Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…
One of the bigger surprises of the trade deadline was that Cammalleri was not, in fact, traded by the Calgary Flames. It had seemed like an automatic, given the team’s lowly position in the standings and the veteran player’s contract status.
“It didn’t happen not for a lack of effort, not for a lack of moving the price,” said the acting general manager at the time, Brian Burke. “I’m comfortable we did everything we could do to move him short of giving him away. To me, the value of having him here for the rest of the season and the enhanced ability to maybe sign him to an extension was way preferable to giving him away for nothing.”
Cammalleri led the Flames with 26 goals in 2013-14. The 32-year-old winger has not played in the postseason since 2011 and has not won a Stanley Cup, so while he’s met with new GM Brad Treliving and the Flames do want to keep him, he may ultimately be loathe to re-sign with the rebuilding club.
Even Burke conceded after the deadline, “I’m sure Mike’s disappointed – not to be a Calgary Flame because he loves it here, but to go somewhere and get in some playoff hockey.”
Cammalleri is coming off a five-year, $30 million contract. His best season as an NHLer came in 2008-09, when he scored 39 goals for the Flames. He was also a big contributor during the Canadiens’ surprise playoff run in 2010, when he scored 13 times in 19 games.
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.