Been around the world
And there’s a decent chance it’s added a dash of bliss to your world.
How’s your month been?
Just over a month it’s been, just over a month since the Kings brought home professional sports’ most styled and prized trophy, signaling for some touch-up engravement detail on the Stanley Cup on the evening of June 11.
If the Kings’ shuttering 6-1 victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils wasn’t convincing enough for your psyche, the first-hand tour the Cup is taking with this roster should help.
And it ain’t Wheaties
Look what I got: The Cup started it’s personal rounds with Kings players and staff on July 3, gracing the European roots of the roster first. So far, four players and four staff members have had their days with the Stanley Cup, here’s how the tour’s looked on the players end:
July 3 – Chelyabinsk, Russia
Voynov, the first Kings player to get a personal day with the Cup, celebrated with an appearance at Traktor Arena, the home building to Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL, the club in which Voynov played for when drafted 32nd overall by the Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Voynov of the year
July 4 – Voskresensk, Russia
Even though Loktionov appeared in just 39 regular season and two postseason games for the Kings this season, he still got his spotlight day with the Stanley Cup. Loktionov showcased the Cup at a community building in his hometown of Voskresensk.
Andrei on his toes
July 6 – Jesenice, Slovenia
Kopitar is only the second Slovenian-born player to ever play in the NHL, and the first to bring the Stanley Cup to home turf, adding to the trophy’s resume – Slovenia now the 24th country the Cup has traveled to. Let’s make it short: Anze Kopitar is god in Slovenia, I’m sure everyone had a f*cking blast.
Jesenice junction, what’s your function
July 12 – Laval, Quebec
Bernier’s personal day with the Cup brought more tension than celebration, to those outside the city of Laval, QC at least. The Cup was presented at a local ice rink in Bernier’s hometown, meanwhile rumors that were seeded two weeks ago about the goaltender’s frustrations, caught fire today.
What’s the scoop?
Personal needs: The Kings’ former #1 draft selection in 2006 wants to part ways. The rumors were floating as of late, but Jonathan Bernier just about confirmed them today, and did so with a vengeance to Canadian Media.
“I asked the Kings to trade me before the trade deadline, but they refused,” Bernier said. “Now that Jonathan Quick signed a long-term deal, I expect to be traded before training camp starts.” – Jonathan Bernier via TVA Sports
There is absolutely no second thought, or vibe, coming from the statement handed down by Bernier. The guy wants out; because for personal reasons, it just doesn’t make sense to sit on the bench for another season. And really, you can’t blame the guy – it’s quite difficult to.
Like hockey is a business among team management and the front offices, it is with the players as well. Bernier, who will be 24 at the start of the 2012-2013 campaign, has appeared in just 41 games for the Kings the previous two seasons.
As one of the most highly-touted goalie prospects in the NHL, Bernier is struggling to showcase those talents in a Kings uniform.
And that’s because of Jonathan Quick, whose stellar play the past two seasons has given very little leeway to the Kings signaling for Bernier.
Now that Quick has signed a long-term 10-year contract, Jonathan Bernier wants a fresh start — and an actual opportunity to start, elsewhere.
What I’m hoping for, and what I’m sure the team is hoping for, is that this settles after a few deep breaths, and Bernier spends his final season in Los Angeles by honoring the final year of his entry-level contract. He is a much bigger asset than I think many realize, playing shuffle with your goaltending depth chart is no easy game, the Kings have avoided that situation with Jonathan Quick’s iron-man like perseverance.
One more year would be smart for both sides. Quick will undoubtedly need more rest next season, this will open up more time for Bernier. This, in turn, gives Bernier the opportunity to showcase himself for his next club.
Realize this: The Kings have never truly been without Jonathan Quick for the past three seasons, everything’s great until there’s a hiatus for an unsaid reason. With Bernier, the Kings couldn’t have a better safety-blanket for a goalie emergency.
Do you trust Martin Jones yet?
If everything goes perfect, Bernier is dealt at the trade-deadline in late February. By that time, both Bernier and the Kings will have a much better idea of themselves, and both sides will still benefit from a move.
Bottom line: You don’t let Bernier walk after next season with nothing to pay off for the loss. Let’s hold on to this for a bit, please.
Rookie, Reward, Deal for Doan?
Bodnarchuk signed: Old news, but the Kings have agreed to a one-year deal with Boston Bruins‘ prospect Andrew Bodnarchuk. There isn’t much NHL experience on his resume, appearing in six games for the Bruins two seasons ago. Even though he’s been traded from Boston to Los Angeles, he won’t be leaving New England. He’ll remain in the AHL, jumping from Boston affiliate Providence Bruins to Kings affiliate Manchester Monarchs.
Trophy case: As this glorious summer continues to evolve, the Kings have added yet another piece of hardware to their Championship-season collection. This time, at ESPN‘s annual award show, the Kings taking home the award for ‘Best Upset’. No reason to analyze this, because it’s right.
Dean for Doan?: For whatever reasons, some are shunning the thought of Shane Doan in a Kings uniform. Oh that’s right, it’s because he showed negative emotion toward the Kings in the Western Conference Finals. Oops, I forgot that we should be only looking for ‘nice’ players, and ones that bow down to us when they are the opposition – especially in the postseason, especially when it’s the Western Conference Finals. Please.
Bad locker-room presence? No, that’s crazy talk. For a professional such as Shane Doan, petty things such as a postseason rift don’t carry over, and all bad-blood shown in the playoffs is now completely, and utterly irrelevant.
If it happens, well then we’ve got ourselves a better team – inside and out, on and off the ice.
Not so Quick, Bernie
And since it’s happened, we’re floating.