When Daymond Langkow was injured on March 21, 2010 after being struck in the neck by an Ian White slap shot, the scene was terrifying. Langkow fell to the ice and didn’t move and had to be taken off on a stretcher with fractured vertebra. Langkow hasn’t played a game since then but today the Calgary forward received some great news.
Flames acting GM Jay Feaster announced this afternoon that Langkow has been cleared to resume full practice with the team. While Langkow’s been out for so long and this is a big step, it’s a big one on the way to getting him back on the ice. With the Flames having just five games left to play this season, we’re hoping that he’ll be able to get at least one game in this year. Getting to do that will be tricky as Feaster makes clear.
“In as much as Daymond has not played in an NHL game in more than a full-calendar year there remains issues relative to getting him ready to return to the line-up such as conditioning, rebuilding muscle mass, readiness for game speed and game timing, etc. At such point in time when the coaching staff determines that Daymond is ready to return to the line-up we will make the necessary roster transaction(s) to activate Daymond.”
Getting back to peak physical shape is key for Langkow because you’d hate to see anything happen to him further on his comeback to slow him down. The one downside to this story is that the Flames are all but eliminated from the playoffs. With so few games remaining compared to other teams in the hunt out West, it’d be spectacular to see Langkow’s return coincide with a Flames run into the playoffs.
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.