Tonight looked like it was going to be a run-of-the-mill evening of NHL action until Twitter just about exploded thanks to the stunning news that the NHLPA didn’t approve the NHL’s radical realignment plan. Some might contend with the notion that the players’ union actually rejected the realignment, including agent Alan Walsh:
So what does this mean for the NHL, NHLPA, the 2012-13 season and terrified hockey fans and writers? Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting reactions on Twitter.
NHL teams might officially say that they’re not happy with the NHLPA, but outspoken NY Post reporter Larry Brooks has an interesting take on how some (or perhaps most?) teams might really be feeling:
Aaron Portzline suggests that isn’t true with every team, though:
The NHLPA as a whole might be at odds with that group of spurned teams, although the travel argument is creating some serious debate on Twitter. Bruce Garrioch provides some possible reasoning for the rejection nonetheless:
The factors are up to debate – especially if you are a natural cynic who doubts the honesty of press releases – but Dejan Kovacevic claims that it comes down to one man whose name is associated with terrifying labor stoppages:
There’s been plenty of snark-laced panic over the lockout-friendly implications of this move, but Adam Proteau walks us off the ledge a bit:
Finally, TSN’s Darren Dreger concurs with Proteau’s sentiment and probably sums up an almost undeniably uneasy future for the next CBA:
In other words, it should be awfully entertaining, even if it’s in a rubbernecking-at-a-car-accident kind of way. Let’s hope that the 2012-13 season isn’t lost in the wreckage, though.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”
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?