Today marks the deadline for NHL players to file for salary arbitration. While the process can often be lucrative, it’s something both players and teams would rather avoid for the simple reason that the debates on a person’s value can really wreak havoc on someone’s psyche. Just look at the tales of general managers critiquing their players to the point of tears (see: Tommy Salo.)
Still, a lot of money is handed out during the summer so agents and players decide to go through the process. I’m not sure if this is a comprehensive list, but TSN provides a few more names being thrown into the arbitration hat.
The Vancouver Canucks’ Mason Raymond, the Edmonton Oiler’s Gilbert Brule, the Washington Capitals’ Jeff Schultz and the Atlanta Thrashers’ Andrew Ladd all filed for salary arbitration on Monday.
TSN also did a nice job of breaking down the general ballpark each player could fall into.
Both Ladd and Raymond could be awarded as much as $3 million per season, which would be a substantial raise on what they earned last season. Ladd made $1.65 million while helping the Chicago Blackhawks capture the Stanley Cup before being traded to the Thrashers in exchange for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a draft pick. Meanwhile Raymond enjoyed a career year while helping the Canucks capture the Northwest division crown. He earned $760,000 last season.
Brule will compare his statistics to those of Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Nikolai Kulemin who recently signed a two-year contract worth $4.7 million. Brule finished the season with 17 goals and 20 assists while Kulemin had 16 goals and 20 assists.
The 24-year old Schultz may end up with the biggest raise after leading the NHL in plus/minus this past season with a remarkable Plus-50. He added three goals and 20 assists in 73 games, helping lead the Caps to the Southwest Division crown. He earned just $715,000 last year.
Players often sign last-minute contracts with their teams, so it’s no guarantee that the arduous process must take place. We’ll keep you up to date on all the latest transactions going forward.
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.