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Kings' biggest free agent flop?

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Old
11-19-2012, 06:00 PM
  #26
Ziggy Stardust
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Here's a refresher on the disastrous Steve Duchense signing. The Kings had to pay a good chunk of his salary just to get rid of him (after he cleared waivers).

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...5506/index.htm
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Defenseman Steve Duchesne, who signed a three-year, $11.25 million free-agent contract with the Kings in July, was put on waivers last Thursday after mouthing off to Los Angeles coach Larry Robinson. Following the incident Robinson had a meeting with some Kings veterans, who endorsed the move to get rid of Duchesne. (He had been benched for the previous four games.) After he was removed from the lineup, the Kings were 4-2 through Sunday and had climbed to within five points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference....
http://articles.latimes.com/1999/mar/19/sports/sp-18851
http://articles.latimes.com/1999/mar/13/sports/sp-16927
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In part, it's because of a season-long test of wills between Duchesne, a self-described "offensive defenseman," and the coaching staff, which finds it offensive when he's not a defenseman first.

And in part, it's because the Kings told Robinson to do it.

Captain Blake and alternates Bodger, Luc Robitaille and Garry Galley delivered a hard-line message in a meeting with Robinson on Thursday.

"The players, that was the biggest thing they came to me and said, 'Let's work on this reward system,' " Robinson said. " 'If the team's playing well, why mix it up?' . . . They feel that if they stick with the same guys, they will go and beat any team. So we'll try it."

Duchesne has drawn criticism from Robinson for a lack of physical play and for mistakes with the puck. He has been pressing, trying too hard, holding onto the puck too long instead of moving it on the power play and making poor decisions, according to coaches.

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11-19-2012, 06:09 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Tikkanen View Post
According to Bleacher Report Rob Blake is the Kings worst free agent signing. 2 years, 12 million dollars, full NTC, 65 points and a minus 45 rating. That's about 185 thousand dollars per a point.
Rob Blake for this, and many reasons not related to his performance.

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11-19-2012, 06:10 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
Valeri Bure was a great signing...
i second that. The guy was simply amazing. He was definitely what we would called "an impact" player.

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11-19-2012, 06:25 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
Rob Blake for this, and many reasons not related to his performance.
Yep, brought in to be the captain to a young team, teach them how to win, and a to be a mentor for Johnson to learn from. Huge failure on all three counts as the team was just a wreck and the only thing Johnson seemed to learn was all of Blake's bad qualities... Add in that he allegedly refused to be traded at the trade deadline his last year here despite the Kings being in the middle of a rebuild for a 1st (was it a 2nd as well? I remember it being a pretty great deal) only to go to San Jose and have a great year after half-a*%ing it in LA for two years. Worst signing by far.

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11-20-2012, 09:29 AM
  #30
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If you're going based on bang for the buck, obviously it has to be Bure. We never even got a shift out of him.

If you're looking at it from worst amongst guys who played for us, I'd likely have to say Blake, Duchense and Preissing are at the top of that list. I give MacCauley a mulligan because he was injured. Blame the medical staff on that one.

Since we have DL and Co. in charge here, I'll ignore Duchense as well, as he was a DT signing (and I don't blame him for it either, I thought it was a good signing at the time).

I guess my pick for worst would be Blake. Not only did he cost us an obscene amount of cap space and present a terrible brand of play, he didn't even try all that hard IMO. Preissing, although he sucked, at least tried. Plus we dealt away most of that contract to get Smyth so it really wasn't a huge detriment to the team. Blake was given a two year, fully-inclusive California vacation and paid $6 million a year on top of that.

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11-20-2012, 09:30 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
Yep, brought in to be the captain to a young team, teach them how to win, and a to be a mentor for Johnson to learn from. Huge failure on all three counts as the team was just a wreck and the only thing Johnson seemed to learn was all of Blake's bad qualities... Add in that he allegedly refused to be traded at the trade deadline his last year here despite the Kings being in the middle of a rebuild for a 1st (was it a 2nd as well? I remember it being a pretty great deal) only to go to San Jose and have a great year after half-a*%ing it in LA for two years. Worst signing by far.
I wonder what the Kings could have gotten for Blake at the deadline had he agreed to waive his no trade? I give equal blame to Lombardi for that signing, Blake left on bad terms the first time, he should not have been brought back in and he sure as hell should not have been given a NTC.

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11-20-2012, 09:35 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
Yep, brought in to be the captain to a young team, teach them how to win, and a to be a mentor for Johnson to learn from. Huge failure on all three counts as the team was just a wreck and the only thing Johnson seemed to learn was all of Blake's bad qualities... Add in that he allegedly refused to be traded at the trade deadline his last year here despite the Kings being in the middle of a rebuild for a 1st (was it a 2nd as well? I remember it being a pretty great deal) only to go to San Jose and have a great year after half-a*%ing it in LA for two years. Worst signing by far.
I don't recall a trade available for Blake. Not saying you're wrong, just saying I don't recall it. I'd like to know more if someone can dig up the info.

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11-20-2012, 11:09 AM
  #33
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I'm pretty sure there was talk of Blake being traded to San Jose at the deadline. You know, the team he signed with that following summer? Hence why his refusal to waive his NTC stings all the more.

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11-20-2012, 01:13 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Ollie Weeks View Post
I'm pretty sure there was talk of Blake being traded to San Jose at the deadline. You know, the team he signed with that following summer? Hence why his refusal to waive his NTC stings all the more.
http://articles.latimes.com/2008/feb...ts/sp-nhlrep26

Here's the only concrete article I can find searching around...

I know the rumored teams were Ottawa, Detroit, San Jose, and Colorado.
If I'm remembering the rumormill correctly, those 4 got into some what of a bidding war over Blake. Blake refused to waive his NTC to go to any other team than Colorado. The Aves bowed out when the price reached a 1st round pick, as they had an aging roster and needed the picks in the years to come. Only Detroit and San Jose offered a 1st+ and Blake flat out refused to go to either of those two teams. Come July he signs with San Jose and goes on to have his best year statwise in a number of seasons. Buck Flake...

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11-20-2012, 04:09 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Tikkanen View Post
I wonder what the Kings could have gotten for Blake at the deadline had he agreed to waive his no trade? .
The rumor was Nabakov

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11-20-2012, 06:40 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by The Dingo View Post
The rumor was Nabakov
Imagine that. Quick would not have had his breakout year in 2009-10.

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11-20-2012, 07:13 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
Yep, brought in to be the captain to a young team, teach them how to win, and a to be a mentor for Johnson to learn from. Huge failure on all three counts as the team was just a wreck and the only thing Johnson seemed to learn was all of Blake's bad qualities... Add in that he allegedly refused to be traded at the trade deadline his last year here despite the Kings being in the middle of a rebuild for a 1st (was it a 2nd as well? I remember it being a pretty great deal) only to go to San Jose and have a great year after half-a*%ing it in LA for two years. Worst signing by far.
Rumor has it (more than a rumor actually) that Dean's chosen mentor for Johnson was Aaron Miller. The Blake signing was kind of forced on Dean. When that happened he didn't feel like he could offer Miller more than a one year deal, so Miller left to get a two-year contract.

Indeed the trade rumor was Blake for Nabokov. Funny how things work out.

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11-20-2012, 07:51 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
Rumor has it (more than a rumor actually) that Dean's chosen mentor for Johnson was Aaron Miller. The Blake signing was kind of forced on Dean. When that happened he didn't feel like he could offer Miller more than a one year deal, so Miller left to get a two-year contract.

Indeed the trade rumor was Blake for Nabokov. Funny how things work out.
Miller? Really? Never heard that before. I just remember Miller being an absolute wreck after the lockout... Professional, and standup guy, but one that was completely a product of the clutch and grab pre-lockout NHL...

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11-20-2012, 08:33 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
Miller? Really? Never heard that before. I just remember Miller being an absolute wreck after the lockout... Professional, and standup guy, but one that was completely a product of the clutch and grab pre-lockout NHL...
Yeah, but Dean didn't know that was going to happen to Miller's play. Point is that Miller was the guy Dean wanted in the room in the stall next to Johnson, not Blake.

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11-21-2012, 12:16 AM
  #40
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Jeremy Roenick gets my vote.

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11-21-2012, 07:26 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
Yeah, but Dean didn't know that was going to happen to Miller's play. Point is that Miller was the guy Dean wanted in the room in the stall next to Johnson, not Blake.
Could totally see that and good point on Miller still be a top guy at that point. Makes me wonder how things would've turned out if Blake was never brought in and Miller resigned. Didn't DL also make a pretty hard run trying to sign Chara who was a UFA the same year as Blake?

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Jeremy Roenick gets my vote.
Roenick was a trade and not a free agent signing. Same thing with Cloutier, he was aquired in trade and then signed an extension. Neither of them count as "biggest free agent flop." Otherwise those two are at the top of the list for worst Kings player ever.

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11-21-2012, 08:07 AM
  #42
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Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
Could totally see that and good point on Miller still be a top guy at that point. Makes me wonder how things would've turned out if Blake was never brought in and Miller resigned. Didn't DL also make a pretty hard run trying to sign Chara who was a UFA the same year as Blake?
I remember hearing that the Kings had sent Chara a deal worth similar if not a bit more money than Boston, but Boston was willing to guarantee the "C" which is what sealed it, something LA was apparently not willing to do.

Gotta wonder how different this team might have been had that happened. We likely never get Doughty in that scenario, Chara probably prevents the Kings from picking top 5 in 07 and 08, moving into the ~6-8 range, maybe we start becoming a playoff team as early as 09...but would the Kings still have gotten the cup? Hard to say, impossible to know.

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11-21-2012, 09:17 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by The Dingo View Post
The rumor was Nabakov
Really? Not saying you're wrong, because I clearly know jack about all of this, but that makes zero sense since Nabokov played 77 games for San jose that year and their backup was Brian Boucher. Who did San Jose expect to ride in the post-season?

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Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
Could totally see that and good point on Miller still be a top guy at that point. Makes me wonder how things would've turned out if Blake was never brought in and Miller resigned. Didn't DL also make a pretty hard run trying to sign Chara who was a UFA the same year as Blake?
The Chara thing is true. I heard that LA and Boston offered the exact same contract (which at $7.5 million per season was at the maximum allowable under the cap at the time. The most you can offer was 20% of the cap to a player). Chara elected to stay in the East, largely due to less travel, since everything else was equal.

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11-21-2012, 10:15 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by kingsfan View Post
Really? Not saying you're wrong, because I clearly know jack about all of this, but that makes zero sense since Nabokov played 77 games for San jose that year and their backup was Brian Boucher. Who did San Jose expect to ride in the post-season?



The Chara thing is true. I heard that LA and Boston offered the exact same contract (which at $7.5 million per season was at the maximum allowable under the cap at the time. The most you can offer was 20% of the cap to a player). Chara elected to stay in the East, largely due to less travel, since everything else was equal.
I thought the rumor was Chara's wife wanted to be on the East Coast like Kovalchuk's?

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11-21-2012, 10:53 AM
  #45
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Originally Posted by kingsfan View Post
Really? Not saying you're wrong, because I clearly know jack about all of this, but that makes zero sense since Nabokov played 77 games for San jose that year and their backup was Brian Boucher. Who did San Jose expect to ride in the post-season?
Umm, the same mediocre goaltending they have for years? I mean Nabakov is a workhorse and soli, but he clearly isn't going to steal a game or two in the playoffs like you need a goalie to do at this point. Boucher, Schafer, Niemi, etc could've done an admirable job. Maybe not better but not much worse either...

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11-21-2012, 11:20 AM
  #46
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Nabokov, mediocre? Naw. A choker, yes.

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11-21-2012, 11:50 AM
  #47
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No mention of Cechmanek? The mid-2000's featured a treasure trove of craptacular signings.

(I agree with Ziggy - Duchense was the worst of all.)

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11-21-2012, 02:00 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Grillinnap View Post
Nabokov, mediocre? Naw. A choker, yes.
Same thing really. Being a choker brings you back to the rest of the pack in my eyes. A great goaltender (or great player in general) plays his best hockey in the biggest games. If you can't handle the pressure and fold everytime your backs against a wall you aren't great, you may be good, but not great. You can be great in stretches but everyone knows you'll eventually lay an egg at some point and that lowers you a level. What Nabokov is, is a technically sound goaltender that seems to never get tired and can play solid hockey for long stretches. Put him in a big game and he folds under pressure quick.

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No mention of Cechmanek? The mid-2000's featured a treasure trove of craptacular signings.
Wasn't Cechmanek a trade though? I thought LA gave up a 3rd or 4th rounder for him? Also I don't think he was nearly as bad as Duchesne or Blake. He put up numbers similar to Huet so I think he was more a case of being on a pretty middle of the pack team.


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11-21-2012, 02:25 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
Same thing really. Being a choker brings you back to the rest of the pack in my eyes. A great goaltender (or great player in general) plays his best hockey in the biggest games. If you can't handle the pressure and fold everytime your backs against a wall you aren't great, you may be good, but not great. You can be great in stretches but everyone knows you'll eventually lay an egg at some point and that lowers you a level. What Nabokov is, is a technically sound goaltender that seems to never get tired and can play solid hockey for long stretches. Put him in a big game and he folds under pressure quick.



His postseason numbers are pretty good. He was a victim of the Sharks' lack of defense. Nabokov was their goalie, defenseman, and shut-down line all in one. In 2003-04, he was phenomenal. But you are right, he always folded under pressure. IMO, mediocre is not the word you use for Nabokov. If he was mediocre, he would've never been the number 1 goalie for 9 straight years for a perennial playoff team.


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11-21-2012, 02:53 PM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
Same thing really. Being a choker brings you back to the rest of the pack in my eyes. A great goaltender (or great player in general) plays his best hockey in the biggest games. If you can't handle the pressure and fold everytime your backs against a wall you aren't great, you may be good, but not great. You can be great in stretches but everyone knows you'll eventually lay an egg at some point and that lowers you a level. What Nabokov is, is a technically sound goaltender that seems to never get tired and can play solid hockey for long stretches. Put him in a big game and he folds under pressure quick.



Wasn't Cechmanek a trade though? I thought LA gave up a 3rd or 4th rounder for him? Also I don't think he was nearly as bad as Duchesne or Blake. He put up numbers similar to Huet so I think he was more a case of being on a pretty middle of the pack team.
Yes, Cechmanek was traded from Philly to LA for a 2nd round draft pick. In 49 games with LA he went 18-21-6 with a 2.51 GAA. I don't think he was a flop but he was not as good as advertised (something that happened regularly) coming off a season in Philly with a 1.83 GAA. In 03-04 Roman pulled in 3 million cool ones.

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