NHL.com examines the Kings today as part of their 31 in 31 series where they breakdown each team in the league and make their predictions for the upcoming season.
After having their worst season since 2007-08, finishing second to last with 71 points (31-41-9), there wasn't a ton E.J. Hradek and Dan Rosen discussed that we haven't talked about the past couple months.
It seems very unlikely that the vets on the team will have the same down year they did this past season. I think the young guys will spur them on, as well as bring a new energy to LA. Sure, there's bound to be mistakes and growing pains, but I just don't see them being in the same position as last year.
Yes, it could happen. I just don't think (hope) it will.
An interesting point the video brings up, and one we've theorized on here before, is the idea of moving Quick to add some pieces back for an eventual (real) rebuild and not something on the fly. The draft was an excellent start, but they should look to continue adding to the stable.
It's no secret JQ has had his injury issues over the years. But there's still a lot of talent there. He could be a great pickup for a team needing solid goaltending for a long run. In order for that to happen, he needs to have a stellar start and solid consistency, while staying injury-free. I still believe he can be the guy was years ago.
It's a weird position to be in, rooting for him to do well so that he can potentially be moved. Quick is one of my favorite goalies, but it's probably his time to move on - especially with the emergence of Campbell and his ability to be a #1, Petersen looking capable of handling himself in a backup role for now and the fact that they want to go young as a whole.
If Quick regains his old form, he could be a really tempting piece for a number of teams and he can have an opportunity to go somewhere else and win. However, there's a lot of factors that would play into the return the Kings would get if such a trade happened: Quick's contract, age, level of play and health at the time, etc...
Perhaps the Kings greatest weapon this season is low expectations. Not many people see them improving much or doing anything of real significance in the way of winning.
Their quiet offseason only added to these feelings.
As the video points out, maybe Blake and McLellan are selling this notion a bit to the media, but it's actually a much different story in the locker room.
Is there a strategy/advantage in peddling the idea of mediocrity to the media as a way to fly under the radar and take pressure off guys? Maybe the thought is that you're not under such an intense microscope then? The only place you can go at that point is up?
I don't know, but it's going to be interesting to see how this season shakes out.
Training camp is right around the corner and that's when we'll really start seeing things take shape!