Friday, September 21, 2007

Kings Make Another Positive Step!

1) A tad late in our opinion, but better late than never. Apparently, and surprisingly the LA Kings have decided that their once starting goalie, whom they acquired from the Canucks in July of 2006 for a pair of draft picks, was not up to the task of staying with the big club. He never was able to get comfortable and set in the anticipated role struggling with inconsistent play and many injuries. Most recently to his hip.

2) Cloutier is due to make $3.1-million both this season and also next, and will still be paid that when he clears wavers and is sent to Manchester(the Kings AHL affiliate) Once he clears wavers his salary will no longer count against the Kings salary cap, leaving significant space/flexibility (7-8 mil) if they choose to make additional moves now or later in the season.

3) Our only question is why it took so long to realize this was a bad move? We have never been big Cloutier fans. Well, we like the fact that he can drop his gloves and do this However, he has NEVER impressed us as anything more than a backup/AHL caliber tender. Having flashes of brilliance, but never winning/being the difference consistently. Which explains why he has failed to catch on with his now, 5th team.!

4) So where do the Kings go from here? Its a mere 8 days till their initial tilt in London against the high powered San Jose Shark. The word from the left coast is that they are feeling very comfortable handing the reigns over to either Jason LaBarbera, who had a nice start last year only to fade badly the second half, J. S. Aubin, who was less than impressive with the Leafs the last couple of seasons, or may they hand the starting role to a 19 year old??

5) Jonathan Bernier, younger brother of Sharks forward Steve Bernier has been playing rather well in camp we are told. We have only seen him a bit in the Canada-Russian Summit Series where he put in a very impressive effort. He does have an additional year of junior eligibility left, but if he excels the job may be offered to him. He can NOT be sent to the AHL, so the Kings will have a short window to see if he can handle the rigors of the NHL, or needs to be sent back to the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the QMJHL.

6) We feel its too bad that LA GM, Dean Lombardi, didn't realize his error sooner and try to land/trade for a better starting goalie. We feel that may be this teams only weakness. Bernier's potential aside, we are not comfortable with the other 2 potential tenders to be able to carry this team deep into the post season. As always thats why they play the games. Time will tell.


The Co-Pilot said...

Like you guys I was surprised they didn't give Clouts more time. There isn't a lot in the local papers today about it. Like you said there isn't much time til we have to go over to London for the first games. Lombardi better know what he's doing


1) Sorry Pilot for not answering ya sooner. Anyway, yes we were also surprised by the move. None of our California sources had this one on their radar
2) We did inquiries and apparently Cloutier is fine with the move. he understands why it was made. certainly the fact that he will still be paid 3.1 mil softens the blow! He also is looking toward his AHL duty as an opportunity to get back into shape and a return to the NHL later this year
3) whether that happens remains to be seen. What our sources DO tell us is that the Gerber and Raycroft rumors have zero basis! The Kings will be starting the season with their current allotment of goalies and then Lombardi will reassess that position and make a change if/when its shown to be necessary.

The Co-Pilot said...

Labarbara had a great year for our team In the AHL last year. He played some early on last year but wasn't ready I guess. It was be totally awsome if the kid bernier was our guy this season. When was the last time a 19 year old was a regular in this league? I didn't see him in that tournement, but have read about him playing great.

Antzmarching said...

You ARE Kareem... I think you're great, but my dad says you don't work hard enough on defense...

Jac said...

Steve Bernier is NOT Jonathan Berniers older brother. Jonathans older brother is named Marc Andre and is in the Vancouver Canucks system. He played in the QMJHL for the Halifax Mooseheads. Steve is in now way related to Jonathan or Marc Andre

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