Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kings locker room tense due to trade rumors, per Doughty

Drew Doughty (photo by: D. Sheehan)
The final story on the LA Kings' season has yet to be written. Several chapters are already completed though, including the season opening trip to Europe, Mike Richards hot streak in November and the firing of Terry Murray in December.

So far, 2012 has seen a reoccurring problem from the past two years somehow become even worse - they just can't seem to generate goals.

"We feel bad because we know we have the talent in here to score," explained Drew Doughty. "We have the team that should put way more pucks in the net. We're not doing the job."

For as frustrating as that's been for the organization and fans alike, to show just how close they are to being one of the top teams in the league, think about this - 18 of Jonathan Quick’s 26 losses have been by one goal, including 10 of his last 12.

Averaging just a half-a-goal more per game would make a HUGE difference. Winning just a third of those games (eight of the 26 to be more specific) would give them 81 points and have LA sitting second in the Western Conference.

Like several players on the team, Doughty acknowledged there was pressure in the air in the weeks leading to the coaching change. Then, it left like a breeze through an open window in the early part of the Sutter Era. Yet, things have become tense once again according to the 22-year old defenseman.

The culprit? Those ever-present trade rumors.

"You try to not talk about it too much. But, obviously, you hear all the trade rumors and what not. So, it's hard. It's fun to see a new guy come in and that helps make your team better. At the same time, you become so close with the guys on your team and when you see them go, it's tough. It's not a fun time. You feel bad for guys who get traded. The atmosphere in here is definitely a little more tense than it usually is. So, I just can't wait for the deadline to be over with."

Doughty will only have to wait one more week. The NHL Trade Deadline is noon PST on Monday, February 27.

A few days ago we took a look at the five things at play for the Kings and those pesky trade rumors. If you missed it, click here now.  Back-up goalie Jonathan Bernier also addressed hearing his name as part of those rumors here.

The Mayor


  1. At this time I would hate to see the Kings give up quality players. This is not on Dean or the coach. The players on this team need to figure this out. This is the job of the leaders on the Kings to figure out. Captain, assistant captain, vetrain, or rookie now is the time for the leaders to lead.

  2. I do not know if the players on the team are capable of figuring it out. They should resilience in the playoffs last year and the year prior, but this team is soulless.

  3. I.E. Nobody wants to go to Columbus.

    Solution: Then get your shit together.

  4. Here is how you transform the Kings into a team that can score goals, once and for all, and it's all completely doable. Just to demonstrate how doable it is for the Kings, I will attempt to overpay, make offers that are even a bit overkill, just to show that it is doable no matter.

    You trade Jarret Stoll to Philadelphia, or anywhere, for the best return you can get. If no one wants him (this is the overkill/worst case scenario part), you waive him, and if you have to, you bury his contract in the minors for the rest of the season.

    You do the same with Dustin Penner.

    Then you trade Jack Johnson, Jonathan Bernier, *, a 1st round pick, a 2nd round pick, Dwight King, Jake Muzzin, Brandon Kozun (this is the overkill part, although the Kings have plenty of prospects and few roster spots, so they can afford to put in a couple extra if need be) for Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, and a Grant Clitsome or another cheap Columbus defenseman. If you can get them to throw in a depth forward who can help you, too, thats great, if not its not a deal breaker.

    * = Matt Greene. You would include him in the deal to make cap room if Columbus would take him. If they would not be willing to take him, then before making the deal with Columbus you would either trade him somewhere else or waive him and potentially put him in the minors.

    The end result.


    Rick Nash - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
    Dustin Brown - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
    The bottom six would be the same as now, minus Jarret Stoll. You would look to upgrade that separately.


    Mitchell - Doughty
    Scuderi - Voynov
    Drewiske/Martinez/Hickey/someone you acquire in a separate trade for a mid-round pick - Grant Clitsome/CBJ dman/someone you acquire or a hidden gem you sign from the AHL

    In one day, this would take the Kings from the 30th ranked offense in an offensively challenged league to having probably the best top-six forward group in their franchise history.

    And the only "core" player they would have to give up of their current roster to make this happen is Jack Johnson. Stoll is their third line center who is a UFA anyway, Greene is a bottom-pairing defenseman, and Penner is also a UFA having a bad season.

    From 30th offense to best top-six in franchise history, and maybe the entire NHL. From 30th to 1st in a sense. The only core piece you lose is Johnson, and if there is one thing you have in your prospect pool, its a ton of offensive defensemen.

    The Kings have the young defensemen to replace Johnson. As for Bernier, Greene, even Stoll, you can always find another backup goaltender, another bottom-pairing defenseman, and even another third-line center.

    What you cant usually find is a top line goal scorer, let alone two. And make no mistake, the Kings need at least two more core snipers. Just Carter will not fix this team's problems. Even Nash by himself wont. You need both.

    In my opinion, that deal is a home run, even with the overkill version where you have to give up extra prospects. How can it be a deal that I know columbus would want to do, but also a home run for the Kings? Because its a home run. Normally the other team wouldnt want to do a deal that helps you so much, because that usually means it doesnt help them. But the circumstances are so crazy and unique in this case with Columbus, thats why its such a rare opportunity for the Kings to transform their team, and thats why they have to go all in for this one and just do it, get them both, because there wont be another home run opportunity like this any time soon.