A lot has been made of the Los Angeles Kings management imploding over a few years with some ludicrous trades and over-sized contracts. Dustin Brown got paid a ton to be a third line checking winger. Anze Kopitar is one of the highest paid players in the league. Jonathan Quick’s contract takes him through until he is 80 years old. Mike Richards is still being paid after the league realized Dean Lombardi planned to have him killed when he forgot to buy him out of that insane contract Philadelphia immediately regretted signing him to.
Then there was the Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn for Jordan Weal deal, the Ondrej Sekera rental fiasco, the Kris Versteeg slightly smaller but equally mishandled rental fiasco, and the Milan Lucic debacle. Somehow the Peter Budaj for Ben Bishop swap goes down as Lombardi’s best move since he approached Columbus who was all hopped up on Ether like Mr. Burns when Homer needed money for his bowling team.
In short, the Kings have made mistakes. Sure, Kopitar, Quick, and Brown have turned things around since playing in a more up tempo system, and Lombardi got indicted on RICO charges, but it’s still a work in progress.
But then there is the Minnesota Wild. The Wild gave out the two more infamous contract deals in hockey (I would argue in all of sports) history with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Both were signed for 13 years. Both carry a hit over 7.5 million dollars. Both are going to be 33 this year. Both have seven more seasons after this one. Both have No Movement terms. Seven more years. Whee.
Maybe Parise will hang them up after he realizes he has so much money hawking Greek yogurt and chocolate milk. Probably not though, as he could be hawking osteoporosis medication like Sally Fields, and Life Alert to seniors by the end of that deal. Ryan Suter could afford a Hoveround and be the first NHLer to actively use one during play.
Sure, the Wild lost a few guys along the way. Notably, Christian Folin and Darcy Kuemper who Los Angeles picked up for next to nothing. Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba gotta get paid this summer. Alex Stalock will continue to be trotted out as an NHL goalie inexplicably. At least he won’t get playoff starts, right? That would be crazy. Meanwhile, the Parise and Suter tandem will live there forever like they are the old knight guarding the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Wild chose...poorly.
Well, until the Kings sign Drew Doughty for 15 years at 9 million per year in a few summers.
As for the Kings:
Tonight is a bobblehead night. They sent me one, so I am legally obligated to mention this. It’s everyone’s favorite bee sting survivor, Tyler Toffoli, wearing a Santa hat. If you want a picture, just go look at my twitter account you damn ingrates. I think it’s also wine night or something. That deal is far more confusing, and wine gives me bad hangovers. Get wine and a bobblehead.
The Kings also are winning again. After finally doing the entirely possible, yet far more exhausting task of beating Ryan Miller and the Ducks, the Kings had a tough four game road trip and made it look easy. The Wild are a .500 team currently. You won’t see Zach Parise because he fell and couldn’t get up. Ryan Suter will be there however, sliding around in a sarcophagus.
The bobbleheads are stolen by Mikko Koivu. All, 18,000 of em. Each one of his illegitimate children receive one.