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06-14-2005, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave in LA
I am probably going to get flamed for this but, how can an organization teach its prospects/players what winning is about when this franchise (LA KINGS) revels in mediocrity?

Since this ownership has taken over, the kings have advanced only once in the playoffs. I know injuries play a big part, but when you have 3 1st round picks and prospects and you don't make a deal to better the club, there's a big problem. Then the organization is forced to make bad deals because of fan pressure. When fans are happy to see Army come back from an injury, there is something wrong. I love Army, he is a solid 3-4 line player.

Yes, I know the CBA had a lot to do with it as well. TL & DT have said the current CBA does not work for them and there was not a level playing field. They are going to get their cap/budget. This is what they were waiting for. They are sitting pretty right now. I expect immediate results once this CBA mess is over with. They forced this crap down our throats for many years. It is time to make good on it. There will be a lot teams looking to dump good/superstar (potential) players the kings can pick up for relatively cheap. They have the resources, roster players and prospects to make a good deal or 2.

You might get flamed but it's a great question. Here are my thoughts.

The Kings turned the corner in 2000. With that draft they were no longer the Kings many of us had come to love and hate. They have never been "winners" and that is a difficult thing to instill in a franchise that has never has much success. Gretzky helped somewhat but McNall screwed things up so royally that anything Gretzky brought was lost. When DT was hired he hardly knew how to be a GM. He learned on the job and did ok, but no better than any previous GM. In 2000, though, he put to use everything he'd learned on the job and the Kings started down the path to respectability and, yes, eventually being a "winner". The 00-01 playoffs helped and the 01-02 playoffs did too, even though they lost a round earlier. Injuries ravaged them in 02-03 and 03-04 but I think they (the players AND the franchise) learned from it (through adversity comes strength). Make no mistake, I do not think the Kings are "winners" but I do think they can instill what it takes to BE a winner.

What I disagree with you about is that the Kings should have made a deal to better the club (or that they made made deals). They should absolutely NOT have traded any of their best prospects to better the club. That is an awful way to build a Cup just doesn't work. Also, I disagree that they made many bad trades. Not all trades work out but I think all of DT's trades since 2000 (other than Cechmanek) have been basically sound, good decisions. I also don't think he's made ONE trade because of fan pressure. Not one.

Lastly, "immediate results" don't happen in hockey. At least not Cups. Every team that's short cut the "build from within" philosophy has only gotten as far as losing in the Cup Finals (if that far, see the Leafs and Blues) and for the most part they've fallen as fast as they've risen (Canes, Ducks, Caps). I don't expect immediate results...I expect slow & stead progress. And I've seen, not in the results on the ice...that's because of injuries. But I've seen organizational progress and developmental progress. And I'm ok with that.

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