Flames to keep rookie Monahan for season


The Calgary Flames had a big decision on their hands regarding the future of star freshman Sean Monahan.

On Wednesday, they made it.

The Flames announced they’re keeping the 19-year-old center for the remainder of the season, rather than returning him to his junior club in Ottawa.

Monahan, who sits third among all rookie skaters with nine points in nine games, has been the focus of much conversation in recent weeks. While he’s been an important contributor in Calgary (t-2nd in points) and deserving of his spot in the NHL, arguments have been made suggesting the Flames — not considered to be a playoff contender — should return him to junior and save a year of his entry-level contract in the process.

But, according to Flames GM Jay Feaster, the organization just couldn’t hold the sixth overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft back.

“We feel good about [Monahan],” Feaster told the team website. “We feel good about the decision we’ve made.

“I think he’s a unique individual… in his determination. He’s a 19-year-old going on 29 years old.”

The argument about keeping Monahan up will likely continue, but it’s important to remember one thing — the Flames made it clear from the onset of training camp that playing time and positions on the team would have to be earned. Telling a player that, then having him earn his spot, then taking it away could send a mixed message, and possibly affect the relationship between organization and prospect.

It’s worth noting, however, that Feaster didn’t rule out the possibility of Monahan representing Canada at the 2014 World Juniors.

“We’re a big believer in the [World Juniors] and what they do for players,” he said.

The ’14 tournament runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden.

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.