After just 50 regular season and one playoff game, Jordin Tootoo might be done in Detroit.
The Red Wings placed Tootoo on waivers on Wednesday, according to MLive.com. The 30-year-old winger finds himself on the wire after appearing in just eight games this year, scoring no points while posting a minus-4 rating in 7:13 TOI per game.
“The situation here is we have too many right wingers,” Detroit head coach Mike Babcock explained. “We’re not giving him a fair opportunity. He’s done nothing wrong, he’s played hard, he’s been a good teammate.
“We’ll see what happens. If Toots can get himself a place to play where he plays every night, that would be fantastic.”
Tootoo played just 5:38 in Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Jets, dropping the gloves with Chris Thorburn 16 seconds into the game:
The subject of trade rumors for months, Tootoo never found his niche in Detroit after signing a three-year, $5.7 million deal with the club on the opening day of free agency in 2012. Compounding matters was a shoulder injury that kept him out of the lineup for all of the preseason and the early part of the regular season, as well as Detroit’s glut of forwards.
It’ll be interesting to see if anybody takes a flier on Tootoo and his $1.9 million cap hit (his deal has two years remaining). If he goes unclaimed, it’s likely Detroit will dispatch him to AHL Grand Rapids, which is big for the cap-strapped Wings as they’d free up $925,000 in space with Tootoo in the minors.
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.
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?
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.