This should be interesting. For the past month or so, word has been that the Dallas Stars and Steve Ott were nowhere close on contract-extension talks, as Ott wanted something close to Sean Avery money (four years, $16 million). With the Dallas financial situation the way it is, it was questionable whether they could sign Ott for the price he was asking and still manage to hang on to the players they’ll need to sign this summer.
From Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, it appears that both sides came together over the weekend.
Ott, 27, is in the final year of his deal. He can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, and the NHL trade deadline Wednesday has pushed the Stars to get something done. The Stars would have to have considered a trade for Ott had they not been able to hammer out an extension.
That forced some serious talk, and the Stars apparently worked to get it done.
Heika mentions that the contract has not actually been signed, but the terms have been agreed upon. The chance that the Stars could have traded Ott on Wednesday if a deal wasn’t reached had many fans worried, but I’ve been told by some that were in attendance at Stars practice on Saturday that Ott maintained he wasn’t going anywhere.
Heika suggests the deal may be in the $12 million range, which is what was speculated Ott wanted in the first place.
It’s a good thing he’s staying Dallas, because it would be interesting to see what sort of reception he’d get elsewhere. I’m guessing that the Ducks would not have been interested.
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?
Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.
Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.
Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).
A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:
Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.
It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.
After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.
Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.