While many have assumed this will be Martin Brodeur’s last NHL season — the 41-year-old is in the final year of his deal, and Cory Schneider appears ready to assume the No. 1 gig — there are a couple people who warn against buying Brodeur a golden watch.
One is Brodeur himself. Another is a guy that knows a thing or two about extending shelf life — Jaromir Jagr.
“Hey, don’t count him out. Trust me. He can play another three or four years,” Jagr told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “Dominik Hasek came back when he was 47. (Brodeur) can play however long he wants to play.
“It’s up to him. He still loves the game, so it’s up to him.”
The topic of Brodeur’s playing future has been a hot one this season. Schneider has publicly expressed frustration about splitting time with Brodeur — or, more accurately, expressed frustration about sitting behind Brodeur for stretches — and Brodeur’s quality play (7-7-2, 2.25 GAA) has only added to the intrigue.
Another interesting wrinkle — especially with Jagr discussing the subject — would be Brodeur continuing his career somewhere other than New Jersey. Brodeur’s on record saying he wouldn’t rule out moving to a contending team at the deadline and could take a cue from Jagr, who’s played for four different teams (Philly, Dallas, Boston and New Jersey) since returning to the NHL in 201-12.
Brodeur’s comments were reminiscent of, though a bit different than, the ones he made back in late 2011 when he was a pending unrestricted free agent.
“In the future you never know, but I don’t want to [change teams],” he said. “But if I want to play — and I have so much respect for this organization — and if they don’t feel I’m the guy for them and they want to move on, if I still want to play I have to look after myself. I don’t see that happening, but I can’t say no.”
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.