So, here’s a curious development out of Los Angeles….
On Friday, LA Kings Insider spoke to veteran rearguard Matt Greene about being a healthy scratch for the last three games, then asked Kings head coach Darryl Sutter if he anticipated Green being in the lineup soon.
Sutter said no — “I’m not into ‘what you did,’ I’m into ‘what you’re doing'” — before sharing some thoughts on parking veteran players like Greene in the press box.
“I’m not into feeling sorry for guys because they’ve been around a long time. I’m in to how they play. Very simple. Either they accept it, or they don’t.”
[Reporter: Does it seem like he’s accepting it?]
“He better. He better have a good attitude, very simple. The only thing I don’t accept is anybody with a bad attitude in terms of work ethic, attitude, or how they’re received by their teammates. It’s why we’re a good team. It’s a change that we’ve had to make, obviously, in the last three years here.”
Not exactly clear what prompted this. Kings Insider reports that Greene’s handled the demotion well and hasn’t complained about the situation, so perhaps this is just a case of Darryl being Darryl.
That said, it’s pretty obvious Greene’s role on the team has greatly diminished. The 30-year-old alternate captain has essentially been replaced in the lineup by 26-year-old Alec Martinez, who scored his fourth goal of the season last night in a 4-2 win over Boston.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.