The 37-year-old defenseman, fresh off winning his second Stanley Cup in three years with the L.A. Kings, was informed only a few days ago that the club will not be re-signing him, choosing to go in a different direction.
Mitchell spent the last four years in L.A., but only played in three of those seasons. He missed the entire lockout campaign due to injury but returned to the Kings this season, playing in 76 games, then in 18 during their spring run that culminated with another championship.
His two-year contract, worth $3.5 million a season, as per Capgeek.com, expires and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.
“It was a little tough to take,” Mitchell told the L.A. Times. “It’s like one of those girlfriends you had before you got married who just kind of rejected you.
“I get the business side of it too. It’s probably better to go in a new direction to where they’re excited to have you. I told him, it’s not about what I want. It’s about you guys wanting me. And if you don’t want me, I don’t want to be here.”
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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