Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 17, 2013 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 2-1.
(February 16, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Where Capitals’ Holtby, Erskine discuss their extensions

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Winnipeg Jets’ top players have been living up to expectations lately. (Winnipeg Sun)

Goaltender Braden Holtby and defenseman John Erskine talk about their recently inked two-year extensions with the Washington Capitals. (Washington Times)

The New Jersey Devils might try to acquire a top-six forward before the deadline and defenseman Andy Greene might be involved in any potential deal. For his part, the 30-year-old blueliner knows that’s a possibility, but he doesn’t let it bother him. (New Jersey Online)

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri likes the idea of the Detroit Red Wings playing in the same division post-realignment. “Toronto and Detroit have a great history, a great hockey tradition,” Kadri said. “Being in the same division would really get the rivalry cranked up again, especially in southern Ontario.” (Toronto Sun)

New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (ankle) was back on the ice for Monday’s practice. However, forward Rick Nash and defenseman Ryan McDonagh were both absent. (New York Newsday)

Sportsnet’s Ryan Porth’s top five picks for the Hart Trophy at the one-third mark of the season. (Sportsnet)

Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen (groin) took part in Monday’s practice, but he’s still questionable for Tuesday’s contest. (The Dallas Morning News)

Meanwhile, New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur’s back injury is of the day-to-day variety. (New Jersey Online)

Here’s the highlights from Nashville’s 5-4 overtime victory over Dallas:

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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
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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.