Paul Stastny, Nathan MacKinnon

MacKinnon on Stastny: ‘We need him, plain and simple’


There’s more than a little uncertainty surrounding the Colorado Avalanche’s chances of bringing back pending unrestricted free agent Paul Stastny. His (current?) teammate Nathan MacKinnon made one thing clear to the Denver Post, though: he really wants his linemate back next season.

“I just don’t want it to happen. I don’t want Pauly to go,” MacKinnon said. “He was a huge part of our team. He took all the biggest faceoffs, probably got to see the other teams’ top lines all season and still had 60 points in (71) games. He’s definitely one of our top players and we need him, plain and simple.

MacKinnon might sound a little naive there – it fits, really, since he’s a lock to win the 2014 Calder Trophy tonight – yet maybe the 18-year-old is just being optimistic.

“I’m young, but I realize it’s a business,” MacKinnon said. “You can’t play forever, and you have to be fair. He’s going to be fair to the Avalanche and the Avalanche are going to be fair to him. In my head, it’s just a matter of time before it gets done, and hopefully it can.”

OK, maybe he’s being naive.

Still, it’s easy to see why the budding star wants Stastny to stick around. The 28-year-old center isn’t as flashy as MacKinnon, yet he’s a versatile player who complimented the soon-to-be-sophomore quite well alongside fellow young forward Gabriel Landeskog.

Of course, there could be a silver lining to Stastny leaving town for MacKinnon, especially if Ryan O’Reilly doesn’t come back either. MacKinnon probably hopes to slide into a prominent spot as a center in Colorado, a change that would certainly be more likely if two strong pivots headed out the door.

Ultimately, there are advantages and disadvantages to the Avalanche taking care of business with Stastny. “Keeping MacKinnon happy” adds serious incentive to get something done, though.

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
Leave a comment

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.