After the Olympic orientation camps briefly gave us something to talk about, things settled back into their normal late-July freeze. But like a ray of sunshine from beneath the equator, harnessed by Alicia Silverstone programming satellites to free Gotham City from the scourge of rubber icicles, there's now just enough news to justify a new Kings Links post! Hurray! Here's some things that happened!
Los Angeles Kings
- Former LA King Ziggy Palffy, one of my all-time favorite names, retired today. And no, this post isn't a summer rerun from 2006, he's actually still been playing hockey in Slovakia for the past seven seasons. He put up 73 points in just 39 games last season, so it sounds like the 41-year-old Palffy could have continued playing in Slovakia until well after decomposition began to set in. But no, he did call it quits, with a hilariously badly translated quote:
- How about we switch gears from "players you forgot still played" to "players you've probably never heard of"? WOOOO JULY! So the Kings signed new deals with Andrew Bodnarchuk and Colin Miller back on Monday. Bodnarchuk is a 25-year-old defenseman who put up 20 points in 69 games last year with the Monarchs. He's only appeared in 5 NHL games so far in his career, all with the Bruins during the 09-10 season. His deal is for two years, with no information available on the financial side (but it's probably a two-way deal and probably not for very much money). He's probably not in the conversation for an NHL job next year, but hey, you never know I guess. Miller on the other hand was signed to a three-year entry-level deal. He's a 20-year-old defenseman who was drafted in the 5th round (151st overall) of the 2012 draft, and put up some decent numbers for the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (20-35-55 points in 54 regular season games, 1-6-7 points in 6 playoff games). He's probably not in the conversation just yet either but could have potential down the road. In case you want to read everything I just told you *but on the Kings website*, a link is of course provided. (LA Kings)
- Meanwhile, Dean Lombardi had some nice things to say about the future of Willie Mitchell in an interview with NHL.com's Dan Rosen, who instead of doing anything productive with this information (such as, say, write a news article), decided to tweet about it instead. Apparently more details will be coming in Sunday's "30-in-30" article about the LA Kings, which you will probably try to remember to read and then almost certainly forget to. Here's the gist of it: Mitchell is progressing in his rehab and Lombardi even said he's "light years" ahead of his progress at this time last year. Sounds like good news to me! Here's a link to a Hockeybuzz article about it that I promise in no way involves Eklund or that weird Barry guy. (Hockeybuzz)
"One morning is more beautiful than the previous one, and you have other opinions," he explained, as per the IIHF website. "At this point, I believe that I quit. Definitive."
I have no idea what any of that meant, but it was kind of beautiful. Fare thee well, Ziggy! (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Scott Gomez, who annually tops the league in the critical Mocked-to-Effectiveness ratio, signed a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers. No information was released by the team on the financial side of the deal, but considering it's only for a year and they're currently spending only slightly more than the New York Islanders, I don't think there's much to worry about there. He was an effective third-line center for the San Jose Sharks last year, and he'll help the Florida Panthers hopefully not get blown out in every single game they play this year, I guess. Their division next year (the faux-Atlantic, or "fauntic") is fun: Boston, Detroit, Ottawa, and Montreal are all good-to-great possession teams, and Tampa Bay at least has that Stamkos guy. But don't worry Florida, it's not all bad; you do get to play against Buffalo & Toronto. (USA Today)
- "What do we want? MORE TEAMS! When do we want them? 2014-15!" Well, congratulations NO ONE ON EARTH, here you go: expansion, to Seattle to be more precise. That will almost certainly involve our division, of course, and will at least give the Canucks a more natural rival than "every other team in the National Hockey League". (Puck Daddy)
- Yahoo's Sam Mccaig (who? are we sure his last name isn't missing an R in there somewhere?) did a ranking of all 30 NHL starting goaltenders last week, and Jonathan Quick was ranked as number one. Yay! Hey, this ranking appears to be totally arbitrary and based on one guy's opinion and/or throwing darts at names clipped to his wall! Boo! Well, the little graphic that misspelled his last name says he's a "Y! Expert!" so I guess it's probably okay. Congrats Quick! (Yahoo NHL)
- Finally, in case you love the offseason so much you wanna get a head start on next year's, here's the (very early) consensus draft rankings for 2014. Pay especially close attention, Alberta-based hockey fans! (NHLNumbers)