Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Hammond of Kings.com,
The Kings wasted no time in making a major offseason move, as they acquired All-Star center Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday in exchange for winger Wayne Simmonds, center Brayden Schenn and a 2012 second-round draft pick.
In Richards, the Kings get a two-time 30-goal scorer who, at age 26, should be just entering his prime years. The move gives the Kings an enviable one-two punch at center with Anze Kopitar and Richards, both of whom are point-per-game threats.
Richards, who served as the Flyers’ captain, is under contract through the 2019-20 season and is known as a strong two-way player in all situations.
“This is an incredible add to our hockey club,” Kings coach Terry Murray said. “‘m very, very excited about it. You don’t want to lose anybody, to take anybody off your hockey club. Simmer has been a great trooper and a great player for us, and I wish him all the luck, but on the other side of it, with adding a guy like Mike Richards, this really helps us start to live up to our own expectations, of just moving on and becoming a real good team. He’s a proven, quality player, a quality guy. He’s a captain. It’s going to be a tremendous fit, I think, to our hockey club.”
via Bob McKenzie tweet,
It is not done but CGY is working to acquire Ryan Smyth. Smyth has final say with his NTC but it may be as close as he gets to EDM.
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
Mike Richards would have been an awfully nice fit at centre for the Maple Leafs.
Jeff Carter less so - more of a shooter - but still pretty good.
Alas, the frustration for Brian Burke is on the day the Flyers moved both, he got shut out on both.
Richards, a more expensive, 2011 version of Doug Gilmour, you could argue, was the one Burke bid hardest on. But, from a Leaf perspective, at least Los Angeles likely won’t be in the bidding for Brad Richards now that they’ve got Mike Richards, the former Philly captain.
If Brad Richards now wants the big money and the long term, it looks like he’ll have to get it from the Rangers or the Leafs. Anywhere else, he’ll have to go for a discount. This we know; he won’t wave his no-trade, so he’ll be free and open to offers on July 1st.
And the Leafs will be making him an offer.
From Gord Miller at TSN via Twitter:
Mike Richards to LA for a package including Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds? Hearing from good sources that it could happen.
And from Bob McKenzie—
Unconfirmed reports that Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds would be PHI bound. But not done yet. Could happen. Stay tuned.
Update 4:09pm ET: TSN story—
The overhaul of the Philadelphia Flyers continued on Thursday, as the club shipped captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings.
Coming back to the Philadelphia are forwards Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.
Update 4:30pm ET: Note—Philadelphia also received a 2nd round pick from LA in this trade.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have acquired center Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forwards Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second round draft selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Richards, who served as the Flyers’ captain for the past three years, is 26 years old. He is signed through the 2019-20 NHL season after inking a 12-year contract with Philadelphia in December of 2007. Richards is a two-time 30-goal scorer who has averaged 28 goals, 42 assists and 70 points over the last four seasons while playing in an average of 78 regular season games per year. He has also during that time played in 57 total playoff games while helping lead Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. During that playoff run he recorded 23 points in 23 playoff games.
Said Lombardi: “We felt at this stage of the franchise it was time to make a significant move for an impact player. Mike Richards is not only one of the top players in the league, he’s also universally recognized as one of the finer leaders in the game and one of its elite competitors. Additionally, given that he’s only 26-years-old and he’s on a long-term contract, he fits our plan now and for the long-term future.”
From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News:
TSN’s Bob McKenzie broke the story on Monday evening, citing a source who claimed Smyth had told Kings management he’d prefer to return to the Oilers if a trade could be worked out.
McKenzie noted no deal was in place and it would be difficult to move Smyth, given his current contract, which will pay him $4.5 million next season, but comes with a cap hit of $6.25 million. McKenzie also suggested Oilers management would be lukewarm to the prospect of bringing back Smyth, though he would be a good mentor to the young players on the team.
Smyth subsequently denied he was seeking a trade, telling the Edmonton Journal he had no idea where this was coming from, but the Los Angeles Times and LAKingsInsider.com cited sources confirming McKenzie’s report.
Whether or not Smyth requested a trade, it doesn’t make sense for the Oilers to acquire him when he’s still carrying a hefty cap hit, let alone the assets they’d have to part with to land him.
read on plus other odds & ends
For more on Smyth’s future, an article from John MacKinnon at the Edmonton Journal
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Could Ryan Smyth be returning to the Edmonton Oilers in order to finish his career with the team that selected him in the first round of the 1994 entry draft?
A deal certainly isn’t imminent and won’t necessarily be an easy transaction for either the Los Angeles Kings or Oilers to close, but sources tell TSN the 35-year-old left winger has indicated to the Kings his preference would be to play next season in Edmonton if a trade can be worked out.
From the NHL:
The New York Rangers will play a special exhibition game against the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite League at the Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Friday, Sept. 30, as part of the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge.
Tickets for this special game go on sale tomorrow, June 21, at 9:00 a.m. local time in Gothenburg. For more information on purchasing tickets visit http://www.ticnet.se.
It will be a unique return home for Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who played five seasons for Frolunda before coming to the NHL. In 2005, his last in Sweden before joining the Rangers, Henrik captured both the Golden Puck and the Golden Helmet awards for outstanding play. To make the occasion even more special, Henrik, a two-time NHL All-Star, will oppose his twin brother Joel, who plays for the Indians.
The NYR will also open their regular season in Sweden, playing two other games: on Friday, Oct. 7 against the Los Angeles Kings and on Saturday, Oct. 8 against the Anaheim Ducks.
from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
• Within the past few days, the Kings have made a “major” offer to Drew Doughty’s agent. Lombardi has made two trips to Toronto — location of the office of Don Meehan’s, Doughty’s agent — within the past four weeks, and the Kings would like to get a deal done before the draft, if possible. Lombardi said he is certainly aware of the risk of an offer sheet to Doughty but is not overly concerned.
• The Kings are still in the market for a top-level forward, either through free agency or trade. Lombardi said that even if it was guaranteed that Dustin Penner would have a big season, statistically, the Kings would still seek outside help to improve their scoring numbers, both 5-and-5 and on the power play.
more on the Kings…
from Kerry Fraser at TSN,
from a reader…Do you remember what happened 18 years ago today? Have you cleared your mind of it since or do you carry it around with you like luggage?...
No official wants to make or miss a call that has an impact on a game or a series. It becomes a bitter pill to swallow.
On the 18th anniversary of the infamous “Missed Call,” for many a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, the bitterness has never subsided.
Every year, right up to my final season as a referee in the NHL I was contacted by the media on this day and asked to rehash the play. They always ran with it and feelings were dredged up from old wounds that have never healed; especially from those that harbour hatred towards me. I devoted an entire chapter in my book (coming out in updated paperback and e-book versions this fall - nice plug!), “The Final Call” entitled, “The Missed Call” and put it all out there; including a sincere apology to Leafs fans everywhere for not having seen the play.
Can’t recall the incident? Watch it below…
From Bob Duff at the Windsor Star:
In his third National Hockey League game, Windsor’s Barry Potomski, then with the Los Angeles Kings, dropped the gloves and fought with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Ken Baumgartner, who was among the league’s most feared tough guys.
“You have to have one of those in your first five games,” suggested former Detroit Red Wings tough guy Darren McCarty of Leamington at the time. “It’s your initiation to the club.”
The Essex County Enforcers Association.
Today, another charter member of that society is dead.
Potomski collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack Monday while working out on the treadmill at Lifestyles Family Fitness. He was 38.
His death comes about 10 months after the death of Windsor’s Bob Probert, the patriarch and forever spiritual leader of the ECEA. Probert was 45 when a heart attack claimed his life last July.
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