Claude Lemieux never played for the Vancouver Canucks, but the team might as well use a turtling Lemieux as their third jersey logo at this point.
It appears that Canucks GM Mike Gillis must believe that his current corps of creeps isn’t sufficient because Nick Kypreos reports that they’re eye-balling Dallas Stars pest Steve Ott. In other news, Adrian Dater identifies Cody McLeod as a Plan B if Ott doesn’t work out.
As much as the team is defined by the Sedins twins’ brilliance, the Canucks also employ some of the NHL’s most irritating figures. Alex Burrows and Maxim Lapierre are about as grating as hockey players can get. Aaron Rome bends and breaks the rules. Even less direct offenders like Roberto Luongo and Kevin Bieksa generate significant scorn.
Adding Ott would make this team so despicable in many hockey minds that pun-lovers would need to work overtime. (My submission: Villaincover.)
The Canadian city has been breathlessly described as a northwest treasure, much like Portland or Seattle. Hockey seems to be the one area where things get ugly, though, as the team’s perceived evils keep getting upstaged by their most regrettable fans.*
Both Ott and McLeod would make the Canucks a tougher team to play against (McLeod already has 154 PIM this season).
Ott would fit in nicely with Burrows in the sense that for all his shenanigans, he’s a heck of a talent. While he lacks Burrows’ finishing touch, Ott’s offensive skills often get overshadowed. Beyond that, he’s notably versatile; as his appearance in HBO 24/7 might remind you, Ott’s a strong faceoff asset.
Kypreos reports that Dallas wants a significant piece for him, though, so we’ll have to see if the Canucks will get another huge injection of obnoxiousness – or a smaller one with McLeod.
* – To be fair, Vancouverites have done a great job of showing that the vast lot are upstanding folks.
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.