Season Preview: Whip Into Shape

As we get closer to the start of the regular season, we here at The Royal Half are taking an in-depth look at some of the biggest holes in the Los Angeles Kings roster. This off-season was one of the busiest for the Kings in recent memory with 6 roster players (okay, 4 plus Brayden Schenn and Oscar Moller) leaving the team via trades or free agency. Sure, Mike Richards has come in to fill the hole of 2nd line center. Simon Gagne has come in to fill the hole of 2nd line left wing. And Ethan Moreau was signed to fill the hole of veteran leadership on the 4th line. But there is still one major glaring hole in the lineup of the 2011-2012 Los Angeles Kings that is yet to be filled.

Click Here to Read The Royal Half’s Season Preview of the Los Angeles Kings Whipping Boy!!!

During the summer, the Kings suffered two gut-wrenching blows when it came to the teams official Whipping Boy. On July 1st, the Carolina Hurricanes signed Alexei Ponikarovsky to a 1 year, 1.5 million dollar contract.

“Jack.. Wayne… don’t worry, I got this. I’ll serve the penalty. It’s what I do best.”

This was a major loss for the Kings as Ponikarovsky was a 5 tool player when it came to the intangibles of being a true Whipping Boy.

1) Grossly Overpaid
2) Unable to Score Goals
3) A Big Body who Refuses to Use It
4) Weird, Foreign Last Name
5) Unable to Replace the Offensive Total of a Former Whipping Boy

And then on August 14th… the unthinkable happened. The Kings’ own Kordell Stewart, defenseman/winger Peter Harrold, signed a 1 year deal with the New Jersey Devils. 

Peter Harrold in his most natural position with the Kings…
posing with fans during the game.

With Peter Harrold gone… the competition now heats up for two coveted spots on the roster… Whipping Boy AND 75 Game Healthy Scratch. So with opening night in Stockholm (yes, I’ll be there) let’s take a closer look at the fierce training camp battle for Whipping Boy.

COLIN FRASER – CENTER

A former Stanley Cup champion with a career high of 7 goals in a season, Colin Fraser looks like the perfect Whipping Boy on paper. But that’s the problem, he’s only on paper right now. After coming to Los Angeles from Edmonton in the infamous Mullet-Gate trade for Ryan Smyth, Fraser’s foot injury has prevented him from participating in Training Camp and making a true bid for the Whipping Boy spot. We have high hopes for Fraser coming into this season, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye on him as the year moves on.

WHIPPING BOY GRADE SCALE:

1) Grossly Overpaid – F
Colin Fraser was brought in to be a 4th line center and he’s paid like a 4th line center. Sorry, Kings fans… no complaining about being overpaid here.

2) Unable to Score Goals – A
With 16 goals in 224 games, Fraser excels in the “unable to score goals” category. But since he isn’t depended upon to score, it’s a wash when it comes to Whipping Boy cred.

3) A Big Body who Refuses to Use It – N/A
Until Fraser can walk, the jury is still out on his 6’1″, 195 pound frame and how he uses it. But he did have 165 penalty minutes as a Rockford Ice Hog which could ruin his chances in this category.

4) Weird, Foreign Last Name – F
Colin Fraser is as American a name as a boy from British Columbia could have.  

5) Unable to Replace the Offensive Total of a Former Whipping Boy - F
Again, offense isn’t part of Fraser’s game… in fact, I don’t even think it’s in his vocabulary.

OVERALL WHIPPING BOY POTENTIAL GRADE:

D

 

 


DAVIS DREWISKE – DEFENSE

I’m really excited about Davis Drewiske’s potential coming into this season. Last season, Drewiske was amazing as a healthy scratch in 44 games. As a defenseman, he has the best shot at reaching Peter Harrold’s healthy scratch record of 63, set during the 2010-2011 season. Although with Drewiske as good-looking as he is… many female Kings fans want to do a different kind of whipping with him. 

WHIPPING BOY GRADE SCALE:

1) Grossly Overpaid - D
Drewiske is the middle year of a 3 year, 1.85 million dollar contract. Even though he’s only making 625,000 this season, some Kings fans will argue that is too much to be paid for making so many mistakes on the blueline. 

2) Unable to Score Goals - A
If Davis Drewiske was anymore of a stay at home defenseman, he’d stay at home for each game. Literally, at home. 

3) A Big Body who Refuses to Use It – B
At 6′ 1″ and 220, Drewiske is expected to use the body to keep the opposition from scoring. And even if he was a Zamboni… he couldn’t clear the front of the net.

4) Weird, Foreign Last Name - B
His last name is kinda foreign and since he’s from Wisconsin, he probably has a funny accent. 

5) Unable to Replace the Offensive Total of a Former Whipping Boy - A
Peter Harrold had 4 points last season.. Davis Drewiske had 5. Suck it, Harrold. 

OVERALL WHIPPING BOY POTENTIAL GRADE:

B

 

 


SCOTT PARSE – RIGHT WING

Another NHL season, another starting right winger job handed to Scott Parse. And just like last season when he went out with a hip injury in November… Scott Parse is blowing it. Parse was drafted by the Kings in 2004 after he was a Hobey Baker finalist at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. And the Kings have been waiting ever since for him to do anything. And besides one amazing goal, Scott Parse hasn’t delivered on the offensive potential that the Kings hope to get from him. And if there is anything that makes a good Whipping Boy… it’s failing to deliver on offensive potential.

WHIPPING BOY GRADE SCALE:

1) Grossly Overpaid 

2) Unable to Score Goals 

3) A Big Body who Refuses to Use It 

4) Weird, Foreign Last Name

5) Unable to Replace the Offensive Total of a Former Whipping Boy 

Maybe you haven’t been paying much attention this pre-season… but the spot of Los Angeles Kings Whipping Boy is only available to players who are going to make the team

OVERALL WHIPPING BOY POTENTIAL GRADE:

N/A

 

 


DUSTIN PENNER – LEFT WING

To say that Dustin Penner had a disappointing arrival with the Los Angeles Kings would be an understatement. Some fans were just downright cruel when it came to labeling Dustin Penner the next Whipping Boy for this team. But in all honesty… Penner didn’t do anything to keep fans from labeling him such. 8 points in 25 games from Penner was just too little for someone who was traded for a former #1 draft pick (Luckily Colten Teubert isn’t really impressing anyone just yet) and a current #1 draft pick in order to be the Kings Left Wing Saviour. Sure, Penner has trimmed down and is mentally prepared for this season… but will it be enough to keep the Kings Faithful from cursing his name on a nightly basis?

WHIPPING BOY GRADE SCALE:

1) Grossly Overpaid - A+
It’s not Dean Lombardi’s fault that Kevin Lowe decided to pay Penner 21 million over 5 years. At 4.25 million dollars this season, 8 points in 25 games ain’t gonna cut it. 

2) Unable to Score Goals - A+
Yeah, I’d say Kings fans were slightly unhappy with Dustin Penner’s failure to produce goals. 

3) A Big Body who Refuses to Use It - A+
Well Dean Lombardi knows what Dustin Penner can do with his 6’4″, 245 pound frame.

4) Weird, Foreign Last Name – A+
Not foreign, but the perfect last name for a fan to express frustrations towards when they screw up. 

  

       

5) Unable to Replace the Offensive Total of a Former Whipping Boy - A+
Have we mentioned that Dustin Penner struggled with scoring after coming over in a trade from Edmonton?

OVERALL WHIPPING BOY POTENTIAL GRADE:

F
Dustin Penner is going to have a monster season in his contract year,
Kings fans are going to embrace him like they never have a player before,
and then they’ll curse him when he signs a 6 year, 45 million dollar deal with the Ottawa Senators. 

 

 

 

JAMIE KOMPON – POWER PLAY COACH

Jamie Kompon, Los Angeles Kings assistant coach and more or less the person responsible for the Los Angeles Kings Power Play. The Power Play that was 21st overall in 2010-2011.

1) Grossly Overpaid - PP
SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!

2) Unable to Score Goals - PP
SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!

3) A Big Body who Refuses to Use It - PP
SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!

4) Weird, Foreign Last Name – PP
SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!

5) Unable to Replace the Offensive Total of a Former Whipping Boy – PP
SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!

OVERALL WHIPPING BOY POTENTIAL GRADE:

PP
SHOOT THE PUCK ALREADY!!! 

 

 


While these are some very worthy competitors for the coveted spot of Los Angeles Kings Whipping Boy… there can be only one. And late last night… he came on board.

DREW DOUGHTY – 21 YEAR OLD MULTI-MILLIONAIRE

I hope you are ready for this, Drew. Because with great power money, comes great responsibility. You think fans were tough on you before when you had a defensive relapse in front of your own goalie? You think fans took it easy on you in regards to your conditioning? What about how they teased you for not washing your face after each game? You are the first true, high-priced, home-grown superstar this team has ever seen. (Luc Robitaille made his highest salary as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. You could argue for Rob Blake… but we know how that turned out.) This is your team for the next 8 years young man… so you better be ready for a lot of cheers… and a lot of jeers.

1) Grossly Overpaid - A+
In the sense that he’s only making 5 million more dollars than Ilya Kovalchuk.

2) Unable to Score Goals – F
Yup, he sure can score them

3) A Big Body who Refuses to Use It - F
He has a big body for sure… and he’s not afraid to use it

4) Weird, Foreign Last Name - A
The dude is Portuguese.

5) Unable to Replace the Offensive Total of a Former Whipping Boy - F
I can personally guarantee Drew Doughty will outscore Peter Harrold… in the first 3 games of the season.

OVERALL WHIPPING BOY POTENTIAL GRADE:

56 MILLION

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.