“Doesn’t rise to the level of unforgivable sin”

More thoughts on Cup names « LA Kings Insider

Then there’s Andrei Loktionov, who did not automatically qualify to have his name on the Cup. The Kings did not petition the league to have him included on their list, apparently because they knew his chances were quite slim.

Did. Not. Petition. Right, because the risk of asking, and having them say no was… Okay, there was no risk. No cost. In fact, had the league said no, then no-one would be upset at the Kings at all, because they asked. But they didn’t ask. So it’s on them.

The most charitable interpretation I can think of is that the Kings thought the could only submit 52 names, that being the rule, so — thinking that Loktionov wouldn’t be allowed, since he didn’t fit with their “practiced with the team all season” argument they planned to use for Drewiske and Westgarth — they opted to leave Loktionov off and instead include one more of the supporting staff names. They could have taken the chance with Loktionov, but in doing so this would have cost trainer x or equipment guy y or whoever his spot on the cup.

But that still requires the Kings to decide that Loktionov’s contribution of 41 games was not as deserving as so-and-so’s full season of performing his/her non-playing support job. I’m sure those guys all did their jobs admirably. But, come on: forty-one games.

Personally, I would have tried to petition for him, but it’s true that his chances wouldn’t have been good. In 2010-11, Steven Kampfer played 38 regular-season games for Boston (one fewer than Loktionov last season). The Bruins petitioned the league to include him and they were denied.

Exactly. Because those are the rules. But the league could hardly have denied Loktionov and then said yes to Drewiske and Westgarth using the same criteria. P.S. the Bruins also petitioned to have Marc Savard’s name included, and this was granted by the league.

The Kings were able to petition to get the names of Davis Drewiske and Kevin Westgarth on the Cup, because they were a part of the team for the entire season. That makes sense to me. By being around the team all year, by working during (and long after) practices and by being supportive, popular teammates, they did more to assist the team than Loktionov.

Loktionov, the only Kings player not on the cup to have a multi-point game? (Please subtract two points for that win from the Kings’ totals. Probably that made no difference to a team that qualified for the post-season the last weekend of the regular season.) Loktionov, who assisted the team by playing 41 games? He wasn’t included in those games out of charity. He played because he was better suited “to assist the team” than Drewiske or Westgarth. And they chose him 41 times because he earned it.

Presumably, the whole point of having a rule that determines who gets his name on the cup based on games-played is to limit management/ownership from arbitrarily (read: vindictively) keeping players’ names off the cup just because they don’t like them for whatever reason (e.g. “sign with us this summer instead of leaving as a UFA or we will leave your name off the cup”). The rule also says that teams can petition the league to have names included that didn’t meet the minimum because of unusual or extenuating circumstances.

(This rule used to be spelled out on the NHL site, but it seems to have disappeared. It’s referenced on the Wikipedia page, which I understand is not the arbiter of all truth in the universe; so just place an asterisk next to my comments re “extenuating circumstances.”)

How is it an extenuating circumstance that the players were selected by the coach and/or general manager NOT TO PLAY? It’s not. Rich’s explanation is that they were “supportive, popular teammates.” But that is not an extenuating circumstance that explains why they didn’t play 41 games.

Either stick to the rules or make an exception to the rule for everyone to whom the exception applies.

I understand that’s a subjective opinion, and I still would have at least tried the petition for Loktionov, but this doesn’t rise to the level of unforgivable sin.

I’m not so sure. I get that Rich doesn’t think this is that big of a deal. The Kings could have submitted Loktionov’s name and let the league say no. They didn’t. They could have left all three players’ names off the list and let the rule be the rule. They didn’t.

I guess what I’ll say is this: I’m going to look back at the last 18 years of cup rosters. That goes all the way back to 1994, when they apparently started using this particular rule with the 41 games and the ability to petition the league. If it turns out there is even ONE player who was left off the cup while others on his team who played fewer games got their names on, then maybe I’ll agree that it’s not quite “unforgivable.” I will exclude players who were injured and got their names on, like Marc Savard, since that is obviously what is meant by “extenuating circumstances” (if you ask me) and since injury was not an issue in the Drewiske/Westgarth/Loktionov decision.

But I’m willing to bet I won’t find a single example of a guy who played less than 10 games getting his name on while a guy who played 30+ games was excluded.