David Poile

Poile: Players can still make Team USA without Olympic camp invite


On Monday, USA Hockey announced its 48-player invite list to August’s Olympic orientation camp.

On Tuesday, GM David Poile gave hope to those not on it.

“Just because a player isn’t at camp doesn’t mean they won’t make the Olympic Team,” Poile explained. “We’re going to make our decisions based on who is playing best, who deserves to make it.

“Our list goes well beyond 48 players at camp.”

That’s good news for a number of players overlooked for camp selection, set to take place from Aug. 26-27 at Kettler Capitals IcePlex in Arlington, Va.

On defense, a number of veterans were left off the list. Dallas’ Alex Goligoski — the NHL’s fourth-leading U.S. defenseman scorer last season, with 27 points — Tampa Bay’s Matt Carle, Columbus’ James Wisniewski and a pair of 2010 holdovers, Carolina’s Tim Gleason and current UFA Ryan Whitney, were not asked to attend.

Perhaps the most curious snub on defense was Pittsburgh’s Rob Scuderi.

Scuderi, 34, was brought back to Pittsburgh on July 5 after four seasons in Los Angeles. The Pens paid heftily (four years, $13.5 million) with GM Ray Shero saying it was wrong to let Scuderi walk after the 2009 Stanley Cup win.

“It was a mistake to let Scuderi go on my part,” Shero said at the time. “To have the chance at a do-over and bring Rob back, I think that’s a good day for us.”

Given Shero’s role on the U.S. managerial team and Dan Byslma’s role as head coach, it was surprising not to see Scuderi at least get a camp invite.

At forward, snubs were less prevalent, though the likes of Minnesota’s Jason Pominville, Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky, Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone, Vancouver’s David Booth and Calgary’s Lee Stempniak were all passed on.

Things went mostly according to plan in goal, though Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop was passed over in favor of Ducks draftee John Gibson, who wowed onlookers at the 2013 World Hockey Championships.

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

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.