While we’re never learn exactly what went wrong between Jamie
Langenbrunner and Jacques Lemaire — I’m sure Langenbrunner’s sub-par
play didn’t help — we do have some clues as to why Langenbrunner was so
upset after being scratched on April 3.
Lemaire scratched him
supposedly to send him a message after a number of poor performances as
the Devils fought for a division title. That alone would be enough to
anger Langenbrunner, but
according to Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger, Lemaire tried to give
the “C” to Colin White for that game.
Obviously, he didn’t take it.
“I look up to Jamie. He is our leader,” White said. “I’ve always
looked up to him and I’ve told him that. I don’t think our (team’s)
leadership can be challenged.”
Langenbrunner, as he struggles to recover from a
disappointing season, admits that things weren’t exactly cozy between
“There were some differences of opinion when it came to dealing with a
few issues,” Langenbrunner said. “There were some things that were done
that probably didn’t help the situation. For most of the season it was
fine, up until Christmas.
“There were a few things that happened, a few issues that were tough
for me to let go. I probably didn’t handle them correctly. Not all
personalities completely mesh, but they are able to work together. I had
no problems with the way he treated me. It was more about team issues
that we would never agree on.”
Despite their great regular season record, there was no doubting the
team’s issues once the playoffs began. Langenbrunner may say he didn’t
have much of an issue with Lemaire personally, but when things started
to go wrong Langenbrunner was the epicenter of the dysfunction
surrounding the team.
So while the team says that Lemaire would have been the coach next
season if he didn’t “retire”, a coaching change is likely exactly what
the Devils needed.
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.