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Ask Jack: Toffoli On The Market, Kings Goaltending Situation And More

Jack Jablonski gives his thoughts on the Trade Deadline and goaltending

by Jack Jablonski @Jabs_13 / LAKings.com

Before we get into your questions, I feel that it's only proper to briefly tell you about myself, the man behind the keyboard answering your questions. 

My name is Jack Jablonski. I am from Minneapolis, Minnesota and I am paralyzed from the chest down. I practically grew up on skates and learned to skate on frozen ponds and lakes at 2-years-old. Unfortunately, at the age of 16 I was checked from behind illegally in a high school hockey game and broke my C5 and C6 vertebrae, severing my spinal cord completely. I stayed within the game of hockey after my injury and will for the rest of my life. 

So... enough of me, on to what actually matters, your questions.

As a Flames fan, I hear a lot of rumors about Toffoli being a trade target. What are the chances of that, and what would the LA Kings be looking for as a return? - @drunkcanadianpc

Tyler Toffoli for the second year in a row is among those listed by the media on the trading block. 

The Kings currently sit at the bottom of the Western Conference and the youth movement is on the horizon for this organization. The question is: is Tyler Toffoli going to be a part of the soon-to-be new-look LA Kings? 

Toffoli, currently with 30 points (14-16-30), will be a free agent this summer and holds a cap hit of $4.6 million. He has been a consistent producer for the Kings second line and has been a staple of the team's offense ever since he arrived, becoming a key role player during the 2013-2014 Kings Stanley Cup year. With that said, the chances of Toffoli being moved at the deadline are high. The Kings large prospect pool of forwards are getting closer to being in NHL jerseys and from a business prospective, if General Manager Rob Blake doesn't see Toffoli as a part of this team moving forward, it's best to get an asset for him now than let him walk for nothing in the offseason.

The Kings will likely be looking for a draft pick no worse than a third-rounder and/or a prospect that will be NHL ready within two years. But this is pure speculation of course. 

Potential landing spots: Boston, Calgary, Vancouver, St. Louis 

 

Is Jack Campbell getting any trade buzz? Are we in a 32 vs 36 mode? - @dmariaeaton

Timely question! With Jack Campbell now in Toronto, along with Kyle Clifford, the move tells us two things: 

  1. Johnathon Quick's contract was likely too much to move for anything justifiable in return. 
  2. The Kings have the confidence that Cal Petersen can be an NHL starter. With this move, Petersen is going to have an opportunity to become the Kings goalie of the future. 

Tweet from @LAKings: General Manager Rob Blake on the importance of getting Cal Petersen into the LA Kings lineup.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/1m1xtZLP7t

Petersen, who made the AHL All-Star Classic for the second time in his brief three-year career this past month has shown he has NHL starter potential. Last year, Peterson played in 11 games for the Kings and recorded at 5-4-1 record with a .924 save percentage. For reference, Tuukka Rask currently leads the NHL with a .929 save percentage.

All eyes will be on Petersen moving forward. 

 

Thoughts on Drew Doughty this season? - @umdiegowho

Drew Doughty is on pace for 42 points this season, which happens to be his exact career average. He is still a force in all three zones and continues to contribute on the penalty kill, power play and even strength. If you take into consideration the year that the Kings have had, Doughty's play is going to be a bright spot we look back on. 

I also want to point out Doughty's consistency for the Kings. He has played more than 75 games in every season since entering the NHL in 2008 (and played in all 48 games during the condensed lockout year in 20012-2013) and is on pace to do so again. Nothing is more important than health in hockey, and Doughty has provided the Kings with that yet again. 

Tweet from @LAKings: 🍎An apple gets the job done. @dewyy8 passes Rob Blake to become the highest-scoring defenseman in LA Kings history 👏#GoKingsGo | @SanManuelCasino pic.twitter.com/I5HVCYofoY

Looking towards the future, if the Kings can help solidify a d-partner for Doughty next year (cough, cough, Bjornfot, cough,) I think the Kings could see another Norris Trophy-like season out of #8, as he would be allowed to focus on creating more offense and spend less time in the defensive zone. 

 

Why would the Kings need to get a younger core, instead of a core of veterans? - @evank0205

The Kings currently do not have a young core. The club is full of veterans and is in last place in the Western Conference. 

Frankly, you need both. The Kings roster currently lacks contributions from their depth players. They are 30th in the NHL in goals-for per game and have no 20-goal scorers through 56 games. 

Oftentimes, you see the most successful teams with a talented young core contributing alongside players in their prime. The problem with a veteran-heavy Kings core is that they could lead a team to a Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. Now, in 2020, they need help to succeed and they're not getting it. The standings speak for themselves.

P.S. Rob Blake has a plan in place to rebrand the Kings roster. The Kings pipeline is currently rated #1 as a whole in the NHL. All things are pointing to a bright future.

 

Now to hard-hitting questions: 

Do you like pineapple on pizza? - @cbow6

This debate can get pretty heated for certain people, but I kind of fall in the middle.... Would I order pineapple on my pizza if I'm getting pizza? Never. But, if someone has pineapple pizza out, yeah, I'll eat, and I'll probably enjoy it. It's just not my first, second or third choice. 

Side note: If you have pineapple on your pizza and you don't have Canadian bacon, rethink your pizza order. Please. 

What is your favorite movie? - @kb610

Aside from the cliché answer, Miracle, Fight Club. But you know the first rule, so I can't talk about it any further.

If not hockey, what other career was a dream of yours? - @Radriderhd

I've never thought too far beyond hockey not being a part of my professional life, but if it wasn't, I would follow my passion of working in sports on TV. Specifically, tennis, baseball and football.

Wild vs Kings? - @annaleslie18

I've grown up a diehard Minnesota Wild fan and it will always be in my blood, but now that I'm with the Kings, let's just say I root for whoever needs the 2 points more! 

For more questions, email askjack@lakings.com

 

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