Aleksey Morozov #95

Report: Ex-NHLer Morozov calls it a career


Another member of the 1995 draft class has hung up his skates.

Aleksey Morozov, the former Pittsburgh Penguin taken 24th overall in ’95, has announced his retirement, according to Russian news outlet R-Sport. Morozov, 37, has been playing in Russia since the lockout-canceled 2004-05 campaign, but had previously spent seven seasons in Pittsburgh and briefly played alongside Mario Lemieux and Alexei Kovalev on the short-lived “KLM Line.”

A skilled winger, Morozov also gained notoriety as a Devils killer during his North American stint due to his scoring exploits against New Jersey. He scored 25 points in 30 career contests against the Devils — a significant total, given he only had 219 career points — many of which were scored against Martin Brodeur.

Here’s what Brodeur had to say about Morozov (per ESPN):

Dan Patrick: Who don’t you want to see coming at you on a breakaway? Maybe somebody that would surprise me?

Brodeur: Aleksey Morozov.

DP: Oh, well, he’s a good player.

MB: The kid’s got probably over 25 percent of his career goals on me. It’s unbelievable.

DP: What is it about him?

MB: I don’t know. If you figure it out, please tell me. When he shoots the puck, I never catch it really clean. When he’s going to make a pass, I think he’s shooting. When he’s shooting, I think he’s making a pass. The guy’s in my kitchen. He’s in my head. I can’t get rid of him.

Morozov spent last season with CSKA Moscow of the KHL, scoring 23 points in 38 games. As mentioned above, he’s the second player from the ’95 Draft class to retire recently — last week, goalie J.S. Giguere (taken 13th overall) announced his playing career was finished.

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.