Nazem Kadri

Leafs: Nonis ‘not surprised’ Kadri, Franson and Fraser remain unsigned


On a day where most of the talk focused on his own contract extension, Dave Nonis spent some time discussing three other pressing deals.

The club’s key restricted free agents — Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson and Mark Fraser — all remain unsigned as August draws closer.

But, according to Nonis, the timeline thus far has given him little to no concern.

“That’s not a red flag. It’s July,” Nonis said on Sportsnet 590. “I’m not surprised that they’re not signed, and we have a lot of time before we have to start worrying about it.”

Looking across the NHL, it’s easy to see why Nonis remains unfazed.

Several teams have opted to put RFA negotiations on the backburner while dealing with more pertinent matters, like unrestricted free agents and potential arbitration hearings.

St. Louis still hasn’t reached an agreement with Alex Pietrangelo, nor has Buffalo with Cody Hodgson. New Jersey still needs to reach a deal with Adam Henrique, as do the Rangers with Derek Stepan. Other key unsigned RFAs include Mikkel Boedker (Phoenix), Kyle Clifford (Los Angeles), Marcus Johansson (Washington) and Jared Cowen (Ottawa).

That said, Nonis doesn’t expect deals for either Kadri — the club’s second leading scorer last year, with 44 points in 48 games — or Franson, the club’s leading defenseman scorer, in the near future.

Kadri made $1.72 million last year, while Franson pulled in $1.2 million. Fraser, who emerged as a very useful defenseman in his first year in Toronto, made $600,000. All three are expected to be re-signed before the Leafs start training camp, which will begin prior to the team’s preseason-opener on Sept. 15.

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.