Traverse City Prospects Tournament results: Minnesota beats Detroit 3-1 for title

(Note: We’ll have results of the night’s other prospects game – Edmonton vs. San Jose in the Young Stars Tournamenttomorrow morning.)

The Traverse City Prospects Tournament concluded tonight, with four games deciding the team’s final standings in the exhibition of young talent. Here are the results, beginning with the “gold medal” game all the way down to the seventh place skirmish.

Minnesota Wild 3, Detroit Red Wings 1

The Wild won the “gold medal” after scoring three goals in the third period to beat the Red Wings.

Matt Hackett stopped 30 out of 31 shots to lead the Wild to victory, with Cody Almond, T.J. Barnett and Marco Scandella chipping in goals for Minnesota. Thomas McCollum was in net for Detroit, allowing three goals on 25 shots while Sebastien Piche scored the lone Red Wings goal in the first period.

Carolina Hurricanes 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (OT)

The Hurricanes took home the imaginary bronze medal thanks to an overtime game-winner from a player who hopes to make the big team, first rounder Jeff Skinner. Matt Kennedy, Justin Shugg and Jared Staal also scored for Carolina while Matt Butcher tallied twice and James Wright also scored once for Tamp Bay.

New York Rangers 7, Dallas Stars 2

The Stars took another beating in this tournament, this time getting drubbed by the Rangers’ prospects 7-2. The Stars couldn’t do much on the powerplay, converting only one chance in 10 opportunities (the Rangers weren’t much better, going 1 for 6). This means that the Rangers placed fifth while the Stars get sixth.

St. Louis Blues 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 2

The Blues avoided being the last place team in this competition thanks to sound goaltending and a deadly powerplay. St. Louis converted 5 of their 8 man advantages, scoring all of their goals on special teams. The Blue Jackets actually out-shot the Blues 40-33, but Jake Allen stopped 38 of 40 shots for St. Louis. Columbus continues its bad news week by placing last, although my guess is they’re a little more bummed out about their paltry tickets sales.

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    Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

    Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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    Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

    Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

    Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

    The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

    “When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

    Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

    The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

    “It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”



    Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

    Mike Richards

    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.

    … Yeah.

    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?