Nirvana once said that they knew they “made it” when one of their songs was parodied by “Weird Al” Yankovic. When it comes to sports athletes, the barometer might be: a) appearing on a show like Saturday Night Live or b) something being named after them.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier qualified for choice “b” as an arena in his hometown will be renamed to honor the one-time Stanley Cup winner.
Vincent Lecavalier put Île Bizard on the hockey map and now the island is returning the favour.
On Thursday, the arena at Sport Complexe Saint-Raphaël will be renamed after the island’s most famous native son.
There is already a Pavillon Vincent Lecavalier in Île Bizard. The community centre is located next to the soccer and football fields and outdoor hockey rink where Vinny, now 30, played as a youth.
But a hockey arena bearing his name seems more fitting for the NHL star who left home as a teenager in the 1990s to pursue his hockey dream, but still comes home every summer to spend time with family and friends.
I must admit that I often find myself a bit distracted by where Lecavalier falls short; after all, he came into the league being foolishly touted as “Hockey’s Michael Jordan” and is struggling to justify the enormous amount of money he’s being paid.
Yet at 30 years old, he’s within striking distance of a 1,000-point NHL career (he currently has 326 goals and 413 assists for 739 points). He might fall just a bit short of a Hall of Fame career, but he still made good on most of his very high expectations.
In other words, he’s more-than-deserving of having a number of things named in his honor.
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.