Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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."

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."
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.

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.

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At 2:54 p.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Cloutier forget that he single-handedly destroyed the King's 06-07 season?

At 3:02 p.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger McLea said...

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.

Why the hell didn't find his own damn apartment? If it was so bloody important for him to get out of the hotel to have his kid, then you'd think this multi millionaire would be able to find his own freaking place in Manchester. Heck, it would probably take all of 10 seconds for a starving American Real Estate agent to find him a fully furnished apartment to rent. What a baby.

And where does Cloutier get off saying anything to anyone? Someone should remind him that he's terrible.

At 3:05 p.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're sure none of this is Cloutier's fault. He has been badly mistreated.

/satirical Canucks fan.

At 3:16 p.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Brian Burke said...

Dan Cloutier is a # 1 goalie in the NHL.

At 3:19 p.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agents don't have short memories. When franchises pull this kind of stunt they forget that they become a less attractive destination for free agents and their own stars of the future.

At 3:21 p.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger RudyKelly said...

The biggest problem I have with the article is that it makes the accusation that the Kings forced Cloutier to play while injured because Garon was out with a broken finger. Garon didn't suffer an injury that season until Nov. 30th, 6 weeks after Cloutier himself has said he got injured. Why would they force him to play with an injury with Garon on the bench, especially since Cloutier was awful?

The Kings could have asked him to keep playing after Garon got hurt, but that was probably because he'd been playing on it for 6 weeks already and they decided he couldn't hurt it any worse. Even then, though, I wonder why they would actually want him to play, seeing as how his level of production was duplicated in January by an ECHL goaltender.

This part stuck out the most to me:

"But it's been so hard. Maybe if I get bought out, there are a couple of organizations I could go to. But I don't want to go through this again. I wouldn't want to put myself through this again.

At 3:24 p.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Why does the buyout strike you as anything other than inevitable? I'd be shocked if the team doesn't consider it.

At 3:29 p.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger RudyKelly said...

The Kings have already bought out Alyn Macauley and they'd have both contracts taking up space on their cap when Jack Johnson, Anze Kopitar, and Alex Frolov all become free agents. The Kings are probably planning on eating the rest of Cloutier's contract and stashing him in the minors to avoid that. Or, they're hoping he signs in Europe and they can get out of the contract altogether. If Cloutier gets bought out, he still gets 60%(?) of $3.1 million and he gets to sign somewhere else. I'm just speculating, but the motivation is there.

At 4:56 p.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger The Gate To The Groin For Yannick Bertrand said...

The best thing that will come out of this for Dan Cloutier? People are talking about Dan Cloutier again.

The worst? People are talking about Dan Cloutier again.

At 9:03 p.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous beingbobbyorr said...

Why the hell didn't find his own damn apartment?

Because, after a certain amount of time in the minors, the club is contractually obligated to do it. The league, the team, and the fans will all discard the players quickly enough. Why wouldn't they demand to get what is rightfully theirs?

It is a hopeless pipedream for fans to wish that the players be junkyard dogs on the ice, but poodles at the negotiating table.

At 11:50 p.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He almost stole one for the Kings the other night against the Canucks, and has had a couple of other surprisingly good outings since he was called up. Not bad for a guy who many fans, myself included, thought might be finished due to that hip injury.

Sure, I know it looks like Cloutier might be done, but admit it -- did anyone think that Ty Conklin would ever be back in the NHL? I know I didn't, and now the dude is leading the league in save percentage. Hands up anyone who really believed that Jose Theodore would have the kind of bounce back year he has had in Colorado. Anyone? Bueller? We all thought he was washed up, and yet here he is keying Colorado's recent winning streak. Goalies are tough to figure out. If LA buys Cloutier out, I'll bet someone takes a chance on him as a minimum salary type depth guy for their organization.


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