Cloutier's battle with the Kings
There have been some somewhat ugly happenings going on for Dan Cloutier in the minors this season, something the Vancouver Sun picked up on yesterday:
"So I said: 'All right, what are your plans for me?' They give me the old: 'We still believe in you' and all that. I played 14 games and I was down there for four or five months; you're not going to get your game back that way, especially after being out almost three years."Then there's the suggestion the Kings made him give up his birdcage mask, forced him to play with a hip injury and sent him to the minors for "seasoning" but didn't give him any starts.
Cloutier's wife, Nikki, accompanied her husband to the American League, where they lived in a hotel. They were expecting their first baby in December. As the due date neared, Cloutier asked the Kings to move them into an apartment. The team balked and said the Cloutiers should stay in their hotel.
"I said: 'I can't, we're expecting a baby here. I don't know if it's a big thing to you guys, but to me it's the most important thing,'" Cloutier said. "Finally, I called the [Players' Association] and they said after 28 days you're entitled to get a place."
I can't see this all going over very well with the Kings.
Rich Hammond has been all over this story the past two days.
UPDATE Greg Wyshynski has a great post on all things Kings over at the FanHouse, including some very candid comments from GM Dean Lombardi on his team's direction.
I'm very surprised he hasn't gotten that team off the ground yet, but they're certainly amassing enough young talent to make some noise down the road.