The rumors about the Maple Leafs signing their 2009 sixth round draft pick Jerry D’Amigo came true this afternoon as the team announced they’ve reached a three-year entry-level deal with the Team USA World Junior Championships gold medalist. Leafs GM Brian Burke had this to say about D’Amigo:
“We’ve been very pleased with Jerry’s progression over the past 12 months,” said Burke. “Seth Appert and the rest of the coaching staff at R.P.I. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) have done a really nice job of preparing Jerry for the next stage in his development. We look forward to having him at training camp.”
At RPI last year, D’Amigo was a revelation for the program, leading all freshmen in points per game while winning the ECAC Rookie of the Year award. In the off-season, D’Amigo has added weight and muscle to his frame turning him from a still green young kid into an NHL-sized and ready prospect, something to which D’Amigo thanks the coaches at RPI for helping him do.
For the Leafs, D’Amigo presents the possibility of having a fresh-faced option to use on their third line as D’Amigo’s offensive and defensive skills are about equal. D’Amigo spent last season with RPI playing time both on the power play and the penalty kill. Having attended the majority of RPI’s games last season, my own untrained eye tells me that a bigger and faster Jerry D’Amigo will be the steal they were hoping he might be when they drafted him in the sixth round in 2009. That year, he was projected to be a late second-early third round pick yet slipped into the early sixth, a mistake many teams may come to look back on with regret.
(Photo: Bruce Bennett – Getty Images)
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.