
- In very, exceedingly minor Kings news, The Fourth Period is reporting that Dustin Brown is likely to sign his long term extension by the end of the day. We'll have a full post analyzing the details when they emerge. Prediction: the contract irritates me but I don't care because KING FOR LIFE!!
Robert's favorite personDennis Bernstein is also reporting that Kyle Clifford is on the block. I'm not sure I believe Kyle won't be a King opening night. I also don't believe his raise will wind up being significant. Lewis's probably won't either. While the Martinez and particularly the Muzzin contracts surprised me a tiny bit, I think fans almost always tend to over-estimate the value of their younger role players. Lewis and Clifford will earn raises, but I don't think they'll push us over the cap. If you have to trade one, which would you deal? I'd probably trade Clifford as I believe his value is about maxed out. Lewis doesn't garner the kind of return for the value he actually brings to the team (especially a team that struggles to drive play from its bottom 6), while several teams overvalue the skillset Clifford brings to the table. While Clifford has worked hard to expand his horizons as a hockey player -- and he still has room to grow -- he's still mostly a feisty fourth liner with a bit of skill and a growing injury history. Now could be the time to cut ties if his demands really are outlandish.
Around the League
- A recent study shows that concussions are actually up since the implementation of the headshot rule.
- Fear The Fin has an excellent study on the effect special teams have on winning. [Part 1] [Part 2]
- Columbus made a splash by signing the deep and poetic Nathan Horton. However, they're Columbus, so he'll miss the start of the season [NHL.com]
- Arctic Ice Hockey analyzes the impact of a coach on his goaltender's numbers.
- Our old pal Tim Leiweke has literally planned the parade in Toronto. Jeff Veillette from LeafsNation points out that this might not be a bad thing.