In praise of Clarke MacArthur


Clarke MacArthur is enjoying a solid campaign in Ottawa, sitting second on the team in goals (15) and third in points, with 33.

Considering where he was eight months ago, the feat is kind of impressive.

MacArthur, then playing for Toronto, was a healthy scratch in a pair of opening-round playoff games against Boston. That came on the heels of a regular season in which MacArthur scored just 20 points in 40 games while averaging less than 15 minutes a night, and had a strained relationship with Leafs bench boss Randy Carlyle.

Allowed to walk in free agency, there was a certain unknown with MacArthur. While his advanced possession statistics were solid and production relatively consistent — he scored at least 15 goals in each of his first four seasons — MacArthur was also a guy that played for three different teams in six years and, this summer, was looking for a fourth.

That’s when the Sens came calling.

Signed to a modest two-year, $6.5 million deal, MacArthur has proven to be one of the best free agent bargains. He sits tied for 10th in the league in game-winning goals (four) and spends extensive time on both Ottawa’s penalty kill and power play (sitting second on the team in PP goals, with five.)

He also put forth a candidate for assist of the season in November, setting up linemate Kyle Turris with this beauty against Minnesota:

Sens head coach Paul MacLean has praised MacArthur’s play and professional approach throughout the year.

“We knew Clarke was a very consistent player, a 400-game player in the league, knows how to play, we knew he had some skill and was really a smart player,” MacLean said earlier this season, per the Ottawa Citizen. “We didn’t put a number on it and say this is what he’s supposed to do and this is what he’s going to be. But, since he has been here, he has been very consistent day in and day out. His practice, his work ethic is something we like.

“He has been a really good signing for our group.”

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.