Yesterday, we asked what the Detroit Red Wings could do to address their defense after failing to land Ryan Suter. Our conclusion? The options are limited.
On top of that, one of those options was Matt Carle, who’s since signed with Tampa Bay. The two others we mentioned were Jay Bouwmeester and Shea Weber, both of whom would take considerable assets to pry them away from their respective teams. Particularly the latter.
A disappointed Wings GM Ken Holland addressed his team’s conundrum.
“Our focus going back to last year was to be positioned for this summer,” he said, as per the Detroit Free Press. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to add a high-profile player or two. But I think we have a lot of good pieces in place, and we have some players ready to take bigger roles. We’ll explore the marketplace. We’ll explore trading. We’ll move on.”
On his reluctance to pay a guy like Carle $33 million over six years: “I’d rather go with our kids. I think we can compete. Are we going to win the Presidents’ Trophy? No, but you don’t have to anymore.”
True, but you still have to have good players to win the Stanley Cup, and on paper the Wings don’t have enough of them on the back end.
Holland knows that, which is why he went hard after Suter with a reported $90 million offer. Would Wings fans feel better if the GM had signed Carle to a contract with a $5.5 million cap hit? Maybe some, but certainly not all.
“This is the NHL of today,” Holland said. “I keep telling people and they don’t want to believe it: It’s a level playing field.”
Related: Columnist claims Red Wings are “no longer the chosen ones” in NHL
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.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi ranks among the NHL’s most outspoken executives. Even so, his discussion of what he calls 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.” (Bold claim: the production part was probably the bigger sticking point.)
- 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 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?
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.