Jaromir Jagr is back in the NHL and he’ll be playing his home games in the state of Pennsylvania once again, but not in Pittsburgh. The Flyers and GM Paul Holmgren locked up Jagr to a one-year deal to join the team. After an overactive last week that saw the Flyers deal off star centers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, it’ll be a future Hall of Famer in Jagr that comes in to try and help bring the Flyers to the Stanley Cup.
The wild part about Jagr’s deal is that it’s worth $3.3 million for the year. After being away from the NHL for the past three years playing in the KHL with Avangard Omsk, Jagr decided it was time to come back to North America and make a run at the Cup once again. After being courted heavily by Pittsburgh and Detroit only to see them pull back their offers before free agency got under way this afternoon, Jagr was left to sort through a reported host of other offers.
Jagr won’t be the dynamic superstar that he was while he played with the Penguins in the 1990s but with the depth the Flyers have, he’ll be able to make his place on the power play and be able to pick his moments playing with the likes of Claude Giroux and Daniel Briere. Jagr at this point in his career is a purely offensive player and playing under coach Peter Laviolette he’ll get the freedom to do what he has to do to score.
Seeing Jagr in Flyers orange and black will be a stunning sight and given how things went in negotiations with the Penguins, all Flyers-Pens games are going to be must-see games. Making things all the more interesting is that the Flyers will be taking part in the Winter Classic and that means being on HBO’s 24/7. You’ll probably want to be dialed in for when the Flyers make their first appearance in Pittsburgh on December 29. We’ll just set the DVR right now for that one.
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.