Los Angeles Kings fans have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of key pick-ups this summer to push the team to the next level for a deeper playoff run in the coming season.
Tuesday's pick up of Alex Ponikarovsky was no where in the same league as the King's stalking of Ilya Kovalchuk before he signed with the Devils. Our friends at Kingscast captured the trauma of the Kovi saga with Waiting for Kovalchuk part one and part two.
One of the advantages of bowing out of the Kovalchuk race is the fact that the Kings will have funds to commit to Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson, Wayne Simmonds and others to lock up their core for years to come.
With a tough young defense and an abundance of riches in goal with Quick and Bernier, the Kings are poised to return to the playoffs and should have a shot at making some noise past the first round if things come together as a team.
We caught up with Drew Doughty at the NHL Awards and asked about his Olympic experience as well as his thoughts on the coming season.
In Pred Nation...
The short career of Denis Grebeshkov as a Predator came to its final resolution on Wednesday as reported by @dchesnokov: KHL's SKA has agreed to contract with defenseman Denis Grebeshkov. Pred fans can keep an eye on Edmonton second round pick Curtis Hamilton who was chosen with the draft pick that the Preds traded fo Grebeshkov to see the final outcome of the deal.
Jeremy at Section 303 recounts the brief career of Grebeshkov with the Predators. PredsBlog takes a look at whether the Preds made the right decision not to re-sign Grebs. Finally, The Grinder has the final word quoting David Poile saying that he just didn't "fit our salary structure" (or any of the 29 other NHL team's either).
Russian Hockey Fans has a translated story on Alexander Radulov who "never regretted his choice." I wonder if they figured out how to translate "douche" into Russian yet. Maybe a picture of Rads would suffice.
PredsBlog has a post and video about Kevin Klein's potential as an outlet passer.
Predlines has Part two of four in her series of the Pred's losses and gains.
Forechecker reports on Gnash's summer job.
Jim Diamond catches up with J P Dumont at the Little Preds Hockey school.
Do you have a question for ex-Pred Jason Arnott? If so, go here to ask it. I already asked the one about him being "uncomfortable" as the Pred's captain.
AJ celebrated his birthday yesterday and put up a really nice post thanking those around him. We probably don't do enough of that, so hats off to AJ for his birthday and thanks for being an all round good guy that I am proud to call friend.
From @dchesnokov: "KHL President Medvedev told Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport that SKA is ready to offer a 17 yr contract to Ilya Kovalchuk." Maybe everyone could save face if he got his 17 years in the home country. I would think Jay Grossman would have an action against the NHL for Tortuous Interference on a Contract if he lost his commission due to the league's action.
The Hockey News has the top ten offseason moves and lists the NHL shooting down Kovi's contract as number one.
The Phoenix Business Journal has a story recounting the City of Glendale's dealings with Ice Edge. It still sounds like the City is getting cold feet and pointing fingers.
Around the NHL...
It looks like the Blackhawks and Antti Niemi are headed for an arbitration showdown this morning in Toronto as they have yet to come to an agreement for next season. With the Hawks already over the cap, whatever is awarded will be additional salt in the wound.
On the Chicago front from @MurphysLaw74: "La Presse reporting Blackhawks backup plan in case Antti Niemi's arbitration award is too high is to trade Niemi and sign Jose Theodore."
Mirtle updated his free agent list again showing 70 players still up for grabs.
From @CraigCustance Spitfires officially signed Campbell today in Windsor "Jack is a big part of our future" This should make a strong team stronger. Campbell was very composed at the draft. The Stars got a good one.
Ryan at the RLD redrafts 2003 which was one of the best draft years in recent history with 29 first rounders making the NHL.
Matt Reitz discusses why the NHL arbitration process is so heavily avoided by both sides.
This is the time of year when a Ben Eager signing in Atlanta or the Caps acquiring D J King actually gets headlines. The Ducks also signed Cam Fowler to an entry level contract.
From @aaronadmirals: "Darren Haydar has signed with the Chicago Wolves." Haydar was once a Pred but has probably been the best AHL player of the last 15 years setting all kinds of career records. He never could make the jump to the NHL.
Odds and Ends...
The spokesperson for Dos Equis deemed the most interesting man in the world was fired after wearing crocs. (old but still good)
There appears to be an online petition to promote Pam to take Michael's job as the boss on The Office. I don't think so.
Tapeleg recommends this video with Merlin Mann to learn how to improve your blogs and podcasts.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass