Kings' biggest free agent flop?
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11-24-2012, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Lloydminster, AB
Originally Posted by
Valeri Bure was a great signing...
Yup that was a great signing. But really it didn't hurt the Kings since Valeri went down in a preseason game and never came back.
Alyn McCauley was one that hurt financially for awhile. But he only saw action in 10 games that year and likely didn't really cost the Kings a roster spot.
Quite honestly, I can't think of any huge free agent signings the Kings have ever made that improved the team substantially. A good portion don't fall into flops, but they aren't amazing deals either.
I think the biggest flop as far as screwing up the on-ice play is Jason LaBarbera. Now his stellar year in Manchester meant he had talent, but if I remember right the Kings had him signed to a one-way contract. By signing him to this one-way contract he would have to clear waivers to be brought up from Manchester. Thus, in 2006-07 we suffered the revolving door at goaltending which saw Barry Brust and Yutaka Fukufuji in net at one point because LaBarbera was stuck in Manchester. This was by far the worst deal as far as screwing up the on-ice product that I remember. Even Cloutier didn't cause this problem, as this almost resulted in the Kings having to sign a goalie from the ECHL to tend net one night.
If I remember right at some point along the way Brust and Fukufuji were the goalies for the Kings as both Cloutier and Garon were injured. I can't remember which one went down during the game, but it appeared that either Brust or Fukufuji were injured. Seems to me they were still against attempting to bring up LaBarbera and if the injury was minor enough but still unable to allow him to play they were going to sign one of Bakersfield's goalies. As the Kings were out of goalies in their system. Why did this happen? They signed Jason LaBarbera to a one-way deal as a free agent.
Of course, some might argue that had the Kings never brought in Dan Cloutier, LaBarbera would have been in LA and likely there would not have been Brust or Fukufuji in net. Even if LaBarbera had been in LA, assuming he was hurt, the Kings would still have to bring in Brust or Fukufuji. If anything, Cloutier as bad as he was, delayed having to see Brust or Fukufuji. Plus, it could have sped up seeing a Bakersfield Condor in uniform in Bako one night and in LA the next.
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