We might still weigh in on this debate since it’s one of the most interesting situations regarding rookies facing the nine-game deadline for “burning” a year from an entry-level contract, but Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray said that the team will keep defenseman Cam Fowler at the NHL level.
The nine-game deadline was supposed to come up a few days ago, but a broken nose halted Fowler at six games played. Any drama that might have lingered is gone now, though, as the team will keep him and let one of his bargain contract years burn away.
General manager Bob Murray said Tuesday the Ducks will stick with Fowler beyond the nine-game deadline for returning him to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires.
Anaheim has been impressed by the 12th overall pick in last June’s draft. Fowler has one goal and two assists in six games with the Ducks.
Fowler also has been cleared to return Wednesday after missing the past six games with a broken nose and a stiff neck. Phoenix’s Shane Doan ran him into the boards Oct. 17.
I’m not certain this is the best idea for the Ducks. For one thing, the team is obviously in disarray, so you’re not exactly keeping Fowler in a great environment. Is this the best situation for the talented blueliner to become acclimated?
Another important factor – especially with a team that’s, um, a little light in the wallet like the Ducks – is the fact that the team will have some tough contract negotiations in the summer that Fowler’s contract will expire. While Fowler will be a restricted free agent, both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf will become unrestricted free agents at the same time.
If Fowler proves to be the kind of top-end talent many expected, that will be a tough summer for the Ducks. Then again, if he’s really as good as advertised, perhaps he’ll be worth the trouble.
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.