Based on the volume and type of questions coming in on twitter, facebook and our email address, it looks like about 30% of hockey fans might have checked out for long periods during the lockout. Honestly, who can blame them? The whole process was dreadful and became beyond frustrating with each passing day. So, like a five day training camp for the players to get ready for opening night, we’re going to use the next week to try and get everybody back up to speed – at the same time we serve up new content.
Topic – LA Kings goaltending, here we go…
- Right as the CBA deal was reached, Beriner trade rumors surfaced. We examined them and gave our take on when Beriner will likely get traded – plus we did a full look at the goaltending depth in the Kings organization. (link)
- Jonathan Quick had off-season back surgery and was just medically cleared to play this week. We did an in-depth interview with him about his recovery and just how ready he actually is to play this season. (link)
Then, earlier today, the Kings held their season kick-off press conference at Staples Center. After the main portion was over and the smaller scrums began – this is where all the good stuff really happens at these things – I directly asked GM Dean Lombardi about the possibility of a Bernier trade:
“I don’t think that’s feasible at all right now. He’s an important part of this team. Let’s face it, our guys in the minors aren’t ready for that role. And that’s an important role. Like Darryl [Sutter] says, with all these games back-to-back and stuff – hey, a number two starter in baseball is pretty important and that’s the way a goaltender is. (So), I don’t see how that’s possible. He’s too important to us.”
Again, because of the compacted schedule, maybe more important this year than a normal season.
“Even more so. I thing the guy was really underestimated, maybe because of the volume he’s played. But, if you look at the games he’s won for us the last two years, to get us in the playoffs – he’s shown he can go in under not the best of circumstances and get it done in some tough buildings.”
So, what do you say to a guy who’s let it be known that he wants out, but you clearly need right now?
“Be a pro. There’s a system in place. It’s called the Collective Bargaining Agreement. At some point players – (after a pause) that’s the way it is. Obviously, if the right thing is there for the team, you look at it. But, you can’t be responding to this without the number one focus being on the team and he’s too important to the team. Unless something hits us that’s really going to help this team, it’s not feasible. Now, there’s a time limit on that, it’s called the CBA – where you don’t have that choice as a General Manager anymore and you do what’s best. But, that’s the system.”
Regardless of Quick being cleared to play, he’s still coming off back surgery. Bernier is an insurance policy.
End of story.
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