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The L.A. Kings: One and Done or Dynasty?


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#1 VM1138

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:55 AM

So I meandered over to the LA Kings HF boards and look through some of their topics to see what they were saying about their first ever cup win.

There's little activity over there yet, but I found a few comments that specifically said they would not be a "one and done" team, that Quick should get a 7+ million dollar contract, and some optimism about the future.

But as we've seen, it takes a very special team to return to the finals (Wings and Pens are the most recent to do so, and they were awesome teams). LA certainly has the youth factor and some very good teams, but I can't shake the feeling that, despite how well they played, this year was a fluke. The whole playoff scene was topsy turvy and I just don't see that holding up next year.

Does anyone have any thoughts on where LA is going in the future? I personally think they will be a playoff team next year but I just don't see them going very far for quite a while.

The other thing I found interesting is that their success hinged on Quick's performance. Goalies are notoriously inconsistent. There hasn't been a truly great goalie in the NHL since the early 2000s, except for maybe Lundqvist. If they do end up sinking 7 million in him, in my mind they will be committing a classic mistake. I'm not sure what their cap situation is moving forward but a move like that certainly won't help. Too many teams have awarded their goalies with huge contracts only to have them become an albatross around the team.
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#2 Hatethedrake!

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:17 AM

The main reason why teams don't repeat as Cup champs anymore is the grind of the season. It's so long and drawn out. Factor in LA being a west coast team and it makes it very difficult for them next season. Often, the Cup champs are actually better on paper the next season but the hunger just isn't there. We all recall 98-99 when the Wings stumbled through the season playing average hockey after winning back-to-back Cups. We also recall 2003 when the team went stretches looking like a bunch of talented players with no determination or drive. 2009 we played very lazy hockey but had the offensive firepower to bail us out most of the time. LA has a strong core group of players like Richards, Brown, Kopitar, Williams Carter, Stoll (likely to be re-signed), Doughty, Mitchell, Greene, Voynov, and Quick. They have solid depth guys to compliment their star players. Next season will come more pressure and expectations. They will have a big target on their backs and all teams want to beat the champs. It's more of a mental thing really. It's much easier to be the hunter than it is the hunted. I am not saying LA has no shot at repeating next season, only that it is very difficult to find that drive and motivation to pay the price and be as hungry as you were when you won it the first time. Saying all the right things is one thing but actually doing it is another. Also factor in the shorter off season for this Kings team. Most other teams are well into their off season summer workout routines and their bodies have been resting for close to 2 months now. Mentally and physically, the Kings are behind everyone else right now. They are emotionally spent while other teams who have been picking their noses for 2 months are chomping at the bit to get back to playing hockey next season. A lockout would benefit the Kings because it would give them more recovery time to heal up Plus lets face it. LA was pretty healthy in these playoffs minus missing Simon Gagne. It's very hard to be that healthy during a 2 month run. Look how unlucky the Wings have been heading into and during these past 3 playoffs. Things lined up pretty well for LA this season and it's unrealistic to expect this to happen every season. Not taking anything away from them, it's just a fact. In the end, I don't see LA repeating next season. I do see them being a Cup contender for at least the next 5 years.

Edited by Hatethedrake!, 12 June 2012 - 10:23 AM.

Jordan Tootoo will wreck shop.

We need someone like Parise that can penetrate the box.-blueadams

#3 YougotDatsyuked

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:22 AM

I agree with a lot of what you said, but to play devils advocate what does that tell your locker room and FA if you don't reward the player most responsible for your first cup ever?

#4 Hatethedrake!

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:25 AM

I agree with a lot of what you said, but to play devils advocate what does that tell your locker room and FA if you don't reward the player most responsible for your first cup ever?


I expect Lombardi to sign Quick to a long term contract extension this summer. I'd be very surprised if he didn't.
Jordan Tootoo will wreck shop.

We need someone like Parise that can penetrate the box.-blueadams

#5 VM1138

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:38 AM

I agree with a lot of what you said, but to play devils advocate what does that tell your locker room and FA if you don't reward the player most responsible for your first cup ever?


It's not an ideal situation to be in by any means. Ideally a contract could be worked out with a lower cap hit and maybe laden with performance incentives and bonuses? At any rate, if I were a GM I'd be less concerned about what it said to the locker room than being able to ice a good team four years from now. But I'm a long-term kind of guy.
Check out my short e-book on the Red Wings' 1937 Stanley Cup championship entitled: "Nothing Could Keep 'Em Down." Please download it from my profile at Smashwords: https://www.smashwor...ile/view/victor

New e-book: The Spanish-American War: A Brief History. Relatively short, introductory read for casual history buffs and people who want to learn more about a forgotten war that changed America. Available at BN.com, Smashwords, Kobo, and Diesel E-Books right now. Same link as above.

#6 amato

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:42 AM

I don't know about dynasty but I think they'll go deeper in the playoffs next year than recent winners (chi,bos)....

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#7 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:59 AM

I don't think they'll be one and done, but I'm guessing they won't be a dynasty either. It's just so hard to do these days. But they could be a contender for a good long while.

Like you mentioned, Quick is the key signing. Hopefully they get him for a reasonable price but that's going to be hard to do after winning the Conn Smythe and having the season he did. Hopefully he'll get the cap hit down through a decent term. And as awesome as quick was this playoffs, you can't expect that his level of play will be this high every single postseason. This team clearly had something special going on.

Aside from Quick the only significant UFA's besides him next season are Scuderi, Penner, and Stoll. Stoll I'm guessing they'll try hard to sign. He's good in the faceoff circle, plays the PK and PP and competes every shift. The other two will be interesting decisions because Scuderi and Penner stepped up in a big way and were different players once Sutter came on board. Most of the season Scuder was fine but unremarkable, and Penner was a huge waste of cap space most of his time in LA. So they could re-sign at a decent price hopefully, but are also replaceable if need be.

But they've got Kopitar, Richards, Williams, Brown, and Doughty signed for several seasons. And kids like Voynov and Martinez who won't even be RFA's for another season on their rookie contracts. So they don't have to do much to keep most of this team intact for a couple more seasons.


They're also just so freaking young. Kopitar is 24. Doughty is only 22. Martinez 24. Voynov 22. Brown, Richards and Carter are 27. Quick is 26.

Basically I think the team is in great shape, they only have to make a few significant moves in the next few seasons and could be good for a long time. But much like their long history of losing, the Kings also have a history of bad trades and signings so you never know. Hopefully those days are behind them as well.

#8 Jedi

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:03 AM

I'd put it somewhere in between the two. They'll be competitive for a few years to come, but repeating enough times to be crowned a "Dynasty" will be extremely difficult, if not downright impossible, due to the salary cap.

The Kings have 5 free agents to sign/replace this offseason (Dwight King is RFA, Penner, Stoll, Parse and Fraser are UFA), but have over $16m to work with (assuming a 70.3 million cap, pre-CBA negotiations though). So keeping the guys they want from this year's squad shouldn't be too much of a problem. The long-postseason/short-offseason could be a hindrance next year, as well as any issues with "Cup Hangover".

The big problem to the "Dynasty" is the parity the league has brought about with the salary cap era. Teams are having a harder time just making the playoffs every year (Only the Wings and Sharks have made it every year since the cap, and just barely for SJ this year), let alone being able to genuinely compete year in and year out. I think the days of seeing any team being crowned a true "Dynasty" are over.

That said, LA has all the right pieces in place to be a true contender for a few years, for sure. Although, like the '72 Dolphins, I will be sure to celebrate if/when they are eliminated next year, so that the '97-'98 Wings team still remains as the last team to repeat as champions!

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#9 stevkrause

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:37 AM

first off - quality thread! This is one of the first ones I've seen here in awhile and one of the first ones, that subsequently I felt compelled to comment on. :)

I think LA will be a one and done for one simple reason - Carter and Richards will eventually get back to their wild lifestyle ways and will become cancers... they caught lightning in a bottle with those two, because they were both humbled by their recent tradings (or double tradings) and being apart and therefore I genuinely feel that they both became model citizens under that scrutiny and played they way they're both capable of... with that said, a tiger doesn't change it's stripes and eventually having these two paired in a city like LA will catch up with them and they'll get right back to their partying ways (probably worse than before due to access in LA)

Couple all of this with the potential loss of some key depth players in FA (Stoll, Penner) and some lesser depth players such as King and Fraser probably getting raises, along with the aforementioned contract situation looming with Quick and they could end up in cap hell very quickly, not to mention, much less deep...

All and all, they had a hell of a season, got hot at the right time and got the most of their guys that will likely tail off... they may still be competitive in the near future, but I highly doubt this is the start of a dynasty and I'd even go as far as to say they should enjoy their cup, because they're probably not going to see another one for at least another decade...

All and all though, you can't take it away from them and they earned it this year! and for that, I say congrats...

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#10 chuckdee

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:52 AM

I'd like to congratulate the Kings and their fans. I moved to L.A from Detroit in the 90's, lived there for 10 years and went to a few games. There are some die-hard hockey and Kings fans that have been waiting a long time for a Cup, so again, congrats to them!
No, I don't think they're a dynasty. They barely made the playoffs but with a hot goalie and solid play, anything is possible, especially in today's game. The parody in the league is more so than anything other sport.

#11 VM1138

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:58 AM

They barely made the playoffs but with a hot goalie and solid play, anything is possible, especially in today's game. The parody in the league is more so than anything other sport.


See, this is what I'm thinking. This was so flukey, that even with the talent they have, I just don't see them sniffing the Cup for at least another 15 years (to throw out a random number). Even with all their success I still would never consider them in the "powerhouse" category and see them more as an Edmonton type fluke from a few years back.
Check out my short e-book on the Red Wings' 1937 Stanley Cup championship entitled: "Nothing Could Keep 'Em Down." Please download it from my profile at Smashwords: https://www.smashwor...ile/view/victor

New e-book: The Spanish-American War: A Brief History. Relatively short, introductory read for casual history buffs and people who want to learn more about a forgotten war that changed America. Available at BN.com, Smashwords, Kobo, and Diesel E-Books right now. Same link as above.

#12 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:04 PM

Are there two Dean Lombardis?

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#13 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:15 PM

See, this is what I'm thinking. This was so flukey, that even with the talent they have, I just don't see them sniffing the Cup for at least another 15 years (to throw out a random number). Even with all their success I still would never consider them in the "powerhouse" category and see them more as an Edmonton type fluke from a few years back.

The things is, the Kings weren't an awful team that got it together at the right time. They were a talented and defensively sound team that was underperforming all season in terms of goal scoring. But they were 2nd in the league in goals against, 4th in PK, and even a mediocre 17th on the PP. They just weren't scoring. Straight across the board all their players were having slumps, for various reasons.

The biggest thing they did was bring in Sutter, who took a fairly young and inexperienced team and held them accountable. He also opened up their offense. Murray implemented a great defensive system there, but clearly had them playing too conservatively. And Game 6 aside, their PP is about the ugliest I've seen, especially for a team with that much talent on the first unit. It baffles me how their PP coach has kept his job after it being terrible for so many seasons.

I don't know that they'll get to the Finals again, but I'd be surprised if this team wasn't at least a factor in the playoffs for the next few seasons.

#14 13dangledangle

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:28 PM

Not a one and done, but not a dynasty either imo. They have a great team but more then anything clicked ALL at the right time. The stars only align every so often, great team yes but lady luck doesn't always come back right away.
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#15 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:34 PM

Uncle Gary says: " Parity, not dynasty".

"Mess up tomorrow, don't mess up now".

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#16 Heaten

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:47 PM

I would give them the same odds as 16 other teams of going all the way. LA got hot at the right time. My guess is they'll run out of gas or have injury problems next season.

#17 RedWingsRox

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:53 PM

There will be no more dynasties in the new era ... period.

#18 Hockey13Playa

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:02 PM

I wouldn't call them "one and done"; They have a young group of guys who will have many good years of hockey ahead of them. A lot of there team is signed for a few seasons as well. I don't think they will become a dynasty though either. In today's salary cap era it is just to hard to assemble a dynasty team. However I would like to somehow see a modern day dynasty. I think that would be awesome. I've always been a fan of when teams are assembled well, they stay dominant for a while. I hate every year that random-ass teams spring up out of nowhere only to fall again right after. Having these "good" teams year in and year out would add to rivalries too.

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#19 dteowner

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:17 PM

The thing they're missing is veteran leadership. The team is young. I expect their hangover will be longer than most because there won't be a guy in the room with clout to get the team back to working. Figure they back into the playoffs next season and never really get on the roll like they did this season.

Really, as has been said, the parity in the league is going to make for a lot more "streaky" champions than "powerhouse" champions. You're going to see some teams that are in contention every year but don't necessarily win (like our Wings). LA might have the core in place to move into that group.

#20 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:29 PM

The thing they're missing is veteran leadership. The team is young. I expect their hangover will be longer than most because there won't be a guy in the room with clout to get the team back to working. Figure they back into the playoffs next season and never really get on the roll like they did this season.

Really, as has been said, the parity in the league is going to make for a lot more "streaky" champions than "powerhouse" champions. You're going to see some teams that are in contention every year but don't necessarily win (like our Wings). LA might have the core in place to move into that group.

Honestly I think that's the biggest thing Sutter brought. Accountability. Because you're right in they don't have a ton of veteran leadership. Doughty and Penner became completely different players under Sutter.

It'll be interesting if Sutter can keep them working like that through a full season, with Cup hangover. Or if there will be message fatigue.





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