The L.A. Kings are making a lot of their fans happy these past couple weeks.
First, they hired Heidi Androl to make their webcasts a must-watch; then, they sent oft-maligned goalie Dan Cloutier to the minors, ostensibly for the remainder of the two years and $6.2 million remaining on his contract.
The Cloutier demotion makes me wonder why the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t giving all-but-banished netminder Andrew Raycroft the same treatment.
With second-line center Kyle Wellwood out for a month (at least) thanks to his second sports hernia surgery in nine months, you’d think GM John Ferguson could use Raycroft’s $2 million in salary cap space to help plug the pivot hole.
I suppose Leafs brass is content to read story after story in the coming days and months about their goalie controversy (whether there is one or not) by keeping Raycroft on the NHL roster.
Let it never be said these guys don’t bring it on themselves.
The rash of injuries only makes me feel better about my complete and utter disdain for the worst clichÃ© of the NHL pre-season: Â“If we can stay healthyÂ…Â”
Every time I hear that bunk, I want to call the player up and say, Â“Listen, dude, in a compressed 82-game schedule, with the garbage this league allows its players to get away with, no team stays healthy. So stop dreaming in Technicolor.Â”
Then I remember I may have to interview the schmendrick one day, so I just grumble to myself instead.
Â• Who says you can’t believe anything that comes out of an NHL owner’s mouth? Get a load of this dose of reality from Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell, who was asked by ever-intrepid Columbus Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline why former GM Doug MacLean was fired last season:
Â“He had a habit of making people mad at him,Â” McConnell said of Tampa Bay’s soon-to-be minority owner. Â“I told him one time, ‘Never fight with the people who buy their ink by the barrel.’ That’s an old saying, but I don’t think Doug understood that. Doug was a good guy. I liked him. But he had a quick temper and a big ego. Those two don’t mix.Â”
Nice one, Mr. McConnell. I’m beginning to understand why the Columbus faithful serenaded you with a multi-minute standing ovation at the NHL draft this summer.