Report: Wild want ‘Hawks as outdoor game opponent, NHL ‘pushing’ Dallas


It seems like a forgone conclusion that Minnesota will be getting an outdoor game in the not-too-distant future — Winter Classic or Stadium Series remains to be seen — but there is some discrepancy about who the Wild would be hosting.

From the Minnesota Star-Tribune:

The Wild continues its quest to host a Winter Classic. But there are plans to bring a stadium-series game to Minnesota as soon as next season.

The Wild wants the opponent to be the Blackhawks, but the NHL is pushing the Dallas Stars as the opponent. If the game happens, it looks as if it will be played at Target Field.

The Dallas connection certainly gives the game a “hook” with the history between the two organizations. The North Stars left Minnesota in 1993 when then-owner Norm Green controversially relocated the team to Dallas, and it would be seven seasons before NHL hockey returned in 2000, with the expansion Wild.

That inaugural season, the Wild scored one of the most memorable wins in franchise history by waxing Dallas 6-0 in the Stars’ return to Minnesota.

From an alumni perspective, the Minnesota-Dallas matchup would wield plenty of storylines, and would give fans a chance to celebrate all the great North Stars — Neal Broten, Brian Bellows, Dino Ciccarelli, Bobby Smith, Cesare Maniago — all the great Dallas Stars (Sergei Zubov, Derian Hatcher, Ed Belfour) and honor the figures that contributed to both organizations, like Mike Modano and Bob Gainey.

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.