January 11

Kings’ captain shipped

first_imgAt the end of a long day, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi found himself with a heavy heart, a depleted roster and a team without a captain – and also with major optimism for the future. The Kings made three deals in the waning moments before Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline, the most notable of which sent defenseman and team captain Mattias Norstrom to the Dallas Stars. The Norstrom deal took several days. Lombardi began talking to teams about Norstrom during last week’s GM meetings and, out of respect, told Norstrom that a deal might be in the works. Lombardi had a tentative deal in place Monday night and finalized it about a half hour before the noon deadline. “We weren’t going to just move him for anything,” Lombardi said. “Sometimes you just see guys getting moved for a bag of baseballs, but that wasn’t the case here. … We needed to get that (first-round) pick.” But Lombardi’s late moves put a dent in the Kings’ defense, one that will need to be addressed this summer. In dealing Norstrom and Brent Sopel (on Monday), Lombardi sent away two of the Kings’ top five defensemen, and another, Aaron Miller, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Modry, 36, scored a career-high 13goals in 2002-03 during his first stint with the Kings, which lasted seven-plus seasons. But Modry has just one goal and nine assists in 57games this season. Add to that Rob Blake is 37, and the Kings have defensive issues. Highly touted prospect Jack Johnson will step into the lineup if he leaves college early, but more help will be needed. Beyond that, there are leadership issues. Norstrom, acquired from the New York Rangers in March 1996, was by far the longest-tenured King and played 780games, the most among any defenseman in Kings history. He took over as team captain during the 2001-02 season when Blake was traded to Colorado. “Even though I’ve only been here for a short time, I had so much respect for the guy,” Lombardi said of Norstrom. “Sometimes you admire a guy from afar and he doesn’t turn out to be quite the same guy you thought he was. Matty was every bit and more of what I perceived him to be.” It is believed Blake will take over Norstrom’s team-captain responsibilities, but regardless, the Kings will have a much different look when they face the Ducks on Thursday. Heward, 35, is a veteran of 362 career NHL games and has 16 points in 52games this season. Fransson, Dallas’ second-round pick in 2004, has spent this season in the Swedish Elite League. Pushkarev, 22, played 22games with the Kings this season but did not make an impact. [email protected] (818) 713-3611 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Kings also acquired veteran defenseman Jamie Heward from Washington for a 2008 fifth-round pick and traded forward Jason Ward to Tampa Bay for a 2007 fifth-round pick. When the dust settled, the Kings were left without Norstrom, their captain since 2001-02, a rock-steady presence on the ice and in the dressing room but also a defenseman with a burdensome contract. Norstrom, 35, is due $4.25million next season as part of the two-year extension he signed last March. By trading Norstrom, Lombardi accomplished his two primary goals: He cleared roster space – Modry will be a free agent this summer – and stockpiled more draft picks. With the Kings long since out of the playoff race, Lombardi has focused on the future. In the past four weeks he has traded Craig Conroy, Sean Avery, Brent Sopel and Norstrom. Since his hiring last April, Lombardi has made a net gain of five draft picks in 2007 and 2008. The Kings have committed roughly $22.5 million to 11 players for next season, giving them significant cap room. center_img In the centerpiece deal of a busy day, the Kings sent Norstrom, winger Konstantin Pushkarev and 2007 third- and fourth- round draft picks to Dallas for defenseman Jaroslav Modry, a first-round pick in 2008, second- and third-round picks in 2007 and the rights to defenseman Johan Fransson. “This is my hardest day, other than the day I was fired (by San Jose),” Lombardi said. “Emotionally it rips your heart out, but this was something I thought we needed to do.” last_img read more

August 19

Venezuelans fume after Nicolas Maduro filmed dining with celebrity chef Salt Bae

first_imgRelated posts:Venezuela opposition drops deputies to break deadlock Venezuelan protests seek Maduro’s ouster Venezuelan lawmaker says in Costa Rica that her people eat from garbage trucks Maduro says he escaped drone ‘assassination’ attempt, blames Colombia Impoverished Venezuelans have reacted with fury after videos of President Nicolas Maduro gorging on succulent pieces of meat in a restaurant owned by a celebrity Turkish chef went viral.“This is once in a lifetime,” enthuses Maduro with his wife Cilia Flores as Nusret Gokce, a social media star chef who goes by the name Salt Bae, performs his signature theatrical preparation of slices of meat at one of his restaurants in Istanbul.Back home, Venezuelans face food shortages while a group of the country’s top universities conducted a study that found 87 percent of the population were living in poverty in 2017 and 60 percent of people had lost an average of 11 kilograms (24 pounds) due to a diet that was lacking in protein, one of the primary nutrients contained in meat.“Chavismo is asking China to borrow money because you can’t pay your debts and then going to luxury restaurants,” wrote social media expert Luis Carlos Diaz on Twitter in a broadside at Maduro’s left-wing populist politics adopted from late predecessor Hugo Chavez.A main course in Gokce’s restaurant costs between $70 and $250 — equivalent to between two and eight months salary in Venezuela on the minimum wage.Mientras tanto el gobernante de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, visita al reconocido chef, Salt Bae, en Turquía y disfruta de un delicioso manjar junto a la “primera combatiente” Cilia Flores. #DimeAlgo pic.twitter.com/tGieG9GV8J— Yusnaby Pérez (@Yusnaby) September 17, 2018Celebrities including Portuguese football icon Cristiano Ronaldo and Hollywood star Leonardo Di Caprio have eaten at Gokce’s restaurant.“We shared a meal in a famous restaurant. I send a greeting from here to Nusret, who looked after us personally. We chatted, enjoyed our time with him … He loves Venezuela,” said Maduro on a television and radio broadcast in Venezuela after returning to Caracas on Monday following a trip to China, which included a stopover in Istanbul where he was invited to dine with Turkish authorities.On Saturday, Maduro had announced the trip to China was fruitful as he had secured commitments from Beijing to help fund the oil industry that Venezuela is almost entirely reliant upon.Gokce had published videos of Maduro’s visit on his social media accounts thanking Maduro but soon deleted them from Instagram after he was inundated with thousands of angry messages.In one of the videos, Maduro is seen sucking on a thick cigar taken from a box bearing his name engraved on a golden label, while receiving a T-shirt emblazoned with Gokce’s face.‘Worker president’During the visit, former bus driver Maduro, who likes to style himself as the “worker president,” was surrounded by armed Turkish guards.“Eating meat and smoking cigars… with the dollars that he refuses to use to buy medicines and food: WORKER PRESIDENT,” said former government loyalist Nicmer Evans, now a leader of the opposition Frente Amplio.Venezuela is struggling with an economic crisis in which the International Monetary Fund predicts inflation will hit one million percent this year.Four years of recession has seen 1.6 million people flee Venezuela since 2015, according to the United Nations, creating a migration crisis in neighboring and nearby countries. Facebook Commentslast_img read more