It was expected news to come out of Pittsburgh, but sad news nonetheless for the team as GM Ray Shero announced that Evgeni Malkin will have surgery to repair the torn ACL and MCL in his right knee and will be out for six months. That means Malkin is out for the rest of the season and playoffs but should put him on schedule to be back in time for training camp next season.
Malkin was injured last week against the Sabres when he collided awkwardly with Tyler Myers on a play and went down. Without Malkin, the Penguins are without one of their most dynamic offensive players for the remainder of the season. While the team awaits Sidney Crosby’s eventual return from a concussion, Malkin was to be the focus of the offense when he returned from a sinus infection. Instead, he gets hurt in his first game back from that and is done for the year.
Malkin did have 15 goals and 22 assists this year for the Pens in 43 games this year. It was a down offensive year for him to that point but after dealing with an achy knee for part of the year and then the sinus infection, it seems this knee injury is just the icing on the cake for what was the Russian superstar’s most frustrating season to date. With the amount of rehab Malkin will need to do on his knee before next season, Malkin could be poised to be a physical wrecking ball for the Penguins when the puck drops on the 2011-2012 season.
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.