Ryan Smyth keeping busy as camp approaches

1 Comment

Ryan Smyth is trying to keep his schedule busy and mind off hockey as NHL training camps fast approach.

Its Smyth’s first season away from the game after announcing his retirement last spring.

Speaking with Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, Smyth says he’s had numerous offers already to stay within the game.

“I have an open invitation on any front from Mac (Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish) but he recommended I take time off, and that’s what I’ll be doing. I will be coaching my son’s Initiation 3A team this winter, and my daughter wants to play, too. My son’s six years old. I’d like him to play novice, one level up, because he’s a pretty good skater, but we’ll see how it goes,” Smyth said. “I did get a couple of calls from Team Canada to help out, and I mentioned Mac. But I owe it to my wife and kids to take this year off.”

Smyth, who played 1270 games with the Oilers, Islanders, Avalanche and Kings, says he hasn’t got calls asking whether he’s reconsidered his decision to retire.

“I’m old and I’m washed up, I guess,” he joked.

Without a training camp to prepare for, Smyth is enjoying things he otherwise couldn’t do at this time of year. He has plans to see the Green Bay Packers play in Seattle and will head to New York where he’ll watch Derek Jeter’s final games.

After taking a year off, Smyth, who scored 386 goals and 842 points during his NHL career says he’s uncertain of what he’ll do.

“I don’t want to speculate … it’s been 19 years. Obviously, I want to stay in hockey somehow, but in what capacity? I have no idea,” he said.

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.