State of the Kings Press Conference Live Blog

-They're playing Dave Matthews Band before the conference. Right now the state of Rudy is: annoyed.

-Hey, Cliffhanger is on.

-"NO BUDDY!!! it was YOU who dropped it!"  Michael Rooker is a national treasure.

-That Dave Matthews Band song stopped, thank God.  The next song?  Dave Matthews Band.  State of Rudy: homicidal.

-Well this still isn't starting.  ...How 'bout that Sons of Anarchy?  Pretty good, I thought.  I wonder if Hale rea- oh look it's starting.

-Darryl Evans is a lovable little guy, isn't he?  Last year I was at training camp and a kid with a mental disability walked in to go skating.  Darryl got down eye-to-eye with him and cheerily said, "Hey [kid's name], how ya doing?  You ready to skate?"  The kid just walked right by him.  It was pretty funny.

-Oh good, they're going to talk about Frolov.  State of Rudy: apprehensive.

-According to Lombardi, Fro signed elsewhere after the Kings ignored them because they were going after Kovalchuk.  That's bullshit but I'll believe it because it makes it easier to like both Lombardi and Fro.

-Lombardi also pointed out that it was stupid to call Fro a 3rd liner player when he played so much.  It is true, Fro was 4th in ice time among forwards.

-Ron Hextall is kind of frail and unimpressive but... I'm still kind of terrified of him.  He's like Steve Buscemi in Con Air.

-Haha, they're pretending that Erik Ersberg has a shot at staying with the team this season.  That's adorable.  Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier are going to be our 2 goaltenders, barring injury.

-Now they're talking about the cap.  No one cares.  ...Except Quisp, I guess.

-Dean challenged some guy to tell him where we ranked in the league in 5-on-5 goals for.  The guy said 19th but Dean corrected him and said 18th.  I checked and they say we're 19th, but really they were tied for 14th because a bunch of people were tied above them.  What's the correct answer?  "Who cares," most likely.

-Dean admits that we're a little lacking in skill on the front end.  Jarret Stoll shifts in his chair nervously.

-Oh, Ryan Smyth is in the best shape of his career!  That's a new and exciting element that is in no way a tired story written about every old player who had a bad season!

-Dean's comparables for Scott Parse: Kris Versteeg, Ville Leino.  Both changed teams this last season.  Omen?

-Oh, some fucking kid who can't say "Ersberg" correctly.

-What the fuck is this kid trying to say?  I'm baffled.

-Dean doesn't even know how to answer the question.

-How do you think Erik Ersberg feels going into the season, by the way?  I bet he's pretty pissed.

-A guy asks if we can give Doughty a 20-year contract.  Seems like a good idea to me!

-Lombardi and Solomon have to be vague but it sounds like they want to lock up Doughty for a while.  That would be awesome.

-A guy questions the timing of Matt Greene's injury but it feels kind of common for me in the NHL: guys get hurt, then feel better when they're not exercising, then when they start working out again it flares up and they need surgery.  Plus Greene's a tough son of a bitch and probably thought he could tough it out.  Dean says some things about letting it heal naturally or whatever.  I wasn't listening because Sylvester Stallone just military pressed a guy through a stalactite.

-Hickey talk!

-Hextall says he was disappointed with Hickey's season last year; he started slow, then hurt his shoulder.  But Hickey was great in the playoffs, playing almost 25 minutes a night against Hershey, and has had a great summer getting ready for the season.  Both Lombardi and Hextall mention that it's impossible to predict how he'll do in training camp but it sounds like they're setting him up to win a spot.

-It's funny how they talk about different prospects.  Bernier's kind of a prima donna so they constantly talk about him having to win a spot, while Hickey's been injured so they talk him up a lot.  You kind of forget that each guy is different when you mostly see them on the stat sheet.

-A guy asks about signing our draft picks.  Why?  Does he know we don't have to worry about that?  You get like 4 years.  It would've been cool if Solomon had said, "The fuck?  Are you stupid or something?  Shut the hell up."

-Question about restricted free agents: Doughty, Johnson and Simmonds.  Solomon says they haven't focused on them because of Kovy... they're blaming a lot of stuff on Kovalchuk.  Doubt they would've done that if he had signed in LA.  Anyway, they're focusing on them now and hope to get something done before the season starts.

-"Season's over, asshole!" *bang

-Jeff Solomon's feeling like a superstar because everyone wants to talk to him.

-Patrick O'Sullivan is mentioned and everyone boos.  Poor guy.  Dean says no to signing him.

-It sounds like Parse is going to get a shot at that 2nd line left winger spot to start camp.

-Westgarth talk!

-He's fine, I guess.

-Guy asks a question about the 4th line: physical line or scoring line?  I like that question.  Good job, dude!

-Dean wants an enforcer on that line.  Haha, he starts to say he wants a player that will "run around," then realizes that's not a good thing to say and changes it.  He also mentions a center that's tough to play against.  Reading the tea leaves it sounds like he's talking about a Clune-Center-Westgarth 4th line.  He sounds like he wants a veteran center but we don't have one so.... ?

-A question about the CBA.  "Hey, I get to talk to the GM of our team maybe twice a year.  This is a great opportunity to ask a really important question that will provide insight into the Kings.  I know, I'll ask him about the CBA!"

-Dean's not a fan of merit pay.  The players did kind of kick the NHL's ass by lowering the NHL UFA rules to 7 years on a contract.  Basically, the NHL would have won if their GM's and owners weren't morons and didn't give out high contracts to young players.  The NHL clearly lost.  Dean wants to keep the RFA's until they're 30, which is ridiculous and won't happen.  To support that he mentions Buffalo with Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, which is weird because they weren't brought up in Buffalo's system.  Don't get mad at the players because your brethren gave them that money, Dean.

-A guy asks Dean if he wants to trade for a top-six forward.  Dean says yes and names possible tar- wait, no, he goes off on a tangent because he clearly can't answer that question.

-They let some old guy ask a question and he talks for seriously 3 minutes.  It's not even a question, it's a platform for him to mention some bullshit about the CBA and young players not being ready mentally for the NHL.  I hate old people.

-Dean says that Clifford and Schenn won't make the top-nine to start the season but that they could play their way onto the team and go from there.  He said more but I had to go pee.

-They ask them about possible rule changes and Hextall mentions that he likes the offensive players having more space behind the net.  Didn't they just change that during the lockout?  Hextall probably likes it because that's how it was when he played.

-A woman?  At a hockey event?  ...Niesy?

-Of course she asks something about scheduling.  Women be plannin', am I right?

-The people asking questions are all nervous, it's funny.

-Guy nervously brings up improving the power play in spite of the fact that the Kings were 6th in the league in the power play.  Dean mentions that power plays are cyclical because they're reliant on luck and he's more concerned about the 5-on-5 scoring and our penalty kill.  I love Dean.  They're basic concepts but I appreciate that our GM understands them.

-Mitchell talk!  ...Immediately into Deslauriers talk!

-Nicholas Deslauriers is praised and then immediately criticized for his poor conditioning and for being too active.  I mentioned before how Dean handles prospects differently but I'm starting to think that he just hates French-Canadians.

-Guy asks a question about Gretzky coming back to the Kings.  It would be funny if Gretzky joins the organization and then pushes Robitaille out.  I just got deja vu.

-Hey, who wants to talk about top-six forwards some more?  A woman asks about picking the bones of cap-strapped teams and Dean ever-so-slyly shuts down talk on Marc Savard because his contract is too long.

-In answering the question Jeff Solomon talks about the Hawks' cap situation.  I never really thought of it but I guess he does not only have to have the Kings' cap situation locked down but the other 29 teams as well.  That is a really, really boring job.

-Yeah, a guy asks about Rob Blake's number and people boo!  Fuck you, Rob Blake!  Dean equivocates and avoids the question, by the way.

-A guy says that we have a good team but bad goaltending.  Then he wonders why Ersberg was re-signed, which he wasn't (he signed last year).  Get your facts straight, asshole.  And then he asks why didn't we go after Niemi?  You mean the 27 year-old who is barely as good as Jonathan Quick?  Fuck you, random guy.  Your voice is nasally, by the way.

-Hextall says Quick is fine and then he says experience is overrated!  Fuck yeah, kick his ass, Hexy!  Then he talks about Bernier and says the American League is a harder league to play in because the defense sucks and travel is harder.  Have to say, Ron Hextall was awesome on that one.  The only way I could've loved his response more is if he had punched the guy who asked the question.

-There's time for one last question and some guy asks about... the schedule.  Everyone who asked about the CBA and the schedule should get beaten up.  And that last guy because seriously, fuck that guy.

-Teams in the East don't want to travel to all 29 cities to play because teams from the West don't fill the East's buildings while teams from the East fill the West's.  Riveting.

-Dean finishes things off by giving the same speech about having expectations that Rex Ryan gave on Hard Knocks but Dean uses about double the words with half the emotion.  But that's OK because he's talking about the Kings and I could get pumped listening to Stephen Hawking talk about the Kings at this point.

Key things I took from this:

-Scott Parse will likely start the season with Stoll and Brown on that line.

-Thomas Hickey has an opportunity to win a spot.

Fuck I can't wait for the season to start.

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