While NHL players continue to bolt for overseas gigs, some aren’t having the greatest time studying hockey abroad. Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene might rank as one of those players.
Duchene already blasted officiating in the Swedish Elite League, and now he’s critiquing the work of his foster team Frolunda after a 2-0 loss on Tuesday, according to an Aftonbladet article (translated by the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater).
“If this was in the NHL, five players would be sent down to the minors after a game like this. But here, players are too comfortable,” Duchene said. “There are 33 million Canadians that would sacrifice an arm to play hockey at this level.”
The interview caused a stir already, although Duchene claims that those comments were “blown out of proportion.”
Specifically, Duchene told Dater that he did have some good things to say about the team and also held himself accountable by saying he “let his teammates down” in that defeat.
Ultimately, Dater has an interesting take on Duchene’s comments (and perhaps, passion).
I’ve been around Duchene long enough to know he just wants to win, period. I think this actually shows well on his character, that he cares as much about winning in Sweden as he does here. Most guys just go over there to make some money and stay busy and don’t really give a hoot about how the team does. Dutchy isn’t like that.
It might not make him a popular teammate, though.
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.