Lost among the quotable “Dry Island” denial soundbites thrown out Wednesday, when Mike Richards met the local media for the first time since his trade from Philadelphia, maybe the most revealing nugget of Richards’ press conference is that he still doesn’t know why he was traded.
At the very least, even if he does know why he was traded, Richards isn’t ready to divulge that reason publicly. In the meantime, speculation will continue.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi has his own take: It was a good hockey trade.
“It’s one of those deals that should work out for everybody and satisfy each of our needs,” he said. “We gave up two good players. Philly did just fine.”
That’s my starting point for tomorrow’s story. A couple other points of note from Lombardi:
… on Drew Doughty: “We had a 40-minute discussion yesterday. It’s safe to say we’re still having dialogue, still trying to move forward. Yesterday was probably our first extended conversation for a while. We’re still on track.”
… on whether Shea Weber’s eventual next contract will guide negotiations with Doughty: “I think it gives you some evidence, but even he’s different because he’s a year from free agency. That’s one of the hard parts you got here. There’s not a lot of defensemen other than Dion Phaneuf, Duncan Keith — a lot of these kids who have gotten top dollars, most have been forwards. You could even say (Keith) Yandle. There’s a similarity in numbers, but he’s older and one year away. Is it relevant? Yes, but there’s a question of how much weight you really give it. … Obviously, our biggest concern is fitting it into a salary structure that allows us to – that’s our biggest concern. However you come to the number, the bottom line is making that number fit in where you are and where you want to go.
…on if he is comfortable making Doughty the highest-paid King? “I guess it would depend on the term (length of the contract). That’s the other thing that comes into this, too. There’s a direct ratio of how many free agent years I get. So I don’t think you can ask that question in a vacuum.”
… on Colin Fraser: “Check in with me in about three days. He’s actually here to see the doctor. … We’ll have that finalized in the next 24 hours, as far as what the doctors think. As soon as I get my final doctor report, I think (filing a grievance) is a possibility.”