Mike Ilitch

“Insider” on CBA talks: “This is a battle between the owners”


Considering the looming specter of the lockout and the telltale murmurs of greed, this summer might feel reminiscent of the last, disastrous CBA negotiations.

There are plenty of differences, though, and Bruce Garrioch spoke with one unnamed “insider” who believes that the real battle isn’t between the owners and the players.

Instead, he believes the biggest debate revolves around how the big-market teams and smaller ones share their revenue.

“We know what they didn’t do, they didn’t share it between the big- and small-market teams,” said a league insider Saturday. “A big percentage went into the pockets of the big-market teams who are now refusing increased revenue sharing as a means to address the disparity.

“This is not a players’ issue anymore. This is a battle between the owners and it’s time for them to settle it once and for all between themselves.”

That insider then turns to the argument that the owners hope to keep taking from the players to make up the difference.

“Many people think a 50/50 split in revenue between the owners and players is a fair resolution,” added the insider. “That means players should accept a 7% reduction in their share annually. Over six years, that’s over $1 billion. Why? The players accepted a salary cap and 24% rollback last time.

“Since then, NHL revenues are booming. Why should players give back again? What’s the justification for this?”

Some might argue that logical concepts (such as being “justified”) aren’t especially welcome in high stakes negotiations. Either way, word is that the players’ counter-proposal should come on Tuesday.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)


Bettman on costs, potentially locking out.

Some optimism from Ron Hainsey.

Steve Montador’s interesting analogy.

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.