Jordan Staal

Penguins shake up draft, send Staal to Carolina


With the city of Pittsburgh hosting the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, some thought Pens GM Ray Shero might make a bold move in front of the hometown fans.

He did just that.

The Penguins shook up the evening by trading C Jordan Staal to Carolina in exchange for the eighth overall pick, C Brandon Sutter and D Brian Dumoulin, who Carolina took 51st overall at the 2009 draft.

The marquee name of the deal is obviously Staal, the 23-year-old center who’ll head to the ‘Canes and play alongside his brother, Eric. Staal had 50 points in 63 games last year (including 25 goals) and was outstanding in Pittsburgh’s six-game opening round loss to Philly in the playoffs, scoring nine points (including six goals.)

That said, the ransom Carolina paid to acquire Staal was massive — Sutter was one of the Canes’ brightest young stars and had signed a three-year, $6.2 million extension with the club in July 2011. He hasn’t missed a game over the last two years and averaged 17 goals over the last three.

In addition to Sutter, Pittsburgh also gains the services of Dumoulin — who in April won the Frozen Four with Boston College — and got the eighth overall pick, which the Penguins used to select Portland Winterhawks defenseman Derrick Pouliot.

An emotional Ray Shero thanked Staal for his six years of service to the club prior to selecting Pouliot. That was preceded by a massive reaction from the Consol Energy Center faithful upon learning of the deal.

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Related: Report: Shero “livid” with Staal for rejecting 10-year contrac

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 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
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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.