I Don’t Care How You’re Doing in Europe

I derive great satisfaction from following prospects, especially Kings’ prospects, playing in other leagues. But it turns out I don’t care at all how established NHL players are doing while playing in other leagues. Aside from an over-riding concern that everyone stays healthy for that distant day when the NHL returns, I don’t have an ounce of interest in whether so-and-so is “tearing up the KHL” or whatever. Maybe if the games were televised I would care. But I have no patience for following — to pick a name — Anze Kopitar through box-scores and streaming highlights. He was Anze Kopitar when he left and he’ll be Anze Kopitar when he returns. But I get no special satisfaction reading about him playing in just any old hockey game.

Frankly, I’m surprised this is how I feel. I would have thought I’d care.

The truth is, there are no “Los Angeles Kings” right now. This isn’t the off-season. We don’t know when the NHL is going to return. I wouldn’t put any money on the 2012-13 season happening. We don’t know what the CBA will look like, and so we don’t know if there will be a salary cap, or if there will be amnesty buy-outs, nor do we know whether any of the players whose contracts expire next summer will be re-signed. We can no longer say that the Kings “have everyone returning.” Maybe they will.

Here are the players who are UFA on 7/1/2013:

Here are the RFAs:

My guess is that Penner, Gagne, Richardson, Drewiske, Loktionov, Bernier and Hickey will not return. And Westgarth will probably get moved, too. At this point, I expect there to be no season, and when we finally see the Los Angeles Kings raise their cup banner, about 1/3 of the cup-winning team will be long-gone.

 
  • wellsoliver

    Why do you think the Kings will not retain Loktionov?

    • http://www.mcsorleys-stick.com/ Quisp

      Because (1) they signed Stoll for 3 years, and (2) they left his name off the cup in favor of Davis Drewiske. Also, his agent is publicly asking the Kings to trade him. It’s not going to end well.