The Jordan Nolan situation has been simmering for quite some time in L.A.
Yesterday, Darryl Sutter turned up the heat.
After noticing Nolan was absent for Thursday’s morning skate — ahead of an eventual 4-1 home loss to Calgary — Sutter called out the 27-year-old forward, voicing his disapproval in the process.
“I couldn’t tell you,” Sutter said of Nolan’s absence, per L.A. Kings Insider. “I went out out on the ice today and I was trying to figure out who the hell wasn’t out there and I figured out halfway through he wasn’t out there, so that’s about as much as I can say.
“You want guys really interested in practicing and playing, right?”
As Kings Insider Jon Rosen notes, Sutter’s been irked with Nolan for a while. The burly winger has missed a good chunk of time with a leg injury, appearing in just six games in February and March.
Nolan’s last appearance came five days ago, when he played 8:48 in a 2-1 loss to the Coyotes.
Back in mid-March, Sutter criticized Nolan’s lack of availability after Nolan took part in a pregame skate against Buffalo (a game in which he didn’t play).
“It’s about time,” Sutter said, per the O.C. Register. “He’s played one game in six weeks. ‘Jordie’ hasn’t played much hockey. This is about what’s right for his career. He’s a 40-to-60-game (per season) player.”
Technically speaking, Sutter is correct. Nolan’s career-high in games played is 64 — back in the ’13-14 campaign — and he’s appeared in 46 this season. That said, he was a lineup regular during L.A.’s first Stanley Cup championship in 2012, appearing in all 20 playoff games.
This situation could be worth monitoring moving forward. Next year will be the last of Nolan’s three-year, $2.85 million extension, one that carries a $950,000 cap hit.