Life and hockey trades are funny sometimes. When the Pittsburgh Penguins took “the next step” by acquiring Marian Hossa from the Atlanta Thrashers in a big trade, it seemed like plucky forward Pascal Dupuis would be a mere throw-in (kind of like when Tomas Kopecky signed with Hossa in Chicago).
Yet after one productive postseason, Hossa took off from Pittsburgh to Detroit (and then to Chicago). The Atlanta Thrashers didn’t do much with their assets, either, as Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen wear other teams’ uniforms and the two prospects they received haven’t amounted to much.
In a weird way, Dupuis is why the Penguins might have “won” that deal. He scored a solid 103 points in 233 games after signing a three-year, $4.2 million deal with Pittsburgh in 2008 and hopes to do even better with his latest deal. Dave Molinari reports that Dupuis and the Penguins agreed to a two-year, $3 million deal today. That amounts to about a $100K raise for Dupuis since his annual cap hit goes from $1.4 million to $1.5 million.
That amount seems pretty much on-the-nose for a quality character guy who does a little bit of everything (and with some speed). If HBO’s 24/7 series is any indication, he’s also pretty tight with Sidney Crosby – either serving as his roommate, friend or both – so that probably didn’t hurt his chances with the team either.
The Penguins have some interesting choices to make with pending free agents such as Tyler Kennedy and the possible return of Jaromir Jagr, so we’ll keep you informed of what they (and the 29 other NHL teams) are doing this summer.
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.