The Colorado Avalanche have finalized the biggest deal — financially speaking — of the young free agent period, inking ex-Islanders forward P.A. Parenteau to a four-year, $16 million deal.
In keeping with the theme of the day, Parenteau gets a massive raise. The 29-year-old winger has signed six contracts during his NHL career — all of them one-year deals, none of them worth more than $1.25 million.
A former ninth-round pick of the Ducks in 2001, Parenteau came out of nowhere to score 120 points over the last two years, including 67 in 2011-12 (which was more than Brad Richards, Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin, to name a few.)
The knock (or concern) about Parenteau is that his offensive spike was tied directly to playing alongside John Tavares on Long Island. To that end, he’ll have no shortage of talented centers to play with in Colorado — Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly make for one of the league’s best young collection of centermen and should allow Parenteau to slide up and down the lineup.
Interestingly, the Parenteau contract is very similar to one Colorado gave to another late bloomer, David Jones. The 27-year-old power forward also scored a four-year, $16 million deal after scoring 47 goals over the last two seasons — Jones was originally drafted by Colorado in 2003.
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.