Luke Schenn

Randy Carlyle wants Luke Schenn to be meaner

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Of all the things Luke Schenn’s been told to work on during his time in Toronto — hockey IQ, defensive awareness, limiting turnovers — being mean has never appeared on the list.

Until now.

Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle thinks Schenn could use more nastiness in his game and is challenging the 22-year-old rearguard to get meaner.

“My discussions with Luke were based upon the first thing that comes to mind is his physical presence on the ice,” Carlyle told the National Post. “A defenseman that’s going to be physical first and take the body, be hard to play against, be more of an agitating individual on the ice at times and have more of a snarly attitude.”

This seems like an awfully odd suggestion, given Schenn leads the Leafs in hits (234) and is ninth overall in the NHL. He’s also one of Toronto’s more willing pugilists having fought six times, second only to Mike Brown (10).

Maybe this is part of a larger-scale emphasis to get back to the pugnacious, truculent ideals Brian Burke envisioned when he began building the team in 2008. It’s also interesting to note that, when discussing the firing of former Leafs coach Ron Wilson, Burke made mention of the fact that he likes hockey “a little rougher than Ron does.”

That could suggest Toronto’s physicality might’ve faded a bit during the Wilson regime…and that it’s going to get ratcheted up during the Carlyle regime.

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

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.

… Yeah.

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?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

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.