Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis spoke on head coach John Tortorella’s behalf on Tuesday regarding the 15-day (or six-game) suspension the fiery bench boss received.
The gist: Torts was a little too fiery, and that boiled over into that scene in front of the Calgary Flames’ locker room on Saturday.
“Torts is extremely disappointed in what happened. He accepts his punishment and we’ll move on,” Gillis said. “He’s an emotional guy and it got the better of him. He admitted that and the commissioner [Gary Bettman] accepted it.”
While there’s the chance that Tortorella may already be in hot water/on thin ice, there’s also the possibility that the two-week absence might have indirect benefits.
Despite leaving some fractured relationships behind in New York, there really wasn’t much/any turnaround time from the Rangers firing him to the Canucks hiring him. Moments like these can make situations worse, yet they can also give a coach a chance to gain a little rest and renewed perspective.
Hard-driving St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock has said that a little time away from being the bench boss did him some good, for one. While Torts won’t receive the same amount of time off, there’s at least a chance one could find a silver lining.
For more on Torts and other NHL issues, check out the latest PHT Extra.
Update: The Canucks won their first game with Tortorella on hiatus, as Roberto Luongo looked impressive in a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
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.