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THE ROYAL MAILBAG (Mar. 11)

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
THE ROYAL MAILBAG: How many draft picks to do the Kings have now over the next couple of years after all their wheeling and dealing?


Sunday, March 11 This week's mailbag was full of questions on topics ranging from the trade deadline to a possible nickname for Michael Cammalleri. Find out those answers and more in this week's Royal Mailbag.

There was an amazing goal in the 1992 playoffs when one our players fell backwards and was basically the only guy not to see himself score. What was his name?
Alex T., Palm Desert, CA


Mike Krushelnyski scored the amazing goal that you are asking about. Krushelnyski was selected by the Boston Bruins in the 6th round, 120th overall, in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Along with Marty McSorley, was obtained by the Kings when Wayne Gretzky was sent to the Los Angeles for two players, draft picks and cash. He won three Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers in 1985, 1987, and 1988. Krushelnyski recorded 241 goals and 328 assists for 569 career points for his 897-game NHL career. Krushelnyski played three seasons with the Kings, scoring 43-65=107.

This question is for Mike Cammalleri. I saw on a web site that he had another nickname 'Squid" is that true?
Heather K., Manchester, N.H.


Michael Cammalleri's nickname is Cammy. The name squid is derived from calamari, which can be misconstrued as Cammalleri's last name. "No one I know calls me squid," Cammalleri said when asked about the nickname.

Who were the winners and losers at the trade deadline?
James C., Los Angeles, CA


Here is Jim Fox's assessment of the deadline day deals:
In the new salary cap system, everyone is still trying to figure out how things will work out and that's why it's difficult to select "losers" at the trade deadline. Each team's situation is different and each team has different priorities. Some are looking toward the future and some feel that their "window" of opportunity to win it all is here now and in many cases, both team's win in a trade, since one team gets help for now and the other gets help for the future. It seems like there is a more noticeable difference between the buyers and sellers than there was under the old system. Now it's more about cap room for the future or what is your true "window or opportunity" to win it all now.

Generally, it seems like the Eastern Conference still has so many playoff issues undecided at this point as compared to the West where it seems that there are more teams who believe they have a chance to win it all. There were many trades made in the East by teams trying to make sure they get into the playoffs, as opposed to the West where it seemed that teams were looking to make deals to make them a true contender to win it all.

When you look at the "best player moved" category, you could make the argument that Ryan Smyth, who was moved from Edmonton to the Islanders, was the player in his prime who brings the most right now (Todd Bertuzzi to Detroit is another player who should have a huge impact, but he has health issues which are still a question mark). The Islanders are currently in 7th place in the east and when you go down to 10th (Rangers), they are only four points ahead of the New York Rangers, so the Islanders were making this deal to try to secure a playoff spot and are not considered at this time to be a true contender for the Cup.

In the West, this is how I break it down based on how it looks right now, with the deadline just passing. It probably takes the new players about one month to get comfortable with their new teams, so we'll have a better idea in a little while. The West seems stronger than the East by far, but many times that just means a tougher road to the final and it depends on what you have left when you get there. The West will be more about regular season "ranking" and the East will be about just getting into the playoffs.

Here's a breakdown of the West:

San Jose, already a true contender helped themselves by adding two "impact" players in Bill Guerin, a scorer up front to add more depth to Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and company. They also added Craig Rivet, a defenseman who was averaging over 21 minutes per game in Montreal.

Detroit, already a contender with 88 points, added two pieces that address their specific needs. By adding Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder, they added much needed physical attributes to a high skilled group of forwards. Nice fit if Bertuzzi can get back to 100% fitness.

Nashville already made it's deal with the acquisition of Peter Forsberg. If healthy, there is no better player to add for the playoffs. Having said that, I wonder how the team will handle the expectations that come along with a player of Forsberg's caliber. They have been a strong team all year and they had become contenders before the Forsberg deal. Now they will be expected to take the next step and I'm not sure if they handle the increased pressure, but they certainly have a nice mix up front with Forsberg, Paul Kariya, Steve Sullivan, David Legwand, J.P. Dumont, Jason Arnott, Martin Erat, and Scott Hartnell. With those names it's hard to not take them seriously, but for some reason...

Dallas maybe this year's surprise, since they are hanging so close to San Jose and Anaheim. They added Ladislav Nagy a while ago and now Matti Norstrom to help shore up the defense. A team that stresses puck "control" and defense, just got better in both areas.

Vancouver has made some "sneaky" additions with Bryan Smolinski and Brent Sopel. They are not "star" players, but they will add depth to the NHL's hottest team since Christmas.

Calgary made the Craig Conroy deal with the Kings and also the Wayne Primeau, Brad Stuart deal with Boston, but have not taken the steps yet to be a true contender. Having said that, they have the Vezina Trophy winner in Miikka Kiprusoff and that can go a long way.

Minnesota and Anaheim were relatively quiet at the deadline, but both teams made big deals in the summer and with Anaheim's lineup, they were already a true contender.

Could you tell me who the three-person violin group was that performed the national anthem at the Kings-Predators game on March 3?
Kirk C., Hudson, Wisc.


The group is called Alizma, an acronym representing a musical group composed of three identical 24-year-old sisters named Aleksandra, Izabela and Monika Okapiec. Here is a link to their Web site, should you want more information. http://www.alizma.com/home.htm

What draft picks (by round) do the kings have for June 2007?
Danielle P., Los Angeles, Calif.


In the upcoming 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Kings will have 10 total selections over seven rounds:

First-Round: 1 Selection
Second-Round: 2 Selections (includes one pick each from Dallas and Vancouver)
Third-Round: 1 Selection (includes one pick from Dallas)
Fourth-Round: 1 Selection (includes one pick from Calgary)
Fifth-Round: 2 Selections (includes one pick from Tampa Bay)
Sixth-Round: 1 Selection
Seventh-Round: 2 Selections (includes one pick from Columbus)

In the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the Kings will have 12 total selections over seven rounds:
First-Round: 2 Selections (includes one pick from Dallas)
Second-Round: 2 Selections (includes one pick from Calgary)
Third-Round: 2 Selections (includes one pick from the NY Rangers)
Fourth-Round: 3 Selections (Includes one pick each from Tampa Bay and Vancouver)
Fifth-Round: 1 Selection
Sixth-Round: 1 Selection
Seventh-Round: 1 Selection

Thank you for all of your questions. Don't forget, throughout the 2006-07 NHL season, LAKings.com would like to answer questions from Los Angeles Kings fans. E-mail your query to LAKings.com for possible inclusion in a future mailbag column, which will be published every other Sunday. Letters can be addressed to any member of the organization and may be edited for brevity, length and/or content. Please include your name and location along with your question and email feedback@lakings.com.

The next Royal Mailbag column will appear on Sunday, March 25. Keep the questions coming!.....
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