Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers walks to the locker room following warm ups to the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on December 15, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.
(December 14, 2011 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

Oilers coach clears out many glory days items from locker room


Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins is looking for ways to get the Edmonton Oilers to move past the rebuilding stage and it looks like part of his answer involves taking a step away from their past, based on an Edmonton Sun report.

In the 1980s, the Oilers were a stacked team worthy of the dynasty label and until recently, their locker room was a shine to that, complete with plaques, pictures, and the names of the team’s former greats. That’s not the case anymore.

Eakins wants to make sure that his players feel like it’s their dressing room, rather than Mark Messier’s. With that in mind, he’s made some significant changes. Among other things, many of the pictures have been removed and will be replaced by photos of those currently serving on the team.

When it comes to Eakins’ coaching staff and the team’s upper management, the new head coach is somewhat unique due to his lack of connection with the glory days Oilers. President Kevin Lowe, GM Craig MacTavish, and Eakins’ assistant coaches all won the Cup with Edmonton.

Their presence gave deeper meaning to the “Once An Oiler – Always An Oiler” sign — which, by the way, has also been removed.

“Listen, when we walk in that door, there’s five Stanley Cups standing there,” Eakins said. “That’s a great piece of history. That’s the only thing that counts.”

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards
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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 Lombardi and 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.