Michal Handzus 2

Handzus, Glass, Tyrell and Stoner leave Slovak Extraliga team

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Four more locked-out NHLers bid Europea adieu on Wednesday as Michal Handzus, Tanner Glass, Dana Tyrell and Clayton Stoner announced they’d be leaving Slovak side HC Banska Bystrica.

As we’re wont to do at PHT, here’s the glorious Google Translation:

The management of the club and this opportunity to thank all three players [Glass, Tyrell and Stoner] for their absolute professionalism, great-way communication in the cabin and in the management of the club, a selfless willingness to help young players in the team as well as their performance, which could draw viewers into considerations not only in Banska Bystrica but also in the cities where they played their extra league game.

Especially huge thanks offspring Banská hockey Michal Handzus, who did not hesitate a moment and joined the team from under Urpín immediately after the start of the NHL lockout. He did so without compensation or any other costs while the insurance is paid by your own means. Michal their performance on the ice as well as the overall gaming action in the cabin greatly help the team and not just for the sports page, and proved to be Banskobystričanom all your soul.

“Gaming action in the cabin” is a new personal favorite of mine.

OK, so the end tally for all four guys…

Handzus: 9G-10A-19PTS in 19 games

Glass: 0G-1A-1PT in six games (with 75 PIM!)

Stoner: 1G-4A-5PTS in eight games

Tyrell: 0G-3A-3PTS in four games

Of the four, only Handzus is going into a contract year — the two-year, $5 million deal he signed with San Jose prior to 2011-12 expires this July.

Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”



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?