Hickey, Stoll, Azevedo, Loktionov and Nash (not a law firm)

Hockey Buzz (Matt Barry): Rumors

Depending on who you talk to, Kings former #4 pick and RFA (with a 1.3 mil NHL cap hit) Thomas Hickey has asked to be traded.

The Kings don’t have 2nd or 3rd round picks this year and Lombardi and his staff have made a killing in the 2nd round (Toffoli, Clifford, Voynov, Moller, Simmonds), so look for Hickey to be moved soon for an early 2nd round pick. Likely destinations: Carolina, Buffalo.

As a rumor, that makes a lot of sense, as Hickey is trapped in Manchester with seemingly no room for him on the big club in the near future. And Matt’s point about Lombardi love of (and success with) 2nd round picks is a good one. However, Hickey had a pretty good season last year, and is finally healthy — and I would like to see him get a shot at the Drewiske 7th D slot. Nic Deslauriers is not going to be mature enough to make the jump to the big team next season (as much as I would like him to), so there is a small window here. I know it sucks for him that he was leapfrogged by both Voynov and Martinez; but redemption (a longshot, sure — but so is winning the cup) is not out of the question.

Jarret Stoll wants to stay in L.A. where he’s built a house. But lets be real folks, despite his stellar post season, (who can forget his Vancouver ousting goal in OT) he had a crappy regular season on the 3rd line. 6 goals and 15 assists in 78 games? For 3.4 million dollars?

Agreed. And, really, so what if he built a house?

I’ve been told the Kings have made an offer, but Stoll is likely to see which teams will overpay him this off season. He’s NOT a 2nd line center.

Ibid.

[...] The other player I look for the Kings to move is Brad Richardson who was a healthy scratch the last 4 games of the finals and was a healthy scratch in 7 of Terry Murray’s last 8 games.

Or Richardson could take up position as the Drewiske of forwards. Kevin Westgarth is also a possibility to be moved.

Where does this leave Andrei Loktionov?

Stoll and 4th line center Colin Fraser were the grit of the playoffs and the smaller but more skilled Loktionov managed only 2 games in the entire playoff run.

Does he have a future? Would he look great on the Islanders?

Does he have a future? He’s 22. As I said in another post, Pavel Datsyuk was 25 before he became Pavel Datsyuk, and was 23 before he even made it to the NHL. Let Loktionov go as your own risk.

Rick Nash has no interest in the Kings and the Kings have no interest in Rick Nash.

Thank the f***ing lord.

[...] The Kings lost one of their top scorers in Manchester when Justin Azevedo (all 5 foot 6 of him) signed with Lukko in Finland. Because that worked out so well last season for Oscar Moller and Bud Holloway. Lombardi/Hextall also needs to stock Manchester with prospects as the Kings are fairy thin in the pipeline.

That leaves thirteen forwards the Kings have playing (or potentially playing) in Manchester, including the free-agents:  Clune, Loktionov, Toffoli, Meckler, Czarnik, Vey, Andreoff, Cliche, Kaunisto, O’Neill, Weal, Kozun, Legein. Lombardi probably won’t qualify or re-sign everyone, but there isn’t a ton of room there. The arrival of Andreoff, Weal (and, imminently, Toffoli), and the signing of UFA O’Neill, probably made Azevedo rethink his options.

 

  19 comments for “Hickey, Stoll, Azevedo, Loktionov and Nash (not a law firm)

  1. Garrett79
    June 19, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    RE: Azevedo; Good for him. He was never going to make it with the Kings under any circumstances. He’s probably a career minor leaguer but might be able to have a good career in Europe and attract a little attention from some NHL team who might at least give a shot to the guy who outscored Stamkos in the OHL (but was a year older).

    RE: Hickey; I’m not even remotely surprised. There are probably 28 NHL teams he could be playing for last year but he’s unlikely to get a spot with the Kings barring an injury to Doughty, Martinez, or Voynov. It would have been nice to keep him around as a potential replacement in that case, but its not particularly good for his career to relegate him to that role. He will be an effective NHL d-man in the very near future. I wish him luck.

    RE: Loktionov; I think the Datsyuk comparisons are probably unfair but I completely agree that he is still far too young to be talking about letting him go. He will be fine on the 3rd line next season between King and Gagne or Toffoli (if Gagne decides to hang them up).

    kingsinhockeywood.blogspot.com

    • June 20, 2012 at 3:56 AM

       As much as I like Martinez, I think he has decent trade value and I think Hickey could step in at third pairing puck moving defenseman just fine. He looked pretty good at training camp in the 1-2 games I saw on video. I think that would probably be the best use of assets but who knows if DL would do something like that.

      • DougS
        June 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        Hadn’t considered trading Martinez (who probably will have good trade value for at least another year or two), but that is an interesting possibility that leaves an opening for Hickey. If he can push Martinez like Voynov pushed JJ, who knows?

    • USHA#17
      June 20, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      Next season looks set. It two seasons ahead to consider. Mitchell and Scuderi aren’t getting any younger and both were fortunate to emerge relatively unscathed this year.

      • June 20, 2012 at 10:19 PM

        I might be willing to go with “set-ish”. Or “setesque”. My take on it is that the roster is more stable than in the recent past, but also there are fewer gaping holes or needs. Hilariously, the Kings STILL need a top-six left winger. Seriously, if Brown hadn’t converted from the right side (which was a switch that took years to work out), we would be looking at an unsigned Penner and the giant question mark of Gagne on the left side. As it is, Brown-Kopitar-Williams is solid, and Penner-Richards-Carter is solid (which is why I want Penner to re-sign — but that’s far from a slam-dunk). I actually think that Gagne on the left on the third line could be great, if that line is designed to score not to check. But that requires, in my opinion, Loktionov instead of Stoll. At which point, do you go with Gagne – Loktionov – Lewis (with Clifford/King – Fraser – Nolan on the 4th), or Gagne – Loktionov – Toffoli (with Lewis on the 4th line instead of Fraser)?

        Toffoli may well spend the year in Manchester, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he made the team out of camp. But I loved Fraser this year. I frankly would rather re-sign Fraser and Penner than Stoll.

        And I also wouldn’t rule out Hickey getting re-signed and then coming into camp and blowing people away.

        I think, three years down the road, at least two of Loktionov, Toffoli, Vey or Moller will be regulars and at least two of Williams, Gagne, Penner and Stoll will be gone.

        • DougS
          June 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM

          “I frankly would rather re-sign Fraser and Penner than Stoll.”

          Count me in on that. I’m frankly surprised that there is so much talk about re-signing Stoll and none about Penner. Penner started sending out signals right after the SCF that he wants to come back; has no one else noticed this? His agent may keep him in a basement tied to a chair for the next two weeks as a result of that….
          “I think, three years down the road, at least two of Loktionov, Toffoli, Vey or Moller will be regulars and at least two of Williams, Gagne, Penner and Stoll will be gone.”
          Also agree. The only thing that could shake me from my conviction that all of the latter group were brought in with a certain degree of planned obsolescence in mind would be giving a lucrative long-term deal to Stoll (which I still don’t think will happen).

        • USHA#17
          June 22, 2012 at 9:04 AM

          By March it was clear; As go Fraser and Penner so would go the post season. Fraser turned out to be all a club could want from a bottom six journeyman. Thank god Penner found himself.

          A few thoughts regarding the projections.

          Like Kasper in ’91 Stoll would be missed. Something has to give and in this NHL era Lombardi must keep a certain number of low overhead youth flowing into the lineup.

          The way the game is now played Westgarth is gone and smaller players can play larger regular season roles. But the post season may be another matter. Take the last two Vancouver, Phoenix and NJ games; Rough, it was the big and strong who thrived. IMO, this does not bode well for Loktionov or Moller.

          Ah, the Clifford-King conundrum I’m thinking Clifford-Fraser-Nolan 4th, King-TBD-Lewis 3rd. Wonder where that leave Gagne (and perhaps Williams). Package for a top six with a 4 year contract, ?

      • DougS
        June 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        His current, extended contract is almost certain to cover Mitchell’s last rodeo as a top 4 defenseman on a serious contender. After that, I agree that age will take its toll. Muzzin and Deslauriers should get shots at that job. Or another free agent may be found.

        Scuderi probably has another couple of solid years beyond Mitchell, then Forbort and Gravel will audition for his spot.

        The question is, even 4 years from now, the Kings’ blue line corps will still be relatively young. Will there still be a need for “veteran leadership” at that point, which would seem to require replacing old guy Mitchell or old guy Scuderi with a slightly less old guy rather than a prospect?

  2. DougS
    June 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Agree with Barry:

    I wouldn’t blame Hickey for wanting out, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he asked to be traded. If he asked, I’m sure Dean will do his best to oblige him. I like to think that Hickey still has a chance to make the Kings, but  with Doughty, Martinez and Voynov all still young, they have less need for Hickey’s skill set than for a physical guy like Deslaurier or Muzzin (or Forbort or Gravel). There’s also Campbell and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mullen gets a new contract (apparently, he had a good year at Manchester).

    If Stoll has an offer from the Kings, I would guess that it’s modest enough to be tradable. I still don’t understand who’s telling the press that re-upping Stoll is a “high priority.”

    I can see Richardson being dealt. He’s a spare part, and someone cheaper could take his place. I see your point about him becoming the perpetual spare forward, but if it comes down to him and Westgarth, I think Richardson has more trade value.

    Nash should be dead to the Kings. No point in talking about him.

    Disagree with Barry:

    Trade Loktionov? I don’t see it happening now, unless Dean has a sneaking suspicion that he will bolt to the KHL. Given where he is on the development curve, I still say you use the next season or two to give him a proper chance to find a useful role on the team.

    I don’t see how the Kings’ prospect pipeline is thin. I can see Cliche auditioning for C4 if Fraser doesn’t come back. There’s Vey and Toffoli, and who knows who else will emerge next year. Did King and Nolan look like NHL players 12 months ago — to anyone except Jack Ferreira, that is? 

    • USHA#17
      June 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      I like the way(s) Loktionov thinks with the puck but have long felt that he needs considerably more toughness/muscle to be successful in the NHL.

      • June 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        Yeah, I think Lokti/Igor/DL/Manch/whoever dropped the ball on that one.

    • Uni
      June 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      I agree with you on Muzzin. To me he makes much more sense as a replacement for Drewiske than Hickey.

      I agree with Barry that Manchester is thin. Sure Vey and Toffoli sound good on paper, but that’s pure potential so far. This was, like the Kings, a very low-scoring team last year. What the Kings do not need to call up are defensive specialists. What they need are snipers to bring along should their scoring suffer again next season.

      • June 21, 2012 at 9:11 PM

        After the first few weeks, Vey had a pretty great year. Toffoli is the best sniper in the Kings system by a mile.

  3. Tyfighter77
    June 19, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Re: Azevedo
    When did this happen?  Is this a Moller, Holloway thing where they are still on the Kings depth chart, or is he off the books now?

    • June 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

      Two weeks ago, though I missed it completely. Azevedo is still under contract (RFA on 7/1) and if the Kings make a qualifying offer, they will retain his rights. They might not make an offer though. In which case, he would be off the books. 

  4. angelofdeath
    June 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Yeah, Hickey ain’t going anywhere, might as well move him for a pick… 

    What the hell happened to Kitsyn? Any news on him?

    • June 20, 2012 at 3:57 AM

      He’s on a KHL jr/minor (forgot which) squad. Wasn’t producing, or more likely not getting any ice time in the KHL.

  5. Uni
    June 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    http://bigmouthbarry.com/ is a good site if you want more writing from the guy. Funnier than his Hockeybuzz stuff too.

  6. chester
    January 14, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    I don’t blame Azevedo for leaving overseas. He is small but very strong, he is a skilled center that can do wonders with the puck and has an amazing skill set to work the half boards on the power-play. I can say that watching him over the past 3 years in Manchester he has improved tremendously on the defensive aspect of his game. He deserved at least a couple of games to prove himself up there, over the likes of Loktionov, and even Trevor Lewis is disappointing to watch-72 games played and 7 points to show for it? If Azey was 6-2, he would be in the lineup with his skill set, but apparently size matters? (remind me how big are St. Louis, Roy, Gionta, Whitney, Versteeg, Cammalleri, Sullivan, Gerbe), I guess size does matter when lead the OHL in scoring, and outscored the likes of Steven Stamkos and John Tavares.

    Truth be told it did work out for Moller and Holloway, these kids have to think about life outside of hockey and I don’t think you can make a living playing in the AHL forever especially when they were getting paid around 50,000-60,000 and paying rent, car, gas etc. They get paid 4 times that amount in Europe(tax free) and also get their housing, car and phones paid for, they get treated a lot better Europe then North America. Going overseas is a better option then getting buried in the minors.

    I can honestly say this kid deserves a shot, I wish “Azey” the best of luck, I still keep an eye on him over there, we sure do miss him in Manchester, but I completely understand why he would go to Europe.

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