When Dave Taylor was handed keys to the Los Angeles Kingdom in 1997, his first task was to set up a hierarchy in the Kings system that would allow them to build and maintain a farm system. As the Kings head into the 2002-03 campaign, they are just beginning to feel the positive effects of that “build from within” plan.
What Dave Taylor knew then and is coming to fruition now is that to maintain a fiscally responsible franchise that can achieve success on the ice, a team has to be economically diverse. That is that they have to have high-income players who perform, along with lower-paid players who still contribute. In past seasons, the Kings had overpaid big names on the downsides of their respective careers. They also overpaid some free agents and the balance of the roster spots were filled out with players who shouldn’t have been in the NHL. While the final execution of this plan is still in the future, the structure of it is taking shape and the Kings will feel some of its benefits this season.
The structure is basically some younger, higher income, quality players who will anchor the team. Players like Allison, Palffy, Deadmarsh, Miller and Norstrom were acquired via trade. They were given an opportunity to prosper, and consequently signed to extensions or new deals (or soon will be). The high-end money goes to the horses you ride the most. The next level of veterans like Laperriere, Schneider and the like follow a similar plan- acquire via trade or lower-end free agency, give them time, and then make them part of the plan for reasonable dol Read more»