Now that Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Little are no longer restricted free agents, the spotlight focuses even more on the two biggest RFAs remaining (unless you really love Marc Staal): Bobby Ryan and James Neal. The Ryan-Anaheim Ducks negotiations have been especially intriguing because the ideal three-year length for Ryan would be lethal for his team. They’ve been at an impasse for quite some time, now, and that still seems to be the case.
The (mostly) good news is that Ryan doesn’t want a trade and is pretty adamant about avoiding a holdout, too. The 23-year-old forward discussed the situation with the Orange County Register.
“I don’t want a trade,” Ryan told the Register on Monday following a workout. “I’m not asking for a trade. Iwant to be here in Anaheim. This is where I want to be.
“If it comes to a situation where there’s heads butting, then I guess it would be best. But I am not looking for a trade. I have no intentions of being traded. I love it here and want to remain a Duck.”
“I don’t want people to think I’m holding out or I’m going to hold out,” he said. “That’s not the case. We’re just trying to find something that works for both sides right now.”
Ryan says that he wishes the two sides could meet up and hash the whole thing out in one day, but “understands it is a process.” The two sides seem like they’ve simmered down quite a bit, at least publicly. I wonder if four years is the magic compromise number there, but obviously both sides want to get their way.
(The story states that the Ducks will just matter an offer sheet, but why wouldn’t a nefarious team send a three-year deal his way even if it’s just to give Anaheim a headache? Come on, Los Angeles Kings, this is the perfect opportunity to give your in-state rivals a hard time.)
While Ryan’s quotes seem pretty positive, he’s not saying a trade is out of the question altogether. This closing quote could give Ducks fans some pause.
“I’ll figure something out before I get to a holdout [scenario],” he said. “But if NHL teams are starting camps, I’ll be on the ice somewhere. Hopefully here.”
To paraphrase a wise, cartoon dog: “Ruh roh.”
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.