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Pittsburgh police officers threaten Winter Classic boycott in pay dispute

You might want to file this one away as something to keep in mind as the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh approaches. Pittsburgh police officers are caught up in a dispute with the the City of Pittsburgh and are threatening to boycott the Winter Classic unless they are given holiday pay for working the game. WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh has the details.

Channel 4 Action News acquired an e-mail from Sgt. John Fisher that was sent to all of the police officers scheduled to work the game. Because the game is being played on New Year’s Day, those officers expected to get holiday pay, but Fisher’s e-mail said that they won’t.

The e-mail states that “It is our position that we will not supply officers unless we receive the holiday pay rate.”

Fisher is in charge of arranging the police detail for every Steelers game, Channel 4 Action News reported. In the e-mail, Fisher asked officers to refuse to work at a reduced pay rate.

Like we said, file this away under possible other story lines as the Winter Classic approaches. New Year’s Day is generally regarded as a holiday for most places and it seems strange that in this instance it’s not being viewed as such. We’re sure that the City of Pittsburgh wouldn’t like to have some sort of cloud hanging over the game and they certainly don’t want to be lacking a security presence at the game considering Heinz Field will be packed to the brim with both Penguins and Capitals fans. The story bears watching as time ticks down until the Winter Classic.

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?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick
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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.