E.J. Hradek of ESPN has an interesting suggestion for the New Jersey
Devils: forget about signing Ilya Kovalchuk and focus on other, more
Simply, I’d tell GM Lou Lamoriello not to waste any more time with
Move on. Let it go. Make other plans.
If the Devils want to win another Stanley Cup — that’s Lamoriello
singular goal — I’d use any available cap space to address their
glaring weakness on defense and make an effort to acquire another pivot
to center their second line.
It’s tough to argue with his logic, especially when you consider the
price it’s going to take to sign Kovalchuk. While Devils fans likely
won’t be happy with what they gave up for what was ultimately a rental
player who contributed nothing in the postseason, there are other issues
with the team that need addressing.
The team already has talent up front and especially on the left wing,
and when you sit back and see what Kovalchuk did with the Devils it’s
obvious he was just never a good fit.
If Lou Lamoriello is intent on keeping on with the same system, and
going with a coach who will embrace it, then Kovalchuk will never fit.
The Devils ask their forwards to play too much defense, a style that
will never work for Kovalchuk. He’s not exactly the “rush back and
defend the zone” type of player.
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.