Kings GM Dean Lombardi is hoping he’s found the cure for a Stanley Cup hangover.
If he hasn’t, it won’t be for a lack of searching.
“I talked to a number of teams, whether it was the 49ers, Yankees, Patriots, teams that were dynasties, and wanted to know what they did after the first year they won,” Lombardi told ESPN.com. “I found so many different schools of thought.”
Lombardi was especially impressed with former 49ers cornerback/safety Ronnie Lott, who won four Super Bowls in San Francisco.
The 49ers followed up their first title with a 3-6 record in the strike-shortened 1982 season, so obviously Lombardi was eager to know what they did wrong there.
Ultimately he believes he’ll have to keep reminding the Kings how good it felt to win in order to keep them motivated.
The last team to win the Cup in consecutive seasons was Detroit in 1997 and 1998.
For what it’s worth, I think these are two big keys to mitigating Cup hangovers:
First, find a way to keep your good players (seems obvious, but hard to do in a cap system. See: Chicago Blackhawks).
Second, maintain a fresh supply of players who are individually motivated, whether that’s youngsters who haven’t made their marks, a veteran that wasn’t with the club the previous season, or even guys in contract years.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.