• Labarbera to Vancouver

    by  • December 31, 2008 • Uncategorized • 11 Comments

    Per Rich Hammond (h/t Mirtle:

    The Kings’ long quest to find stable goaltending took another twist Tuesday when they traded Jason LaBarbera to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2009 seventh-round draft pick.
    LaBarbera, who had a 5-8 record, a 2.83 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage, fell behind Erik Ersberg (8-5, 2.38, .903) on the goalie depth chart and became expendable with the recent emergence of rookie Jonathan Quick (2-3, 1.72, .937).

    Per Asiaoil:

    A guy like Labarberra who has out-performed JDD in both the AHL (by a wide margin) and NHL is worth a 7th rounder. That’s the market and all this BS about JDD being so in demand is just smoke being fed into the mainstream media by Oiler mgmt to justify their usual inept handling of the goalies.

    There are 2 goalie markets – the elite guys are worth gold and very hard to get – but replacement value for everyone else is almost nothing (eg 7th rounder) because there are so many Aulds, Labarberras and Garons around.

    AO nails it, I think, although my concern is more with the wasted roster spot than anything else. You need an awful lot of evidence before you can be really sure that a goalie is anything worth investing in and, to date, the evidence is that JDD isn’t particularly worth investing in – yes he has nice numbers through six NHL games but there’s a mountain of AHL evidence that isn’t particularly compelling. You can run down the list of goalies – goalies who are far more proven than JDD – who have moved for basically nothing and it is, I think, clear that your average NHL goalie doesn’t have a heck of a lot of worth. When JDD is inevitably moved from Edmonton after having failed to turn into anything that you can’t get for a seventh round pick or for free, there ought to be some questions asked about the wisdom of running with a short roster all year long in order to keep a spot open for him.

    I’m looking forward to LaBarbera in Vancouver, just to see how he does away from the gong show that has been the LA Kings for the past few years. My suspicion is that he’ll see his numbers bounce back some. He’s not a world beater but he’s got value in the backup role.


    11 Responses to Labarbera to Vancouver

    1. Vic Ferrari
      December 31, 2008 at

      I’m with YKoil on the whole L.A issue, I think that Lombardi is trying to lose.

      Not that LaBarbera was a world beater, but a lot of things about the way that squad is run has the same smell.

      Through timeonice I get a lot of links to match-up threads as well, and there is either no sense at all to this, or they’re trying to fail. They have so many good forwards now that even playing in the west with the league’s worst d-corps may not be enough to keep them out of the basement, though.

      I think Dean has Tavares in his sights, though.

    2. January 1, 2009 at

      Despite having a relatively poor record, I think that the Kings have been one of the better teams in the league so far.

      LA has been the second best team in the league according to the expected goals figures at hockeynumbers, behind only San Jose.


      They also have one of the best shot ratios in the league so far.

    3. January 1, 2009 at

      Yeah the Kings have been one of my favorite bets all season. I constantly get soft lines (at least soft imo).

      As JLikens mentioned, their ES shot ratio has been very good. They’ve suffered from a below average 7.4 S% and a below average .911 SV %. I’m not sure if there’s any persistence (fyi Chris’ shot quality model has them slightly above average in SQF and slightly below average in SQA), but if they show any kind of regression they could be in for a good second half. On the PP, their S/60 is above average, and their S% is average. 4-on-5 they currently lead the NHL with the lowest SA/60!

    4. slipper
      January 1, 2009 at

      Not to mention the Kings allow about 20 fewer shots per hour on the PK than the lowly Oilers. If Dean is trying to tank this season then his young forwards aren’t cooperating.

    5. January 2, 2009 at

      Through timeonice I get a lot of links to match-up threads as well, and there is either no sense at all to this, or they’re trying to fail.

      Isn’t that more of a reflection on Murray and his staff than Lombardi and his? I mean, the coach decides matchups.

    6. Vic Ferrari
      January 2, 2009 at

      Not at this level, Doogie. If the GM wants the kids to play against good players that’s what they’ll see.

      I mean when the Oilers were in L.A they had Horpensky matched up against Doughty/O’Donnell and the Kopitar line (with Brown, who is terrific at 5v5 hockey imo, and Calder I think).

      And you don`t see matchups that tight very often, esp with the forwards, which are almost always matched by the head coaches. They just don`t agree on the favourable matchups often enough to get that kind of mesh.

      Why was MacT cool with that? … because it is a gift. Why did Murray roll that way? … probably word on high. And Doughty might be the next Lidstrom btw, guys like Pronger, Stevens, Phaneuf and Hatcher would have been embarrassed routinely playing that kind of ice time at his age and experience level.

      Ever listen to Tambellini talk about Gagner? That stuff about letting Sam make mistakes to learn, to be sure to not stifle his creativity at this stage … it has merit imo. OTOH if I was the coach, and my ass was in a sling, I`d be questioning the value of the long term objective there.

      Sam will be fine, so will Cogliano. On the latter, according to Desjardins his 5v5 shooting% is only marginally better than average for a top six forward this year, but he`s getting way more shots on net relative to ice time compared to last year (which is up a bunch at this stage), and so are his linemates when he`s on the ice, which is huge. And consequently a lot fewer shots at his own net.

      I mean they`re at that stage where they are still betting on fives and sixes too much, and when it works on the night they look like Forseberg. But Peter ever only bet on sevens, so the next game was always more likely to look just as good.

      And if they had given MacTavish a couple of veteran forwards instead of Boulerice types, well the Oilers would surely be doing better in the standings, the PK would be helped for certain, and the kids, arguably, wouldn`t be moving forward as fast.

      MacT is a clever fuck, he could point Tambellini to H2H icetimes and say that he WAS playing them against quality, but the truth would be that he was running them against tired legs and starting them with the play going north a bunch. Especially if the score on the clock was wrong.

      Tambellini has taken those cards right out of his hand, and it`s painful to watch at times, but it`s probably best for the long haul.

    7. Vic Ferrari
      January 2, 2009 at


      Yeah, L.A has been hitting the ball hard in spite of trading away a big chunk of their PP this summer. I have to believe that Lombardi will find a way to tank though, I mean look at that defense corps. He`s got to move quick though, if they are in contention for a playoff spot by March he`ll have a trade deadline problem, PR wise.

      I`m a believer in forwards driving results, but that is ridiculously bad group on the back end. By rights, they should be spending way more time in their own end. The day we see Gauthier with Daughty is the day we know he has really set the whole thing afire.

    8. January 2, 2009 at

      It strikes me as odd that a veteran head coach would willingly play puppet to the GM, but I guess if it’s your first job since the Bettman point was young, you’re probably willing to make a few compromises, especially if you subscribe to the theory that the kids develop faster by getting thrown to the wolves early (an idea I’m not sure that I agree with, but that’s a separate debate).

      But hey, maybe there’s something to it. The Kings are only three points out of eighth, one back of the Oilers; they’ve got six teams to beat and their GD is still -6 (+87/-93) after extracting EN and SO goals, but it’s not impossible, especially given that the percentages have gone against them, per Sunny. It’s not much, but it’s sure as hell more chance than I thought they’d have by this point back in September.

    9. Vic Ferrari
      January 2, 2009 at

      “It strikes me as odd that a veteran head coach would willingly play puppet to the GM”

      It strikes me as much more odd that even one bugger wouldn`t. But Ted Nolan has done it twice, bless him. Good coach with huge balls, and too righteous for his own good.

      BTW, people pining for Nolan as a replacement for MacT have surely been smoking the drapes. Nolan could have made hay with the 03/04 Oilers though I think, and he might be a good fit in a couple of years here. But now? Damn.

    10. slipper
      January 2, 2009 at

      Sean O’Donnell is a pretty steady partner for Doughty. Chris Pronger would agree with me.


      He’s going to reach 1,000 games this year. Only one real minus season while playing for some spotty teams is impressive, atleast imo.

      That is a pretty thin defense LA’s icing, atleast by name recognition.

    11. slipper
      January 2, 2009 at

      08-09 Kopitar has done a complete 180 from 07-08 Kopitar. If anyone questions whether a coach would play a young player by request of the manager over the immediate success of the team, look no further than Anze’s minutes from last season. If the Kings were playing to WIN you have to wonder why Kopitar lead all L.A forwards in EV ice time. Of players who played 30 games or more for the Kings on 2007-08, Kopitar was 6th in even stength Pts/60, 5th in Goals/60, and ranked 8th in Corsi.

      Yet, he played the most.

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