Steve Yzerman

Yzerman: Lightning aren’t looking to trade for a rental


The Tampa Bay Lightning have gone 4-13-1 since February 1, so it’s reasonable that some think GM Steve Yzerman should make a big trade or two.

If he does, Yzerman told ESPN that he’ll have the future in mind in more ways than one, which means he doesn’t want to acquire a player with an expiring contract (aka a “rental” player).

“Rental players cost you draft picks or young players, we’re not interested in that,” Yzerman said. “That’s why we signed free agents in the summer, to fill those places. If there’s a trade that makes sense where a team has a need and we have a need, then it would be addressed that way.”

(As you can see from their Cap Geek page, the Bolts have plenty of players locked up beyond this season, including guys who could feasibly be traded, such as Ryan Malone.)

Yzerman admits that he hasn’t been happy with the way things have gone, but he notes the team’s upcoming schedule is lighter. There aren’t many back-to-backs, which can submarine fringe squads like the Lightning.

Even if he didn’t seem so optimistic, Yzerman indicates that there might not have been any opportunities to make a big splash, anyway.

“To sit here and say, ‘I’m going to do something big,’ there’s nothing big that can be done at this time,” Yzerman said. “It’s not like we just sit here and do nothing all day. You talk to people, you see if there’s anything that makes sense. For a lot of reasons it’s difficult to find a fit, to find the right players, the right salaries to make a trade. You don’t just do something to do it.”

Some might argue that teams have been trading just to trade lately, actually.

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?