Marcel Goc, Jose Theodore, Troy Brouwer

PHT Morning Skate: Where rules get “tortured”


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Nicholas Cotsonika reports that professional hockey players will be among the athletes who will take part in an ambitious bit of concussion-related research. (Yahoo via The Hockey News)

Ray Ratto on how Ryane Clowe “tortured” the rules with his goofy little interference last night. (

NHL official Don Henderson believes that Pee Wee-level hockey should include checking. (

Maybe the Mark Messier talk is a little hasty, but let’s face it: Brooks Laich did back up his guarantee with a game-winning goal. (

Adrian Dater is already glum about “we battled hard excuses” that he’ll likely receive from Colorado Avalanche players and front office people after the team was bounced from the playoffs on Thursday night. (All Things Avs)

While the Avalanche give off a beaten-down vibe, Mike Heika reports that the prevailing emotion for the Dallas Stars was anger. (Dallas Morning News)

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres try to pick up the pieces from a disappointing season, a letdown of a night and a lot of wasted money. Wit that in mind, John Vogl asks Sabres fans: what should the team do next? (Sabres Edge) takes a look at how Dale Tallon’s moves helped the Florida Panthers end their NHL-record 12-year drought. (

Joe Haggerty provides some rave reviews Anton Khudobin’s first game with the Boston Bruins. (

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

Mike Richards
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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 Lombardi and 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
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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.