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Kings' biggest free agent flop?

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Old
11-21-2012, 08:53 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Tikkanen View Post
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.
I'm always entertained by the fact that through most of the mid to late 90's the Flyers seemed to have this strange ability to make so-so goaltenders look like hall of famers. Fast forward to the last 5 or so years and goaltending is the one thing that just kills that team everry single year...

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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.
Perhaps a difference in meaning between us. I consider Chris Osgood a mediocre goaltender and he's probably heading to the Hall of Fame. He isn't a superstar, but he was good on a great team for so long that he benefits from it. I use the term mediocre like I would middle of the road. Nabakov is the same to me good starting goalie, just bad under pressure. You can totally be a mediocre goaltender and be a starting goalie for 9 years as long as the situation allows you be. The kings went to the cup finals with a mediocre/good goaltender in Kelly Hrudey.

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11-21-2012, 11:42 PM
  #52
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Tom Preissing?

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Lol. First guy I thought of when I read title.

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11-22-2012, 09:56 AM
  #53
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I thought the rumor was Chara's wife wanted to be on the East Coast like Kovalchuk's?
Have been digging looking for it but can't seem to find the article on it. From what I recall Chara was promised pretty much the same thing in LA as he was in Boston (both 5 year, $7.5 million contracts) but Chara elected to go to the place with less travel. I don't recall anything mentioned about his wife. Maybe I missed something.

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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...
Umm, Nabokov wasn't mediocore, and when was the last time you heard of a team trading away their starter who had played basically every game that season just so they could ride a guy in Boucher, who played almost the entire season in the minors? Btw, Scheafer wasn't even with San jose anymore at that point, he had moved on and was playing in the Wild organization in the AHL and Niemi was in the AHL with Chicago's affiliate.

No team is going to make a trade for a veteran UFA to be like Blake only to go into the playoffs with a goalie who spent most of the seson in the AHL as their number one. Come on, man.

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11-22-2012, 12:24 PM
  #54
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So Chara joins Kovalchuk and Brad Richards. Well, actually, Chara was actually the first one. Deano gives them the best offer, but these top FAs just don't to go here.

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11-24-2012, 06:37 PM
  #55
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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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11-25-2012, 04:36 AM
  #56
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On the flip side, I think some of LA's best free agent signings have mainly been defensemen:

Garry Galley
Mathieu Schneider
Rob Scuderi
Willie Mitchell

Their two best forward signings (not including those who came straight out of college):
Pavol Demitra
Craig Conroy

Have to mention Trent Klatt and Derek Armstrong as pleasant surprises who paid off more than what most fans anticipated. Luc Robitaille's 3rd stint in LA also worked out well in terms of production.

The last decent forward the Kings signed was Michal Handzus. Gagne was performing damn well in the early going of last season but the amount of games missed probably gives him an incomplete grade.

You know who were a couple of players who I thought were wastes of a roster spot? Scott Thornton and Kyle Calder. Thankfully those experiments didn't last very long.

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11-25-2012, 08:16 PM
  #57
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Didn't we offer Giguere a contract when he was a FA in 2007?

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11-25-2012, 08:45 PM
  #58
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Mario THE GOOSE Goselin was a sieve.

Galley and Dueschene were both great when they played for us the first time around just like Jimmy the Kid but all 3 seemed to loose something when they came back.

You could argue Dean Kennedy during one of his many stints with the team or Larry Playfair but that wouldn't be fairly played as both of those guys were great at what they did from time to time.

How about my favorite Bob Bourne? Nope, he was so solid for us for the short time he was here.

Pro Hockey record win holder Rick Knickel?

Igor Liba? Not really a free agent signing but he was er eh......Libtastic.

Miko Makkkkkkelllla?

The Tiger during one of his stints with the team? Nope, he was one of the greatest of all time.

I dunno, we have had our share of great and terrible free agents over the years but they were all Kings at one point so they all get a pass for the most part.

All except for Laughlin, that guy was pathetic.

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11-26-2012, 09:50 AM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootmaster_44 View Post

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.
I agree with you. That said, I think if you look at it from the viewpoint of when the signing was made, it made much more sense.

With Crawford as coach, he's clearly the driving force behind Deano getting Cloutier, so you know as long as Crawford is around, Cloutier is likely to be in the net as well, meaning there's only the backup spot left. I think LA viewed Labs as the long-term back-up/co-number one with Cloutier and simply thought of Garon as a stop gap. I think the goal was to give Labs as many starts as they could in the minors for a year while they burnt off the last year for Garon. Sort of like grooming a young prospect, just that Labs wasn't that young. I think the lone way to convince Labs to stay in the minors was to do the one-way deal.

I doubt anyone could see Cloutier being THAT bad, and both Cloutier and Garon being hurt as much as they were. IIRC, both Cloutier and Garon suffered long-term injuries that year. Pretty rare for both of your regular goalies to be out for long periods of time.

So essentially I'm saying I agree with you that it didn't work out, but I think it was more to do with the injuries to Garon and Cloutier than the Labs contract. LA clearly were high on him and the lone way to keep him in the fold was to do the one-way deal. Where Deano really screwed up I think was not simply dealing Garon away and just keeping Labs up with the club.

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Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
On the flip side, I think some of LA's best free agent signings have mainly been defensemen:

Garry Galley
Mathieu Schneider
Rob Scuderi
Willie Mitchell

Their two best forward signings (not including those who came straight out of college):
Pavol Demitra
Craig Conroy

Have to mention Trent Klatt and Derek Armstrong as pleasant surprises who paid off more than what most fans anticipated. Luc Robitaille's 3rd stint in LA also worked out well in terms of production.
I have to say that I think Army was by far the best bang for the buck pick up the Kings have made in a LONG time. He wasn't great, but he did a lot more than I ever expected from a career minor leaguer up until that point.

That said, we actually got his rights in a trade, not as a UFA signing:

http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/...player.cgi?942

"7/16/2002- New York Rangers traded Derek Armstrong to the Los Angeles Kings for a 6th round selection (Chris Holt) in 2003."

I actually remember the trade, cause I wondered why we traded anything for a then 29-year-old career minor leaguer from europe. I now know why.

I think our best signing of the past 10 years is Mitchell. If he could add about 15 points to his output this year he'd have been a Norris finalist I think.

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11-26-2012, 10:48 AM
  #60
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So Chara joins Kovalchuk and Brad Richards. Well, actually, Chara was actually the first one. Deano gives them the best offer, but these top FAs just don't to go here.
Worked out well for Chara and the Kings. The Kovalchuk nonsense turned out to be a blessing. Hard to question Lombardi after he lifts the Cup, everything turned out just right. I know without that championship most of us would be pretty miserable right now. Now that the Kings have won and have developed an identity I don't think it will be an issue of getting the right free agent to come here anymore. Winning cures all.

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11-26-2012, 05:59 PM
  #61
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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?



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.
Crap, I never knew he was traded to LA, I thought he was signed after the lockout. I guess I was wrong.. haha

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12-14-2012, 12:36 PM
  #62
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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?
Memory is fuzzy, but I thought the Blake/Nabokov rumor was from the deadline in 2007. At that point, Vesa Toskala and Nabokov were being used as 1A and 1B. Toskala had usurped the starting gig for the 2006 playoffs and the Sharks knew they'd have to trade one of them.

Nabokov would regain the #1 spot and the Sharks would deal Toskala+ to eventually land Logan Couture at the 2007 Draft. As you stated, it would have been strange for them to offer up Nabokov in 2008 unless they had another deal to bring in a goalie.

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12-17-2012, 09:02 AM
  #63
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Memory is fuzzy, but I thought the Blake/Nabokov rumor was from the deadline in 2007. At that point, Vesa Toskala and Nabokov were being used as 1A and 1B. Toskala had usurped the starting gig for the 2006 playoffs and the Sharks knew they'd have to trade one of them.

Nabokov would regain the #1 spot and the Sharks would deal Toskala+ to eventually land Logan Couture at the 2007 Draft. As you stated, it would have been strange for them to offer up Nabokov in 2008 unless they had another deal to bring in a goalie.
If the rumour was we'd be dealing Blake for Nabokov in Blake's final season with the Kings, that would have been the 2008 trade deadline.

Toskala, as you said, was dealt to Toronto at the 2007 Entry Draft.

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12-29-2012, 01:01 PM
  #64
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Worked out well for Chara and the Kings. The Kovalchuk nonsense turned out to be a blessing. Hard to question Lombardi after he lifts the Cup, everything turned out just right. I know without that championship most of us would be pretty miserable right now. Now that the Kings have won and have developed an identity I don't think it will be an issue of getting the right free agent to come here anymore. Winning cures all.
this sums it up very well..

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12-29-2012, 02:09 PM
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Bringing back Rob Blake was a disaster on the ice and a slap in the face to the Kings fanbase.

Whether it was Leiweke or Lombardi's doing, it was not well thought out. If it was DL you can give him a pass since he was new and ignorant to the feelings of the fanbase. If it was TL, there is no excuse, he should have known better.

I just hope Leiweke or whoever ends up owning the Kings doesn't try and force a Blake jersey retirement on us down the road.

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12-29-2012, 02:29 PM
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I just hope Leiweke or whoever ends up owning the Kings doesn't try and force a Blake jersey retirement on us down the road.
It's inevitable. He's arguably a HOFer and he spent the majority of his career with the Kings. His number deserves to be retired if he makes it to the HOF.


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12-29-2012, 02:54 PM
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I will never forget that picture of him laying by that waste management sign lol

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12-29-2012, 06:00 PM
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It's inevitable. He's arguably a HOFer and he spent the majority of his career with the Kings. His number deserves to be retired if he makes it to the HOF.
It's like Greg Maddux in Baseball though, He spent equal time as a Cub and Brave, but he had the most success as a Brave. Let Colorado retire Blakes number. The Kings need to stay as far away from Blake as psossible if they know what's good for them or they'll be dealing with a lot of boos and disgruntled fans.

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12-29-2012, 08:37 PM
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It's like Greg Maddux in Baseball though, He spent equal time as a Cub and Brave, but he had the most success as a Brave. Let Colorado retire Blakes number. The Kings need to stay as far away from Blake as psossible if they know what's good for them or they'll be dealing with a lot of boos and disgruntled fans.
And those disgruntled fans need to snap out of it and get the **** over it. But unfortunately, they won't. So you might be right that the Kings shouldn't do this or else Blake and his family will just get embarrassed.

PS - I don't think he can compare to Maddux. If you take out the Stanley Cup, most of Blake's individual success came as a King while Maddux played more years and won more awards for the Braves than he did for his original team, the Cubs (and he had two stints with the Cubs).

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12-29-2012, 10:27 PM
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And those disgruntled fans need to snap out of it and get the **** over it. But unfortunately, they won't. So you might be right that the Kings shouldn't do this or else Blake and his family will just get embarrassed.

PS - I don't think he can compare to Maddux. If you take out the Stanley Cup, most of Blake's individual success came as a King while Maddux played more years and won more awards for the Braves than he did for his original team, the Cubs (and he had two stints with the Cubs).
Why exactly do we need to get over it?

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12-30-2012, 12:58 AM
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Why exactly do we need to get over it?
Yeah, Blake was from the outside looking in a crappy teammate that only cared about himself (and surfing) and that on two occasions went out of his way to "turn the knife" on Kings fans and wave a middle finger at them. The Kings need to distance themselves from the "Dark Age" of Kings hockey and having anything to do with Blake is counter productive to that. Let Kopitar, Quick, Doughty, or Brown be the next number that gets put up in the rafters (hopefully.)

If Blake does make the HOF then that alone is enough recognition of what he accomplished as a player.

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12-30-2012, 01:01 AM
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Why exactly do we need to get over it?
Because that trade happened over a decade ago and he has been retired for a couple of years now. But hey, if you want to continue being bitter about it, then I can't stop you.

One thing's for sure. If I were to go to his jersey retirement night, I'd be applauding!

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12-30-2012, 01:57 AM
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It's like Greg Maddux in Baseball though, He spent equal time as a Cub and Brave, but he had the most success as a Brave. Let Colorado retire Blakes number. The Kings need to stay as far away from Blake as psossible if they know what's good for them or they'll be dealing with a lot of boos and disgruntled fans.
Most of the new bandwagon fans will have no idea who Blake is. He'll get plenty of cheers.

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12-31-2012, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tigermask48 View Post
It's like Greg Maddux in Baseball though, He spent equal time as a Cub and Brave, but he had the most success as a Brave. Let Colorado retire Blakes number. The Kings need to stay as far away from Blake as psossible if they know what's good for them or they'll be dealing with a lot of boos and disgruntled fans.
Blake played 13 seasons for the Kings, and just over 4 for the Avs. If anyone retires his jersey, it'd be us.

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Yeah, Blake was from the outside looking in a crappy teammate that only cared about himself (and surfing) and that on two occasions went out of his way to "turn the knife" on Kings fans and wave a middle finger at them. The Kings need to distance themselves from the "Dark Age" of Kings hockey and having anything to do with Blake is counter productive to that. Let Kopitar, Quick, Doughty, or Brown be the next number that gets put up in the rafters (hopefully.)

If Blake does make the HOF then that alone is enough recognition of what he accomplished as a player.


What are the two occassions? Are you referring to the two trades? I don't see how he turned the knife on us in the first trade then if that's the case. We dealt him, got arguably the best package for a UFA to be in league history, and would have had a great transition out of the dark ages through that deal if Deader didn't get hurt and retire and DT's draft crew could have done anything decent with those draft pick assets.

The second time, while I wish we could have traded him to get something, he refused to be traded for his own reasons and as much as I don't like Rob Blake, he had that right in his contract.

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01-03-2013, 10:55 AM
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Blake played 13 seasons for the Kings, and just over 4 for the Avs. If anyone retires his jersey, it'd be us.





What are the two occassions? Are you referring to the two trades? I don't see how he turned the knife on us in the first trade then if that's the case. We dealt him, got arguably the best package for a UFA to be in league history, and would have had a great transition out of the dark ages through that deal if Deader didn't get hurt and retire and DT's draft crew could have done anything decent with those draft pick assets.

The second time, while I wish we could have traded him to get something, he refused to be traded for his own reasons and as much as I don't like Rob Blake, he had that right in his contract.
Yah, why would you give Blake at his age and at that ridiculous 6 million dollar price tag a no trade clause? Blake screwed the Kings, especially since he wound up signing with the team he was refusing to go to but you have to question why the GM gave him a NTC in the first place. Blake simply used what was available to him and then maximized his value in free agency the next season and stayed close to home. If anything Blake was a pretty savvy businessman, especially when you look at his lofty lifetime salary page. And don't forget he was one of the most dominant and exciting dmen in the NHL and on the Kings all time. I don't like the not waving the no trade crap but I can't deny he was a helluva dman on the ice and that's what you need to be judged on. The off the ice stuff gets equal blame to management.


Last edited by The Tikkanen: 01-04-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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